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Linux, Cloud, and Next Generation Workloads - Brad McCredie, IBM

Linux, Cloud, and Next Generation Workloads - Brad McCredie, IBM | Linux A Future |
From LinuxCon & CloudOpen North America in New Orleans, LA. Brad McCredie, the visionary behind OpenPOWER, shares insights into the future of Linux-based clo...
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Smart Linux Home Hubs Mix IoT with AI

Smart Linux Home Hubs Mix IoT with AI | Linux A Future |
Industrial, rather than home, applications will likely dominate the Internet of Things (IoT) market in the years to come. Yet, in the early going, the home automation market has had the greatest visibility. And it hasn’t always been pretty.

Despite steady growth, retail sales have yet to achieve inflated expectations. Too many companies promised and failed to deliver interoperability with a growing catalog of often buggy smart home products. The lack of essential applications, complex installation, and in many cases, high prices, have also conspired against the segment.

Yet the smart home segment appears to be rebounding with the help of maturing technology and IoT interoperability standards. There is particular interest in connecting voice-enabled AI assistants with the smart home in products such as Amazon’s Echo. Google recently announced Google Home, a major competitor to Alexa. These are being joined by open source Linux smart home voice agents like Mycroft, Silk, and ZOE (see below).

Most home automation systems run on Linux hubs or revolve around higher-end Linux-based smart devices like the Nest Thermostat. Many of these have fairly open APIs for app development, although the hardware is usually locked down.

As we explored over the last two weeks, open source hackers can also build fully open smart home systems using personal computers or Linux hacker boards running open source IoT stacks. Developers are also hacking commercial hubs to load open software.

A few of the products in’s August 2014 roundup of Linux-based IoT smart home hubs have been discontinued. These include the innovative, open source Ninja Sphere. Fortunately, Ninja Blocks was able to send units or refunds to backers before closing shop, and the software is free for continued experimentation.

This summer, Staples scrapped its Staples Connect system. The Connect devices will continue to be distributed by Z-Wave Products, including the Linux-based, Alljoyn-compliant D-Link Staples Connected Home Hub, even if D-Link is no longer promoting the hub with its other smart home cameras and devices.

One of the big early players -- Revolv -- was acquired by Alphabet-owned Nest. In April Revolv was discontinued, demonstrating the risks involved with buying into a home automation system.

Samsung’s acquisition of SmartThings has been more profitable. Not only has Samsung moved SmartThings to a more open, Linux-based platform, but it’s expanding with new devices and third-party device support. SmartThings remains one of the market leaders.

The heavily promoted Wink system, which was backed by GE and sold at Home Depot, suffered from negative reviews, and its owner, Quirky, entered bankruptcy. Wink was acquired by Flex, however, and last week released a much improved, $99 Wink Hub 2.0. Wink also announced a major new distributor with Walmart.

Wink confirmed that the new hub continues to run “a custom-built Linux OS,” supported with an updated, open Wink API based on RESTful. There’s also wide-ranging, third-party device support. The Wink hub is proprietary, but has been rooted and loaded with OpenHAB, as well as the similarly open source Home Assistant.

Like Staples Connect and Wink, Lowe’s Iris has survived thanks to a strong retail presence. This year, Iris 2.0 made substantial improvements to its lagging technology, including Microsoft Azure integration and AllJoyn and Amazon Echo compatibility.

Some home automation players, such as Insteon, continue to compete with a closed system. Similarly, the Lutron Smart Bridge is devoted to Lutron products using its proprietary ClearConnect wireless protocol, such as its Caseta dimmers. There’s also LG, with its proprietary SmarThinq, among others. The most popular proprietary system is Apple’s HomeKit, which draws upon a devoted customer base.

Some smart home systems, such as Vera, support just about any product with Z-Wave -- a more proprietary technology than the similarly short-range ZigBee. The Google-backed Thread Group is aiming to replace both standards with its IPv6-infused, mesh-networking Thread protocol based on the similarly 802.15.4-based 6LoWPAN. For an open source software spin on Z-Wave, IoT hackers can turn to Open-ZWave, which is building an open source software library for Z-Wave PC controllers.

Newer IoT systems tend to support multiple wireless protocols, and have more open APIs, even if they are rarely fully open source. With the growing availability and sophistication of smart lighting products such as Philips Hue and Lifx, or smart locks from Kwikset, August, Schlage, Yale, hub/stack vendors do not need to field their own device competitors. Instead, they can focus on advanced software and hubs that are compliant with major smart devices and open source frameworks like The Linux Foundation hosted projects AllJoyn and IoTivity.

One of the bigger open source success stories in the smart home business is WigWag, which offers a hackable, Linux-based Relay hub along with a sampling of homegrown sensors, presence tags, and lighting devices. WigWag depends primarily, however, on third-party smart devices compatible with AllJoyn, IoTivity, and Thread. Another open source contender is Webee, which offers a self-learning hub that lets you use your TV as an interface.

Consumers tend to start off in the home IoT market by purchasing a single-purpose smart device such as a thermostat or smart lock, controlled via a smartphone app. The most successful product line without a central multipurpose hub is Nest Labs’ Nest Thermostat. Despite a leadership shakeup this year, the Alphabet-owned Nest continues as a market leader. Other popular hub/endpoint hybrids remaining from our 2014 list include Belkin’s WeMo and iControl’s Piper home security camera.

Voice assistants and analytics

Although some home automation systems feature wall-mounted touchscreens, the typical interface has been the smartphone app. Unfortunately, smartphones are overloaded with other duties, and have a tendency to get left behind in the other room. Even if you have a unified app for all your smart devices, digging into the menus can take time.

Voice response systems are increasingly seen as a more user-friendly smart home interface that can also extend to multimedia access and general web queries. A growing number of vendors including SmartThings and WeMo, as well as old-time home automation firms like Creston and Control4, are adding support for the popular Amazon Echo speaker/IoT hub. The main draw of the Echo is the Alexa voice agent, which enables the Echo to act as a voice-activated smart home hub.

