The new undercover mode in Kali Linux switches the desktop layout to make it look like Windows 10. Find out how to activate the undercover mode.
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- 11/12/19--22:03: _Microsoft Defender ...
- 11/13/19--22:53: _Mirantis Acquires D...
- 11/14/19--03:50: _Browse Faster With ...
- 11/14/19--19:56: _Troubleshooting “E:...
- 11/18/19--02:25: _App Highlight: Flam...
- 11/18/19--23:19: _Troubleshooting PCI...
- 11/20/19--01:29: _The Cross-Platform ...
- 11/20/19--23:30: _Zorin OS 15 Lite Re...
- 11/21/19--21:49: _Bauh – Manage Snaps...
- 11/23/19--21:14: _25 Raspberry Pi Pro...
- 11/24/19--21:44: _Google to Add Mainl...
- 11/25/19--03:28: _App Highlight: Peng...
- 11/26/19--03:02: _Zorin OS Responds t...
- 11/27/19--04:43: _Open Source Music N...
- 11/30/19--05:23: _Pretend to be Using...
- 12/01/19--20:51: _App Highlight: Cali...
- 12/02/19--01:22: _Up to 65% Off on Al...
- 12/02/19--22:44: _How to Access the S...
- 12/07/19--02:47: _8 Best Open Source ...
- 12/07/19--20:41: _First Ever Release ...
- 12/08/19--21:58: _App Highlight: Open...
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- 12/13/19--00:36: _Make VLC More Aweso...
- 12/14/19--03:18: _How to Add Border A...
- 12/15/19--21:41: _App Highlight: Open...
- 12/17/19--03:05: _An Actionable Guide...
- 12/18/19--03:56: _Linux Mint 19.3 “Tr...
- 12/19/19--06:02: _How to Start, Stop ...
- 12/20/19--04:53: _Pop!_OS vs Ubuntu: ...
- 12/21/19--00:39: _How to Update Grub ...
- 12/23/19--03:55: _App Highlight: Falk...
- 12/24/19--03:02: _Khadas VIM3L: An Op...
- 12/24/19--19:04: _Darktable 3 Release...
- 12/26/19--00:18: _Explained! Why Your...
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- 12/29/19--02:03: _Fixing “VLC is Unab...
- 12/30/19--23:46: _Signal: A Secure, O...
- 01/01/20--21:00: _GNOME has a ‘Secret...
- 01/02/20--23:59: _Shocking! EA is Per...
- 01/05/20--21:30: _App Highlight: Catf...
- 01/06/20--04:16: _Kali Linux Will No ...
- 01/07/20--23:59: _Huawei’s Linux Dist...
- 01/09/20--21:54: _Don’t Use ZFS on Li...
- 01/10/20--02:30: _How to Install Ubun...
- 01/13/20--01:22: _LMMS: A Free & Open...
- 01/13/20--20:02: _Root User in Ubuntu...
- 01/14/20--06:15: _Get Trained and Cer...
- 01/16/20--04:44: _Insights into Why H...
- 01/16/20--09:00: _Zorin Grid Lets You...
- 01/18/20--05:59: _How to Set or Chang...
- 11/12/19--22:03: Microsoft Defender ATP is Coming to Linux! What Does it Mean?
- 11/13/19--22:53: Mirantis Acquires Docker Enterprise in a Bid to Keep Docker Alive
- 11/14/19--03:50: Browse Faster With Brave! The First Stable Release is Here
- 11/18/19--02:25: App Highlight: Flameshot for Taking and Editing Screenshots
- 11/20/19--01:29: The Cross-Platform Source Explorer Sourcetrail is Now Open Source
- 11/20/19--23:30: Zorin OS 15 Lite Release: Good Looking Lightweight Linux
- 11/21/19--21:49: Bauh – Manage Snaps, Flatpaks and AppImages from One Interface
- 11/23/19--21:14: 25 Raspberry Pi Project Ideas to Put Your Pi to Some Good Use
- 11/24/19--21:44: Google to Add Mainline Linux Kernel Support to Android
- 11/26/19--03:02: Zorin OS Responds to the Privacy Concerns
- 11/27/19--04:43: Open Source Music Notations Software Musescore 3.3 Released!
- 11/30/19--05:23: Pretend to be Using Windows with Kali Linux Undercover Mode
- 12/01/19--20:51: App Highlight: Caligator is a Beautiful Calculator & Converter
- 12/02/19--22:44: How to Access the Secret Suspend Button in Ubuntu GNOME [Quick Tip]
- 12/07/19--02:47: 8 Best Open Source Accounting Software
- 12/07/19--20:41: First Ever Release of Ubuntu Cinnamon Distribution is Finally Here!
- 12/08/19--21:58: App Highlight: Open Source Video Transcoder Handbrake
- 12/11/19--03:27: 15 Useful Firefox Keyboard Shortcuts You Should Know
- 12/13/19--00:36: Make VLC More Awesome With These Simple Tips
- 12/14/19--03:18: How to Add Border Around Text in GIMP
- 12/15/19--21:41: App Highlight: Open Source Disk Partitioning Tool GParted
- 12/17/19--03:05: An Actionable Guide to Enhance Your Online Privacy With Tor
- 12/20/19--04:53: Pop!_OS vs Ubuntu: Which One is Better?
- 12/21/19--00:39: How to Update Grub on Ubuntu and Other Linux Distributions
- 12/23/19--03:55: App Highlight: Falkon Open Source Web Browser from KDE
- 12/24/19--03:02: Khadas VIM3L: An Open Source HTPC Device
- 12/24/19--19:04: Darktable 3 Released With GUI Rework and New Features
- 12/27/19--03:31: How Nitrux is Changing the Traditional Linux Scenario [Interview]
- 12/29/19--02:03: Fixing “VLC is Unable to Open the MRL” Error [Quick Tip]
- 12/30/19--23:46: Signal: A Secure, Open Source Messaging App
- 01/01/20--21:00: GNOME has a ‘Secret’ Screen Recorder. Here’s How to Use it!
- There is no time delay option before the recording starts
- There is no pause and play option
- It records the entire screen. No option to record only an application window or a ceratin area or a certain monitor (if you have a multi-monitor setup).
- Videos are saved in webm format in the user’s Videos directory. You cannot change it. You’ll have to use a tool like HandBrake to convert the videos to other format.
- 01/02/20--23:59: Shocking! EA is Permanently Banning Linux Gamers on Battlefield V
- 01/05/20--21:30: App Highlight: Catfish Desktop File Searching Tool
- Search for files anywhere on your system, including the mounted partitions
- Search inside the files for its contents (can be enabled from preferences)
- Search hidden files as well
- Refine your search based on modification time
- Refine your search based on file type (images, videos, documents etc)
- Refine your search based on location (Documents, Downloads, Pictures or other folders)
- Exclude certain directories and paths from your search
- Lightweight and simple interface
- Support for Wayland display server (from version 1.4.12)
- 01/06/20--04:16: Kali Linux Will No Longer Have The Default Root User
- 01/07/20--23:59: Huawei’s Linux Distribution openEuler is Available Now!
