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Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive

Operating Systems

+ - 107 CentOS 6.4 Released->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 derivative CentOS version 6.4 has been released just 15 days after it supstream provider. According to the release notes some of the major changes include the addition of Microsoft's Hyper-V drivers and that Samba is now upgraded to the latest upstream version. Among other new features are full support for parallel NFS as well as the inclusion of virtio-SCSI, which makes it possible to connect directly to SCSI LUNs and offers better scalability compared to virtio-blk."
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KDE

+ - 213 KDE releases Plasmate 1.0, a Plasma Workspaces SDK->

Submitted by
jrepin
jrepin writes "The KDE Plasma Workspaces team is excited to announce the first stable release of Plasmate: an add-ons SDK that focuses on ease of use. Plasmate follows the UNIX philosophy of "do one thing, and do it well". As such, it is not a general purpose IDE but rather a tool specifically tailored to creating Plasma Workspace add-ons using non-compiled languages such as QML and Javascript. It guides each step in the process, simplifying and speeding up project creation, development, adding new assets, testing and publishing. The goal of Plasmate is to enable creating something new in seconds and publishing it immediately."
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Virtualization

+ - 135 Linux KVM Ported to ARM64/AArch64->

Submitted by hypnosec
hypnosec (2231454) writes "Linux KVM has been ported to ARM64 just ahead of the release of the architecture, it has been revealed. Just last year ARM KVM virtualization support for Cortex-A15 32bit ARM processor was published. Marc Zyngier of ARM released a set of 29 patches that contained the implementation of KVM for ARM that depends on the pre-arm64 rework as well as tiny perf patch published earlier. Some of the newly released port are support for 4k and 64k pages and 32-bit as well as 64-bit guests."
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Unix

+ - 129 Sudo Authentication bypass Vulnerability Emerges->

Submitted by hypnosec
hypnosec (2231454) writes "A new vulnerability has been discovered in sudo whereby protection offered by the utility can be bypassed to execute commands which are otherwise only executable through sudo along with the correct password. If a few prerequisites are met; the sudo timestamp is reset using sudo -k; and system time clock is set to epoch the user can execute commands without having to enter password again. The Sudo versions that are affected by this vulnerability are 1.6.0 through to 1.7.10p6; 1.8.0 through to 1.8.6p6. Versions where the vulnerability is fixed have already been made available – 1.7.10p7 and 1.8.6p7."
Link to Original Source
KDE

+ - 163 KDE Software Compilation 4.10.1 Released->

Submitted by
jrepin
jrepin writes "Today KDE released updates for its Workspaces, Applications and Development Platform. These updates are the first in a series of monthly stabilization updates to the 4.10 series. Over 100 recorded bugfixes include improvements to the Personal Information Management suite Kontact, the Window Manager KWin, and others. KDE's Development Platform has received a number of updates that affect multiple applications."
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Ubuntu

+ - 215 Canonical Announces Mir: A New Display Server Not On X11 Or Wayland->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "On the Ubuntu Wiki is now the Mir specification, which is a next-generation display server not based on X11/X.Org or Wayland. Canonical is rolling their own display server for future releases of Ubuntu for form factors from mobile phones to the desktop. Mir is still in development but is said to support Android graphics drivers, open-source Linux graphics drivers, and they're pressuring hardware vendors with commercial closed-source drivers to support it too. They also said X11 apps will be compatible along with GTK3 and Qt/QML programs. Canonical isn't using X11 or Wayland with their future Unity desktop as they see many shortcomings from these existing and commonly used components. Will Mir work as Ubuntu's own display server?"
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Debian

+ - 106 Gamer Rewrites Valve's Steam Installer For Debian-> 1

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Gaming on Linux is a very real thing right now, and most of that is thanks to Steam. Initially, Steam committed only to the most popular desktop distribution, Ubuntu but more recently has opened the door to others. So what do you do when you want to game in Linux and you’re using something a little less popular — at least, on the desktop?

If you’re GhostSquad57, you rewrite the installer for Debian and upload it to Github. GhostSquad57 uploaded his efforts to Github yesterday, and has since reached out to the Linux community..."