The Echo is not open source, but last year Amazon opened up the Alexa SDK, thereby greatly extending its reach. Integrating with the Echo is certainly easier than hooking up with Apple’s proprietary, HomeKit, which remain popular in part due to its Siri voice integration.

Google and Microsoft are readying their own voice agents for smart home applications to compete with Alexa and Siri. Google Home offers a voice-enabled smart speaker, and Google is said to be encouraging other tech firms to build their own Google Home compatible devices built around its Google Cast and Google Assistant technologies.

Earlier this year, Microsoft announced that its Cortana voice assistant for Windows 10 would expand beyond its AllJoyn compatibility to support IoTivity.  A Cortana-ready smart home product should follow in 2017.

Newcomers are challenging these tech giants with their own voice-enabled products. While the major voice agents are all cloud-based, the Linux-based ZOE smart home assistant works locally for greater privacy. The company says it plans to make ZOE open source.

A similar approach is being used by Silk Labs, whose AI-augmented Sense surveillance camera and automation hub won Kickstarter funding earlier this year. In June, Silk Labs announced that it was cancelling the product to focus on software and OEM sales. Silk Labs has refunded backers, and has open sourced the Linux-based Silk platform behind Sense. Silk offers local control of AI analytics as well as voice, face, and gesture recognition.

Another open source smart hub with voice AI is Mycroft, which was crowdfunded a year ago, but has been delayed to an expected November launch. Mycroft offers an Echo-like hub that runs Snappy Ubuntu Core on a Raspberry Pi.

ZOE, Silk, Mycroft, and others are pushing a related trend toward AI analytics. The idea is to make home automation more autonomous and self-learning, so devices can truly interoperate intelligently without requiring constant attention via a smartphone app. Some of these systems use voice- and facial recognition to recognize who is in a space, and adjust settings accordingly.

Typically, AI is being introduced in the cloud, as with the optional cloud analytics available with the Nest Cam. As products add analytics, the question is whether local-only systems can compete with cloud services such as Alexa, Siri, Google Assistant, or IBM’s Watson IoT platform. In other words, can you have privacy and security, and also enjoy sophisticated, personalized automation?
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Why you should try Linux today: 6 compelling reasons

Why you should try Linux today: 6 compelling reasons | Linux A Future |
1. Windows 10’s taking away your choices

Bear with me. This may seem off-topic, but it’s the crux of the issue for a lot of people. Linux’s most alluring feature for many won’t be anything that Linux actually does, but what it doesn’t do. And it’s all due to Microsoft’s folly.

Windows 10 may be the best Windows ever (and I use it daily on my primary PC) but Microsoft’s pulled some tricks that range from questionable to downright gross in order to drive its adoption numbers higher, and to coax you into using the myriad Microsoft services and paid upgrades baked into the operating system.

It began with endless pop-ups on Windows 7 and 8.1 PCs—pop-ups that started innocently enough before crossing the line into deceptive malware-like tactics. When that didn’t boost adoption numbers high enough, it morphed into nastier tricks and full-on forced upgrades that prompted some fearful owners to disable Windows updates completely rather than be pushed into Microsoft’s new operating system.

More recently, the Windows 10 Anniversary Update bundled some severe negatives in with its plentiful positives. The Cortana digital assistant, which pings Bing servers whenever you search your PC, is damned near impossible to disable completely now. And when I upgraded my primary PC to the Windows 10 AU, I discovered that all of the settings related to the many ways Windows 10 pushes ads at you were re-enabled, after I’d explicitly disabled them prior. None of my other system settings appear to have been touched. Yuck.
gwx new
LumpyMayoBNI via Reddit

Eventually, Microsoft began pushing Windows 10 out as a Recommended upgrade, forcibly installing it on some systems.

What’s more, Windows 10 changed the way it handles updates to more closely resemble mobile operating systems. You can’t pick and choose which patches to install, or even refuse updates on consumer operating systems. If Microsoft pushes a Windows 10 update, you will receive it eventually. The company also tweaked the way Windows 7 and 8 handle patching. Now, you can no longer choose which individual updates to install; you have to take the whole kit and caboodle.

By default, Windows 10 beams much more of your data back to Microsoft than previous Windows versions as well. Most of it can be disabled, but most people don’t dive that far into system settings.

Lots of people are still plenty happy with Windows 10, don’t get me wrong. But these moves are also ruffling the feathers of a lot of users. At the same time…
2. Linux is more polished than ever

Most major Linux distributions never abandoned the basic principles of the desktop. While Microsoft enraged the world with the Windows 8 disaster, popular Linux distros like Fedora and Linux Mint kept their heads down and spit-polished the traditional PC interface.
linux mint

Linux Mint with the MATE desktop environment.

For people used to Windows XP and Windows 7, some Linux distros may be easier to wrap your head around than Windows 8 and 10—both of which have a learning curve, just like switching to Linux. Linux Mint’s “Start menu” bears much more similarity to the traditional Windows Start menus than Windows 10’s Live Tile-infused alternative, that’s for sure.

Better yet, Linux’s dark days of rampant incompatibility with PC hardware—especially networking and audio components—have largely been eradicated. Most Linux operating systems just plain work with a wide swathe of modern PCs and PC hardware, though you may need to perform a few extra steps to install Linux on a PC with Intel’s Secure Boot enabled. Better yet, you can test Linux distros on your PC before actually installing them, so you’ll know whether everything works. We’ll get into that a bit later though.

