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Open Source

Submission + - Tim O'Reilly steps into the comments to debate Open Government and Linux (

PatrickRIot writes: "Aeon Magazine ran this longform crtique of Open Source politics last week.
"Open Sesame: ‘Openness’ is the new magic word in politics – but should governments really be run like Wikipedia?"

It referenced Tim O'Reilly and the man himself has stepped in at the bottom of the page for a detailed and lengthy rejoinder.

'I'm a bit surprised to learn that my ideas of "government as a platform" are descended from Eric Raymond's ideas about Linux, since: a) Eric is a noted libertarian with disdain for government b) Eric's focus on Linux was on its software development methodology. From the start, I was the open source activist focused on the power of platforms, arguing the role for the architecture of Unix and the Internet in powering the open source movement. (continues)'"

GNU is Not Unix

Submission + - Fedora 18 for ARM-based Devices Released Officially (

hypnosec writes: Fedora 18 "Spherical Cow" has been officially released for ARM-based devices within a month of being released for x86 and x64 hardware. The newly released ARM version of the operating system has been made available in the form of pre-built images for the hardware platforms such as Versatile Express (QEMU), Trimslice (Tegra), Pandaboard (OMAP4), GuruPlug (Kirkwood), and Beagleboard (OMAP3). Announcing the release Fedora noted that these pre-built images can be written directly to any type of storage media used today such as SD card, USB or SATA drive and can booted right away without the need for any extra configuration.

Submission + - AMD Publishes Open-Source Radeon HD 8000 Series Driver (

An anonymous reader writes: The hardware hasn't been released yet, but AMD has made available early open-source Linux GPU driver patches for supporting the future Radeon HD 8000 series graphics cards. At this time the Radeon HD 8800 "Oland" series is supported with the Mesa, DRM, X.Org, and kernel modifications. From the driver perspective, not many modifications are needed to build upon the Radeon HD 7000 series support.

Submission + - Ubuntu to Build Own Display Server, Not Go With Wayland (

An anonymous reader writes: Ubuntu Community Manager Jono Bacon has dropped several hints that Ubuntu may 'roll' with a custom display server for Unity across its desktop, phone, tv and tablet devices. His most telling response was in a reply to a question on Wayland adoption, saying: “X doesn’t meet [our] needs, Wayland doesn’t meet [our] needs”.

Submission + - TLF's UEFI Secure Boot Pre-Bootloader Rewritten to Boot all Linux Versions (

hypnosec writes: The Linux Foundation’s UEFI secure boot pre-bootloader is still in the works and has been modified substantially so that it allows any Linux versions to boot through UEFI secure boot. The reason for modifying the pre-bootloader was that the current version of the loader wouldn’t work with Gummiboot which was designed to boot kernels using BootServices->LoadImage(). Further the original pre-bootloader had been written using “PE/Coff link loading to defeat the secure boot checks.” As it stands, anything run by the original pre-bootloader must also be link-loaded to defeat secure boot and Gummiboot, which is not a link-loader, didn't work in this scenario. This is the reason a re-write of the pre-bootloader was required and now it supports booting of all versions of Linux.

Submission + - Linux: Booting via UEFI Can Brick Samsung Notebooks (

wehe writes: "Heise News reports today some Samsung notebooks can be turned into a brick if booted just one time via UEFI into Linux. Even the firmware does not boot anymore. Some reports in the Ubuntu bug tracker system report that such notebooks can not be recovered without replacing the main board. Other Linux distributions may be affected as well. Kernel developers are discussing a change in the samsung-laptop driver."


Submission + - New Secure Boot Patches Break Hibernate, Kexec Support on Linux (

hypnosec writes: Matthew Garrett has published some patches today out of which few break hibernate and kexec support on Linux when secure boot is running. The reason behind disabling hibernate functionalities is that currently the Linux kernel doesn’t have the capability of verifying the resume image when returning from hibernation, which compromises the Secure Boot trust model. The reason for disabling the kexec support while running in Secure Boot is that the kernel execution mechanism may be used to attack the system by a malicious user such as disabling of swap, writing of a pre-formed resume image to swap, etc. Kexec can be used to load a modified kernel thus bypassing the trust model of Secure Boot.