- 01/09/20--21:54: Don’t Use ZFS on Linux: Linus Torvalds
- 01/10/20--02:30: How to Install Ubuntu Linux in the Simplest Possible Way
- You can install Ubuntu inside a virtualbox in Windows
- You can use Bash on Windows feature to install it inside Windows
- You can dual boot Ubuntu with Windows (so that you can choose which OS to use at the time your system boots)
- You can replace Windows with Ubuntu by wiping it altogether from your system
- A USB of at least 4 GB in size. You can also use a DVD.
- Internet connection (for downloading Ubuntu and live-USB making tool, not required for installing Ubuntu)
- Optionally, you may need an external USB disk for making a backup of your important data (if any) present on the current system
- A system with 2 GHz dual core processor or better
- 4 GB of RAM or more
- At least 25 GB of hard disk space
- 01/13/20--01:22: LMMS: A Free & Open Source Digital Audio Workstation (DAW)
- Ability to add notes within the project without needing a separate note-taking app
- Bundled free plugins to use
- Note playback via MIDI or typing keyboard
- MIDI Editor
- Separate editor for instruments
- Track Automation support
- 64-bit VST instrument support (for wine-based VSTs)
- Built-in synthesizers that include some popular emulators for Yamaha and Roland
- Feature-rich audio plugins built-in
- Demo projects to easily get started
- Several samples included
- Native multisample support for SoundFont (SF2), Giga (GIG) and Gravis UltraSound (GUS) formats for high-quality instrument patches and banks (only if it’s relevant for your work)
- LADSPA plugin support
- You will also find the essential delay/reverb/compressor/limiter and distortion tools built-in
- Spectrum analyzer
- 01/13/20--20:02: Root User in Ubuntu: Important Things You Should Know
- 01/16/20--04:44: Insights into Why Hyperbola GNU/Linux is Turning into Hyperbola BSD
- 01/16/20--09:00: Zorin Grid Lets You Remotely Manage Multiple Zorin OS Computers
- Install and Remove Apps
- Set software update and security patch policies
- Monitor computer status
- Enforce security policies
- Keep track of software and hardware inventory
- Set desktop settings
- Organize computers into groups (for teams and departments)
- Role-based access control and audit logging
- Zorin Grid is an upcoming cloud based service that lets you manage multiple Zorin OS systems.
- It’s a premium service that charges for each computer used. The pricing is not determined yet.
- Educational institutes and non-profit organizations can get Zorin Grid for a reduced pricing.
- Initially it can only handle Zorin OS. Other Ubuntu-based distributions are on the road-map but there is no definite timeline for that.
- The service should be available in the summer 2020.
- Zorin Grid server won’t be open source initially.
- 01/18/20--05:59: How to Set or Change Timezone in Ubuntu Linux [Beginner’s Tip]
- Change timezone in Ubuntu via GUI (suitable for desktop users)
- Change timezone in Ubuntu via command line (works for both desktop and servers)
Microsoft has announced that it is bringing Microsoft Defender ATP to Linux. What is it and how will it impact you as a Linux user? Read more about it.
The rumors of Docker not doing too well in the business seems true. Mirantis announced that it has acquired the Docker Enterprise platform business.
The first stable version of the Brave browser is here. It blocks the ads and trackers by default. It also has its own system to reward the publishers & users. Read more.
This beginner tutorial shows how to go about fixing the E: Unable to locate package error on Ubuntu Linux.
Flameshot is a free and open source GUI apps that allows you to take screenshots and edit them by adding arrows, boxes and annotations on them.
Seeing lots of PCIe Bus Error severity Corrected errors on your Linux system at boot time? Here's how you can handle these annoying errors.
Sourcetrail is a cross-platform source explorer that lets you review the unfamiliar source code by using graph visualization. It's free and open source now.
Zorin OS 15 Lite is designed to work on older computers with low hardware configuration. The customized Xfce desktop gives Zorin OS Lite a sleek modern look. See it yourself.
Snaps, Flatpaks, AppImages and your distribution's own packages. There are way too many of them and bauh enables you to use all of them from one single app.
Here we list some of the cool Raspberry Pi projects and ideas. The projects have been divided into easy, intermediate and advanced categories. Check it out.
Android devices usually have old, outdated Linux kernel and maintaining it is a tedious task. Google is trying to fix it by bringing mainline Linux kernel to Android.
With the free and open source application, Penguin subtitle player, you can add subtitles to any online videos. Learn more about this nifty app.
There were some privacy concerns around 'data collection' in Zorin OS. It's FOSS spoke to Zorin OS CEO and here is his response to the controversy.
Musescore is an Open Source Software to help create and print music notations in Linux and other platforms. Version 3.3 has just been released. Check what's new!
The new undercover mode in Kali Linux switches the desktop layout to make it look like Windows 10. Find out how to activate the undercover mode.
Caligator is a simple calculator and converter app with aesthetically pleasing user interface. It is open source and available for Linux, Mac and Windows.
The Linux Foundation is offering all beginner and advanced training and certification bundle at a discount of up to 65% off. You have better career prospect as a certified Linux professional.
GNOME desktop environment has a hidden suspend button. This quick tip shows how to use the suspend option in Ubuntu or other distributions using GNOME DE.
Looking for a free and open source accounting software? Here are some that you can use online, offline or host on you own server for personal or business use.
Ubuntu Cinnamon is a new distribution that utilizes Linux Mint's Cinnamon desktop environment on top of Ubuntu code base. It's first stable release is based on Ubuntu 19.10 Eoan Ermine.
HandBrake is a free and open source application that lets you convert videos from one format to another. Check out its features and installation procedure.
Work faster and be more productive with these useful Firefox keyboard shortcuts.
VLC is much more than a simple video player. Here are some simple VLC tricks you can use to get more out of it.
Learn how to add outline to text in GIMP in three easy and simple steps with this screenshot tutorial.
GParted is an incredibly popular and free partition editor available for Linux distros. Let's take a look at what it offers in brief.
Learn to use Tor and improve your online privacy with this comprehensive and actionable guide.
Linux Mint 19.3 “Tricia” has been released. See what’s new in it and learn how to upgrade to Linux Mint 19.3.
You can easily manage service with systemd and init. Learn to start, stop and restart services in Ubuntu and other Linux Distributions.
Can't decide between Pop!_OS and Ubuntu? Here is a comparison between the two distribution that are similar and yet different at the same time.
Learn to update grub on Ubuntu and other Linux distributions with this quick and simple tutorial. You'll also learn a thing or two about how this grub update process works.
Formerly known as Qupzilla, Falkon is a web browser based on QtWebEngine. In this week's App Highlight, we take a look at this open source software.
VIM3L is a budget-friendly single board computer that can be used as Home Theatre PC (HTPC) device out of the box. It can play 4K videos and has Dolby audio capability. All this is built on top of open source software.
RAW image editor Darktable 3.0 has been released. Check out the new features it brings and the steps to install it on your Linux system.
