Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! No Flash necessary and runs on all devices. ×
Open Source

Devuan's Systemd-Free Linux Hits Beta 2 (theregister.co.uk) 241

Long-time Slashdot reader Billly Gates writes, "For all the systemd haters who want a modern distro feel free to rejoice. The Debian fork called Devuan is almost done, completing a daunting task of stripping systemd dependencies from Debian." From The Register: Devuan came about after some users felt [Debian] had become too desktop-friendly. The change the greybeards objected to most was the decision to replace sysvinit init with systemd, a move felt to betray core Unix principles of user choice and keeping bloat to a bare minimum. Supporters of init freedom also dispute assertions that systemd is in all ways superior to sysvinit init, arguing that Debian ignored viable alternatives like sinit, openrc, runit, s6 and shepherd. All are therefore included in Devuan.
Devuan.org now features an "init freedom" logo with the tagline, "watching your first step. Their home page now links to the download site for Devuan Jessie 1.0 Beta2, promising an OS that "avoids entanglement".
Open Source

NetBSD Project Releases NetBSD 7.0.2 (softpedia.com) 22

An anonymous reader writes: "After spending six months in development, the NetBSD 7.0.2 release is now available for those running NetBSD 7.0 or NetBSD 7.0.1," reports Softpedia, "but also for those who are still using an older version of the BSD-based operating system and haven't managed to upgrade their systems, bringing them a collection of security patches and recent software updates." Release engineer Soren Jacobsen wrote that "It represents a selected subset of fixes deemed important for security or stability reasons. If you are running an earlier release of NetBSD, we strongly suggest updating to 7.0.2."

The security fixes eliminate a race condition in mail.local(8), and also update OpenSSL, ntp and BIND. In addition, "there are various MIPS pmap improvements, a patch for an NFS (Network File System) crash, as well as a crash that occurred when attempting to mount an FSS snapshot as read and write. NetBSD 7.0.2 also fixes an issue with the UFS1 file system when it was created outside the operating system."
Download NetBSD 7.0.2 at one of these mirror sites.
GNU is Not Unix

KDE Turns 20, Happy Birthday! (softpedia.com) 127

prisoninmate writes from Softpedia: Can you believe it's been 20 years since the KDE (Kool Desktop Environment) was announced on the 14th of October, 1996, by project founder Matthias Ettrich? Well, it has, and today we'd like to say a happy 20th birthday to KDE! "On October 14, KDE celebrates its 20th birthday. The project that started as a desktop environment for Unix systems, today is a community that incubates ideas and projects which go far beyond desktop technologies. Your support is very important for our community to remain active and strong," reads the timeline page prepared by the KDE project for this event. Feel free to share your KDE experiences in a comment below! You can read the announcement "that started the revolution of the modern Linux desktop," as well as view the timeline "prepared by the KDE team for this unique occasion."
Education

Melinda Gates Was Encouraged To Use an Apple and BASIC. Her Daughters Were Not. (huffingtonpost.com) 370

Long-time Slashdot reader theodp writes: In August, Melinda Gates penned Computers Are For Girls, Too, in which she lamented that her daughters "are half as likely to major in computer science as I was 30 years ago." So, what's changed in the last 30 years? Well, at last week's DreamForce Conference, Gates credited access to Apple computers at school and home for sparking her own interest in computer science [YouTube], leading to a career at Microsoft.

So, as she seeks ways to encourage more women to get into tech, Melinda may want to consider the effects of denying her own children access to Apple products [2010 interview] and of Microsoft [in 1984] stopping computers from shipping with a beginner's programming language (a 14-year-old Melinda reportedly cut her coding teeth on BASIC).

Melinda can raise her kids however she wants -- maybe her kids will just start programming with the Ubuntu that's shipping with Windows 10. But is it a problem that there's no beginner's programming language currently shipping with Macs? Over the years Macs have shipped with Perl, Python, Ruby, tcl, and a Unix shell. Do you think Apple could encourage young programmers more by also shipping their Macs with BASIC?
Open Source

After 22 Years, 386BSD Gets An Update (386bsd.org) 83

386BSD was last released back in 1994 with a series of articles in Dr. Dobb's Journal -- but then developers for this BSD-based operating system started migrating to both FreeBSD and NetBSD. An anonymous Slashdot reader writes: The last known public release was version 0.1. Until Wednesday, when Lynne Jolitz, one of the co-authors of 386BSD, released the source code to version 1.0 as well as 2.0 on Github.

