Development of Mageia 8 seems to be progressing nicely, which is good news for fans of the Linux-based operating system. Last month, we shared that the first Alpha of the distribution was available for testing, and now today, the first Beta arrives.
As with the Alpha, the Beta is available with your choice of three desktop environments -- KDE Plasma, GNOME, and Xfce. All three are available in 64-bit Live ISO images, but the 32-bit variant of the operating system is limited to Xfce only. This makes sense, as 32-bit-only computers in 2020 are quite ancient and under-powered, while Xfce is the most lightweight DE of the bunch.
There is a lot of negativity in the world these days such as the COVID-19 pandemic, record unemployment, and the massive explosion in Beirut, Lebanon. Sometimes it can feel like positive news doesn't exist anymore. The truth is, good news is always happening, but it isn't always reported.
Well, today we are happy to report a feel-good story. Popular company Viewsonic, known for manufacturing high-quality computer displays, is donating 300 Raspberry Pi thin clients to the Los Angeles County Alliance for Boys and Girls Clubs. These little computers are a great tool for teaching kids about Linux.
Open source software has become commonplace in all sorts of environments. But its very nature means that those responsible for their users' or organization's security need to be able to understand and verify its security.
Today The Linux Foundation is announcing the formation of the Open Source Security Foundation (OpenSSF). This is a cross-industry collaboration that brings together leaders to improve the security of open source software by building a broader community with targeted initiatives and best practices.
Huge BootHole flaw in GRUB2 bootloader leaves millions of Windows and Linux systems at risk from hackers
A serious vulnerability dubbed BootHole has been discovered in the GRUB2 bootloader. Millions of systems run the risk of being exposed to hackers -- primarily those running Linux, but Windows is also affected. Discovered by security researchers at Eclypsium, the BootHole vulnerability has been assigned CVE-2020-10713 ("GRUB2: crafted grub.cfg file can lead to arbitrary code execution during boot process") and a CVSS rating of 8.2.
The flaw can be exploited to gain arbitrary code execution during the boot process, even when Secure Boot is enabled and virtually all Linux distributions are affected. But more than this, the vulnerability also leaves Windows systems that make use of Secure Boot with the standard Microsoft Third Party UEFI Certificate Authority open to attack.
We recently told you about the beautiful 3rd-gen KDE Slimbook -- the world's first Linux Ultrabook with an AMD Ryzen 4000 CPU. Well, it seems there is yet another Linux laptop powered by AMD's latest mobile processors, this time from Tuxedo Computers.
Called "Pulse 15," it has (as you can expect from its name) a 15.6-inch display. The screen resolution is 1080p, and it features 60Hz refresh and 100% sRGB coverage. Its I/O includes three USB-A ports (two are 3.0, one is 2.0), one USB-C at 3.0 speed, HDMI, Gigabit Ethernet, 3.5mm audio, and a micro SD card reader. And yes, it comes with Intel Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.1.
There are no shortage of laptops shipping with Linux-based operating systems these days. Chromebooks aside, you can buy notebooks from System76, Dell, and Tuxedo Computers to name a few. True, you can also buy a Windows laptop and install a Linux distribution yourself, but why should you have to? After all, some Linux users define themselves by the operating system they use. For them, it can be quite annoying to have their precious laptops sullied by a Microsoft OS.
Another seller of Linux computers is Slimbook. That company is largely known because the KDE Community chose to partner with it for the "KDE Slimbook," which is an officially sanctioned KDE laptop that runs KDE neon. Today, the third generation KDE Slimbook is revealed, and it is very big news. Why? Because it is the world's first Linux Ultrabook to be powered by AMD's Ryzen 4000 series of processor. There are two screen size options, 14-inch and 15.6-inch, which are both 1080p. They both feature a magnesium body with a thickness less than 20 millimeters.
How many boot discs or flash drives do you own? It’s possible to build up quite a collection, from Linux live CDs and antivirus rescue discs to boot media for apps as diverse as drive imaging to data recovery.
Thanks to Ventoy 1.0.15, you can now consolidate all your boot media: instead of five, six or however many boot discs you need, everything is stored on a single flash drive. The larger the flash drive, the more boot media you can install on it.
The Intel NUC has long been a favorite of Linux users, as the diminutive computer just works out of the box. Since almost everything is Intel-based -- including the graphics and Wi-Fi card -- you never have to worry about hardware having compatibility issues. They have historically been easy to upgrade too, allowing users to upgrade RAM, storage, and wireless. Sadly, new NUCs have soldered Wi-Fi cards, so you are essentially stuck with what it comes with. That stinks -- Intel is acting like Apple!