Submission + - Accessible Computing Foundation Creating Fully Accessible GNU/Linux Distro

elwin_windleaf writes: "The Accessible Computing Foundation's Jonathan Nadeau has started an IndieGoGo campaign to create a GNU/Linux distribution that's focused on accessibility. With 360 million blind and low vision people around the world, and most accessibility software being proprietary and prohibitively expensive, this distro could make a world of difference.

Jonathan is a blind GNU/Linux user himself who, in addition to starting the Accessible Computing Foundation, also organizes the annual Northeast GNU/Linuxfest."

Submission + - Linux 3.8-rc5 Released, Quietly (

hypnosec writes: Rather than the usual mailing list announcement for Linux kernel release Linus Torvalds has released Linux 3.8-rc5 quietly. With no announcement prior to release and even a day after the Linux 3.8-rc5 was tagged, Torvalds went onto post a message on Google+ about the release earlier today, The latest release candidate contains over 300 commits; has updates in btrfs, f2fs, ptrace and module loading and comes with quite a few driver updates.

Submission + - Valve Releases Half-Life (Beta) For Linux (

Athens101 writes: "Yesterday Valve released Half-Life (beta) for the Steam Linux client. "We have released Half-Life 1 in Beta form on Linux (and OS X). Please report any issues you see on our github issues page. "

Half-Life is a science fiction first-person shooter video game developed by Valve Corporation, the company’s debut product and the first in the Half-Life series. First released in 1998 by Sierra Studios for Windows PCs, the game was also released for the PlayStation 2.[2] In Half-Life, players assume the role of Dr. Gordon Freeman, a theoretical physicist who must fight his way out of a secret underground research facility whose research and experiments into teleportation technology have gone disastrously wrong."


Submission + - Half Life is now available natively on Steam for Linux (

Conzar writes: I loaded up my steam client for Linux tonight and found a pleasant surprise waiting in my library to be downloaded. That's right, one of the greatest FPS's in history, Half Life. I downloaded the game which didn't take any time at all. I fired it up, configured my options (max res is 1920x1080) and played the first 10 minutes of the game without any problems!

For those that have Ubuntu, Steam, and have Half Life (Beta) in their library, its a must play even if the game is over 10 years old.


Submission + - Open Source exFAT Reaches 1.0 Status (

Titus Andronicus writes: Slashdot editors: I revised my prior submission to more clearly spell out the major use case for exFAT. I also changed one of the URLs to its canonical version.

fuse-exfat, a GPLv3 implementation of the exFAT file system for Linux, FreeBSD, and OS X, has reached 1.0 status, according to an announcement from Andrew Nayenko, the primary developer.

exFAT is a file system designed for sneaker-netting terabyte-scale files and groups of files on flash drives and memory cards between and among Windows, OS X, and consumer electronics devices. It was introduced by Microsoft in late 2006.

Will fuse-exfat cut into MS’s juicy exFAT licensing revenue? Will MS litigate fuse-exfat’s developers and users into patent oblivion? Will there be a DKMS dynamic kernel module version of the software, similar to the ZFS on Linux project?

ReadWrite, The H, and Phoronix cover the story.

Red Hat Software

Submission + - Alan Cox On Fedora 18: "The Worst Red Hat Distro", Switches To Ubuntu (

An anonymous reader writes: Linux kernel developer veteran Alan Cox has lashed out at Red Hat's recent release of Fedora 18. Cox posted comments to his Google+ page saying "Fedora 18 seems to be the worst Red Hat distro I've ever seen." He encountered numerous problems with Fedora 18 and then decided to switch to Ubuntu.