386BSD takes us back to the days when you could count every file in your Unix distribution and more importantly, read and understand all of your OS source code. 386BSD is also the missing link between BSD and Linux. One can find fragments of Linus Torvalds's math emulation code in the source code of 386BSD. To quote Linus: "If 386BSD had been available when I started on Linux, Linux would probably never had happened."

Though it was designed for Intel 80386 microprocessors, there's already instructions for launching it on the hosted hardware virtualization service Qemu.
Software

Emacs and Vim Combined In New 'Spacemacs' Distro (spacemacs.org) 130

Long-time Slashdot reader Qbertino brings news of a new text editor offering what he calls "a modern, hipster-compliant makeover" of both Emacs and Vim: As a classic, perhaps the classic GNU project, Emacs has been marred by abysmal branding and marketing...that has improved slightly but might still leave some people unsatisfied [and] has also been engulfed in an eternal war with Vim, the editor of the beast. Mope no further, salvation is nigh! Spacemacs is a new Emacs distribution that aims to combine all the goodies of Emacs and Vim and then some...
Version .2 of Spacemacs was released this week "with more than 1700 commits since the last major version released in January 2016." With nearly 500 contributors on GItHub, Spacemacs plans to be "crowd-configured" with "curated packages tuned by power users," and is offering features like a real-time display of available key bindings, a simple query system for layers and packages, and of course, a clearly defined set of conventions.
Emulation (Games)

ReactOS 0.4.2 Released: Supports Linux Filesystems, .NET Applications, and Doom 3 (reactos.org) 145

Continuing its rapid release cycle, ReactOS has unveiled version 0.4.2 of its free "open-source binary-compatible Windows re-implementation." Slashdot reader jeditobe reports that this new version can now read and write various Linux/Unix file systems like Btrfs and ext (and can read ReiserFS and UFS), and also runs applications like Thunderbird and 7-Zip. ReactOS 0.4.2 also features Cygwin support, .NET 2.0 and 4.0 application support, among other updated packages and revised external dependencies such as Wine and UniATA. The team also worked to improve overall user experience...

ReactOS is free. You can boot your desktop or laptop from it. It looks like Windows (a 10-year-old version, anyway), so you already know how to use it. And it'll run some Windows and DOS applications, maybe including DOS games that regular 64-bit Windows can no longer touch.
These videos even show ReactOS running Elder Scrolls: Skyrim and Doom 3.
Databases

Researchers Find Over 6,000 Compromised Redis Installations (riskbasedsecurity.com) 30

An anonymous Slashdot reader writes: Security researchers have discovered over 6,000 compromised installations of Redis, the open source in-memory data structure server, among the tens of thousands of Redis servers indexed by Shodan. "By default, Redis has no authentication or security mechanism enabled, and any security mechanisms must be implemented by the end user."

The researchers also found 106 different Redis versions compromised, suggesting "there are a lot of Redis installations that are not upgrading to the most recent versions to fix any known security issues." 5,892 infections were linked to the same email address, with two more email addresses that were both linked to more than 200. "The key take away from this research for us has been that insecure default installations continue to be a significant issue, even in 2016."

Redis "is designed to be accessed by trusted clients inside trusted environments," according to its documentation. "This means that usually it is not a good idea to expose the Redis instance directly to the internet or, in general, to an environment where untrusted clients can directly access the Redis TCP port or UNIX socket... Redis is not optimized for maximum security but for maximum performance and simplicity."
GNU is Not Unix

Slackware 14.2 Released, Still Systemd-Free (slackware.com) 179

sombragris writes: Slackware, the oldest GNU/Linux distribution still in active maintenance, was released just minutes ago. Slackware is noted for being the most Unix-like of all Linux distributions. While sporting kernel 4.4.14 and GCC 5.3, other goodies include Perl 5.22.2, Python 2.7.11, Ruby 2.2.5, Subversion 1.9.4, git-2.9.0, mercurial-3.8.2, KDE 4.14.21 (KDE 4.14.3 with kdelibs-4.14.21) Xfce 4.12.1... and no systemd!

