Open Source Community to Gather in LA for SCALE 19x

Open Source Community to Gather in LA for SCALE 19x

The Southern California Linux Expo – SCALE 19x – returns to its regularly scheduled annual program this year from July 28-31 at the Hilton Los Angeles Airport hotel.

As this continent’s largest community-run Linux/FOSS expo, SCALE 19x continues a nearly two-decade tradition of bringing the latest Free/Open Source Software developments, DevOps, Security and related trends to the general public during the course of the four-day event. Whether you are interested in low level system tuning, how to scale and secure your applications, or how to use OSS at home - SCALE is for you.

Some of this year's highlights include keynotes by Internet pioneer Vint Cerf, who now serves as Chief Internet Evangelist for Google, and Demetris Cheatham, Senior Director, Diversity and Inclusion.

Along with over 100 speakers in sessions spanning the four-day event, SCALE 19x also brings about 100 exhibitors to the expo floor providing their latest software and other developments. In addition, co-located events return to SCALE 19x, which include sessions by IEEE SA Open, AWS, FreeBSD, PostgreSQL, and DevOps Day LA among others. More information on the co-located events can be found at https://www.socallinuxexpo.org/scale/19x/events

Sponsors – both long-time friends of the Expo and newcomers with whom we expect a long relationship – have lined up to support SCALE 19x. Amazon Web Services – AWS for short – leads off the Platinum List, along with Portworx and Mattermost.

Returning to the Hilton Los Angeles Airport hotel provides that there’s one place to stay and attend during the four-day Expo. The Hilton LAX offers a special deal for SCALE 19x attendees, and to take advantage of the savings, visit https://book.passkey.com/event/50305242/owner/50954/home

And, of course, SCALE wouldn’t be SCALE without the attendees – registration for SCALE 19x ranges from an expo-only pass to an all-access SCALE Pass for the exhibit floor and speakers. To register, visit https://register.socallinuxexpo.org/reg6/

For more information, visit https://www.socallinuxexpo.org/scale/19x

How You Can Change the Cursor Theme on Your Ubuntu Desktop

How You Can Change the Cursor Theme on Your Ubuntu Desktop

Are you finding an alternative for your default Yaru cursor themes on Ubuntu? This article is where you’ll get to know about the procedure of changing and installing cursor themes on Ubuntu. So, read on and find out.

Change the Cursor Themes Using GNOME Tweak

To change the mouse pointer theme on Ubuntu, open the Software app. Then, look out for the GNOME Tweaks tool. GNOME Tweaks is one of the most-used configuration tools to manage the GNOME desktop. So, install the same, without any delay. 

After installing GNOME Tweaks, navigate to the top-left ‘Activities’ overview. Go to GNOME Tweaks and open it. Once you open GNOME Tweaks, go to the Appearance option from the left pane. Choose a different cursor theme from the drop-down menu.

Ubuntu Change The Cursor Theme 3

 

Note: Since Ubuntu is the default Linux distribution for GNOME Desktops, you can apply this method for other distributions as well, including Debian, CentOS, Fedora, SUSE Linux, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, and other GNOME-based Linux distros.

5 Beautiful Cursor Themes for Ubuntu

There might not be plenty of cursor themes available. But, you can always install any of them from the internet. Below are some of the most excellent cursor themes to choose from.

Oreo Cursors

Oreo offers colored cursors with cute animations. They have 64 px and 32 px with HiDPI (High Dots Per Inch) display support for Linux desktops. You can get more than 10 varieties in the colors of the cursors. The icon theme comprises various states of a cursor within the cursor icon itself. If you find the Oreo Cursors attractive, you can get them here.

Ubuntu Change The Cursor Theme 2

Bibata Cursors

Another favorite cursor theme is Bibata. Bibata Cursors is a modern-style cursor theme available for Ubuntu. And it comes in three different options: Classic, Ice, and Amber. Bibata supports HiDPI Display also. Each of the themes of Bibata has round and sharp edge icons. If you want Bibata Cursors for your Linux desktop, find them here.

Everything You Need to Know about Linux Input-Output Redirection

Everything You Need to Know about Linux Input-Output Redirection

Are you looking for information related to the Linux input-output redirection? Then, read on. So, what’s redirection? Redirection is a Linux feature. With the help of it, you are able to change standard I/O devices. In Linux, when you enter a command as an input, you receive an output. It’s the basic workflow of Linux.

The standard input or stdin device to give commands is the keyboard and the standard output or stdout device is your terminal screen. With redirection, you can change the standard input/output. From this article, let’s find out how Linux input-output redirection works.

Standard Streams in Input-Output Redirection

The bash shell of Linux has three standard streams of input-output redirection, 1) Standard Input or Stdin, 2) Standard Output or Stdout, and 3) Standard Error or Stderr.

