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Hardware

SolidRun x86 Braswell MicroSoM Runs Linux and Full Windows 10, Destroys Raspberry Pi (betanews.com) 201

BetaNews has a report today about a company called SolidRun, which has announced an Intel Braswell-based MicroSoM. Unlike the ARM-powered Raspberry Pi, this is x86 compatible, meaning it can run full Windows 10. Plus, if you install a Linux distro, there will be far more packages available, such as Google Chrome, which is not available for Pi. Heck, it can probably serve as a secondary desktop, Brian with the site writes. From the report: At 53mm by 40mm, these new MicroSoMs provide unheard of design flexibility while also eliminating the headache of having to design complicated power-delivery subsystems thanks to its single power input rail design. SolidRun's Braswell MicroSoM also offers flexibility in RAM options, ranging from 1GB to 8GB configurations, and offers on-board support of eMMC storage up to 128GB. Its robust design and unsurpassed HD Edge surveillance, event detection, and statistical data-extraction capabilities makes it the platform of choice for mission-critical applications requiring guaranteed reliability," says Solidrun.It starts at $117, the website has more details on specifications.
Microsoft

Lenovo Denies Claims It Plotted With Microsoft To Block Linux Installs (theregister.co.uk) 180

Reader kruug writes: Several users noted certain new Lenovo machines' SSDs are locked in a RAID mode, with AHCI removed from the BIOS. Windows is able to see the SSD while in RAID mode due to a proprietary driver, but the SSD is hidden from Linux installations -- for which such a driver is unavailable. Speaking to The Register today, a Lenovo spokesperson claimed the Chinese giant "does not intentionally block customers using other operating systems on its devices and is fully committed to providing Linux certifications and installation guidance on a wide range of products."
Complaints on Lenovo's forums suggest that users have been unable to install GNU/Linux operating systems on models from the Yoga 900S to the Ideapad 710S, with one 19-page thread going into detail about the BIOS issue and users' attempts to work around it.

GNOME

GNOME 3.22 Desktop Environment Officially Released (softpedia.com) 120

Reader prisoninmate writes: Today, September 21, is a big day for Linux users, especially those who love the GNOME desktop environment, as the next major release is now officially available. Yes, that's right, we're talking about GNOME 3.22, dubbed Karlsruhe after the German host city of the annual GUADEC (GNOME Users And Developers European Conference) event, which took place last month between August 12-14, 2016. Prominent features of the GNOME 3.22 desktop environment include batch rename functionality and support for integration of compressed files built directly into the Nautilus file manager, a new Week View, support for alarms, and the ability to drag and drop events to the GNOME Calendar, as well as an updated GNOME Music app that supports handling of music libraries with thousands of tracks. There are lots of improvements for the GNOME Games app as well, as it now offers support for numerous retro gaming consoles. Among other improvements, we can mention Flatpak integration, photo sharing, revamped GNOME Software app with support for firmware updates, redesigned keyboard settings and a brand new GNOME Control Center panel, and a redesigned dconf Editor. A video overview of the new features of GNOME 3.22 is available on the official website.
Microsoft

Microsoft Signature PC Requirements Now Blocks Linux Installation: Reports 467

Reader sombragris writes: According to a well-documented forum thread, the Signature PC program by Microsoft now requires to lock down PCs. This user found out that his Lenovo Yoga 900 ISK2 UltraBook has the SSD in a proprietary RAID mode which Linux does not understand and the BIOS is also locked down so it could not be turned off. When he complained that he was unable to install Linux, the answer he got was: "This system has a Signature Edition of Windows 10 Home installed. It is locked per our agreement with Microsoft."
Even worse, as the original poster said, "[t]he Yoga 900 ISK2 at Best Buy is not labeled as a Signature Edition PC, but apparently it is one, and Lenovo's agreement with Microsoft includes making sure Linux can't be installed." As some commenter said: "If you buy a computer with this level of lockdown you should be told."

There is also a report on ZDNet which looks very understanding towards Lenovo, but the fact remains: the SSD is locked down in a proprietary RAID mode that cannot be turned off.
Intel

Windows 10 Haters: Try Linux On Kaby Lake Chips With Dell's New XPS 13 (pcworld.com) 232