According to the ChangeLog: "The long development cycle (the Linux community has lately been living in "interesting times," as they say) is finally behind us, and we're proud to announce the release of Slackware 14.2. The new release brings many updates and modern tools, has switched from udev to eudev (no systemd), and adds well over a hundred new packages to the system. Thanks to the team, the upstream developers, the dedicated Slackware community, and everyone else who pitched in to help make this release a reality." Grab the ISOs at a mirror near you. Enjoy!
The torrents page can be found here.
Perl

Interviews: Ask Perl Creator Larry Wall a Question 281

Larry Wall created the Perl programming language (as well as the Unix utility patch, and the Usenet client rn ). This Christmas saw the release of Perl 6 -- a "sister" language to the original Perl -- that's also free and open source, after 15 years of development. Now Larry has agreed to give some of his time to answer your questions (joking that "I doubt my remarks will be quite as controversial as, say, Donald Trump's, but I suspect I could say an interesting thing or two...")

Larry also gave Slashdot's very first interview back in 2002 -- so it's high time we had him back for more heartfelt and entertaining insights. Ask as many questions as you'd like, but please, one per comment. (And feel free to also leave your suggestions for who Slashdot should interview next.) We'll pick the very best questions -- and forward them on to Larry Wall himself.
Python

Python/Unix Hybrid Demoed at PyCon (xon.sh) 181

A new shell "combines the Python language with features of Bash Unix and the fish and zsh shells," according to InfoWorld. An anonymous reader writes: Pronounced "conch," but spelled Xonsh, it runs on Linux, Windows, and Mac OS X systems, bringing Python libraries to the command line -- for example, the ability to use regular expressions when globbing files. "The first thing you'll notice about Xonsh is that it's really meant to be used as a general-purpose shell," the lead developer explained in a presentation at PyCon. "But on the other hand, it really is Python, so you can do things like add two numbers together."

They're describing it as "a Python-ish, BASHwards-looking shell language and command prompt...a superset of Python 3.4+ with additional support for the best parts of shells that you are used to, such as Bash, zsh, fish, and IPython...the superglue that bonds Python to a command-line interface and other shells."

Security

Symantec Antivirus Products Vulnerable To Horrid Overflow Bug (zdnet.com) 79

An anonymous reader writes: Tavis Ormandy of Google's Project Zero team has discovered a vulnerability in Symantec Antivirus Engine. The said engine is vulnerable to a buffer overflow when parsing malformed portable-executable (PE) header files, reports ZDNet. "Such malformed PE files can be received through incoming email, downloading of a document or application, or by visiting a malicious web site," Symantec said. "No user interaction is required to trigger the parsing of the malformed file." For Linux, OS X, and other Unix-like systems, the exploit results in a remote heap overflow as root in the Symantec or Norton process, Ormandy said in the Project Zero issue tracker. "On Windows, this results in kernel memory corruption, as the scan engine is loaded into the kernel (wtf!!!), making this a remote ring0 memory corruption vulnerability -- this is about as bad as it can possibly get," he said.The vulnerability, if exploited, results in kernel memory corruption without user action and instant blue-screening on Windows.
Google

Oracle V. Google Being Decided By Clueless Judge and Jury (vice.com) 436

theodp writes: The problem with Oracle v. Google," explains Motherboard's Sarah Jeong, "is that everyone actually affected by the case knows what an API is, but the whole affair is being decided by people who don't, from the normals in the jury box to the normals at the Supreme Court." Which has Google's witnesses "really, really worried that the jury does not understand nerd shit." Jeong writes, "Eric Schmidt sought to describe APIs and languages using power plugs as an analogy. Jonathan Schwartz tried his hand at explaining with 'breakfast menus,' only to have Judge William Alsup respond witheringly, 'I don't know what the witness just said. The thing about the breakfast menu makes no sense.'

"Schwartz's second attempt at the breakfast menu analogy went much better, as he explained that although two different restaurants could have hamburgers on the menu, the actual hamburgers themselves were different -- the terms on the menu were an API, and the hamburgers were implementations." And Schwarz's explanation that the acronym GNU stands for 'GNU is Not Unix' drew the following exchange: "The G part stands for GNU?" Alsup asked in disbelief. "Yes," said Schwartz on the stand. "That doesn't make any sense," said the 71-year-old Clinton appointee.