A new stable kernel is released every 2-3 months yet your distribution might still be using an old, outdated Linux kernel. But you don't need to worry and here's why!
Nitrux Linux founder Uri Herrera shares how Nitrux is adding new dimension to Linux scene with innovative tools like ZNX operating system manager, MAUI for quickly developing desktop and mobile apps and more.
Tried playing YouTube video in VLC and encountered "Your input can’t be opened. VLC is unable to open the MRL" error? Here's how to fix it.
Signal is a secure open-source messaging app for smartphones. It also offers a standalone desktop app for Linux, Windows, and macOS. Here, we take a look at its features and usability.
GNOME is one of the most popular desktop environments and for good reasons. It has a modern UI and it comes with a number of GNOME-specific applications that blend well with the overall desktop appearance.
You can tweak GNOME to your liking as much as you want but I am not here to discuss that. GNOME desktop has some hidden features that you probably are not aware of.
One of such not-so-obvious feature is a built in screen recorder.
Yes, you read that right. If you are using GNOME desktop, you don’t necessarily need to install other screen recorders in Linux. You just need to know the correct keyboard shortcut.
Instantly record your screen with GNOME Screen Recorder
To quickly access the GNOME screen recorder, you have to press this keyboard shortcut in Ubuntu or other distributions using GNOME desktop:
Ctrl + Alt + Shift + R
This will immediately start recording your desktop. You can tell that the screen recording is in progress by looking at the red dot in the system tray area of the top panel:
Increase the screencast duration
The default maximum record time is just 30 seconds. It can be increased though.
Open a terminal and use the following command:
gsettings set org.gnome.settings-daemon.plugins.media-keys max-screencast-length 300
In the above command, I have increased the maximum length of the recording to 300 seconds (i.e. 5 minutes). You can change it to any other value but it should be in seconds.
If you don’t want any limit on the maximum recording time, set it to 0 and then the recording won’t stop until you manually stop it or your disk runs out of space.
Stop the screen recording
As I mentioned, your desktop recording will stop automatically after it reaches the maximum time limit.
To stop the recording before that, you can press the same key combination:
Ctrl + Alt + Shift + R
Your recordings are saved in webm format in the Videos folder of your Home directory.
While it might be handy to record your desktop quickly with this handy little tool, it has its several limitations when compared to a full-fledged screen recording tool like Simple Screen Recorder.
As you can see, the secret GNOME screen recorder is no where near to the features provided by the likes of Kazam or other such tools.
But it doesn’t try to be a full-fledged screen recorder. It just provides you a quick way of recording a small screencast. That’s it.
This screen recorder is one of the hidden features of GNOME like the suspend option that you won’t easily find on your own.
How do you like it? Do you know some other hidden GNOME features that you would like to share with us? The comment section is all yours.
In a Reddit thread, a lot of Linux players seem to complain about getting banned by FairFight (which is the server-side anti-cheat engine used for BF V) just because they chose to play Battlefield V (BF V) on Linux using Wine.
Is this a widespread issue?
Unfortunately, it seems to be the case with a number of Linux players using Wine to play Battlefield V on Linux.
Of course, the userbase on Linux playing Battlefield V isn’t huge – but it still matters, right?
What’s exactly the issue here?
It looks like EA’s anti-cheat tech considers DXVK (Vulkan-based implementation of DirectX which tries to solve compatibility issues) as cheating.
So, basically, the compatibility layer that is being utilized to make it possible to run Battlefield V is being detected as a modified file through which you’re “potentially” cheating.
Even though this could be an innocent problem for the anti-cheat engine but EA does not seem to acknowledge that at all.
Here’s what they respond with when one of the players wrote an email to EA in order to lift the ban:
After thoroughly investigating your account and concern, we found that your account was actioned correctly and will not remove this sanction from your account.
Also, with all this going on, Lutris Gaming seems to be quite furious on EA’s behavior with the permanent bans:
Not just Battlefield V, it’s the same with Destiny 2
As pointed by a Redditor in the same thread, Bungie also happens to consider Wine as an emulator (which is against their policy) and has banned players on Linux a while back.
EA needs to address the issue
We have reached out to EA for a comment on the issue. And, we’re still waiting for a response.
I shall update the article if we have an official response from EA. However, considering Blizzard as an example, they should actually work on fixing the issue and reverse the bans on players using Linux.
I know that BF V does not offer native Linux support – but supporting the compatibility layer and not considering it as cheating would allow Linux users to experience the game which they rightfully own (or considering to purchase).
What are your thoughts on this? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.
Brief: Catfish is a nifty file searching GUI tool for Linux desktop. The interface is lightweight and simple and the tool allows to refine your search with criteria like time, file type etc.
The Linux purists use commands like locate, find and grep to search for files in the terminal.
But as a desktop Linux user, you don’t need to leave the comfort of the graphical user interface (GUI) and deep dive into the command line interface (CLI) just for searching files on your desktop.
Most Linux distributions provide a basic desktop search feature either via the file manager or through the desktop environment itself.
On GNOME desktop, you can search for files in the Activities area (use the Windows key to bring it up). Files (previously known as Nautilus) also has a built-in search button.
You can extend this search and add options like time and type of the file. One thing it doesn’t do is to search inside the files. For example, you cannot use it to get all the files that contains “university”.
This is where a desktop file search tool like Catfish could help you.
Catfish: A nifty GUI tool for searching files on Linux
Catfish is a GUI tool that enables you to search your desktop for any kind of files. It uses locate and find commands underneath. The autocompletion feature uses Zeitgeist daemon and locate command. It’s a lightweight tool and uses GTK+.
Some of the main features of Catfish are:
Catfish is now a Xfce project and it is providing the search feature to Xfce’s Thunar file manager.
Installing Catfish on Ubuntu and other Linux distributions
Let’s see how to install Catfish on your Linux distributions.
Catfish is available in the universe repository for Ubuntu based distributions such as Xubuntu, Linux Mint, Linux Lite etc.
You can install it from the software center by searching for Catfish
or, use the terminal to install it:
sudo apt install catfish
On other distributions
Catfish is also available in most major Linux distributions. It is certainly available on Fedora and if you check your distribution’s package manager or software center, you should find it there and install it like any other program.
In this week’s Linux application highlight, you learned about this handy little utility. However, Catfish is not the only tool of its kind. You may check some other search tools like ANGRYSearch or SearchMonkey.
Have you ever used a GUI tool for searching files or do you rely on the good old command line? And what do you think of Catfish? Do you look forward to use it?
Kali Linux is a specialized Linux distribution for cyber security testing and hacking related tasks.
If you’ve used Kali Linux, you probably know that it followed a default root user policy. In other words, you are always root in Kali Linux. Whatever you do – you will be accessing tools/applications as root by default.
It looks like everything back then was kind of “root for all” for everything. So, the default root user policy existed.
They also explained the history for this in their announcement post:
A lot of those tools back then either required root access to run or ran better when ran as root. With this operating system that would be ran from a CD, never be updated, and had a lot of tools that needed root access to run it was a simple decision to have a “everything as root” security model. It made complete sense for the time.