The key point, however, is that Linux is no longer a janky, broken mess useful only to dyed-in-the-wool geeks anymore. There are numerous polished, refined distros that anybody can pick up and use.
3. Open-source software is, too

The quality—or lack thereof—of open-source software was another longtime bugbear for Linux. No more. These days, Linux houses superb alternatives to all of the most-used Windows software, from Office rivals (Libre Office) to Photoshop alternatives (GIMP) to media players (VLC). That trio alone covers the typical software usage of many households, and PCWorld’s guide to the best open-source software for everyday PC users features many more. Many top-notch video games even call Linux home now thanks to the arrival of Valve’s Linux-powered Steam Machines.

Playing copy-protected movies and music used to be another major Linux headache. Once again, that’s no longer the case. VLC will run virtually anything you throw at it, while Chrome (and Firefox soon) support streaming videos from the likes of Netflix and Amazon Instant Video.
netflix on linux

Chrome for Linux playing Netflix on Ubuntu. Oh Archer, you’re so silly!

But standard PC usage for a lot of people revolves around the web—checking Facebook, slinging email, browsing YouTube and Amazon, et cetera. Naturally, those all work just fine on Chrome and Firefox in Linux. The browsers work the exact same as they do on Windows.

The modern Linux ecosystem can handle everything you throw at it, and handle it well (though hardcore gamers may still want to keep a copy of Windows handy). And did I mention most of the software available for Linux is free, too? Just like…
4. Linux is free

Hey, it is. Not only does that make it relatively risk-free to try, but it also means you won’t need to spend $100 on a Windows license if you’re building a PC from scratch or upgrading an old computer.
5. Linux runs great on old PCs

Windows XP was tossed to the wolves long ago, and Windows Vista’s end is rapidly drawing near. But hundreds of millions of people rely on PCs that are several years old. Installing Linux not only plops an up-to-date (and updated) operating system on your PC, it can breathe new life into your computer if you choose a lightweight distro designed for aging PCs, such as Puppy Linux or Lubuntu (a.k.a. “Lightweight Ubuntu”).
old pcs stock image

The transition doesn’t have to be painful, either. There are numerous easy Linux alternatives designed for Windows XP refugees. These distros offer dedicated “Windows XP Modes” that mimic the look and feel of Microsoft’s most venerable operating system.
6. Linux is easy to try

Okay, okay, I’ve sold you. You’re ready to test-drive Linux. Fortunately, Linux is dead simple to try. You don’t even have to ditch Windows if you’re feeling hesitant.

Before you install a Linux distro on your PC’s hard drive, I suggest giving your chosen operating system a whirl with a live drive or live DVD. With live drives, you install a bootable system of a Linux distro to a DVD or flash drive, then configure your PC to boot from that rather than your hard drive. It takes minimal muss and fuss, lets you try several Linux operating systems quickly, and doesn’t touch the Windows installation on your primary storage drive.
fedora live cd start

PCWorld’s tutorial on creating a bootable Linux flash drive can help you set one up. But which Linux operating system should you try? Our guide to the best Linux distros for beginners can guide your decision. Personally, I think Linux Mint provides the best experience for experimental Windows users, because it mixes Ubuntu’s flexible approach to closed-source software with a Windows-like interface.

Using Linux shouldn’t be too much of a hassle, especially if you opt for an operating system with a Windows-like Start menu, but there are several core differences. Read our beginner’s guide to Linux to go in with both eyes open, and don’t be afraid to ask questions if you run into a problem. Most major Linux distros offer an online forum with dedicated help sections.
install ubuntu alongside windows

Installing Ubuntu Linux alongside Windows.

If you decide you like Linux, you can use the same live drive (or disc) to install your new operating system on your hard drive. You can keep Windows on your PC if you’d like, too. PCWorld’s guide to dual-booting Linux and Windows explains everything you need to know. And again, if you run into pesky Secure Boot errors while trying to install your Linux OS of choice, refer to our primer on installing Linux on PCs with Secure Boot.

See? That wasn’t so hard. If you’re running an older PC with limited hardware or a dead OS, or if you’re irked at some of Microsoft’s recent decisions around Windows 10, there’s no reason not to give Linux a try. You might just like what you find—espec
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Tiny Linux Plug Computers: Wall Wart Linux Servers - Choosing the Right One - Tutorials - LinuxPlanet

Tiny Linux Plug Computers: Wall Wart Linux Servers - Choosing the Right One - Tutorials - LinuxPlanet | Linux A Future |
Little bitty wall-wart size Linux servers are handy for all kinds of kinds of lightweight deployments; Akkana Peck shows us what to look for and how to get connected.
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If privacy is paramount, Linux and Tor are key

If privacy is paramount, Linux and Tor are key | Linux A Future |
Follow Bryan Lunduke’s quest to make his digital life as private and secure as possible:

Part 1: Making my life private and secure
Part 2: To ensure security and privacy, open source software is required
Part 3: If privacy is paramount, Linux and Tor are key

Let’s talk about the “connect to the internet” part first. Specifically, let’s talk about Tor. 

The idea of Tor is simple: Ever seen a movie where someone is trying to trace a phone call, and there’s a computer screen up that shows a line bouncing all over Earth—to multiple points in various countries—before the place where the call originated is finally found? The person making the phone call didn’t want to be found, so he “routed” the call through multiple countries and multiple phone networks.

Tor works a lot like that. It routes your data, encrypted, through multiple (random) points all around the world—those individual points often being run by other Tor users. The end result is that when you (for example) post something on Twitter, Twitter is not aware of your physical location. 

Nifty, right? 

Clearly Tor (or something like it) is a requirement here. Luckily Tor is fairly easy to set up and get running across your entire system. The Tor team has even pre-made a web browser with Tor built in: Tor Browser. This is a version of Firefox + Tor + configurations and extensions designed to keep you as private and secure as possible. Super easy to use. 

So, I’ll definitely be using Tor. 

The best operating system for privacy

OK. Time for me to pick an operating system.