The standard input stream is denoted as stdin (0). The bash shell receives input from stdin. The keyboard is used to give input. The standard output stream is denoted as stdout (1). The bash shell sends the output to stdout. The final output goes to the display screen. Here 0, 1, and 2 are called file descriptors (FD). In the following section, we’ll look into file descriptors in detail.

File Descriptors

In Linux, everything is a file. Directories, regular files, and even the devices are considered to be files. Each file has an associated number. This number is called File Descriptor or FD.

Interestingly, your terminal screen also has a definite File Descriptor. Whenever a particular program is executed, its output gets sent to your screen’s File Descriptor. Then, you can see the program output on the display screen. If the program output gets sent to your printer’s FD, the output would be printed.

0, 1, and 2 are used as file descriptors for stdin, stdout, and stderr files respectively.

Input Redirection

The ‘<’ sign is used for the input or stdin redirection. For example, Linux’s mail program sends emails from your Linux terminal.

You can type the email contents with the standard input device, keyboard. However, if you’re willing to attach a file to the email, use Linux’s input redirection feature. Below is a format to use the stdin redirection operator.

Mail -s "Subject" to-address < Filename

This would attach a file with your email, and then the email would be sent to a recipient.

Output Redirection

The ‘>’ sign signifies the output redirection. Below is an example to help you understand its functions.

How to Use the VI Editor in Linux

How to Use the VI Editor in Linux

If you’re searching for info related to the VI editor, this article is for you. So, what’s VI editor? VI is a text editor that’s screen-oriented and the most popular in the Linux world. The reasons for its popularity are 1) availability for almost all Linux distros, 2) VI works the same throughout multiple platforms, and 3) its user-friendly features. Currently, VI Improved or VIM is the most used advanced counterpart of VI.

To work on the VI text editor, you have to know how to use the VI editor in Linux. Let’s find it out from this article.

Modes of VI Text Editor

VI text editor works in two modes, 1) Command mode and 2) Insert mode. In the command mode, users’ commands are taken to take action on a file. The VI editor, usually, starts in the command mode. Here, the words typed act as commands. So, you should be in the command mode while passing a command.

On the other hand, in the Insert mode, file editing is done. Here, the text is inserted into the file. So, you need to be in the insert mode to enter text. Just type ‘i’ to be in the insert mode. Use the Esc key to switch from insert mode to command mode in the editor. If you don’t know your current mode, press the Esc key twice. This takes you to the command mode.

Launch VI Text Editor 

First, you need to launch the VI editor to begin working on it. To launch the editor, open your Linux terminal and then type:

vi  or 

And if you mention an existing file, VI would open it to edit. Alternatively, you’re free to create a completely new file.

VI Editing Commands

You need to be in the command mode to run editing commands in the VI editor. VI is case-sensitive. Hence, make sure you use the commands in the correct letter case. Also, make sure you type the right command to avoid undesired changes. Below are some of the essential commands to use in VI.

i – Inserts at cursor (gets into the insert mode)

a – Writes after the cursor (gets into the insert mode)

A – Writes at the ending of a line (gets into the insert mode)

o – Opens a new line (gets into the insert mode)

ESC – Terminates the insert mode

u – Undo the last change

U – Undo all changes of the entire line

D – Deletes the content of a line after the cursor

R – Overwrites characters from the cursor onwards

r – Replaces a character

s – Substitutes one character under the cursor and continue to insert

S – Substitutes a full line and start inserting at the beginning of a line

Primer to Container Security

Primer to Container Security

Containers are considered to be a standard way of deploying these microservices to the cloud. Containers are better than virtual machines in almost all ways except security, which may be the main barrier to their widespread adoption.

This article will provide a better understanding of container security and available techniques to secure them.

A Linux container can be defined as a process or a set of processes running in the userspace that is/are isolated from the rest of the system by different kernel tools.

Containers are great alternatives to virtual machines (VMs). Even though containers and virtual machines provide the same isolation benefits, they differ in the way that containers provide operating system virtualization instead of hardware. This makes them lightweight, faster to start, and consumes less memory.

As multiple containers share the same kernel, the solution is less secure than the VMs, where they have their copies of OS, libraries, dedicated resources, and applications. That makes VM excellently secure but because of their high storage size and reduced performance, it creates a limitation on the total number of VMs which can be run simultaneously on a server. Further VMs take a lot of time to boot.

The introduction of microservice architecture has changed the way of developing software. Microservices allow the development of software in small self-contained independent services. This makes the application easier to scale and provides agility.

If a part of the software needs to be rewritten it can easily be done by changing only that part of the code without interrupting any other service, which wasn't possible with the monolithic kernel.