Kali Linux will now have a default non-root user (like most other distributions)
A default non-root model was necessary because a lot of users now use Kali Linux as their daily driver.
Of course, they do not recommend using Kali Linux as a replacement for stable distributions like Ubuntu/Fedora/Manjaro – however, with its active development, some users do consider using it on a day-to-day basis instead of just using it for its tools.
So, with a wide mainstream usage of the distro, the Kali Linux team thought of switching to a default non-root model because nowadays a lot of applications/tools do not require root access.
While we don’t encourage people to run Kali as their day to day operating system, over the last few years more and more users have started to do so (even if they are not using it to do penetration testing full time), including some members of the Kali development team. When people do so, they obviously don’t run as default root user. With this usage over time, there is the obvious conclusion that default root user is no longer necessary and Kali will be better off moving to a more traditional security model.
So I am reiterating that you should not consider Kali Linux to be fit for your daily tasks if you do not utilize security-related Kali Linux tools. Feel free to experiment – but I wouldn’t be so sure to rely on it.
So from the next release, when you install Kali Linux, you’ll be asked to create non-root user that will have admin privileges. Tools and commands that require root access will be run with sudo.
New default user and password for Kali Linux live mode
Technically, you won’t find a groundbreaking difference. Just note that the default user ID and password in live mode is “kali“.
You can find the new non-root model implemented in the new daily/weekly builds if you want to test it early.
In either case, you can wait for the 2020.1 release scheduled for late January to take a look at the new default non-root user model.
Getting back the old root model in Kali Linux
If you are a long time Kali Linux user, you may not find it convenient to add sudo before commands and then manually enter the password.
The good news here is that you can still get the old password-less root rights with this command:
sudo dpkg-reconfigure kali-grant-root
What do you think about the default non-root user model? Is it a good decision? Let me know your thoughts in the comments.
Huawei offers a CentOS based enterprise Linux distribution called EulerOS. Recently, Huawei has released a community edition of EulerOS called openEuler.
The openEuler infrastructure team shared their experience to make the source code available:
We are very excited at this moment. It was hard to imagine that we will manage thousands of repositories. And to ensure that they can be compiled successfully, we would like to thank all those who participated in contributing
openEuler is a Linux distribution based on CentOS
Like EulerOS, openEuler OS is also based on CentOS but is further developed by Huawei Technologies for enterprise applications.
It is tailored for ARM64 architecture servers and Huawei claims to have made changes to boost its performance. You can read more about it at Huawei’s dev blog.
At the moment, as per the official openEuler announcement, there are more than 50 contributors with nearly 600 commits for openEuler.
The contributors made it possible to make the source code available to the community.
It is also worth noting that the repositories also include two new projects (or sub-projects) associated with it, iSulad and A-Tune.
A-Tune is an AI-based OS tuning software and iSulad is a lightweight container runtime daemon that is designed for IoT and Cloud infrastructure, as mentioned on Gitee.
Also, the official announcement post mentioned that these systems are built on the Huawei Cloud through script automation. So, that is definitely something interesting.
As of now, you won’t find the documentation for it in English – so you will have to wait for it or choose to help them with the documentation.
You can download the ISO directly from its official website to test it out:
What do you think of Huawei openEuler?
As per cnTechPost, Huawei had announced that EulerOS would become open source under the new name openEuler.
At this point, it’s not clear if openEuler is replacing EulerOS or both will exist together like CentOS (community edition) and Red Hat (commercial edition).
I haven’t tested it yet so I cannot say if openEuler is suitable for English speaking users or not.
Are you willing to give this a try? In case you’ve already tried it out, feel free to let me know your experience with it in the comments below.
“Don’t use ZFS. It’s that simple. It was always more of a buzzword than anything else, I feel, and the licensing issues just make it a non-starter for me.”
To avoid unnecessary confusion, this is more intended for Linux distributions, kernel developers and maintainers rather than individual Linux users.
What’s the licensing issue with ZFS and Linux kernel?
ZFS was open sourced around 2003. This would have meant that Linux distributions start supporting ZFS. But that didn’t really happen because of the complexity of open source licenses.
ZFS is open source under Common Development and Distribution License (CDDL) 1.0 whereas Linux kernel is licensed under the GNU General Public License (GPL) 2.0.
These two open source licenses are not fully compatible with each other. As noted by PCWorld, if ZFS with this license is included in the Linux kernel, this would mean that kernel+ZFS is a derivative work of the (original ZFS-less) Linux kernel.
Torvalds doesn’t trust Oracle
While the whole derivative thing is a matter of debate for legal and licensing experts, Torvalds is skeptical of Oracle. Oracle has a history of suing enterprises for using its code. Remember Oracle vs Android lawsuit over the use of Java?
Other people think it can be ok to merge ZFS code into the kernel and that the module interface makes it ok, and that’s their decision. But considering Oracle’s litigious nature, and the questions over licensing, there’s no way I can feel safe in ever doing so.
And I’m not at all interested in some “ZFS shim layer” thing either that some people seem to think would isolate the two projects. That adds no value to our side, and given Oracle’s interface copyright suits (see Java), I don’t think it’s any real licensing win either.
Torvalds doesn’t want Linux kernel to get into legal troubles with Oracle in future and hence he refuses to include ZFS in mainline kernel until Orcale provides a signed letter that a kernel with ZFS will be under GPL license.
And honestly, there is no way I can merge any of the ZFS efforts until I get an official letter from Oracle that is signed by their main legal counsel or preferably by Larry Ellison himself that says that yes, it’s ok to do so and treat the end result as GPL’d.
He is not stopping other (distributions) from using ZFS. But they are on their own.
If somebody adds a kernel module like ZFS, they are on their own. I can’t maintain it, and I can not be bound by other peoples kernel changes.
Canonical, Ubuntu’s parent company, has been too keen on ZFS. Their legal department thinks that including ZFS in kernel doesn’t make it a derivative work. So they took their chances and now they provide an option to use ZFS on root from Ubuntu 19.10.
Torvalds is also not impressed with ZFS in general
While some people drool over ZFS, Linus Torvalds is not that impressed with ZFS. He doesn’t think it’s using ZFS is a good idea specially when it is not actively maintained by Oracle (after they open sourced it)
The benchmarks I’ve seen do not make ZFS look all that great. And as far as I can tell, it has no real maintenance behind it either any more, so from a long-term stability standpoint, why would you ever want to use it in the first place?
I am no legal expert but if there is even a slightest doubt, I would prefer staying away from ZFS. What do you think of the whole ZFS debate?
When it comes to the choosing a Linux for beginners, Ubuntu always comes on the top. I am not going to tell you why you should use Ubuntu. I am going to show you how to install Ubuntu.
There are various ways to install Ubuntu (or other Linux):
The method I am going to show in this tutorial is the fourth one. You wipe out the entire system and let Ubuntu be your only operating system. In my experience, this is the easiest way to install Ubuntu.