We’ve already established that I will be running something that is open source, so that I can be (somewhat) confident about the security of the system (and the lack of backdoors sneakily added in). And being as I’m already a Linux-using kinda guy (heck, I sit on the board for openSUSE, one of the longest-running Linux distributions on the planet), the choice for me is pretty clear. I’ll be running Linux. 

But not all Linux-based systems are created equal. Luckily there are plenty of amazing distributions of Linux that make excellent options here. 

There’s Tails, which is a Debian-based system running GNOME. The nice part about Tails is that it’s built entirely for this very purpose—to be secure and private. Tor is set up and ready to go by default, and all of the pre-loaded software comes configured to use it. 

There’s also Qubes, which runs applications in disposable virtual machines that are isolated from one another. That certainly helps to keep things nice and secure. 

But I’m a bit of a do-it-yourself kinda guy. Plus, in going through this process, I want to be able to document the individual steps I take in order to help others do the same. Both Qubes and Tails are fantastic and would be incredible choices for me. In fact, I’ve been running Tails on one of my systems for the last few days. I’m very impressed with it as a privacy-focused, but very usable, system. 

Just the same, I’m going to stick with the distribution of Linux I know the best—openSUSE—and configure it to suit my needs. (It might also be worth the time for me to slowly build a package that adds in the right software and configures it. That way others can benefit from it a bit easier—in addition to making setting up new systems for myself a bit quicker.) 

There we have it. I’ve picked my operating system (openSUSE) and settled on using Tor to route my network traffic. Already this is a pretty significant step in making my computing life private and secure.

But there is so much more to do—so very much.

We haven’t even touched on mobile operating systems, instant messaging, email, social networks, file storage—the list is seemingly endless. But we’ll get there, one step at a time.
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Tails 2.6 — Ultra-secure Linux OS Used By Snowden Gets Updated Tor And Kernel

ails is a security-focused Linux distribution that aims to provide you anonymity. This Debian-based live Linux distro forces all outgoing connections to pass through Tor. It helps you avert censorship and comes with pre-configured tools for email, office work, image editing, sound editor, IM client etc.
The latest version of Tails Live CD Linux operating system has been released by the Tails development team. Tails 2.6 brings many new features, updated components, and security fixes. Due to numerous bug fixes and security advisories by Mozilla and Debian, the Tails development team advises the users to upgrade as soon as possible.

New features and changes in Tails 2.6

One of the major additions in Tails 2.6 comes in the form of address space layout randomization, also known as ASLR, in the Linux kernel. It’s a computer security technique that provides protection from buffer overflow attacks. To stop the attacker from jumping to a particular exploited function, this technique randomly arranges the address space positions of key data areas.

Another notable feature is the installation of rngd to improve the entropy of random numbers generated on computers that are equipped with hardware for random number generation.

Updated packages — Tor, Tor Browser, Icedove and more

Tails 2.6 Live CD Linux operating system comes with numerous package upgrades. This Debian-based distro comes with Tor and the recently released Tor Browser 6.0.5. Other upgraded packages are Icedove 45.2.0, Tor Birdy 0.2.0, and Electrum 2.6.4.

Tails 2.6 also features firmware for Intel SST sound cards and Texas Instruments Wi-Fi interfaces.

This release is based on Linux 4.6, which should improve the support for newer hardware.

How to get Tails 2.6?

If you are running Tails 2.5, there’s an automatic upgrade available. However, if wish to try out this privacy-focused operating system, you can grab it from Tails 2.6 Download page.

The next Tails release, i.e., Tails 2.7 is scheduled to arrive in November. Save the date.

Did you find this article helpful? Don’t forget to drop your feedback in the comments section below.
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Download Ubuntu Kylin | Download | Ubuntu

Download Ubuntu Kylin
Ubuntu Kylin 16.04.1 LTS

Download the long-term support edition of Ubuntu Kylin 16.04.1 LTS ISO image file. To install Ubuntu Kylin, burn the image file on a DVD or create a bootable USB disk.

Download 64-bit

Download 32-bit
If you have an older PC with less than 2GB of memory, choose the 32-bit download.
Ubuntu 中国网站现已面世

If you prefer, you can download Ubuntu Kylin 16.04 LTS via a torrent.

64-bit torrent
32-bit torrent
The community is here to help

To learn more about Ubuntu Kylin or get help on installing or using it.

Helping hands

If you get stuck, help is always at hand.

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Download Ubuntu Kylin Ubuntu Kylin 16.04.1 LTS Download the long-term support edition of Ubuntu Kylin 16.04.1 LTS ISO image file. To install Ubuntu Kylin, burn the image file on a DVD or create a bootable USB disk. Download 64-bit Download 32-bit If you have an older PC with less than 2GB of memory, choose the 32-bit download. Ubuntu 中国网站现已面世 BitTorrent If you prefer, you can download Ubuntu Kylin 16.04 LTS via a torrent. 64-bit torrent 32-bit torrent The community is here to help To learn more about Ubuntu Kylin or get help on installing or using it. Visit Helping hands If you get stuck, help is always at hand. Ask Ubuntu Ubuntu Forums IRC-based support 
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Top 20 most used basics linux commands for new linux users

This vedio will show you how to run and understand the basic command in linux.
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Linux 4.7 Shows How Far the Open-Source OS Has Come in 25 Years

Linux 4.7 Shows How Far the Open-Source OS Has Come in 25 Years | Linux A Future |
This year marks a special anniversary for Linux, as the open-source operating system turns 25. What started out as the effort of a single man has grown into a massive distributed effort, benefiting from the contributions of hundreds of companies and thousands of developers. At this year’s LinuxCon North America conference, the Linux Foundation released the latest edition of the Linux Kernel Development report, providing insight into the latest kernel development. The 2016 report highlights development efforts spanning from the Linux 3.19 kernel, which was released Feb. 9, 2015, to the Linux 4.7 kernel released July 24. The previous version of the report debuted in March 2015 and focused on the Linux 3.11 to 3.18 kernel releases. Since March 2015, innovation in the Linux kernel has further accelerated: During the new report period, an average of 7.8 changes were accepted into the Linux kernel every hour, up from 7.71 in the last report. In this slide show, eWEEK takes a look at the highlights of the 25th anniversary edition of the Linux Kernel Development report.