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Debian

+ - 144 Debian Allows Trademark Use For Commerical Activities->

Submitted by sfcrazy
sfcrazy (1542989) writes "According to the new trademark policy, Debian logos and marks may now be used freely for both non-commercial and commercial purposes. Stefano Zacchiroli, current Debian Project Leader and one of the main promoters of the new trademark policy, said "Software freedoms and trademarks are a difficult match. We all want to see well-known project names used to promote free software, but we cannot risk they will be abused to trick users into downloading proprietary spyware. With the help of SPI and SFLC, we have struck a good balance in our new trademark policy. Among other positive things, it allows all sorts of commercial use; we only recommend clearly informing customers about how much of the sale price will be donated to Debian.""
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Android

+ - 223 Embedded Developers Prefer Linux, Love Android->

Submitted by DeviceGuru
DeviceGuru (1136715) writes "In a recent EE Times 2013 Embedded Market study, Android was the OS of choice for future embedded projects among 16 percent of the survey's participants, second only to 'in-house/custom' (at 28 percent). But if a spectrum of disparate approaches can be lumped together as a single option, why not aggregate the various shades of Linux to see how they compare? Parsing the EE Times data that way makes it abundantly clear that Linux truly dominates the embedded market."
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Games

+ - 150 Steam Linux Sale - 3x as many Linux sales as Mac!->

Submitted by
lars_doucet
lars_doucet writes "I'm an independent game developer lucky enough to be on Steam. Recently, the Steam Linux client officially went public and was accompanied by a site-wide sale.

The Linux sale featured every single Linux-compatible game on the service, including our cross-platform game Defender's Quest. In preparation for this article, I asked the good people of Reddit's /r/linux_gaming subreddit what sort of data they'd like to see, and today I'd like to answer both their questions and yours.

Bottom line: during the sale we saw nearly 3 times as many Linux sales of the game as Mac (Windows still dominated overall)."

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Firefox

+ - 137 Ubuntu Touch wins beats Firefox OS for 'Best of MWC' from CNET->

Submitted by
Jono Bacon
Jono Bacon writes "This week at Mobile World Congress both Firefox OS and Ubuntu have been wooing the audience with their mobile offerings. CNET reviewed both and felt that Ubuntu was "the clear winner". From the article, "The team thought that Ubuntu Touch, the tablet version of which we got our hands-on for the first time at MWC, feels more like the complete package at this point. We liked its slick, elegant interface that makes use of every side of the screen and puts your content and contacts front and center, minimizing the time spent hopping back to a home screen"."
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Microsoft

+ - 136 Linus Torvalds To Secure Boot Supporters: This Is Not A Dick-Sucking Contest-> 1

Submitted by sfcrazy
sfcrazy (1542989) writes "Quite a lot of people raised their eyebrows the way ex-Red Hat developer Matthew Garrett made Microsoft the 'universal' control of any desktops PCs running with UEFI secure boot. Though the intentions of Garrett were clear — to enable GNU/Linux to be able to run Linux on Windows 8 certified PCs with secure boot; it was clearly putting Microsoft in a very powerful position. Linus, while a supporter of secure boot, exploded at Garrett and Howells when they proposed its inclusing in the kernel. Linus responded: Guys, this is not a dick-sucking contest. If you want to parse PE binaries, go right ahead. If Red Hat wants to deep-throat Microsoft, that's *your* issue. That has nothing what-so-ever to do with the kernel I maintain. It's trivial for you guys to have a signing machine that parses the PE binary, verifies the signatures, and signs the resulting keys with your own key. You already wrote the code, for chissake, it's in that f*cking pull request."
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Bitcoin

+ - 156 World's First Bitcoin ATM->

Submitted by
bill_mcgonigle
bill_mcgonigle writes "I just bought bitcoins from the World's first Bitcoin ATM at Liberty Forum. I created an account using an Android Bitcoin client, held up its QR code to the Raspberry Pi-based device's optical scanner, fed in a $20 Federal Reserve Note, and got back a confirmation QR code on its display (which I then scanned and checked the third-party confirmation URL). The machine can function on any wireless network and will soon be available for purchase by merchants, who can make a commission on customers' Bitcoin purchases."
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Debian

+ - 148 Debian 7.0 "Wheezy" Release Candidate 1->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "The first release candidate of Debian 7.0 Wheezy was released this week. Debian 7.0 is set to introduce a number of new features including optional systemd support, a real-time Linux kernel option, UEFI installation support, and the Debian Installer now supports WPA/WPA2 wireless networks. More Debian 7.0 features are listed on the Debian Wiki and the 7.0 RC1 installer can be downloaded at Debian.org."
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Linux