How is this the simplest way of installing Ubuntu?
You don’t have to worry about creating partitions on your own. It automatically creates an ESP partition for UEFI.
It uses the rest of the disk space in creating a single root partition. The root partition (normally) has a 2 GB of swapfile. You don’t need to create a separate swap partition and if the need be, you can increase the size of the swapfile.
The root partition also has the boot directory for grub related files. It also contains the home directory that is used for storing user related files like documents, pictures, music, videos, downloads etc.
It’s a no-brainer. You let Ubuntu do the work for you instead of wondering about creating ESP, root, Swap and Home partitions.
Best suited for you if you just want to use a single Linux distribution and no other operating system. You don’t want to switch distributions very often or if you do, you don’t have a lot of important data on it.
The procedure shown here works for Ubuntu and all other distributions based on it such as Kubuntu, Xubuntu, Lubuntu, Ubuntu Budgie, Linux Mint, Linux Lite etc. The screenshot might look a little bit different but the steps are basically the same.
Install Ubuntu by replacing Windows and other operating systems
What do you need in order to install Ubuntu:
If you are going to install the default Ubuntu GNOME, the system requirements are:
Step 1: Download Ubuntu
Before you do anything, you have to download Ubuntu. It is available as a single ISO file of around 2 GB in size. An ISO file is basically an image of disc and you need to extract this ISO on a USB disk or DVD.
You can download Ubuntu ISO from its website.
If you have slow or inconsistent internet, you can find the torrent downloads at the alternate download page (scroll down a bit).
Step 2: Create a live USB
Once you have downloaded Ubuntu’s ISO file, the next step is to create a live USB of Ubuntu.
A live USB basically allows you to boot into Ubuntu from a USB drive. You can test Ubuntu without even installing it on your system. The same live USB also allows you to install Ubuntu.
There are various free tools available for making a live USB of Ubuntu such as Etcher, Rufus, Unetbootin, Universal USB installer.
You can follow this tutorial to learn to make live USB of Ubuntu with Universal USB Installer in Windows.
You may also watch this video to learn how to make a bootable USB of Ubuntu on Windows.
If you are already using some Linux distribution, you can use Etcher.
Step 2: Boot from the live USB
Plug in your live Ubuntu USB disk to the system.
Now, you need to make sure that your system boots from the USB disk instead of the hard disk. You can do that by moving the USB up in the boot order.
Restart your system. When you see a logo of your computer manufacturer (Dell, Acer, Lenovo etc), press F2 or F10 or F12 to access the BIOS settings.
Now, the BIOS screen could look different for your computer.
The entire idea is that you put USB (or removable media) on the top of the boot order. Save the changes and exit.
Step 3: Install Ubuntu
Now you should boot into the live Ubuntu environment. You’ll the grub screen that gives you the option to either try Ubuntu without installing or install it right away.
You may choose the first option i.e. ‘Try Ubuntu without installing’:
In around 10-20 seconds, you should be able to log in to the live Ubuntu environment. It may take some more time if you are using the slower USB 2.
Click on the Install Ubuntu icon on the desktop.
It will ask you to choose some basic configurations like language and keyboard layout. Choose the most appropriate ones for your system.
You should go for the normal installation here because it will install some software like music player, video players and a few games.
If you are connected to internet, you’ll get the option to download updates while installing Ubuntu. You may uncheck it because it may increase the installation time if you have a slow internet. You can update Ubuntu later as well without any issues.
The most important screen comes at this time. If there are other operating systems installed, you may get the option to install Ubuntu along with them in dual boot.
But since your goal is to only have Ubuntu Linux on your entire system, you should go for Erase disk and install Ubuntu option.
When you hit the “Install Now” button, you’ll see a warning that you are about to delete the data. You already know it, don’t you?
Things are straightforward from here. You’ll be asked to choose a timezone
And then you’ll be asked to create a username, computer’s name (also known as hostname) and set a password.
Once you do that, you just have to wait and watch for like 5-10 minutes. You’ll see a slideshow of Ubuntu features in this time.
Once the process finishes, you’ll be asked to restart the system.
When you restart the system, you might encounter a shutdown screen that asks you to remove the installation media and press enter.
Remove the USB disk and press enter. Your system will reboot and this time, you’ll boot into Ubuntu.
That’s it. See, how easy it is to install Ubuntu. You can use this method to replace Windows with Ubuntu.
Now that you have successfully installed it, I strongly suggest reading this guide on things to do after installing Ubuntu to make your Ubuntu experience smoother.
I also recommend going through this list of Ubuntu tutorials and learn to do various common things with Ubuntu.
I hope you find this tutorial helpful in installing Ubuntu. If you have questions or suggestions, please feel free to ask it in the comment section.
In this week’s Linux application highlight, we take a look at a free and open-source DAW that helps make music with most of the essential features offered.
LMMS: A Free & Open Source Software To Help Make Music
If you’re curious, there’s no specific full-form for “LMMS” acronym but you can consider it along the lines of “Let’s Make Music” or formerly known as “Linux MultiMedia Studio” as stated in one of their official forum post years back.
So, with the help of LMMS, you should be able to work on making music on Linux.
Of course, you should not expect a free DAW to replace a full-fledged professional DAW bundled with proprietary plugins – but for starters, it isn’t a bad one.
Features of LMMS
Just like any other DAW, you will find plugins, samples to use, instruments, and MIDI support. However, it is indeed a long list of features. So, instead of taking a whole day explaining it, let me highlight all the necessary features that LMMS provides.
Installing LMMS on Linux
You can also find LMMS listed in the software center of your distribution- however, it might not feature the latest version.
To get the latest LMMS version, you can download the .AppImage file from the official download page. If you want to take a look at the latest or previous releases on GitHub, you can find those in their releases section.
If you want to use the AppImage file, you can refer to our guide on using AppImage file.
My Thoughts On LMMS
Even though this is a feature-rich free and open-source DAW – personally, I found the UX a little dull.
Of course, technically, it offers quite a lot of features and this could be useful for anyone who does not want to break their wallet to produce music. And, after all, it is an open-source solution.
If you want a full-fledged professional DAW using the VST plugins, you might just hold on to Windows/Mac (if you’re used to it) because you still need to utilize Wine on Linux in order to make sure that the 64-bit VSTs work.
That being said, I’m not a professional music producer – so feel free to explore LMMS on Linux and make the most out of it without spending a penny.
If you’ve used LMMS (or any similar DAW), let me know your thoughts in the comments below.
When you have just started using Linux, you’ll find many things that are different from Windows. One of those ‘different things’ is the concept of the root user.
In this beginner series, I’ll explain a few important things about the root user in Ubuntu.
Please keep in mind that while I am writing this from Ubuntu user’s perspective, it should be valid for most Linux distributions.
You’ll learn the following in this article:
What is root user? Why is it locked in Ubuntu?
In Linux, there is always a super user called root. This is the super admin account that can do anything and everything with the system. It can access any file and run any command on your Linux system.