Submission + - Arch Linux Ported To Run On The FreeBSD Kernel (

An anonymous reader writes: The Arch Linux distribution has been modified to run off the FreeBSD 9.0 kernel as an alternative to using Linux. The developer of Arch BSD explained his reasoning is enjoying FreeBSD while also liking the Arch Linux philosophy of a "fast, lightweight, optimized distro", so he sought to combine the two operating systems to have FreeBSD at its core while being encircled by Arch. The Arch BSD initiative is similar to Debian GNU/kFreeBSD.

Submission + - Canonical could switch to rolling releases for Ubuntu 14.04 and beyond (

massivepanic writes: For the longest time Canonical has slapped an LTS (“long term support”) moniker on some of their Ubuntu releases. Currently, a new major release of the operating system happens every six months, and is supported for 18 months after release. Whereas in the past when LTS versions received two years support or more, the current model — starting with 12.04 — supports new LTS releases for five years. However, a recent public Google Hangouts session revealed that Canonical has been thinking about switching from the venerable LTS model to a rolling release, starting with version 14.04.

Submission + - Love Ubuntu, but looking for something faster? Go Lubuntu (

colinneagle writes: Here’s the basic overview of what Lubuntu is:

Take Ubuntu. Rip out the Unity user interface and drop in LXDE (aka the "Lightweight X11 Desktop Environment"). This frees up resources (both memory and CPU) and generally makes your systems a bit snappier.

Then take out LibreOffice and Firefox. Sub in Abiword, Gnumeric and Chromium. Lightweight, super-face office suite and web browser? Check.

Those sorts of tweaks, and software swaps, are common throughout the system — and almost invariably resulting in a system that is just that much leaner and peppier. They even opt to use Sylpheed for the email client (instead of the common Thunderbird). Seriously. Sylpheed. Who uses Sylpheed? Well, apparently people who want their systems to be crazy fast and stable.

In many ways, Lubuntu reminds me of Ubuntu of old — back when Gnome 2 was the bee’s knee’s. Lubuntu even comes packed with Synaptic Package Manager (the old graphical software installer from versions of Ubuntu more than a few years back) and full access to all of Ubuntu’s software repositories (it is an Ubuntu-derived system, after all, with close ties to the Ubuntu release cycle).


Submission + - The Road to KDE Frameworks 5 and Plasma 2 (

jrepin writes: "KDE’s Next Generation user interfaces will run on top of Qt5, on Linux, they will run atop Wayland or Xorg as display server. The user interfaces move away from widget-based X11 rendering to OpenGL. Monolithic libraries are being split up, interdependencies removed and portability and dependencies cut by stronger modularization.

For users, this means higher quality graphics, more organic user interfaces and availability of applications on a wider range of devices.
Developers will find an extensive archive of high-quality, libraries and solutions on top of Qt. Complex problems and a high-level of integration between apps and the workspace allow easy creation of portable, high-quality applications.

The projects to achieve this goal are KDE Frameworks 5 and Plasma 2. In this article, you’ll learn about the reasons for this migration and the status of the individual steps to be taken."

Open Source

Submission + - LTSI Linux Kernel 3.4 Released (

hypnosec writes: The Linux Foundation has announced the release of Linux 3.4 under its Long Term Support Initiative (LTSI) that will be maintained for next two years with back-ported features from newer Linux kernels. Based on Linux 3.4.25, the LTSI 3.4 is equipped with features such as Contiguous Memory Allocator (CMA) which is helpful for embedded devices with limited hardware resource availability; AF_BUS – a kernel-based implementation of the D-Bus protocol; CoDel (controlled delay) – a transmission algorithm meant for optimization of TCP/IP network buffer control. The LTSI is backed by the likes of Hitachi, LG Electronics, NEC.

Submission + - MS Won't Release Study Disputing Munich's Linux Outcome (

itwbennett writes: "As previously reported in Slashdot, in November of last year, the city of Munich reported savings of over €10 million from its switch to Linux. Microsoft subsequently commissioned a study (conducted by HP) that found that, in fact, 'Munich would have saved €43.7 million if it had stuck with Microsoft.' Now, Microsoft has said it won't release the study, saying that '[it] was commissioned by Microsoft to HP Consulting for internal purposes only.'"