+ - 128 Linux-savvy IT pros are in high demand, low supply->

Submitted by
tsamsoniw
tsamsoniw writes "IT professionals with Linux chops — particularly systems administrator — are in high demand and short supply, according to a new survey from Dice. Over 90 percent of hiring managers surveyed said they plan to hire at least one Linux professional in the next six months — though nine out of 10 respondents also said that it's "somewhat difficult" or "very difficult" to find experienced Linux pros. That demand — driven by trends such as open-cloud development, Big Data, and increasing migration to Linux — has helped push the average salary for Linux pros up 9 percent to this past year, to $90,853."
Link to Original Source
Cellphones

+ - 152 Tizen not as Open Source, drops EFL to merge with Bada 1

Submitted by DustyMutant
DustyMutant (2603063) writes "Due to lack of a public roadmap and basic schedule it was uncertain for fans of Tizen whether Bada featurephone operating system takes center stage for Samsung's Tizen as the popular rumors say. With the final 2.0 release important milestone of the merge has been finalized. Bada's "Open Services Platform" frameworks (APIs and implementation) have been merged into Tizen, thus forming a hybrid of HTML5 runtime environment and Bada advanced featurephone application layer, all siting on top of Linux Kernel and system libraries. What worries is that it happened silently without prior discussion or at least announcement what may be unexpected because Tizen is promoted as a project under umbrella and maintenance of the Linux Foundation, employer of Linus Torvalds.

Visiting Tizen 2 and Bada 2 platform web documentation is enough to notice that Tizen 2 native developer experience evolved into what was known as the Bada advanced featurephone OS. For a quick comparison, a simple screenshot has been published.

Moreover Enlightenment Foundation Libraries (EFL) developers have been advertising strong Samsung's support for years. Now this support has been basically dropped in the middle of the changes that form Tizen 2.0.

Is there a chance for Tizen to become a real Linux operating system we all know, capable of running existing free software, not just HTML pages and Bada apps? There is IF the community takes over areas where Linux Foundation is passive. While there is no official support for these third-party frameworks, according to the explanation on the Tizen SDK page:

Tizen applications for mobile devices can be developed without relying on an official Tizen IDE as long as the application complies with Tizen packaging rules.

Still, is this declaration enough to gain trust in the community? Just before the release, Carsten Haitzler aka rasterman, Samsung's Principal Engineer working on Tizen and EFL guru in one person, showed some signs of irritation (an excerpt from an Tizen IRC log, original typos corrected):

tizen is not meego or maemo, it is not related
i've been working on this os now for like over 4 years
i have spent years saying "release ports to existing products"
no action, years saying what you say, i don't bother anymore
what will happen — will happen
i have no chance to change it because at least [in] samsung all decisions are top-down
ie. some executive with zero connection/knowledge of OSS is going to decide all the technical details
as i mentioned tizen is SLP [Samsung Linux Platform], SLP is a continuation of Limo
Limo is something that existed alongside and/or before maemo did
it has been in competition internally, no ball was picked up, it's a separate ball
it was renamed to tizen and put under a [Linux Foundation] banner and Intel then joined in
Intel has pushed for things to be much more open and to use OBS [Open Build System] and much infra that was used before for meego
[..]
tizen uses enlightenment and efl, thus why its then "zero porting" :)
that doesn't mean you will be able to use efl in apps you port/write
i do this for my own amusement, YOU may be stuck with a phone that is locked down and that doesn't allow installation of native apps at all

Shortly after that rasterman shared his look at the openess of the Linux Foundation-backed project in more depth to fight some misinformation:

Tizen, and what is in it (technically), is controlled by/decided on by the TSG [Technical Steering Group]. The TSG is a committee of executives (Samsung and Intel — you can read up on it — Imad and JD). They decide what will happen, and that's how it works. It's a top-down thing with VP's in charge. How and what they decide is up to them entirely. I have no idea what they will decide, when or where. Well officially I don't. What I may, or may not know is simply rumour and not for me to disclose, as decisions are made by the executives in charge (as above) as they see fit (which is not here in public, like on these mailing lists, IRC etc.). This (Tizen) is not like open source projects (let's say like E/EFL, Qt, GTK+, Xorg, Linux Kernel etc.), where I, or any developer, is free to talk about plans for the future and work being done, (or for that matter even knows or can find out). I understand that you are coming from that perspective, and thus logically asking those questions here, expecting answers like you would with pretty much any OSS project, but Tizen is not like that.