With great power comes great responsibility. Root user gives you complete power over the system and hence it should be used with great cautious. Root user can access system files and run commands to make changes to the system configuration. And hence, an incorrect command may destroy the system.
This is why Ubuntu and other Ubuntu-based distributions lock the root user by default to save you from accidental disasters.
You don’t need to have root privilege for your daily tasks like moving file in your home directory, downloading files from internet, creating documents etc.
Take this analogy for understanding it better. If you have to cut a fruit, you use a kitchen knife. If you have to cut down a tree, you have to use a saw. Now, you may use the saw to cut fruits but that’s not wise, is it?
Does this mean that you cannot be root in Ubuntu or use the system with root privileges? No, you can still have root access with the help of ‘sudo’ (explained in the next section).
Root user is too powerful to be used for regular tasks. This is why it is not recommended to use root all the time. You can still run specific commands with root.
How to run commands as root user in Ubuntu?
You’ll need root privileges for some system specific tasks. For example, if you want to update Ubuntu via command line, you cannot run the command as a regular user. It will give you permission denied error.
apt update Reading package lists... Done E: Could not open lock file /var/lib/apt/lists/lock - open (13: Permission denied) E: Unable to lock directory /var/lib/apt/lists/ W: Problem unlinking the file /var/cache/apt/pkgcache.bin - RemoveCaches (13: Permission denied) W: Problem unlinking the file /var/cache/apt/srcpkgcache.bin - RemoveCaches (13: Permission denied)
So, how do you run commands as root? The simple answer is to add sudo before the commands that require to be run as root.
sudo apt update
Ubuntu and many other Linux distributions use a special mechanism called sudo. Sudo is a program that controls access to running commands as root (or other users).
Sudo is actually quite a versatile tool. It can be configured to allow a user to run all commands as root or only some commands as root. You can also configure if password is required for some commands or not to run it with sudo. It’s an extensive topic and maybe I’ll discuss it in details in another article.
For the moment, you should know that when you install Ubuntu, you are forced to create a user account. This user account works as the admin on your system and as per the default sudo policy in Ubuntu, it can run any command on your system with root privileges.
The thing with sudo is that running sudo doesn’t require root password but the user’s own password.
And this is why when you run a command with sudo, it asks for the password of the user who is running the sudo command:
abhishek@nuc:~$ sudo apt update [sudo] password for abhishek:
As you can see in the example above, user abhishek was trying to run the ‘apt update’ command with sudo and the system asked the password for abhishek.
If you are absolutely new to Linux, you might be surprised that when you start typing your password in the terminal, nothing happens on the screen. This is perfectly normal because as the default security feature, nothing is displayed on the screen. Not even the asterisks (*). You type your password and press enter.
To run commands as root in Ubuntu, add sudo before the command.
When asked for password, enter your account’s password.
When you type the password on the screen, nothing is visible. Just keep on typing the password and press enter.
How to become root user in Ubuntu?
You can use sudo to run the commands as root. However in situations, where you have to run several commands as root and you keep forogetting to add sudo before the commands, you may switch to root user temporarily.
The sudo command allows you to simulate a root login shell with this command:
abhishek@nuc:~$ sudo -i [sudo] password for abhishek: root@nuc:~# whoami root root@nuc:~#
You’ll notice that when you switch to root, the shell command prompt changes from $ (dollar key sign) to # (pound key sign). This makes me crack a (lame) joke that pound is stronger than dollar.
Though I have showed you how to become the root user, I must warn you that you should avoid using the system as root. It’s discouraged for a reason after all.
Another way to temporarily switch to root user is by using the su command:
If you try to use the su command without sudo, you’ll encounter ‘su authentication failure’ error.
You can go back to being the normal user by using the exit command.
How to enable root user in Ubuntu?
By now you know that the root user is locked by default in Ubuntu based distributions.
Linux gives you the freedom to do whatever you want with your system. Unlocking the root user is one of those freedoms.
If, for some reasons, you decided to enable the root user, you can do so by setting up a password for it:
sudo passwd root
Again, this is not recommended and I won’t encourage you to do that on your desktop. If you forgot it, you won’t be able to change the root password in Ubuntu again.
You can lock the root user again by removing the password:
sudo passwd -dl root
In the end…
I hope you have a slightly better understanding of the root concept now. If you still have some confusion and questions about it, please let me know in the comments. I’ll try to answer your questions and might update the article as well.
If learning cloud related technologies is one of your new year resolution then I have a good news for you.
Linux Foundation, the official organization behind Linux, is running a limited time sale on its cloud training and certification bundles.
There are three bundles in this offer for people with varying experience and interest.
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This bundle includes the Certified Kubernetes Adminstrator exam. Obtaining the CKA certification assures employers you have the skills, knowledge, and competency to be a Kubernetes Administrator.
The total price of these courses and the exam is $1695 but you get them all in this bundle for $329 if you use the code CESTARTER at checkout.
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The regular price for the bundle is $1396 but you can get it for $329 using coupon code CDSTARTER at the checkout page.
The courses contain videos and supporting study material. You can access it for one year from the date of purchase. You can make two attempts at the certification exams within a year.
The sale ends January 21, 2020, 23:59 UTC. It’s FOSS is an affiliate partner of Linux Foundation. Please read our affiliate policy.
In late December 2019, Hyperbola announced that they would be making major changes to their project. They have decided to drop the Linux kernel in favor of forking the OpenBSD kernel. This announcement only came months after Project Trident announced that they were going in the opposite direction (from BSD to Linux).
Hyperbola also plans to replace all software that is not GPL v3 compliant with new versions that are.
To get more insight into the future of their new project, I interviewed Andre, co-founder of Hyperbola.
Why Hyperbola GNU/Linux Turned into Hyperbola BSD
It’s FOSS: In your announcement, you state that the Linux kernel is “rapidly proceeding down an unstable path”. Could you explain what you mean by that?
Andre: First of all, it’s including the adaption of DRM features such as HDCP (High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection). Currently there is an option to disable it at build time, however there isn’t a policy that guarantees us that it will be optional forever.
Historically, some features began as optional ones until they reached total functionality. Then they became forced and difficult to patch out. Even if this does not happen in the case of HDCP, we remain cautious about such implementations.
Another of the reasons is that the Linux kernel is no longer getting proper hardening. Grsecurity stopped offering public patches several years ago, and we depended on that for our system’s security. Although we could use their patches still for a very expensive subscription, the subscription would be terminated if we chose to make those patches public.
Such restrictions goes against the FSDG principles that require us to provide full source code, deblobbed, and unrestricted, to our users.
KSPP is a project that was intended to upstream Grsec into the kernel, but thus far it has not come close to reaching Grsec / PaX level of kernel hardening. There also has not been many recent developments, which leads us to believe it is now an inactive project for the most part.
Lastly, the interest in allowing Rust modules into the kernel are a problem for us, due to Rust trademark restrictions which prevent us from applying patches in our distribution without express permission. We patch to remove non-free software, unlicensed files, and enhancements to user-privacy anywhere it is applicable. We also expect our users to be able to re-use our code without any additional restrictions or permission required.