Protection requirement use cases and solutions
Protection requirement use cases and solutions

1) Linux Kernel Features

a. Namespaces

Namespaces ensure the isolation of resources for processes running in a container to that of others. They partition the kernel resources for different processes. One set of processes in a separate namespace will see one set of resources while another set of processes will see another. Processes in different see different process IDs, hostnames, user IDs, file names, names for network access, and some interprocess communication. Hence, each file system namespace has its private mount table and root directory.

Scrolling Up and Down in the Linux Terminal

Scrolling Up and Down in the Linux Terminal

Are you looking for the technique of scrolling through your Linux terminal? Brace yourself. This article is written for you. Today you’ll learn how to scroll up and down in the Linux terminal. So, let’s begin.

Why You Need to Scroll in Linux Terminal

But before going ahead and learning about up and down scrolling in the terminal, let’s find out what’s the importance of scrolling in the Linux terminal. When you have a lot of output printed on your terminal screen, it becomes helpful to make your Linux terminal behave in a particular manner. You can clear the terminal at any time. This may make your work easier and quicker to complete. But what if you’re troubleshooting an issue and you need a previously entered command, then scrolling up or down comes to the rescue.

Various shortcuts and commands allow you to perform scrolling in the Linux terminal whenever you want. So, for easy navigation in your terminal using the keyboard, read on.

How to Scroll Up and Down in Linux Terminal

In the Linux terminal, you can scroll up by page using the Shift + PageUp shortcut. And to scroll down in the terminal, use Shift + PageDown. To go up or down in the terminal by line, use Ctrl + Shift + Up or Ctrl + Shift + Down respectively.

Key Combinations Used in Scrolling

Following are some key combinations that are useful in scrolling through the Linux terminal. 

Ctrl+End: This allows you to scroll down to your cursor.

Ctrl+Page Up: This key combination lets you scroll up by one page.

Ctrl+Page Dn: This lets you scroll down by one page.

Ctrl+Line Up: To scroll up by one line, use this key combination.

Scrolling Up and Down with More Command

The more command allows you to see the text files within the command prompt. For bigger files (for example, log files), it shows one screen at one time. The more command is also used to scroll up and down within the page. To scroll up the display one line at a time, press the Enter key. To scroll a screenful at a time, use Spacebar. To do backward scrolling, press ‘b’.

How to Disable Scrolling in the Terminal

To disable the scrollbar, follow the steps given in this section. First, on the window, press the Menu button residing in the top-right corner. Then select Preferences. From the Profiles section in the sidebar, select the profile you’re currently using. Then select the Scrolling option. Finally, uncheck the Show scrollbar to disable the scrolling feature in the terminal. Your preference will be saved immediately.

Self-Hosted Static Homepages: Dashy Vs. Homer

Self-Hosted Static Homepages: Dashy Vs. Homer

Authors: Brandon Hopkins, Suparna Ganguly

Self-hosted homepages are a great way to manage your home lab or cloud services. If you’re anything like me chances are, you have a variety of docker containers, media servers, and NAS portals all over the place. Using simple bookmarks to keep track of everything often isn’t enough. With a self-hosted homepage, you can view everything you need from anywhere. And you can add integrations and other features to help you better manage everything you need to.

Dashy and Homer are two separate static homepage applications. These are used in home labs and on the cloud to help people organize and manage their services, docker containers, and web bookmarks. This article will overview exactly what these self-hosted homepages have to offer.

Dashy

Dashy is a 100% free and open-source, self-hosted, highly customizable homepage app for your server that has a strong focus on privacy. It offers an easy-to-use visual editor, widgets, status checking, themes, and lots more features. Below are the features that you can avail yourself of with Dashy.

Live Demo: https://demo.dashy.to/

Customize

You can customize your Dashy as how you want to fit in your use case. From the UI, choose from different layouts, show/hide components, item sizes, switch themes, and a lot more. You can customize each area of your dashboard. There are config options available for custom HTML header, footer, title, navbar links, etc. If you don’t need something, just hide it!

Dashy offers multiple color themes having a UI color editor and support towards custom CSS. Since all of the properties use CSS variables, it is quite easy to override. In addition to themes, you can get a host of icon options, such as Font-Awesome, home lab icons, Material Design Icons, normal images, emojis, auto-fetching favicons, etc.

Integrations

GIMP in a Pinch: Life after Desktop

GIMP in a Pinch: Life after Desktop

So my Dell XPS 13 DE laptop running Ubuntu died on me today. Let’s just say I probably should not have attempted to be efficient and take a bath and work at the same time!

Unfortunately, as life always seems to be, you always need something at a time that you don’t have it and that is the case today. I have some pictures that I need to edit for a website, and I only know and use GIMP. I took a look at my PC inventory at home, and I had two options:

  1. Macbook Air: My roommate’s computer
  2. HP Chromebook 11: A phase of my life where I attempted to streamline my life and simplify which lasted two weeks

My roommate was using his computer, so it really only left me with one option, the chromebook. I also did not have a desire to learn another OS today as I have done enough distro hopping in the last few months. I charged and booted up the chromebook and started to figure out how I could get GIMP onto it. Interestingly enough, there are not many clear cut options to running GIMP on an Android device. There was an option to run a Linux developer environment on the chromebook, but it required 10GB of space which I didn’t have. Therefore, option two was to find an app on the Google Play Store.