Thankfully, there is another mini computer that is also based on 10th generation Intel Core processors, but it does allow the wireless card to be upgraded. MSI's "Cubi 5," as it is called, is very similar to Intel's NUC, but it has better upgradeability. And yes, all modern Linux distributions will install and run without issue. I have been testing the Intel Core i5-10210U variant (there are also Core i3 and i7 models), which is a quad-core with 8 threads. While my configuration came with Windows 10 Home pre-installed, I immediately added Fedora to the mix in a dual-boot configuration.
Historically, Microsoft was an enemy of the open source community. In more recent years, however, the Windows-maker has become an ally. In fact, under the leadership of Satya Nadella, it can be said that Microsoft is now an open source champion! Crazy, right?
If you want proof, look no further than Windows Subsystem for Linux. I mean, Linux is pretty much inside of Windows now. Not to mention, Microsoft is a huge contributor to open source projects. Hell, the Windows-maker even bought GitHub! And now, the company takes things even further. You see, Microsoft has ported the Windows Procmon tool to Linux.
Microsoft has revealed a new anti-malware service by the name of Project Freta. The company describes it as a "free service from Microsoft Research for detecting evidence of OS and sensor sabotage, such as rootkits and advanced malware, in memory snapshots of live Linux systems".
Project Freta is cloud-based, and the memory forensics tool was created by the NExT Security Ventures (NSV) team in Microsoft Research.
If you are a Linux nerd or Windows user without much money, you probably use LibreOffice. That free software is actually quite good, although Microsoft's Office is far superior. Regardless of how you feel about the Windows-maker, its office suite of software is second to none. If you use Windows or Mac and can afford it, I always recommend using "real" Word and Excel over knockoffs, such as the aforementioned LibreOffice's Writer or Calc. Sadly, other than the web version, Microsoft Office is not available for Linux. With that said, as a Linux user, I appreciate LibreOffice's existence and use it regularly.
But what if LibreOffice wasn't free? Would people still use it if it cost money? Some folks became very worried about that exactly, as the release candidate of LibreOffice 7.0 labeled itself as "Personal Edition." To some, it was a sign that a paid version of LibreOffice was on the horizon. Well, guess what? They weren't totally wrong. In the future, you might find yourself paying money to use LibreOffice software. According to a new blog post from The Document Foundation Board aimed at quelling fears, however, there is no need to panic.
People are starting to care more about privacy these days, and rightfully so. It feels like we are constantly hearing about data breaches and software vulnerabilities that can lead to spying. While Windows 10 is a great operating system, it does have some intense telemetry that can pass your activity to Microsoft's servers. That is part of the reason so many people are switching to Linux these days.
If you are switching to Linux for privacy reasons, you have to check out Purism. That company sells computers running a Debian-based Linux distro called "PureOS". These machines have hardware kill-switches for the webcam, microphone, and wireless radios. Today, the company announces the 14-inch Librem 14 Linux laptop. It has a 1080p display and is powered by the hexacore Intel Core i7-10710U processor. It can be configured with up to 32GB of RAM.
Mageia isn't one of the most popular Linux-based operating systems, but it has its share of fans. The operating system is primarily a KDE affair, although GNOME and Xfce are available desktop environments too. It is a quality distro that you should check out if interested.
The last major release of Mageia was version 7, which came out nearly a year ago. Today, Mageia 8 Alpha 1 becomes available for download. Despite many Linux distributions stopping development of 32-bit variants, Mageia is apparently not giving up -- you can download a special 32-bit ISO that uses the Xfce desktop environment.
Intel's diminutive NUC bare-bones computers are quite a bit of fun. Not only are they cute and tiny, but once you add RAM and storage, they can run both Windows 10 and Linux brilliantly. Hell, I am currently running macOS on one as a "Hackintosh" (Shh! Don't tell Apple). The only knock on the NUC is that you can't really upgrade the GPU. Unless your NUC has Thunderbolt 3 and you add a pricey eGPU, you are essentially stuck with Intel's ho-hum onboard graphics.
With the unveiling of the "Ghost Canyon" Intel NUC 9, however, this changed. While obviously bigger than earlier NUC models, this unit can accommodate a proper gaming card from AMD or NVIDIA (if you choose to add one). You can even eventually upgrade the CPU with what Intel calls replaceable "compute elements." And now, if you have some money to spare, you can finally buy the top model of Ghost Canyon -- the drool-worthy Intel NUC 9 Extreme is available today!
We have had 64-bit processors in the mainstream for many years now, but for some reason, developers have continued to maintain 32-bit versions of operating systems. This includes Microsoft, who still supports 32-bit Windows 10 in 2020 (although the company plans to wind that down). Thankfully, many Linux distributions such as Fedora, Tails, and Linux Mint have killed off their 32-bit versions, choosing to instead focus on 64-bit.
And now, another major Linux distribution follows suit. You see, as of today, Manjaro Linux 32-bit is dead. This is a very wise move, as 32-bit computers are obsolete and maintaining a 32-bit variant of an OS is a waste of resources. Anyone that disagrees is very wrong.