This is also in part why we use UXP, a fully free browser engine and application toolkit without Rust, for our mail and browser applications.
Due to these restrictions, and the concern that it may at some point become a forced build-time dependency for the kernel we needed another option.
It’s FOSS: You also said in the announcement that you would be forking the OpenBSD kernel. Why did you pick the OpenBSD kennel over the FreeBSD, the DragonflyBSD kernel or the MidnightBSD kernel?
Andre: OpenBSD was chosen as our base for hard-forking because it’s a system that has always had quality code and security in mind.
Some of their ideas which greatly interested us were new system calls, including pledge and unveil which adds additional hardening to userspace and the removal of the systrace system policy-enforcement tool.
They also are known for Xenocara and LibreSSL, both of which we had already been using after porting them to GNU/Linux-libre. We found them to be well written and generally more stable than Xorg/OpenSSL respectively.
None of the other BSD implementations we are aware of have that level of security. We also were aware LibertyBSD has been working on liberating the OpenBSD kernel, which allowed us to use their patches to begin the initial development.
It’s FOSS: Why fork the kernel in the first place? How will you keep the new kernel up-to-date with newer hardware support?
Andre: The kernel is one of the most important parts of any operating system, and we felt it is critical to start on a firm foundation moving forward.
For the first version we plan to keep in synchronization with OpenBSD where it is possible. In future versions we may adapt code from other BSDs and even the Linux kernel where needed to keep up with hardware support and features.
We are working in coordination with Libreware Group (our representative for business activities) and have plans to open our foundation soon.
This will help to sustain development, hire future developers and encourage new enthusiasts for newer hardware support and code. We know that deblobbing isn’t enough because it’s a mitigation, not a solution for us. So, for that reason, we need to improve our structure and go to the next stage of development for our projects.
It’s FOSS: You state that you plan to replace the parts of the OpenBSD kernel and userspace that are not GPL compatible or non-free with those that are. What percentage of the code falls into the non-GPL zone?
Andre: It’s around 20% in the OpenBSD kernel and userspace.
Mostly, the non-GPL compatible licensed parts are under the Original BSD license, sometimes called the “4-clause BSD license” that contains a serious flaw: the “obnoxious BSD advertising clause”. It isn’t fatal, but it does cause practical problems for us because it generates incompatibility with our code and future development under GPLv3 and LGPLv3.
The non-free files in OpenBSD include files without an appropriate license header, or without a license in the folder containing a particular component.
If those files don’t contain a license to give users the four essential freedoms or if it has not been explicitly added in the public domain, it isn’t free software. Some developers think that code without a license is automatically in the public domain. That isn’t true under today’s copyright law; rather, all copyrightable works are copyrighted by default.
The non-free firmware blobs in OpenBSD include various hardware firmwares. These firmware blobs occur in Linux kernel also and have been manually removed by the Linux-libre project for years following each new kernel release.
They are typically in the form of a hex encoded binary and are provided to kernel developers without source in order to provide support for proprietary-designed hardware. These blobs may contain vulnerabilities or backdoors in addition to violating your freedom, but no one would know since the source code is not available for them. They must be removed to respect user freedom.
It’s FOSS: I was talking with someone about HyperbolaBSD and they mentioned HardenedBSD. Have you considered HardenedBSD?
Andre: We had looked into HardenedBSD, but it was forked from FreeBSD. FreeBSD has a much larger codebase. While HardenedBSD is likely a good project, it would require much more effort for us to deblob and verify licenses of all files.
We decided to use OpenBSD as a base to fork from instead of FreeBSD due to their past commitment to code quality, security, and minimalism.
It’s FOSS: You mentioned UXP (or Unified XUL Platform). It appears that you are using Moonchild’s fork of the pre-Servo Mozilla codebase to create a suite of applications for the web. Is that about the size of it?
Andre: Yes. Our decision to use UXP was for several reasons. We were already rebranding Firefox as Iceweasel for several years to remove DRM, disable telemetry, and apply preset privacy options. However, it became harder and harder for us to maintain when Mozilla kept adding anti-features, removing user customization, and rapidly breaking our rebranding and privacy patches.
After FF52, all XUL extensions were removed in favor of WebExt and Rust became enforced at compile time. We maintain several XUL addons to enhance user-privacy/security which would no longer work in the new engine. We also were concerned that the feature limited WebExt addons were introducing additional privacy issues. E.g. each installed WebExt addon contains a UUID which can be used to uniquely and precisely identify users (see Bugzilla 1372288).
After some research, we discovered UXP and that it was regularly keeping up with security fixes without rushing to implement new features. They had already disabled telemetry in the toolkit and remain committed to deleting all of it from the codebase.
We knew this was well-aligned with our goals, but still needed to apply a few patches to tweak privacy settings and remove DRM. Hence, we started creating our own applications on top of the toolkit.
This has allowed us to go far beyond basic rebranding/deblobbing as we were doing before and create our own fully customized XUL applications. We currently maintain Iceweasel-UXP, Icedove-UXP and Iceape-UXP in addition to sharing toolkit improvements back to UXP.
It’s FOSS: In a forum post, I noticed mentions of HyperRC, HyperBLibC, and hyperman. Are these forks or rewrites of current BSD tools to be GPL compliant?
Andre: They are forks of existing projects.
Hyperman is a fork of our current package manager, pacman. As pacman does not currently work on BSD, and the minimal support it had in the past was removed in recent versions, a fork was required. Hyperman already has a working implementation using LibreSSL and BSD support.
HyperRC will be a patched version of OpenRC init. HyperBLibC will be a fork from BSD LibC.
It’s FOSS: Since the beginning of time, Linux has championed the GPL license and BSD has championed the BSD license. Now, you are working to create a BSD that is GPL licensed. How would you respond to those in the BSD community who don’t agree with this move?
Andre: We are aware that there are disagreements between the GPL and BSD world. There are even disagreements over calling our previous distribution “GNU/Linux” rather than simply “Linux”, since the latter definition ignores that the GNU userspace was created in 1984, several years prior to the Linux kernel being created by Linus Torvalds. It was the two different software combined that make a complete system.
Some of the primary differences from BSD, is that the GPL requires that our source code must be made public, including future versions, and that it can only be used in tandem with compatibly licensed files. BSD systems do not have to share their source code publicly, and may bundle themselves with various licenses and non-free software without restriction.
Since we are strong supporters of the Free Software Movement and wish that our future code remain in the public space always, we chose the GPL.
It’s FOSS: I know at this point you are just starting the process, but do you have any idea who you might have a usable version of HyperbolaBSD available?
Andre: We expect to have an alpha release ready by 2021 (Q3) for initial testing.
It’s FOSS: How long will you continue to support the current Linux version of Hyperbola? Will it be easy for current users to switch over to?
Andre: As per our announcement, we will continue to support Hyperbola GNU/Linux-libre until 2022 (Q4). We expect there to be some difficulty in migration due to ABI changes, but will prepare an announcement and information on our wiki once it is ready.