Typing GIMP brought me to an app called XGimp Image Editor from DMobileAndroid, and I installed and loaded it with an image to only find this:

gimp-image-1

This definitely is nothing like GIMP and appeared to be very limited in functionality anyway. I could see why it had garnered a 1.4 star rating as it definitely is not what someone would expect when they are looking for something similar to GIMP.

So I took a look at the other options, and there was another app called GIMP from Userland Technologies. It does cost $1.99, but it was a one-time charge and seemed to be the only other option on the Play Store. Reviewing the screenshots and the description of the application seemed to suggest that this would be the actual GIMP app that I was using on my desktop so I went ahead and downloaded it. Installation was relatively quick, and I started running it and to my surprise, here is what I saw:

gimp-image-3

It appears that the application basically is a Linux desktop build that automatically launches the desktop version of GIMP. Therefore, it really is GIMP. I loaded up an image which was also relatively easy to do as it seamlessly connected to my folders on my chromebook.

Geek Guide: Purpose-Built Linux for Embedded Solutions

Geek Guide: Purpose-Built Linux for Embedded Solutions

The explosive growth of the Internet of Things (IoT) is just one of several trends that is fueling the demand for intelligent devices at the edge. Increasingly, embedded devices use Linux to leverage libraries and code as well as Linux OS expertise to deliver functionality faster, simplify ongoing maintenance, and provide the most flexibility and performance for embedded device developers.

This e-book looks at the various approaches to providing both Linux and a build environment for embedded devices and offers best practices on how organizations can accelerate development while reducing overall project cost throughout the entire device lifecycle.

Download PDF

How to Install and Uninstall KernelCare

How to Install and Uninstall KernelCare

In my previous article, I described what KernelCare is. In this article, I’m going to tell you how to install, uninstall, clear the KernelCare cache, and other important information regarding KernelCare. In case you’re yet to know about the product, here’s a short recap. KernelCare provides automated security updates to the Linux kernel. It offers patches and error fixes for various Linux kernels.

So, if you are looking for anything similar, you have landed upon the right page. Let’s begin without further ado.

Prerequisites to Install KernelCare

Before installing KernelCare in your Linux system, ensure that you have either of these operating systems as given below.

  • 64-bit RHEL/CentOS 5.x, 6.x, 7.x

  • CloudLinux 5.x, 6.x

  • Virtuozzo/PCS/OpenVZ 2.6.32

  • Debian 6.x, 7.x

  • Ubuntu 14.04

Note: In case you have KernelCare installed on your machine, it might be useful to know the current KernelCare version before installing KernelCare next time. To know the current version run the below-given command as root:

/usr/bin/kcarectl –uname

Checking Kernel’s Compatibility with KernelCare

To check if your current kernel is compatible with KernelCare, you need to use the following code.

curl -s -L https://kernelcare.com/checker | python

Installing KernelCare

Run the following command to install KernelCare.

curl -s -L https://kernelcare.com/installer | bash

If you use an IP-based license, you don’t need to do anything more. However, if you use a key-based license, run the following command.

/usr/bin/kcarectl --register KEY

KEY is a registration key code string. It’s given to you when you sign up to purchase or to go through a trial of KernelCare. Let’s see an example.

[root@unixcop:~]/usr/bin/kcarectl --register XXXXXXXXXXX

Server Registered

The above example shows a registration key code string.

If you experience a “Key limit reached” error message, then you need to first unregister the server after the trial ends. To do the same type:

kcarectl --unregister

Checking If the Patches Applied Successfully

For checking if the patches have been applied successfully or not, use the command as given below.

/usr/bin/kcarectl --info

Now the software will check for new patches automatically every 4 hours.

If you want to run updates manually, run:

What’s KernelCare?

What’s KernelCare?

This article explains all that you need to know about KernelCare. But before studying about KernelCare, let’s do a quick recap of the Linux kernel. It’ll help you understand KernelCare better. The Linux kernel is the core part of Linux OS. It resides in memory and prompts the CPU what to do.

Now let’s begin with today’s topic which is KernelCare. And if you’re a system administrator this article is going to present valuable information for you.

What is KernelCare?

So, what’s KernelCare? KernelCare is a patching service that offers live security updates for Linux kernels, shared libraries, and embedded devices. It patches security vulnerabilities inside the Linux kernel without creating service interruptions or any downtime. Once you install KernelCare on the server, security updates automatically get applied every 4 hours on your server. It dismisses the need for rebooting your server after making updates.