Debian

Devuan Releases Beta of Systemd-Free 'Debian Fork' Base System (devuan.org) 293

jaromil writes: Devuan beta is released today, following up the Debian fork declaration and progress made during the past two years. Devuan now provides an alternative upgrade path to Debian, and switching is easy from both Wheezy and Jessie. From The Register: "Devuan came into being after a rebellion by a self-described 'Veteran Unix Admin collective' argued that Debian had betrayed its roots and was becoming too desktop-oriented. The item to which they objected most vigorously was the inclusion of the systemd bootloader. The rebels therefore decided to fork Debian and 'preserve Init freedom.' The group renamed itself and its distribution 'Devuan' and got work, promising a fork that looked, felt, and quacked like Debian in all regards other than imposing systemd as the default Init option."
Operating Systems

UbuntuBSD Is Looking To Become An Official Ubuntu Flavor (softpedia.com) 117

prisoninmate quotes a report from Softpedia: UbuntuBSD maintainer and lead developer Jon Boden is now looking for a way for his operating system to contribute to the Ubuntu community and, eventually, become an official Ubuntu flavor. Just two weeks ago, [Softpedia] introduced the ubuntuBSD project, whose main design goal is to bring users an operating system powered by the FreeBSD kernel while offering them the familiarity of the Ubuntu Linux OS. Right now, ubuntuBSD is in heavy development, with a fourth Beta build out the door, and it looks like the developer already seeks official status and wants to contribute all of his work to the main Ubuntu channels. [Canonical has yet to respond.]
IBM

13-Year-Old Linux Dispute Returns As SCO Files New Appeal (theinquirer.net) 233

An anonymous reader quotes a report from THE INQUIRER: Now-defunct Unix vendor, which claimed that Linux infringed its intellectual property and sought as much as $5 billion in compensation from IBM, has filed notice of yet another appeal in the 13-year-old dispute. The appeal comes after a ruling at the end of February when SCO's arguments claiming intellectual property ownership over parts of Unix were rejected by a U.S. district court. That judgment noted that SCO had minimal resources to defend counter-claims filed by IBM due to SCO's bankruptcy. "It is ordered and adjudged that pursuant to the orders of the court entered on July 10, 2013, February 5, 2016, and February 8, 2016, judgement is entered in favor of the defendant and plaintiff's causes of action are dismissed with prejudice," stated the document. Now, though, SCO has filed yet again to appeal that judgement, although the precise grounds it is claiming haven't yet been disclosed.
Linux

Confirmed: Microsoft and Canonical Partner To Bring Ubuntu To Windows 10 (zdnet.com) 492

Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols reports for ZDNet: According to sources at Canonical, Ubuntu Linux's parent company, and Microsoft, you'll soon be able to run Ubuntu on Windows 10. This will be more than just running the Bash shell on Windows 10. After all, thanks to programs such as Cygwin or MSYS utilities, hardcore Unix users have long been able to run the popular Bash command line interface (CLI) on Windows. With this new addition, Ubuntu users will be able to run Ubuntu simultaneously with Windows. This will not be in a virtual machine, but as an integrated part of Windows 10. [...] Microsoft and Canonical will not, however, sources say, be integrating Linux per se into Windows. Instead, Ubuntu will primarily run on a foundation of native Windows libraries. Update: 03/30 16:16 GMT by M : At its developer conference Build 2016, Microsoft on Wednesday confirmed that it is bringing native support for Bash on Windows 10. Scott Hanselman writes: This isn't Bash or Ubuntu running in a VM. This is a real native Bash Linux binary running on Windows itself. It's fast and lightweight and it's the real binaries. This is a genuine Ubuntu image on top of Windows with all the Linux tools I use like awk, sed, grep, vi, etc. It's fast and it's lightweight. The binaries are downloaded by you - using apt-get - just as on Linux, because it is Linux. You can apt-get and download other tools like Ruby, Redis, emacs, and on and on. This is brilliant for developers that use a diverse set of tools like me.
Open Source

Rust-Based Redox OS Devs Slam Linux, Unix, GPL 354

Freshly Exhumed writes: Redox OS, a project on GitHub aimed at creating an alternative OS able to run almost all Linux executables with only minimal modifications, is to feature a pure Rust ecosystem, which they hope will improve correctness and security over other OSes. In their own words, 'Redox isn't afraid of dropping the bad parts of POSIX, while preserving modest Linux API compatibility.' They also level harsh criticisms at other OSes, saying "...we will not replicate the mistakes made by others. This is probably the most important tenet of Redox. In the past, bad design choices were made by Linux, Unix, BSD, HURD, and so on. We all make mistakes, that's no secret, but there is no reason to repeat others' mistakes." Not stopping there, Redox documentation contains blunt critiques of Plan 9, the GPL, and other mainstays.

Slashdot Top Deals