It’s FOSS: If someone is interested in helping you work on HyperbolaBSD, how can they go about doing that? What kind of expertise would you be looking for?
Andre: Anyone who is interested and able to learn is welcome. We need C programmers and users who are interested in improving security and privacy in software. Developers need to follow the FSDG principles of free software development, as well as the YAGNI principle which means we will implement new features only as we need them.
Users can fork our git repository and submit patches to us for inclusion.
It’s FOSS: Do you have any plans to support ZFS? What filesystems will you support?
Andre: ZFS support is not currently planned, because it uses the Common Development and Distribution License, version 1.0 (CDDL). This license is incompatible with all versions of the GNU General Public License (GPL).
It would be possible to write new code under GPLv3 and release it under a new name (eg. HyperZFS), however there is no official decision to include ZFS compatibility code in HyperbolaBSD at this time.
We have plans on porting BTRFS, JFS2, NetBSD’s CHFS, DragonFlyBSD’s HAMMER/HAMMER2 and the Linux kernel’s JFFS2, all of which have licenses compatible with GPLv3. Long term, we may also support Ext4, F2FS, ReiserFS and Reiser4, but they will need to be rewritten due to being licensed exclusively under GPLv2, which does not allow use with GPLv3. All of these file systems will require development and stability testing, so they will be in later HyperbolaBSD releases and not for our initial stable version(s).
I would like to thank Andre for taking the time to answer my questions and for revealing more about the future of HyperbolaBSD.
What are your thoughts on Hyperbola switching to a BSD kernel? What do you think about a BSD being released under the GPL? Please let us know in the comments below.
If you found this article interesting, please take a minute to share it on social media, Hacker News or Reddit.
One of the major hurdles institutes face is in managing and updating multiple Linux systems from a central point.
Well, Zorin OS has come up with a new cloud-based tool that will help you manage multiple computers running Zorin OS from one single interface. You can update the systems, install apps and configuration all systems remotely using this tool called Zorin Grid.
Zorin Grid: Manage a fleet of Zorin OS computers remotely
Zorin Grid is a tool that makes it simple to set up, manage, and secure a fleet of Zorin OS-powered computers in businesses, schools, and organizations.
When it comes to managing Linux distributions (here, Zorin OS) on a multitude of systems for an organization – it is quite time-consuming.
If it will be easier to manage Linux systems, more organizations will be interested to switch using Linux just like the Italian city Vicenza replaced Windows by Zorin OS.
For the very same reason, the Zorin team decided to create ‘Zorin Grid‘ with the help of which every school, enterprises, organizations, and businesses will be able to easily manage their Zorin OS-powered machines.
Zorin Grid features
You might have guessed what it is capable of – but let me highlight the key features of Zorin Grid as per its official webpage:
In addition to these, you will be able to do a couple more things using the Zorin Grid service. But, it looks like most of the essential tasks will be covered by Zorin Grid.
How does Zorin Grid work?
Zorin Grid is a cloud based software as a service. Zorin will be charging a monthly subscription fee for each computer managed by Zorin Grid in an organization.
You’ll have to install the Zorin Grid client on all the systems that you want to manage. Since it is cloud-based, you can manage all the Zorin systems on your grid from a web browser by logging into you Zorin Grid account.
You choose how to configure the computers once and the Zorin Grid applies the same configuration to all or specific computers in your organization.
The price has not been finalized. Artyom Zorin, CEO of Zorin Group, told It’s FOSS that schools and non-profit organizations will get Zorin Grid for a reduced pricing.
While client-side software for Zorin Grid will be open source, the Zorin Grid server won’t be open source initially. Releasing it under an open source license is tentatively on their roadmap.
Artyom also told that they plan to support other Linux distributions starting with Ubuntu and Ubuntu-based distros after launching Zorin Grid for Zorin OS systems this summer.
In case you decide to migrate from Windows to Zorin OS for your organization or business, you will find a useful migration guide by the Zorin OS team to help you switch to Linux.
Let me summarize all the important points about Zorin Grid:
Zorin Grid looks to be an impressive premium tool for organizations or businesses that want to use Linux while also being able to maintain their systems easily.
Personally, I wouldn’t mind paying for the service if it makes deploying and using Linux easier, in general.
Of course, it does not support every Linux distro as of yet – but it is indeed a promising service to keep an eye out for.
What do you think about it? Do you know of a better alternative to Zorin Grid? Do share your views in the comments.
When you install Ubuntu, it asks you to set timezone. If you chose a wrong timezone or if you have moved to some other part of the world, you can easily change it later.
How to change Timezone in Ubuntu and other Linux distributions
There are two ways to change the timezone in Ubuntu. You can use the graphical settings or use the timedatectl command in the terminal. You may also change the /etc/timezone file directly but I won’t advise that.
I’ll show you both graphical and terminal way in this beginner’s tutorial:
Method 1: Change Ubuntu timezone via terminal
Ubuntu or any other distributions using systemd can use the timedatectl command to set timezone in Linux terminal.
You can check the current date and timezone setting using timedatectl command without any option:
abhishek@nuc:~$ timedatectl Local time: Sat 2020-01-18 17:39:52 IST Universal time: Sat 2020-01-18 12:09:52 UTC RTC time: Sat 2020-01-18 12:09:52 Time zone: Asia/Kolkata (IST, +0530) System clock synchronized: yes systemd-timesyncd.service active: yes RTC in local TZ: no
As you can see in the output above, my system uses Asia/Kolkata. It also tells me that it is 5:30 hours ahead of GMT.
To set a timezone in Linux, you need to know the exact timezone. You must use the correct format of the timezone (which is Continent/City).
To get the timezone list, use the list-timezones option of timedatectl command:
It will show you a huge list of the available time zones.
You can use the up and down arrow or PgUp and PgDown key to move between the pages.
You may also grep the output and search for your timezone. For example, if you are looking for time zones in Europe, you may use:
timedatectl list-timezones | grep -i europe
Let’s say you want to set the timezone to Paris. The timezone value to be used here is Europe/Paris:
timedatectl set-timezone Europe/Paris
It won’t show any success message but the timezone is changed instantly. You don’t need to restart or log out.
Keep in mind that though you don’t need to become root user and use sudo with the command but your account still need to have admin rights in order to change the timezone.
You can verify the changed time and timezone by using the date command:
abhishek@nuc:~$ date Sat Jan 18 13:56:26 CET 2020
Method 2: Change Ubuntu timezone via GUI
Press the super key (Windows key) and search for Settings:
Scroll down a little and look for Details in the left sidebar:
In Details, you’ll fine Date & Time in the left sidebar. Here, you should turn off Automatic Time Zone option (if it is enabled) and then click on the Time Zone:
When you click the Time Zone, it will open an interactive map and you can click on the geographical location of your choice and close the window.
You don’t have to do anything other than closing this map after selecting the new timezone. No need to logout or shutdown Ubuntu.
I hope this quick tutorial helped you to change timezone in Ubuntu and other Linux distributions. If you have questions or suggestions, please let me know.