Attention Linux enthusiasts. Your OS of your choice can finally work on laptops with Intel's Kaby Lake chips. Dell is releasing three new models of slick XPS 13 Developer Edition that will be available with Ubuntu OS and 7th Generation Core processors in the U.S. and Canada starting on Oct. 10, reports PCWorld. From the article:Prices for XPS 13 DE will start at $949. Dell also announced the XPS 13 model with Kaby Lake and Windows 10, which will ship on Oct. 4 starting at $799. Dell didn't share details on what version of Ubuntu desktop OS will be preloaded. It officially supports Ubuntu 14.04 in existing laptops, but could pre-load version 16.04 on the new XPS 13 DE. Dell has remained committed to Linux while major PC vendors shift to Windows 10 on PCs. Intel made a major commitment to supporting Windows 10 with its new Kaby Lake chips but hasn't talked much about Linux support. XPS 13 DE is perhaps the sexiest and thinnest Linux laptop available, with an edge-to-edge screen being a stand-out feature. It is the latest in Dell's Project Sputnik line of laptops, and it is targeted at computer enthusiasts who want a Windows or Mac alternative. A knock against Linux is that the OS has lagged behind Windows on driver development and on supporting the latest technologies like USB-C ports, 4K screens, and Thunderbolt. Project Sputnik started four years ago as an effort between Dell and the open-source community to bridge that gap, and since then, the resulting laptops have achieved cult status among Linux enthusiasts. A Dell XPS 13 with a Core i5 chip will have a full HD screen, 8GB of RAM, and a 128GB SSD. Another configuration will have a 3200 x 1800-pixel screen, Core i5, and a 256GB SSD. A fully loaded model will have a Core i7 chip, a 512GB SSD, 16GB of RAM, and a 3200 x 1800-pixel screen.
Microsoft

Microsoft Fixes Bugs in Skype for Linux (softpedia.com) 89

After neglecting Linux's Skype client for years, Microsoft released a new app of Skype for Linux in July, giving comfort to millions of users. The app, however, had a fair share of bugs. Microsoft today has updated the app to iron out those bugs, and introduced a handful of interesting options. An anonymous reader writes: There were plenty of users who complained that Skype for Linux was reconnecting automatically when not using the app for a certain amount of time and Microsoft has already acknowledged the bug. This new version fixes the problem, so everything should work correctly after updating. Additionally, Skype for Linux 1.7 introduces a new grid layout of the group calls, but also fixes the standard behavior of unread messages. According to Microsoft, this means that "when opening chat with unread messages, the view will focus on the first unread message and as you scroll, messages will be marked as read."

Open Source

Linux Kernel 3.14 Series Has Reached End of Life (softpedia.com) 99

Slashdot reader prisoninmate quotes an article on Softpedia: it looks like the Linux kernel maintainers decided that there's no need to maintain the Linux kernel 3.14 LTS series anymore, so earlier today, September 11, 2016, they decided to release that last maintenance update, version 3.14.79, and mark the series as EOL (End of Life). Famous Linux kernel maintainer Greg Kroah-Hartman was the one to make the big announcement, and he's urging users who want to still run a long-term supported kernel version to move to the Linux 4.4 LTS series, which is currently the most advanced LTS branch, or use the latest stable release, Linux kernel 4.7.3...

Linux kernel 3.14.79 is a very small update that changes a total of 12 files, with 45 insertions and 17 deletions, thus fixing a bug in the EXT4 file system, a networking issue related to the Reliable Datagram Sockets (RDS) protocol, and updating a few HID, s390, SCSI, networking drivers.

Ubuntu

Ubuntu-Based Elementary OS 0.4 'Loki' Achieves Stable Release (elementary.io) 72

"Today, Elementary 0.4 (code-named 'Loki'), achieves stable status," BetaNews reported Friday, applauding the "clean and functional" app tiles in its software center. Elementary OS (stylized as elementary OS) isn't the most popular Linux distro, and it certainly isn't the best. However, this Ubuntu-based operating system is focusing on something that some competitors do not -- user interface, which ultimately contributes to the overall user experience. It is because of this that Elementary is so important to the Linux community -- it matters.
Developers focused on internationalization for this release, part of an effort to "grow the market" for open-souce software, according to the elementary blog, which proudly points out that 73% of the 1.2 million downloads for their "design-oriented" OS came from closed-source operating systems.
Security

IoT Devices With Default Telnet Passwords Used As Botnet (securityaffairs.co) 57

Slashdot reader stiebing.ja writes: IoT devices, like DVR recorders or webcams, which are running Linux with open telnet access and have no passwords or default passwords are currently a target of attacks which try to install malware which then makes the devices a node of a botnet for DDoS attacks. As the malware, called Linux/Mirai, only resides in memory, once the attack has been successful, revealing if your device got captured isn't so easy, and also analyzing the malware is difficult, as it will vanish on reboot.
Plus the malware lays low at first, though "it is obvious that the main purpose is still for a DDoS botnet," according to MalwareMustDie, and it's designed to spread rapidly to other IoT devices using a telnet scanner. "According to the experts, several attacks have been detected in the wild," according to the article, which warns that many antivirus solutions are still unable to detect the malware, and "If you have an IoT device, please make sure you have no telnet service open and running."
Debian