Via Gordon Dahlby, Anna
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The Linux Foundation extends dedication to Linux security with new online skills training - SD Times

The Linux Foundation extends dedication to Linux security with new online skills training - SD Times | Linux A Future |
The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit advancing professional open source management for mass collaboration, has announced the availability of a new online learning course, Linux Security Fundamentals (LFS216). This self-paced course is an extension of The Linux Foundation’s dedication to helping secure the internet and other Linux and open source software and IT infrastructure.

“Open Source software underpins most of the Internet, facilitating trillions of dollars of business, but many projects lack rigorous security process,” said Nicko van Someren, chief technology officer at The Linux Foundation. “From day one, training and education play a key role in ensuring open source projects obtain a high state of security, quality and resiliency. Whether open or closed, software security must begin early on to minimize risk.”

Along with supporting the development of Linux and other mission-critical open source software, The Linux Foundation has taken steps to help ensure that the software it helps to produce is secure and users have all resources they need to be successful. Efforts include the Core Infrastructure Initiative’s Badges Program, in which open source projects like OpenStack are able to demonstrate security-conscious development. With Let’s Encrypt, The Linux Foundation and its partners have helped secure more than 5 million websites, and hope to eventually achieve a 100% secure web using HTTPS. Skills training that educates users on how to maximize system security is an essential complement to these initiatives.

The Linux Security Fundamentals class covers the basics that every IT professional working with Linux must know. It starts with an overview of computer security and touches on how security affects everyone in the chain of development, implementation, administration and end use.

Specific topics covered include:

Threats and Risk Assessment
Auditing and Detection
Application Security
Kernel Vulnerabilities
Local System Security
Network Security
Denial of Service (DoS)
Firewalling and Packet Filtering
LFS216 is intended for those involved with security related tasks at all levels. The hand-ons class uses virtual appliances to demonstrate “what happens when” rather than relying on typing exercises to configure complex servers. After completing this course, students will be able to assess current security needs, evaluate current security readiness and implement security options as required. This course is the second security offering for The Linux Foundation, the first being an instructor-led LInux Security (LFS416) course which has been offered since 2013.

“We recognize that security is a concern for any IT organization, which is why The Linux Foundation hosts initiatives such as the Core Infrastructure Initiative and Let’s Encrypt, which help make it easier to protect sensitive data and systems,” said Linux Foundation Training General Manager Clyde Seepersad. “These high-level efforts can only do so much though, so making it easier to train staff at all levels in security best practices is essential for ensuring all systems remain stable and secure.”

LFS216 is now available for enrollment for $199. In celebration of the 25th anniversary of Linux, through August 28, individuals may purchase a bundle including the new Linux Security Fundamentals course along with LFS201 – Essentials of System Administration, LFS211 – Linux Networking and Administration, and LFS265 – Software Defined Networking Fundamentals for only $250, a savings of 75%. This bundle will provide aspiring Linux system administrators with all the knowledge they need to start in the field, and prepare them for a Linux Foundation Certified Sysadmin exam.
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22 open source tools for creatives

22 open source tools for creatives | Linux A Future |
Blender: 3D modeling, animation, video editing
InkScape: Vector graphics
GIMP: Raster image editing
Krita: Illustration
Audacity: Audio editing
VLC: Video player
Scribus: Desktop publishing
calibre Digital publishing
SIGIL: Digital publishing
'afterwriting: Screenwriting
Trelby: Screenwriting
MyPaint: Illustration
Kdenlive: Video editing
OpenShot: Video editing
Shotcut: Video editing
Natron: Compositing and post-processing
Ardour: Sound mixing and recording
Qtractor: Sound mixing and recording
Rosegarden: Music scoring
MuseScore: Music scoring
Hydrogen: Drum machine
Meshlab: Modeling clean-up for 3D printing
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Blender: 3D modeling, animation, video editing InkScape: Vector graphics GIMP: Raster image editing Krita: Illustration Audacity: Audio editing VLC: Video player Scribus: Desktop publishing calibre Digital publishing SIGIL: Digital publishing 'afterwriting: Screenwriting Trelby: Screenwriting MyPaint: Illustration Kdenlive: Video editing OpenShot: Video editing Shotcut: Video editing Natron: Compositing and post-processing Ardour: Sound mixing and recording Qtractor: Sound mixing and recording Rosegarden: Music scoring MuseScore: Music scoring Hydrogen: Drum machine Meshlab: Modeling clean-up for 3D printing
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North American Cities Are Slow To Adopt Open Source Software - Contributed Content on Top Tech News

North American Cities Are Slow To Adopt Open Source Software - Contributed Content on Top Tech News | Linux A Future |
Cities that want to make the move to open source should take the following steps:

1. Look for upcoming end-of-life or expiry of existing proprietary licenses as an opportunity to migrate away from them to something less expensive.

2. Look at the subscription model of some critical open source software as a way to move necessary purchases to an operating expense budget as opposed to a capital expenditure budget and eliminate large budget outlays for new or renewed proprietary software.

3. Prepare a reasonable transition plan that will accommodate any training and adjustment of staff to new applications.

4. Ensure when budgeting that the total cost of ownership is considered over the lifespan of the project and not just the upfront initial costs.

5. Use software that will allow IT to run both Windows and open source software side by side during the transition period.

6. Find the political willpower to get it done. This will require action by elected officials, but it may need leadership from IT to show them what can be done.

