Tag Archives: Magazine

IBM Acquires Red Hat » Linux Magazine

IBM has completed the acquisition of Open Source company Red Hat for approximately $34 billion. Founded in 1993 as a Linux vendor, Red Hat has evolved into an open-source infrastructure player. Red Hat has become synonymous with successful ‘Open Source’ business model that’s often called the Red Hat Business Model.

Red Hat has become one of the most successful Open Source companies, clocking in at around $3.4 billion in annual revenues. The company will become an independent entity within IBM as part of IBM’s Cloud and Cognitive Software segment.

Red Hat will continue to be led by Jim Whitehurst and its current management team. Whitehurst will report to IBM CEO, Ginni Rometty.

IBM will maintain Red Hat’s headquarters in Raleigh, North Carolina, its facilities, brands, and practices.

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Debian Buster Arrives » Linux Magazine

The Debian community has announced the release of Debian 10 “Buster.” Debian is one of the most popular GNU/Linux-based distributions. Buster will be supported for the next five years.

Buster ships with several desktop environments including, Cinnamon 3.8, GNOME 3.30, KDE Plasma 5.14, LXDE 0.99.2, LXQt 0.14, MATE 1.20, and Xfce 4.12. In this release, GNOME will default to using the Wayland display server instead of Xorg. “The Xorg display server is still installed by default and the default display manager allows users to choose Xorg as the display server for their next session,” said Debian community in a blog post.

The Reproducible Builds project enabled Debian developers to build bit-for-bit identical binary packages of the open-source packages available in Debian 10. “This is an important verification feature, which protects users against malicious attempts to tamper with compilers and build networks. Future Debian releases will include tools and metadata so that end-users can validate the provenance of packages within the archive,” said the blog post.

To make Debian more secure, AppArmor is installed and enabled by default. Furthermore, all methods provided by the APT package manager (except cdrom, gpgv, and rsh) can optionally make use of seccomp-BPF sandboxing. The https method for APT is included in the apt package and does not need to be installed separately.

Buster supports a total of ten architectures, including 64-bit PC / Intel EM64T / x86-64 (amd64), 32-bit PC / Intel IA-32 (i386), 64-bit little-endian Motorola/IBM PowerPC (ppc64el), 64-bit IBM S/390 (s390x), ARMel, and more.

Debian 10 is available for free download.

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Ubuntu Takes A U-Turn with 32-Bit Support » Linux Magazine

Canonical, the maker of the world’s most popular Linux-based distribution Ubuntu, has revived support for 32-bit libraries after feedback from WINE, Ubuntu Studio and Steam communities.

Last week Canonical announced that its engineering teams decided that Ubuntu should not continue to carry i386 forward as an architecture. “Consequently, i386 will not be included as an architecture for the 19.10 release, and we will shortly begin the process of disabling it for the eoan series across Ubuntu infrastructure,” wrote Will Cooke, Director of Ubuntu Desktop at Canonical.

However, the news was not received well. Canonical was criticized for the move. Responding to the uproar, Canonical decided to continue to support 32-bit applications.

That said 32-bit applications must go away. Why do we still have these legacy applications? The problem lies with companies and developers who created these applications ages ago and have not modernized and updated them. Since some of these applications are critical to some users, the onus is on distributions like Ubuntu to continue to support these legacy applications.

As Steve Langasek, a Debian and Ubuntu developer wrote in a mailing list, that maintaining support for 32-bit libraries is “a cost largely paid by Canonical (both in terms of infrastructure and in terms of engineering work to keep the base system working). It’s not very compelling to say that Canonical should continue bearing these costs out of pocket on the grounds that some other companies are unwilling to update their software to an ISA from this millennium :)”

The only problem is that in most cases these legacy applications are either no longer maintained or the developers have no incentive to update them. In any case, desktop Linux users should demand developers of these apps to modernize their applications.

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Raspberry Pi 4 Is Here » Linux Magazine

Eben Upton, the creator of Raspberry Pi announced the next major update to the single board computer. Raspberry Pi 4 is here.

The new model has the same form factor and pricing. Yes! It’s still being sold for $35. But it has everything else improved. Pi 4 features a 64-bit ARM Cortex-A72 CPU running at 1.5Ghz. Now you can get up to 4GB of LPDDR4 SDRAM and full-throughput Gigabit Ethernet. It has two USB 3.0 and two USB 2.0 ports. You can now connect two monitors running at 4K resolution. It also has 4Kp60 hardware decode of HEVC video. Instead of using the old micro-USB for power, it’s now using USB-C.

Raspberry Pi foundation has also released a new operating system for this device. “To support Raspberry Pi 4, we are shipping a radically overhauled operating system, based on the forthcoming Debian 10 Buster release. This brings numerous behind-the-scenes technical improvements, along with an extensively modernized user interface, and updated applications including the Chromium 74 web browser. Simon will take an in-depth look at the changes in tomorrow’s blog post, but for now, here’s a screenshot of it in action.”

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Zorin OS 15 Released » Linux Magazine

Artyom Zorin, Chief Executive Officer of Zorin OS has announced the release of Zorin OS 15, the latest version of the Linux-based distribution.

Zorin OS 15 is based on Ubuntu 18.04.2 LTS with the Hardware Enablement (HWE) stack. The LTS base enables Zorin OS developers to focus on making incremental improvements to the distro without having to chase the always moving target, since new versions of Ubuntu are released every 6 months.

According to a Zorin blog, speed has been a top focus in Zorin OS 15, so the desktop runs dramatically smoother on a wide range of hardware, old and new. “With the introduction of Gnome Shell 3.30 and the Linux kernel 4.18, performance optimizations have been made at every level of the operating system,” said the blog post.

Zorin OS also packs Nvidia drivers in the ISO, so users don’t need Internet in order to install such drivers.

Zorin OS includes the adaptive desktop, which changes the background to adapt to the brightness of the environment. The new Zorin Auto Theme feature automatically switches the desktop theme into Dark mode at sunset and back to light mode after sunrise.

Zorin is targeted at Windows and macOS users who want to switch to Desktop Linux.

Zorin OS is available in different editions: https://zorinos.com/download/

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