LinuxScreenshots.org Closes. All Screenshot Tours Released For Downloading (linuxscreenshots.org) 46

A new announcement on their web site reads: LinuxScreenshots.org is closed. An archive of all screenshot tours from this site has been made freely available to the community, which consists of 2300 releases from 580 distributions. You may download this archive for fun, or to start your own Linux screenshots website. Please help seed torrents. I contacted the site's owner, who confirmed the news, saying their goal is to let the community take control of the screenshots. The archives are available on Dropbox and BitTorrent.
KDE

Linux Mint 18 KDE Now Available (betanews.com) 54

Clement Lefebvre, otherwise known as the man behind Linux Mint, announced on Friday the release and immediate availability of the final version of Linux Mint 18 "Sarah" KDE Edition OS. Sarah KDE has been available in beta for a few months now, but you can get the Live ISO images from the company's website. The new version is based on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus) distro, Lefebvre said. The new version comes with Plasma 5.6 desktop environment and associated apps. BrianFagioli writes: If you have at least 2GB of RAM, the Linux-based operating system could bring your aging computer into 2016 and beyond. Plasma offers plenty of options to 'make it yours', but it can sometimes be confusing -- there can be such a thing as too much choice. If after installing it you find it overwhelming, I would suggest going with the tried and true Cinnamon desktop environment instead. That seems to be the major focus of the Linux Mint team too. The Mint team is also including the Kubuntu backports ppa, which it promises will provide newer updates to KDE Plasma. Fans of the desktop environment should enjoy this immensely.
IBM

IBM Launches New Linux, Power8, OpenPower Systems (zdnet.com) 61

An anonymous reader writes:IBM on Thursday rolled out its latest Power8 processor, which is designed to move data faster, and new servers with OpenPower features. For IBM, the OpenPower Foundation community is critical for its Power8 processor. A bevy of companies are in OpenPower, a group that aims to be a counterweight to x86-based servers. With the new systems, IBM is hoping to target more artificial intelligence, analytics, and deep learning workloads. The systems will be lumped into the Power Systems LC family of Linux servers. Big Blue's Power S822LC for High Performance Computing server is the headliner of the group, with the Power8 processor with Nvidia's Tesla P100 Pascal GPUs. The system also has Nvidia's NVLink processor that allows for high-speed bidirectional interconnects. IBM said the combination of IBM and Nvidia technology allows data to flow five times faster than an x86-based system.
Windows

Raspberry Pi Passes 10M Sales Mark (bbc.com) 102

An anonymous reader writes: The Raspberry Pi has sold 10 million units -- continuing its success as the most popular British computer ever. The computer, about the same size as a credit card, was first released in 2012 and is widely used as an educational tool for programming. However, it can also be used for many practical purposes such as streaming music to several devices in a house. A new starter kit for Raspberry Pi, including a keyboard and mouse, has been released to celebrate the success. The kit also includes an SD storage card, official case, power supply, HDMI cable, mouse, keyboard and guidebook -- it costs $130 and will be available in the coming weeks. The Pi, which is manufactured in Wales, has been adopted by pupils, programmers and inventors around the world.
Operating Systems

Pokemon-Themed Umbreon Rootkit Targets Linux Systems On ARM and x86 (pcworld.com) 96

New submitter Kinwolf writes: Security researchers have identified a new family of Linux rootkits that, despite running from user mode, can be hard to detect and remove. Called Umbreon, after a Pokemon character that hides in the darkness, the rootkit has been in development since early 2015 and is now being sold on the underground markets. [It targets Linux-based systems on the x86, x86-64 and ARM architectures, including many embedded devices such as routers.] According to malware researchers from antivirus firm Trend Micro, Umbreon is a so-called ring 3 rootkit, meaning that it runs from user mode and doesn't need kernel privileges. Despite this apparent limitation, it is quite capable of hiding itself and persisting on the system. The reports adds: "The rootkit uses a trick to hijack the standard C library (libc) functions without actually installing any kernel objects. Umbreon hijacks these functions and forces other Linux executables to use its own libc-like library. This puts the rootkit in a man-in-the-middle position, capable of modifying system calls made by other programs and altering their output. The rootkit also creates a hidden Linux account that can be accessed via any authentication method supported by Linux, including SSH (Secure Shell). This account does not appear in files like /etc/passwd because the rootkit can modify the output of such files when read, the Trend Micro researchers said in a blog post. Umbreon also has a backdoor component called Espereon, named after another Pokemon character, that can establish a reverse shell to an attacker's machine when a TCP packet with special field values are received on the monitored Ethernet interface of an affected device."
Open Source