The move to open source is inevitable as open source communities of developers continue to work on thousands of applications and as more software development companies invest in an open source model to allow for greater flexibility and lower end user prices than existing proprietary competitors. Europe has more than a decade head start on North American cities. The quality of available open source software has improved so much in that decade that the transition can be far easier for cities starting now, than it was for Munich when they got the ball rolling in Europe.

Kevin Gallagher is CEO of Inuvika Inc., a Toronto based open source company that delivers application virtualization software.

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openSUSE Tumbleweed Getting Linux Kernel 4.6 Soon, GCC 6 Migration in Progress

openSUSE Tumbleweed Getting Linux Kernel 4.6 Soon, GCC 6 Migration in Progress | Linux A Future |
First of all, users are being informed that the first Alpha release of the upcoming openSUSE Leap 42.2 operating system is now available for download and testing. However, the development cycle for openSUSE Leap 42.2 has just started, and it looks like the final release lands in the first week of November 2016.

Secondly, openSUSE Tumbleweed users should be aware of the fact that the latest KDE Applications 16.04.1 software suite for the KDE Plasma 5.6 desktop environment has landed on May 29, along with many other software updates, such as GTK+ 3.20.6, libpng16 1.6.22, and Wine 1.9.11.

"GNOME’s GTK3 updated from 3.20.4 to 3.20.6 in the snapshot and libvirt has updated subpackages mostly for drivers as well as some for client, storage and daemon-config-network. Yast2-dns-server is available for update with version 3.1.21 in the Tumbleweed repositories," said Douglas DeMaio in today's announcement.

And now for the good news, as according to Douglas DeMaio, the Linux 4.6 kernel should land by the end of the week in the main software repositories for openSUSE Tumbleweed, along with the Perl 5.24 packages. In the meantime, the openSUSE developers are concentrating all of their efforts on the GCC 6 migration.

#openSUSE Tumbleweed#Linux kernel 4.6#KDE Applications 16.04.1#GCC 6#Perl 5.24
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Current State of Kernel Audit and Linux Namespaces, Looking Ahead to Containers

Current State of Kernel Audit and Linux Namespaces, Looking Ahead to Containers - Richard Guy Briggs, Red Hat Namespaces have been around since the moun
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About Hyperledger

Why Create the Project?
Not since the Web itself has a technology promised broader and more fundamental revolution than blockchain technology. A blockchain is a peer-to-peer distributed ledger forged by consensus, combined with a system for “smart contracts” and other assistive technologies. Together these can be used to build a new generation of transactional applications that establishes trust, accountability and transparency at their core, while streamlining business processes and legal constraints.
Think of it as an operating system for marketplaces, data-sharing networks, micro-currencies, and decentralized digital communities. It has the potential to vastly reduce the cost and complexity of getting things done in the real world.
Only an Open Source, collaborative software development approach can ensure the transparency, longevity, interoperability and support required to bring blockchain technologies forward to mainstream commercial adoption. That is what Hyperledger is about – communities of software developers building blockchain frameworks and platforms.
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7 Linux command line tools you didn’t know you need

7 Linux command line tools you didn’t know you need | Linux A Future |
The Linux world offers an incredible range of free and open source tools to do everything you can think of and lots of things you probably haven’t ever thought of. In this roundup we highlight seven command line utilities you probably haven’t run into before and we’ve got everything from monitoring file system events to running re-attachable ssh sessions to printing banners.
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Russia Weighs Replacing IBM, Microsoft With Open-Source Software

Russia Weighs Replacing IBM, Microsoft With Open-Source Software | Linux A Future |

Russia is taking another step to reduce dependence on Oracle Corp., Microsoft Corp. and International Business Machines Corp. technologies in the country’s $3 billion software market amid political tensions with the U.S.

The State Duma, Russia’s lower house of parliament, is drafting a bill to restrict government agencies from buying licensed software, giving preference to open-source software. This would complement legislation that curbed state purchases of foreign programs last year, restricting the choice to about 2,000 local software makers.

"Many local software firms are offering products based on foreign frameworks such as IBM’s WebSphere or Microsoft’s," said Andrey Chernogorov, executive secretary of the Duma’s commission on strategic information systems. "We are seeking to close this loophole for state purchases as it causes security risks."

The end of IBM’s partnership with Russian vendor Lanit last year created a potential vulnerability for the government’s website, which is based on a proprietary IBM platform, according to an explanatory note to the draft law. Additionally, license fees that Russian software makers pay foreign partners inflate their products’ cost of use.

Some Russian regional administrations already started switching from Oracle to free database software adapted for their needs by local programmers, according to Duma documents.

Russian President Vladimir Putin is urging state entities and firms to go domestic amid concerns over security and reliability after U.S. firms shut down paid services in Crimea following Russia’s 2014 annexation. Tensions between Russia and the U.S. have escalated recently over failed Syria peace talks and Kremlin’s suspension of a treaty meant to reduce the risk of nuclear proliferation.

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Top Ten Distributions

An overview of today's top distributions

The bewildering choice and the ever increasing number of Linux distributions can be confusing for those who are new to Linux. This is why this page was created. It lists 10 Linux distributions (plus an honourable mention of FreeBSD, by far the most popular of all of the BSDs), which are generally considered as most widely-used by Linux users around the world. There are no figures to back it up and there are many other distributions that might suit your particular purpose better, but as a general rule, all of these are popular and have very active forums or mailing lists where you can ask questions if you get stuck. Ubuntu, Linux Mint and PCLinuxOS are considered the easiest for new users who want to get productive in Linux as soon as possible without having to master all its complexities. On the other end of the spectrum, Slackware Linux, Arch Linux and FreeBSD are more advanced distributions that require plenty of learning before they can be used effectively. openSUSE, Fedora, Debian GNU/Linux and Mageia can be classified as good "middle-road" distributions. CentOS is an enterprise distribution, suitable for those who prefer stability, reliability and long-term support over cutting-edge features and software.