It is a commercial product and is licensed under GNU GPL version 2. Cloud Linux, Inc developed this product. The first beta version of KernelCare was released in March 2014 and its commercial launch was in May 2014. Since then they have added various useful integrations for automation tools, vulnerability scanners, and others. 

Operating systems supported by KernelCare include CentOS/RHEL 5, 6, 7; Cloud Linux 5, 6; OpenVZ, PCS, Virtuozzo, Debian 6, 7; and Ubuntu 14.04.

Is KernelCare Important?

Are you wondering if KernelCare is important for you or not? Find out here. By installing the latest kernel security patches, you are able to minimize potential risks. When you try to update the Linux kernel manually, it may take hours. Apart from the server downtime, it can be a stressful job for the system admins and also for the clients.

Once the kernel updates are applied, the server needs a reboot. This is usually done during off-peak work hours. And this causes some additional stress. However, ignoring server reboots can cause a whole lot of security issues. It’s seen that, even after rebooting, the server experiences issues and doesn’t easily come back up. Fixing such issues is a trouble for the system admins. Often the system admin needs to roll back all the applied updates to get the server up quickly.

With KernelCare, you can avoid such issues.

How Does KernelCare Work?

KernelCare eliminates non-compliance and service interruptions caused by system reboots. KernelCare agent resides on your server. It periodically checks for new updates. In case it finds any, the agent downloads those and applies them to the running kernel. A KernelCare patch can be defined as a piece of code that’s used to substitute buggy code in the kernel. 

Getting Started with Docker Semi-Self-Hosting on Linode

Getting Started with Docker Semi-Self-Hosting on Linode

With the evolution of technology, we find ourselves needing to be even more vigilant with our online security every day. Our browsing and shopping behaviors are also being continuously tracked online via tracking cookies being dropped on our browsers that we allow by clicking the “I Accept” button next to deliberately long agreements on websites before we can get the full benefit of said site.

Additionally, hackers are always looking for a target and it's common for even big companies to have their servers compromised in any number of ways and have sensitive data leaked, often to the highest bidder.

These are just some of the reasons that I started looking into self-hosting as much of my own data as I could.

Because not everyone has the option to self-host on their own, private hardware, whether it's for lack of hardware, or because their ISP makes it difficult or impossible to do so, I want to show you what I believe to be the next best step, and that's a semi-self-hosted solution on Linode.

Let's jump right in!

Setting up a Linode

First things first, you’ll need a Docker server set up. Linode has made that process very simple and you can set one up for just a few bucks a month and can add a private IP address (for free) and backups for just a couple bucks more per month.

Get logged into your Linode account click on "Create Linode".

Don't have a Linode account?  Get $100 in credit clicking here

On the "Create" page, click on the "Marketplace" tab and scroll down to the "Docker" option. Click it.

With Docker selected, scroll down and close the "Advanced Options" as we won't be using them.

Below that, we'll select the most recent version of Debian (version 10 at the time of writing).

In order to get the the lowest latency for your setup, select a Region nearest you.

When we get to the "Linode Plan" area, find an option that fits your budget. You can always start with a small plan and upgrade later as your needs grow.

Next, enter a "Linode Label" as an identifier for you. You can enter tags if you want.

Enter a Root Password and import an SSH key if you have one. If you don't that's fine, you don't need to use an SSH key. If you'd like to generate one and use it, you can find more information about how to do so here "Creating an SSH Key Pair and Configuring Public Key Authentication on a Server").

You can skip the VLAN section, but I encourage you to check the boxes for Backups and Private IP.

Once you have all your choices made, you can click the "Create Linode" button on the right side of the page.

5 Lesser-Known Open Source Web Browsers for Linux in 2022

5 Lesser-Known Open Source Web Browsers for Linux in 2022

If you’re in search of open-source web browsers that are lesser-known to you, this article is written for you. This article takes you through 5 amazing open-source web browsers that are readily available for your Linux system. Let’s find out the options to choose from in 2022.

Konqueror

Konqueror web browser is developed by KDE. Konqueror is one of the lesser-known open-source web browsers that’s been built on top of KHTML. Konqueror has been built for any kind of file previewing and file management. Konqueror makes use of KHTML or KDEWebKit rendering engines. File management is done on ftp and sftp servers using Dolphin’s features including service menus, version-control, and the basic UI. It has a full-featured FTP client. So, you can split views to show remote and local folders and previews on the same window.

For previewing files, the Konqueror browser has in-built embedded applications, such as Gwenview for pictures, Okular and Calligra used for documents, KTextEditor for text-files, etc. You can use its various plugins, such as Service-menus, KPart for AdBlocking, KIO to access files, and others.

The international KDE community does the maintenance of the Konqueror browser. 

