Tag Archives: Announces

Software Freedom Conservancy Announces End to V… » Linux Magazine


Linux developer Christoph Hellwig has announced that he is discontinuing his lawsuit against VMware for non-compliance with the terms of the GPL. Hellwig and the Software Freedom Conservancy accused VMware of including GPLed code associated with vmklinux into VMware’s proprietary vSphere product. A German appeals court dismissed the case on February 28. Hellwig and the Software Freedom Conservancy have decided they will not appeal the case further in German courts.

The judge appears to have decided the case on procedural grounds without taking on the larger questions related to the GPL and the power of the copyleft protection. The questions hinged around whether the plaintiffs had successfully proven that the code was present in VMware’s code base and that the use of the code was non-compliant. VMware maintains that the vmklinux code is a separate component that does not force release of vSphere under the copyleft requirement.

Software Freedom Conservancy executive director Karen Sandler expressed disappointment, “VMware knew what they were doing was wrong but continued to generate revenue by infringing copyrights in Linux, while slowly working toward non-infringement.”

The Free Software community has always been more focused on achieving compliance than on punishment or punitive damages. By that standard, the case appears to have succeeded despite the outcome. Vmware announced that it will remove vmklinux from vSphere and hopes to accomplish this “…in an upcoming major release.”



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Microsoft Officially Announces DTrace For Windows


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It’s been a poorly kept secret for months, but today Microsoft formally announced DTrace for Windows.

Microsoft has ported the open-source DTrace dynamic tracing code that started off on Solaris and has since appeared on the BSDs and Linux (well, at least Oracle Linux) and now for Windows. Microsoft contributed support for DTrace on Windows to the existing Open DTrace project. The changes for merging are still under review but Microsoft says they are committed to getting their changes merged over the months ahead.

Those wanting to run DTrace on Windows can already do so through the very latest Windows Insider Program builds, including kernel debugger support.

DTrace was once one of the big selling points of Solaris during the Sun days and is now on Windows… Though even on Linux, DTrace isn’t of interest to many developers compared to eBPF and other existing tracing functionality, so it will be interesting to see if there ends up being much developer interest on Windows. More details via the Microsoft blog.


Canonical Announces Latest Ubuntu Core for IoT » Linux Magazine


Canonical has announced Ubuntu Core 18, their open source platform for IoT devices. Ubuntu Core 18 is based on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS code-base and will be supported for 10 years.

At 260MB, Ubuntu Core is one of the smallest IoT platforms. They achieved this size by stripping unnecessary components from the core. However, the overall size of the OS would grow depending on the IoT device.

Reduction in size also improves security. “The attack surface of Ubuntu Core has been minimized, with very few packages installed in the base OS, reducing the size and frequency of security updates and providing more storage for applications and data,” Canonical said in a blog post.

Thanks to the popularity of Ubuntu, Canonical’s IoT platform has a wider range of applications at its disposal. “Ubuntu Core enables a new class of app-centric things, which can inherit apps from the broader Ubuntu and Snapcraft ecosystems or build unique and exclusive applications that are specific to a brand or model,”continued the post.

Smaller size, combined with a refined app delivery mechanism (Snap), enable Canonical to enhance its security further.

“All snaps distributed to devices are scanned regularly for known weaknesses and devices, enabling enterprises and manufacturers to learn quickly about potential risks in their ecosystem,” Canonical said.

Download Ubuntu Core



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Purism Announces New Laptops Based On 7th Gen Intel CPUs, 4K Option


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While Purism remains very busy with their Librem 5 smartphone efforts, today they have announced their fourth version of the Librem 13/15 laptops.

With Version 4 of the Librem laptops, they have upgraded the Librem 13 and Librem 15 to Intel 7th Gen CPUs… Yes, 7th Gen from 2016. Granted, that’s done in order to retain Coreboot compatibility with their hardware, but a bit sad to see such dated processors used while the Librem 13 pricing starts off at the same $1399 and the Librem 15 at $1599. In particular, Purism is going with the i7-7500U which is dual-core plus Hyper Threading Kabylake in comparison to Intel’s newer Core i7 mobile parts being true quad-core processors plus Hyper Threading, among power efficiency improvements, etc.

The Intel CPUs on these new Purism laptops are at least an upgrade from before and still has Coreboot support. The other notable change with the new laptops is the Librem 15 having a screen upgrade option from 1080p to 4K. That’s very nice to have albeit pricey with the $1599 USD laptop having a 4K screen and Core i7 7500U processor with HD Graphics 620 but only 4GB of RAM (upgrades possible to 16GB) and a 120GB SSD.

Hopefully if Intel succeeds at open-sourcing the FSP will help Purism in being able to offer new laptop models with latest-generation processors.

More details on these new Linux laptop options via Purism.


Microsoft Announces “Project Mu” For Open-Source UEFI Alternative To TianoCore


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Microsoft is getting into the open-source UEFI game with today’s announcement of Project Mu, which powers their Surface hardware as well as Hyper-V platform.

Project Mu is Microsoft’s attempt at “Firmware as a Service” delivered as open-source. Microsoft developed Project Mu under the belief that the open-source TianoCore UEFI reference implementation is “not optimized for rapid servicing across multiple product lines.”

Project Mu offers secure management of UEFI settings, reportedly better security, a “high performance boot”, modern BIOS menu examples including an on-screen keyboard, secure management of UEFI settings, and related features.


One of the Project Mu configuration screens, courtesy Microsoft.

Project Mu itself appears forked from TianoCore EDK2. More details on it can be found via the documentation at Mu on GitHub and today’s open-sourcing announcement.