A Guide to Choosing a Distribution
Linux Mint

Linux Mint, a distribution based on Ubuntu, was first launched in 2006 by Clement Lefebvre, a French-born IT specialist living in Ireland. Originally maintaining a Linux web site dedicated to providing help, tips and documentation to new Linux users, the author saw the potential of developing a Linux distribution that would address the many usability drawbacks associated with the generally more technical, mainstream products. After soliciting feedback from the visitors on his web site, he proceeded with building what many refer to today as an "improved Ubuntu" or "Ubuntu done right".

But Linux Mint is not just an Ubuntu with a new set of applications and an updated desktop theme. Since its beginnings, the developers have been adding a variety of graphical "mint" tools for enhanced usability; this includes mintDesktop - a utility for configuring the desktop environment, mintMenu - a new and elegant menu structure for easier navigation, mintInstall - an easy-to-use software installer, and mintUpdate - a software updater, just to mention a few more prominent ones among several other tools and hundreds of additional improvements. The project also designs its own artwork. Mint's reputation for ease of use has been further enhanced by the inclusion of proprietary and patent-encumbered multimedia codecs that are often absent from larger distributions due to potential legal threats. Perhaps one of the best features of Linux Mint is the fact that the developers listen to the users and are always fast in implementing good suggestions.

While Linux Mint is available as a free download, the project generates revenue from donations, advertising and professional support services. It doesn't have a fixed release schedule or a list of planned features, but one can expect a new version of Linux Mint several weeks after each Ubuntu long term support release. Besides Mint's two "Main" editions which feature the MATE and Cinnamon desktops, the project also builds editions with alternative desktops, including KDE and Xfce. These editions are often completed several weeks after the two "Main" editions and may sometimes miss some of the "minty" tools and other features found in the project's flagship products. Another variant of the Mint line-up is a "Debian Edition" based on Debian's Stable branch. The Debian edition of Linux Mint provides a very stable base while the desktop packages are updated more quickly than in Mint's "Main" editions. Linux Mint does not adhere to the principles of software freedom and it does not publish security advisories.

Pros: Superb collection of "minty" tools developed in-house, hundreds of user-friendly enhancements, inclusion of multimedia codecs, open to users' suggestions
Cons: The alternative "community" editions don't always include the latest features, the project does not issue security advisories
Software package management: Advanced Package Tool (APT) with mintInstall using DEB packages (compatible with Ubuntu repositories)
Available editions: A "Main" edition (with MATE and Cinnamon), "Community" editions (with KDE and Xfce), Linux Mint "Debian" edition (with MATE or Cinnamon)
Possible alternatives: Ubuntu, elementary OS, Zorin OS, Lubuntu, Xubuntu, Peppermint OS

Linux Mint "Debian Edition"


The launch of Ubuntu was first announced in September 2004. Although a relative newcomer to the Linux distribution scene, the project took off like no other before, with its mailing lists soon filled in with discussions by eager users and enthusiastic developers. In the years that followed, Ubuntu grew to become the most popular desktop Linux distribution and has greatly contributed towards developing an easy-to-use and free desktop operating system that can compete well with any proprietary ones available on the market.

What was the reason for Ubuntu's stunning success? Firstly, the project was created by Mark Shuttleworth, a charismatic South African multimillionaire, a former Debian developer and the world's second space tourist, whose company, the Isle of Man-based Canonical Ltd, is currently financing the project. Secondly, Ubuntu had learned from the mistakes of other similar projects and avoided them from the start - it created an excellent web-based infrastructure with a Wiki-style documentation, creative bug-reporting facility, and professional approach to the end users. And thirdly, thanks to its wealthy founder, Ubuntu was able to ship free CDs to all interested users, thus contributing to the rapid spread of the distribution.

On the technical side of things, Ubuntu is based on Debian "Sid" (unstable branch), but with some prominent packages, such as GNOME, Firefox and LibreOffice, updated to their latest versions. It uses a custom user interface called "Unity". It has a predictable, 6-month release schedule, with an occasional Long Term Support (LTS) release that is supported with security updates for 5 years, depending on the edition (non-LTS release are supported for 9 months). Other special features of Ubuntu include an installable live DVD, creative artwork and desktop themes, migration assistant for Windows users, support for the latest technologies, such as 3D desktop effects, easy installation of proprietary device drivers for ATI and NVIDIA graphics cards and wireless networking, and on-demand support for non-free or patent-encumbered media codecs.

Pros: Fixed release cycle and support period; long-term support (LTS) variants with 5 years of security updates; novice-friendly; wealth of documentation, both official and user-contributed
Cons: Lacks compatibility with Debian; frequent major changes tend to drive some users away, the Unity user interface has been criticised as being more suitable for mobile devices than desktop computers; non-LTS releases come with only 9 months of security support
Software package management: Advanced Package Tool (APT) using DEB packages
Available variants: Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu, Lubuntu, Ubuntu GNOME, Ubuntu MATE, Edubuntu, Ubuntu Kylin, Ubuntu Studio and Mythbuntu for 32-bit (i386) and 64-bit (x86_64) processors;
Suggested Ubuntu-based alternatives: Linux Mint (desktop), elementary OS (desktop), Zorin OS (desktop), Pinguy OS (desktop), Trisquel GNU/Linux (free software), Bodhi Linux (desktop with Enlightenment)

Ubuntu 15.10
Debian GNU/Linux

Debian GNU/Linux was first announced in 1993. Its founder, Ian Murdock, envisaged the creation of a completely non-commercial project developed by hundreds of volunteer developers in their spare time. With sceptics far outnumbering optimists at the time, it seemed destined to disintegrate and collapse, but the reality was very different. Debian not only survived, it thrived and, in less than a decade, it became the largest Linux distribution and possibly the largest collaborative software project ever created!