GNOME Web

GNOME Web comes next in this list of free and open-source web browsers made for Linux. It’s a clean browser that features first-class GNOME and Pantheon desktop integrations. It also includes a built-in adblocker and Intelligent Tracking Prevention. It primarily follows GNOME’s design philosophy. So, there’s no wasted space or useless widgets.

Despite being a GNOME component, the GNOME Web browser is independent of any GNOME components. The GNOME Web is built on top of the WebKit rendering engine. You can use Flatpak to install Epiphany because Flatpak is the most reliable application distribution mechanism used for Linux. Elementary OS and Bodhi Linux use GNOME Web as their default web browser. Did you know GNOME Web browser’s codename is Epiphany? Why Epiphany? Well, this means a sudden perception or manifestation of the meaning of something. Let’s move on towards our next open-source browser.

Simulating Host Identity Protocol-Based Virtual Private LAN Service Using Mininet Framework

Simulating Host Identity Protocol-Based Virtual Private LAN Service Using Mininet Framework

Introduction

Virtual Private LAN Services (VPLS) provide means for building Layer 2 communication on top of existing IP networks. VPLS can be built using various approaches. However, when building a production-grade VPLS solution one needs to have a clear picture of how such aspects as security, mobility, and L2 issues will be solved.

In this short article, we will demonstrate how to build the VPLS using Host Identity Protocol (HIP). Since our goal is not to build a production-grade implementation of HIP-switches, we will only demonstrate proof of a concept solution that uses Mininet – a framework for simulating L2 and L3 networks. It is worth mentioning that the code we have produced can be also deployed (under certain conditions; for example, our HIP implementation does not feature the NAT traversal mechanisms and does not yet provide an L2 loop prevention mechanism) on the real hardware.

While building HIP-switches (the switches that are deployed at the border of a network) we came across several challenges. First, we understood that HIP-switches need to support the IEEE 802.1D protocol (or its modification - this really depends on the version of the protocol supported by the switches) to avoid L2 loops in the network. This problem was initially addressed in the relevant IETF draft. Second, there were certain issues with MTU and the inability of the Linux kernel to deliver IP packets when those are fragmented in user space and injected into the network stack using raw sockets. And finally, it took us some time to repackage the existing implementation of HIP protocol as a library, so that it will be agnostic about low-level networking (such as raw sockets, etc.). Since the implementation of the IEEE 802.1D protocol for our HIP-switches is still ongoing, we will demonstrate the usage of HIP-based VPLS using loop-free L2 topology.

6 Best Linux Desktop Environments to Try in 2022

6 Best Linux Desktop Environments to Try in 2022

Are you looking for the best Linux desktop environments for your desktop? Then this article is particularly for you. Want to find the notable mentions, the best features, and what you might be fond of? Get to know about the 6 best Linux desktop environments to try in 2022 from here. So, let’s dive in!

Budgie

Budgie is a GNOME-based Linux desktop. It’s developed and used by Solus Linux distribution. With the help of GNOME stack components, the Budgie desktop is written. Budgie offers a unified notification feature and its customization center is called Raven. It gives access to the calendar, system settings, power options, and media player. Elements on the desktop, eg. applications are implemented as Applets.

Budgie is easily customizable. Its developers' team put a lot of effort into modifying Budgie’s desktop elements, such as Budgie Menu that sorts names of categories alphabetically, Icon Tasklist applet which has some new features included. Linux distros including Manjaro and Ubuntu have spins based on this Linux desktop environment. Also, Fedora users can fetch Budgie from the COPR repository.

Deepin DE

The Deepin DE Linux desktop is developed by the Deepin Linux distribution. It’s based on WebKit and HTML5. Deepin uses Go and QML for designing its components. Besides the desktop, Deepin components make use of the dock and control center and the application launcher. Deepin DE’s tweakable parameters can be accessed using a hidden panel.

The Deepin desktop almost replicates the aesthetics and usability of Mac OS X. It has a neat and clean interface having only the dock at the bottom. The touch-screen gestures are also supported by the desktop. The Deepin desktop offers configurable hot corners that allow you to access the control panel and the applications menu. With this, all of the aspects of the desktop can be managed. The desktop can be fetched through the third-party repositories while installing.

GNOME

GNOME is a very popular Linux desktop environment. Many Linux distros use GNOME. GNOME is simple to use and can be customized. The modern and touch-feature-enabled user interface provides an amazing experience. Also, the GNOME desktop can extend its functionalities via GNOME Shell extensions.

However, GNOME isn’t a good choice for older computers or systems having less than 4GB RAM. Some major Linux distributions that use GNOME as their preferred desktop environment are Fedora, Pop!_OS, OpenSUSE, Debian, and Ubuntu. So, those of you who are looking for something different than the traditional Windows layout, try GNOME.