Adobe Resurrects Flash Player On Linux (neowin.net) 153

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Neowin: Four years ago, Adobe made a decision to stop updating the Flash Player package (NPAPI) on Linux, aside from delivering security patches. It has made an about turn on this decision in the last week and has said that it will keep it in sync with the modern release branch going forward. In its announcement, Adobe wrote: "In the past, we communicated that NPAPI Linux releases would stop in 2017. This is no longer the case and once we have performed sufficient testing and received community feedback, we will release both NPAPI and PPAPi Linux builds with their major version numbers in sync and on a regular basis." Although this is great news for Linux users who don't want to struggle to watch Flash content online, there also a few drawbacks. Adobe writes: "Because this change is primarily a security initiative, some features (like GPU 3D acceleration and premium video DRM) will not be fully implemented. If you require this functionality we recommend that you use the PPAPI version of Flash Player." You can download the new NPAPI binaries from the Adobe Labs download page.
Debian

Penetration-Testing Distro Kali Linux 2016.2 Released (kali.org) 54

prisoninmate writes: What's Kali Linux 2016.2? Well, it's an updated Live ISO image of the popular GNU/Linux distribution designed for ethical hackers and security professionals who want to harden the security of their networks, which contains the latest software versions and enhancements for those who want to deploy the OS on new systems. It's been quite some time since the last update to the official Kali Linux Live ISOs and new software releases are announced each day, which means that the packages included in the previous Kali Linux images are very old, and bugs and improvements are always implemented in the most recent versions of the respective security tools. Best of all, the new Kali Linux 2016.2 release comes in KDE, MATE, Xfce, LXDE, and Enlightenment E17 flavors.
Their blog also points out that Kali recently appeared in an episode of Mr. Robot.
Crime

Florida Man Arrested For Hacking Linux Kernel Organization In 2011 (softpedia.com) 37

An anonymous reader writes: The FBI seems to have solved the mysterious case of the 2011 kernel.org hack, when an unknown attacker breached kernel.org servers and attempted to install a rootkit in the kernel code. As years went by, the Linux Kernel Organization kept avoiding releasing an incident response surrounding the event, irking their community accustomed to more open communications from their leaders. The mystery seems to have been solved when yesterday a Florida man was arrested and charged with "hacking the Linux Kernel Organization" and installing a "rootkit and trojan software," just like in the 2011 kernel.org server breach. Donald Ryan Austin is his name. He was arrested during a routine traffic stop last Sunday, on August 28, 2016, and faces a maximum sentence of ten years in prison, a fine of $250,000, and any other restitution.
Operating Systems

PC-BSD Follows a Rolling Release Model, Gets Renamed To TrueOS 132

prisoninmate quotes a report from Softpedia: By following a rolling release model, TrueOS promises to be a cutting-edge and modern FreeBSD-based operating system for your personal computer, designed with security and simplicity in mind -- all while being stable enough to be deployed on servers. TrueOS will also make use of the security technologies from the OpenBSD project, and you can get your hands on the first Beta ISO images right now. The development team promises to offer you weekly ISO images of TrueOS, but you won't have to download anything anymore due to constant updates thanks to the rolling release model. TrueOS will use LibreSSL instead of OpenSSL, offer Linux DRM 4.7 compatibility for supporting for Intel Skylake, Haswell, and Broadwell graphics, and uses the pkg package manage system by default. "TrueOS combines the convenience of a rolling release distribution with the failsafe technology of boot environments, resulting in a system that is both current and reliable. TrueOS now tracks FreeBSD's 'Current' brand and merges features from select FreeBSD developer branches to enhance support for newer hardware and technologies," reads today's announcement.
Operating Systems

OpenBSD 6.0 Released (sdtimes.com) 94

LichtSpektren writes: Version 6.0 of the free operating system OpenBSD has just been released. This release features much improved hardware and armv7 support, a new tool called proot for building software ports in an isolated chroot environment, W^X that is now strictly enforced by default, and removal of official support for Linux emulation, usermount, and systrace. The release announcement can be read here. The release is OpenBSD's 40th release on CD-ROM and 41st release via FTP/HTTP.
Operating Systems

Fedora 25 Alpha Linux Distro Now Available (betanews.com) 35

An anonymous reader writes: Today, Fedora 25 Alpha sees a release. While the pre-release distribution is not ready for end users, it does give testers an early start at poking around.
Keep in mind what an Alpha release is folks -- this is pre-Beta. In other words, it is littered with bugs, and you should definitely not run it on a production machine. There are already some show-stopping known issues -- a couple are related to dual-booting with Windows (scary). One bug can destroy OS X data when dual-booting on a Mac!

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