The success of Debian GNU/Linux can be illustrated by the following numbers. It is developed by over 1,000 volunteer developers, its software repositories contain close to 50,000 binary packages (compiled for 8 processor architectures), and it is responsible for inspiring over 120 Debian-based distributions and live CDs. These figures are unmatched by any other Linux-based operating system. The actual development of Debian takes place in three main branches (or four if one includes the bleeding-edge "experimental" branch) of increasing levels of stability: "unstable" (also known as "sid"), "testing" and "stable". This progressive integration and stabilisation of packages and features, together with the project's well-established quality control mechanisms, has earned Debian its reputation of being one of the best-tested and most bug-free distributions available today.

However, this lengthy and complex development style also has some drawbacks: the stable releases of Debian are not particularly up-to-date and they age rapidly, especially since new stable releases are only published once every 1 - 3 years. Those users who prefer the latest packages and technologies are forced to use the potentially buggy Debian testing or unstable branches. The highly democratic structures of Debian have led to controversial decisions and gives rise to infighting among the developers. This has contributed to stagnation and reluctance to make radical decisions that would take the project forward.

Pros: Very stable; remarkable quality control; includes over 30,000 software packages; supports more processor architectures than any other Linux distribution
Cons: Conservative - due to its support for many processor architectures, newer technologies are not always included; slow release cycle (one stable release every 1 - 3 years); discussions on developer mailing lists and blogs can be uncultured at times
Software package management: Advanced Package Tool (APT) using DEB packages
Available editions: Installation CD/DVD and live CD images for 12 processor architectures, including all 32-bit and 64-bit processors from Intel, AMD, Power and others
Suggested Debian-based alternatives: Ubuntu, SparkyLinux (Enlightenment, JWM, LXDE, MATE, Openbox, Razor-qt, Xfce), SolydXK (Xfce ou KDE), KNOPPIX (LXDE), Tanglu (GNOME, KDE), siduction (LXQt)
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Why kid hackers should have a Linux computer

Why kid hackers should have a Linux computer | Linux A Future |
Kid hackers and Linux computers

Kids these days are quite amazing in how fast they learn how to use computers. And what better system for a young hacker than a Linux computer? A writer at Medium recently shared the story of how his young nephew got his very own Linux computer.

[ InfoWorld celebrates Linux at 25: A pictorial history. | How Linux changed the world. | Linus Torvalds on the evolution and future of Linux. | Containers and unikernels prove less is more. | Quick guide to Linux admin essentials. | Stay up on open source with the InfoWorld Linux report. ]
Vesche reports at Medium:

I was visiting my sister recently when I was shocked to discover that my nearly five-year-old nephew had grown into a full-blown walking, talking, little human being! So, naturally my first question was, “Where is this little hackers little computer?” To which I was sadly told that he did not have a computer of his own! Well, that just won’t do.

Let’s talk hardware. If we’re building this little dude a Linux computer and we’re “ballin’ on a budget”, there’s no better choice than a Raspberry Pi. I mean he is a hacker in training, right? His typing (and well, hand coordination in general) isn’t that great yet, so we’ll need an over-sized keyboard. A big mouse pad, and a good wireless mouse will do well. Oh, and how about a VESA mount case for the Raspberry Pi so it stays out of the way? All of that should do nicely.

Alright, let’s get to the meat of this puppy. What’s going on under the hood? Seeing as this kid is the real deal he’s gonna run Arch Linux. I can see his little UNIX(-like) beard coming in already! Joking aside, since the Raspberry Pi uses an ARM processor hop on over to for information on how to install Arch Linux on your Pi.

After a bit of tinkering, we’re ready to start talking software. I first installed Openbox with nodm, which should make the computer easy to just turn on and get going. I was very fortunate to come across a pair of blog posts by a Mr. Alan Moore (no, not the comic book guy) titled: Building a Linux System for a Child Part 1 & Part 2. It’s interesting to note that in the second post Linux distros specifically for children’s education are discussed including DouDouLinux, Qimo, SkoleLinux, and Edbuntu. Also, not discussed in the article (but popular) are Sugar and Ubermix. It was awesome to discover that so many Linux distributions exist solely for children’s education, and perhaps it might be easier for some of you to just install one of these distros instead.

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Building a new Tor that can resist next-generation state surveillance

Building a new Tor that can resist next-generation state surveillance | Linux A Future |
Tor is an imperfect privacy platform. Ars meets the researchers trying to replace it.
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Computer programming

Computer programming | Linux A Future |
Learn how to program drawings, animations, and games using JavaScript & ProcessingJS, or learn how to create webpages with HTML & CSS. You can share whatever you create, explore what others have created and learn from each other!
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Researchers use acoustic voxels to embed sound with data

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Columbia Engineering researchers, working with colleagues at Disney Research and MIT, have developed a new method to control sound waves, using a computational approach to inversely design acoustic filters that can fit within an arbitrary 3D shape while achieving target sound filtering properties. Led by Computer Science Professor Changxi Zheng, the team designed acoustic voxels, small, hollow, cube-shaped chambers through which sound enters and exits, as a modular system. Like Legos, the voxels can be connected to form an infinitely adjustable, complex structure. Because of their internal chambers, they can modify the acoustic filtering property of the structure -- changing their number and size or how they connect alters the acoustic result.
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Bulgarian Government Embraces Open Source | Software | LinuxInsider

Bulgarian Government Embraces Open Source | Software | LinuxInsider | Linux A Future |
Bulgaria's Parliament recently passed legislation mandating open source software to bolster security, as well as to increase competition with commercially coded software. Amendments to the Electronic Governance Act require that all software written for the government be Free and Open Source Software-compliant. The new provisions reportedly took effect this week.
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Kali Linux Downloads – Virtual Images

Kali Linux Downloads – Virtual Images | Linux A Future |
Kali Linux Downloads - VMware, VirtualBox and ARM Prebuilt Kali Linux Images, that we would like to share with the community.
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