Creating a Modern Website with Ghost

Creating a Modern Website with Ghost

Authors: Brandon Hopkins, Suparna Ganguly

What is Ghost?

Ghost is free and open-source web server software that you can use to host a website. It’s a unique and elegant web publishing platform. Ghost provides a modern and sleek interface where you can publish articles, newsletters, and subscription-based content. It offers advanced features for monetizing your content. So, with Ghost, you can charge your subscribers a monthly fee similar to Patreon.

Ghost’s Similarities to Medium

Thinking if Ghost is anyhow similar to the blogging platform Medium? Well, both have almost identical content writing features. Both Medium and Ghost are dedicated to blogging and writing clean, easy to read content. Unlike Medium you have full control of all aspects of your platform. WordPress is often preferred for its flexibility and overall wide adoption. However, Ghost is a much simpler format for simple blogging, newsletters, and subscription services.

Content Delivery: When it comes to content delivery, both Ghost and Medium are very similar. Just write your content, add images including alt text, do some SEO, then Publish. Have you been using some clumsy content delivery platforms that caused nothing but frustrations? Then go for Ghost or Medium as they are made purely for writing purposes.

Block for Editing: Medium and Ghost have amazing visual editors. And it’s a pleasure to use such blogging platforms for any writer or reader. Medium’s most admired feature is Block for editing. Ghost has the same. Both allow you to use their in-built content blocks. And these are very easy to get started with.

Ghost’s Subscription Feature

Ghost’s native subscriptions turn your free readers into paying subscribers. You can generate recurring revenue from your content. Once you have members signed in to your website, you can ask them for supporting your work financially. Let’s take a look at Ghost’s subscription features.

Ghost has an in-built integration with Stripe. It connects your Stripe account to Ghost. Once connected to Ghost you receive Apple Pay and credit card payments. Customer information pulled up from your site gets securely stored and automated with the help of Ghost. If you're not a fan of using Stripe there are other options. With a Zapier integration, you can connect to any other payment gateways. If you’re or have a developer, you can use Ghost’s API to directly connect to those payment gateways.

Simple Network Management Protocol – Not As Simple As You Would Suggest

Simple Network Management Protocol

The Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) has been an integral part of monitoring network environments since its introduction in 1988. It has established itself as the de facto standard in network monitoring. Many manufacturers support the protocol and have implemented an SNMP agent on their network devices. These agents allow monitoring solutions to query various data, such as bandwidth, CPU load, network interfaces, etc., without installing an additional agent on network equipment. 

Especially with the increasing number of devices on a network, a simple and established method such as SNMP sounds like a great help to include components in monitoring quickly. Unfortunately, SNMP has a few flaws. The first part of this article will explain how SNMP works, while the second part will drill deeper into the issues with SNMP and how to deal with them.

The protocol offers two methods to retrieve data from devices: polling and traps. With SNMP polling, a monitoring solution queries the data at user-specified time intervals from the SNMP agent. This active polling is used for status-based monitoring and is generally the recommended method. However, the disadvantage of SNMP polling is that the administrator does not notice if an event occurs between two queries, such as a brief change in the network interface status.

The alternative to SNMP polling is an event-based variant called SNMP traps. If a certain event occurs on the monitored device, it sends an error message to the monitoring instance. One of the disadvantages of SNMP traps is that the data packets transmitted via UDP can be lost. Since UDP does not acknowledge receipt of network packets, the administrator does not even know that an alert was sent if the packets containing the trap data are dropped. Thus, ironically, a problem on the network prevents the detection of another issue with a network device.

Another disadvantage of SNMP traps can be the flood of triggered messages. For example, suppose a core switch is no longer available. In that case, in large network environments, it can lead to thousands of switches sending traps. Even if it does not have an upstream filter mechanism, the trap receiver can collapse under such a load of error messages. Monitoring is then unavailable in an emergency. In addition, the administrator must re-reconfigure all components in the network if the IP address of the trap receiver changes.

17 Important Linux Interview Questions with Answers

17 Important Linux Interview Questions with Answers

Are you prepping up for an interview where you may face Linux-related questions? Then read through. This article takes you through 17 important Linux questions with answers that will make you interview-ready. So, let’s begin!

  1. Who invented the Linux operating system?

The Linux operating system was invented by Finnish software engineer Linus Torvalds along with the Free Software Foundation in 1991.

  1. Briefly explain the history of Linux

Linus Torvalds was a student at the University of Helsinki in Finland. He wanted to create an academic version of Unix OS for free. Linus began writing the code. Later his very own operating system became well known as the Linux kernel.

  1. How can you access the command line to put commands?

To access the command line, press Ctrl+Alt+T. Or, you can search from the dash by pressing the Meta/Super/Windows button and then type “terminal”.

  1. How do you open Terminal in GNOME?

In GNOME, Terminal is under Accessories in the Application menu.