On the day of the release once the secret has been disclosed, rasterman concluded the reason for frustration on the Tizen IRC channel to the fellow engineers:

jooncheol Open Services Platform !!!
jooncheol bada !!
jooncheol hmm
jooncheol bada ...
jooncheol omg
Stskeeps looks like a good compromise, EFL on the inside, OSP on outside
raster hehe
* Stskeeps envisions raster being taken away in a white straightjacket to the funnyfarm
raster they did that years ago
raster i then escaped
raster and wrote a wm
raster and trust me
raster its not efl on the inside
raster efl is nothing mroe than a glorified wrapper around windows and then a simple surface compositor
Stskeeps sorry to hear that
raster everything else above that is not efl
raster so u may want to reserve judgment until u've seen it all

In addition to governance and technical aspects it becomes clear that Tizen's licensing model looks complicated at the moment. Tizen is presented as an open source and standards-based operating system with popular media praising its openness when compared to Android. However Tizen's SDK contains a mix of open and closed components released together under a non-open-source Samsung's licence.

What's typical in open projects driven by corporations, a number of components internally developed by Samsung such as calendar, task manager or music player are however released under the Flora License which is most likely incompatible with requirements of the Open Source Initiative. Next releases will hopefully resolve the issues to avoid irrelevance."

Android

+ - 263 Why doesn't Android support Linux filesystems for removable storage? 1

Submitted by Pale Dot
Pale Dot (2813911) writes "After weeks of struggle I finally figured out a way for the apps on my rooted Android tablet to recognize an SD card I had formatted as Ext4 but with the default journaling option turned off. The problem at first was getting the SD card to mount at all (technically this was the "external" SD card as the tablet also has a built-in "internal" SD card). Apparently, the Android automount facility, the evil-sounding vold daemon, does not support any filesystem besides Microsoft's VFAT. From various online sources, I learned that the CyanogenMod Linux 3.x kernel itself does support mounting Ext4, at least via the terminal "mount -t ext4" command.

A second problem soon cropped up. Apps, such as VLC and the AardDict offline dictionary, that rely on some sort of automagic scanning of the device storage space would not index the media and database files I copied to the SD card. It turns out that the simple solution, or the "hack" as it stands, is to mount the SD card under the directory created for the internal VFAT-formatted SD card, i.e. as "/storage/sdcard0/extsd" rather than the more direct "/storage/sdcard1". This works probably because subdirectories inherit the file permissions of the parent.

As part of my Google (re)search into the problem, I came upon this Google+ post by an Android developer curiously named Dianne Hackborn about the design decision not to support anything besides the Redmond-certified filesystem: "The external storage when on a SD card is FAT. Period. You are just going to cause yourself a mess if you try to do otherwise. The basic semantics of how external storage is used relies on it being fat — no permissions, case insensitive, etc."

So, is Google right about not supporting Ext2/3/4 for removable flash media, even if the base system itself often uses one of these Linux-native filesystems? Supposed issues about the frequent media access needed by a journalised filesystem don't apply to Ext2, which has no journal, or Ext4, which has an "-O ^has_journal" (no journal) formatting option. Perplexing still is that my tablet is advertised as having support for yet another Microsoft-patented invention, the ExFat filesystem. Unfortunately, there's still no way for a non-rooted Android tablet or smartphone to mount an SD card formatted as Ext2 or Ext4."
Cellphones

+ - 138 Tizen 2.0 Magnolia SDK and Source Code Release->

Submitted by
jrepin
jrepin writes "Tizen 2.0 source code and SDK are now available. This release includes enhanced Web framework that provides state-of-the-art HTML5/W3C API support, and Web UI framework (including full-screen and multi-window support), Additional Tizen device APIs, such as Bluetooth and NFC support, and access to the device’s calendar, call history, and messaging subsystems are now available. Web Runtime framework supports new configuration elements for specifying the required features and privileges, and providing the basic runtime environment for NPRuntime plugins. Native framework supports full-featured application development and providing a variety of features such as background applications, IP Push, and TTS (Text-To-Speech)"
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Open Source

+ - 97 Torvalds Releases Linux 3.8 Kernel-> 2

Submitted by hypnosec
hypnosec (2231454) writes "Linus Torvalds has released the Linux 3.8 kernel on Monday afternoon marking it as a special "Presidents' Day Release. Linus released the Linux 3.8-rc6 at the start of the month and had warned developers against sending in large number commits that are bulky. Developers seem to have taken the warning seriously as announcing the release through a mailing list, Linus revealed the new kernel and noted that the last week was quite calm when it came to commits because they were less in numbers and smaller in size."
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