GNOME-terminal

  1. What are symbolic links?

Symbolic links are similar to shortcuts in Windows. These links point to files, directories, or programs. It also gives you instant access to it. And you don’t need to go to the entire pathname.

  1. What’s IEEE 1284?

IEEE 1284 is a port that defines bi-directional communications between your computer and other devices, such as printers. It was invented in the 1970s by Centronics, and hence was called Centronics Port, after the name of the company. Later it was standardized with IEEE and got the name IEEE 1284.

  1. Mention about three advantages of using Linux over Windows

Three advantages of using Linux over Windows are:

  • Linux is free but Windows isn’t. Even the applications used for Linux cost $0.

  • Linux is open source. It means the source code is available for everyone to view, modify, or edit.

The org-mode LaTeX exporter: LaTeX for non-TEXers

The org-mode LaTeX exporter: LaTeX for non-TEXers

By: Pedro A. Aranda Gutiérrez This article shows how to configure and use the org-mode provided by Emacs to produce pretty documents. org is a multi-purpose structured text file format and Emacs can translate it to LaTeX files which, in turn, can be translated into pretty PDF documents, taking advantage of all the typesetting facilities provided by LaTeX. This is a compendium of tricks evolved out of the experience of working with Emacs, org-mode and LaTeX.

1 Introduction

I got exposed to Emacs in the 1990’s when I used Unix mainframes and VT220 terminals for work. At the beginning, it was just my programmer’s editor and when I got used to it, I looked for ports to use at home. Initially a dream, it became a reality, first with a port[10] and them, when I installed my first Linux (from a floppy-disk set). Much later, I started to be exposed to LaTeX. It wasn’t until I was working on my PhD that I fully understood its potential when my Office suite collapsed on a last minute template change for a conference. It took me less time to install the full texlive distribution, export my paper to LaTeX, clean up the result and change the template than to fix the original document after changing the template. What I have always liked in LaTeXis that what you write is what you mean. The use of tags is a minor inconvenience for me.

The next step in what you write is what you mean path after LaTeXwas org-mode. Initially a hint from my PhD advisor as a nice way to produce slides, it took me some time to realize its full potential both for presentations and documents. org-mode is included in the stock Emacs code.

You can always be in the forefront and get the most recent public version of org-mode from the repositories, but a fairly recent version of Emacs guarantees a nice, up-to-date feature set in org-mode. In my case I use an Emacs 28.0.9x, a pre-release of the next stable Emacs which I compile myself once a week, both on Ubuntu 20.04 and macOS. If you want to produce a nice PDF file from org-mode, you rely on its LaTeXexporter and use a TEX distribution like texlive in Linux or MacTeX in macOS for typesetting and output generation.

To prove my case, I keep this article in an org file that I use to explore org mode features. It is a living demo of how nicely you can write things using org-mode and then generate PDFs using LaTeX. My main sources of inspiration are the org-mode documentation[8] and an oldish Cookbook[4] and all those moments where I’m working on a document and feel that something is missing.

Discourse is the Future of Web Forums

Discourse is the Future of Web Forums

Authors

Brandon Hopkins, Creator of Tech Hut

Suparna Ganguly

What are Web Forums?

Web forums allow its users to connect with one another via posting messages. Forum posts can be seen by any number of anonymous visitors, but to post messages, you need to have an account in that particular web forum. Within a web forum, you can either create a new post or post replies on other users’ posts, also called Threads. Many web forums go well beyond typical threads and messages with advanced features and tools. Some of these extras may include blogging, file management, photo galleries, and much more.

Why do you need one?

So, why do you need a web forum? You may need one for the following reasons.

  • Encourage Discussion: The main advantage of a web forum is that it encourages discussions. They are a powerful way for you to communicate over shared interests with your team members, clients, or other businesses. You could also create different communities of different groups. This would help people find topics and resources of their interests.
  • Mutual Interest Groups: Web forums are a great way to create a sense of community. People ask questions and share their own experiences about any subject. Thus web forums play a vital role in cultivating interest groups.
  • Seek Assistance and Support: Whenever you need help you ask a colleague or manager. But what if they aren’t available? Then you need to solve the problem by yourself. With a web forum, you don’t need to. Simply reach out to your community. Create a discussion thread asking for help. And you’ll get a solution without having to wait long.
  • Members Only: Discussion forums provide private access to only its members. None apart from its members can contribute to the discussions.

Web Forums Should be Free and Open Source

Web forums should be free so that they can be used by like-minded people to seek support, exchange ideas, and have discussions at the time of need. Discussion forums provide a space to discuss something which can’t easily be found on the Internet.

If you run a startup or a mid-sized enterprise, you may have to hire developers to build your own online discussion platform. This increases your cost. Fortunately, we have open-source web forums. Deploy open-source web forums directly on your server. And then customize to use them as per your requirements.