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Photos: Tux Machines at 18

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Site News

Tux Machines Eighteen

Tux Machines Eighteen

Tux Machines Eighteen

Tux Machines Eighteen

Tux Machines Eighteen

Tux Machines Eighteen

We're Eighteen Today

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TuxMachines at 18

TODAY is a special day because tuxmachines.org was registered exactly 18 years ago. We recently renewed this domain's registration for 5 more years (i.e. until middle of 2027) as we certainly expect the site to go on and on for a long time to come.

As people who do technology for a living, with a focus on Free software in particular, running this site is also an educational experience. It helps keep track of what's happening (e.g. new releases, security patches) and if other people find our news picks useful, it motivates us to keep it updated 24/7 every day of the year. We of course receive a lot of help from submitters who themselves produce original works (articles). A personal word of gratitude to all and an outlook (as video):

Video download link | md5sum 7db0f40f2834a02615c5a7d16a7151b2
Turning 18
Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0

tuxmachines.org is a very busy news hub. Before Alexa.com was shut down (and we before we shunned Phoronix) Alexa said that tuxmachines.org was the biggest source of traffic to Phoronix.

ICANN on tuxmachines.org

Tux Machines All Grown Up Soon

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18th birthday
Coming soon!

IN a matter of days we'll celebrate our birthday or anniversary. It started in 2004 and it's still going strong.

We have some potential improvements for the site in mind.

We Turn 18 Next Month

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Site News

ICANN on tuxmachines.org

A month from now this site turns 18. No special event is planned, but we're gratified to have come this far. Days ago we registered the domain for 5 more years (2027), seeing that everything continues to grow, just like GNU/Linux itself (along with BSDs). Thanks to the many people who choose this site as their daily "news fix"...

We remain apprehensive about social control media, including Twitter. We suggest people subscribe via RSS rather than external third parties. The latter simply cannot be relied on. For instance, earlier this year JoinDiaspora joined the many dead Diaspora pods; it shut down and we had to start a new account in another pod, taking us down from thousands of subscribers to only zero.

Migration of Diaspora Account

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No more joindiapora... psyco.fr?

If you have been following Tux Machines over Diaspora, be sure to update to the existing pod, psyco.fr. Our account is here following the shutdown of the JoinDiaspora pod earlier this month.

Be Careful What You Wish For...

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Just talk

Ukrainian Flag Editorial

A CONCEPT like "Free software" was formulated more than 38 years ago at MIT (United States). Linux, the kernel, came from a neighbour of Russia in 1991. The father of Linus Torvalds is a politician known for his connections to Russia; he encouraged non-confrontational politics, the mindset of co-existence. At the moment there are attempts to leverage Free software projects for political purposes, mostly by banning Russians and sometimes Belarusians (collective punishment). This approach is deeply misguided because it's unlikely to accomplish anything except harm to Free software. It's striking at the very core of what GNU/Linux is and what it stands for. Be careful what you wish for...

Microsoft is Faking It and Windows Market Share Worldwide Now Lowest Since the Release of Vista 11

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Linux

With February now over, let's examine the actual numbers; Microsoft boasts "success", but that's just "fake news"...

Windows share

We're winning; Failing that, we nuke Linux/Android!

Our 18-Year Anniversary is Fast Approaching and We Move on From JoinDiaspora

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Almost 2,500 "followers" will be lost

linux joindiaspora connections

OVER the past couple of years we've not done anything special in site anniversaries, except the 15th (months before the COVID-19 outbreak). We'll soon change our account in Diaspora because JoinDiaspora is shutting down. Our account had been there for over a decade, even before it was adopted by TuxMachines, but all things come to an end. We'll say more nearer to the time of migration (some time in March).

Dancing penguins

The Command Line Challenge

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Just talk

Authored by Andy Farnell

Free red light

Cheapskates wonderful guide is currently running a "One Week Command Line Challenge". Some of the students I teach now are so young (to an old beard like me) they think this is some "crazy new thing". Is there new hope and a new perspective to be explored here? Something other than retro and cool. Perhaps historical baggage, the narrative of how "superior" graphical interfaces replaced "old" consoles is an obstacle to new visions for the next generation?

As a lifelong textual user interface (TUI) user this got me thinking. If you were to give me "The GUI Challenge" I'd be sunk! My world (dwm, emacs, w3m etc) feels so familiar, it's in my bones. After thirty or forty years on the command line if I were forced to use "normal computers" it would cripple my ability to do anything.

The command-line is super empowering, but particular. Put me on a Mac or Windows machine and I revert to a child-like flap, randomly clicking around on icons that look promising. I'd be twenty times less productive than my peers, yet, modesty be damned, I'm ten times more effective/productive at average computing tasks than other professionals when in my comfort zone - at the command-line. Isn't this true for us all, that we have our comfy shoes?

Of course this isn't about some innate inability to use graphical tools. I've mastered some jolly complex ones like Blender and Unreal editors (virtual world building), and ProTools or Ardour (for sound and music). One of the most complex I recall was a VLSI/CAD creator that used two four button mice (or mouse and ball).

So, is the command line challenge unfair? I am no more capable of quickly learning a new graphical paradigm than an entrenched GUI user is of adopting the keyboard and console. This probably applies at any age or ability level where you are comparing like-for-like paradigm switching.

No, the issue here is deeper and is about utility paradigms. How do people relate to computers as tools at the highest level - at the operating system level and above?

If you dig back in the Usenet and mailing-list archives, you'll find fascinating, passionate and intelligent debates on the merits of different interfaces going right back to Xerox-PARC. They are really separate computing cultures. There's a fair historical summary here.

The above history ends in 2001. GUIs did not end there, the debate has moved further, and many new things have not been well analysed. Mobile, which essentially emulates button-based handheld appliances, cannot really be compared to GUI (in its traditional sense), even though it's technically a computer running a graphical interface.

It's only since about 2010 that the GUI function of abstracting (hiding away complexity) was subverted by wicked corporations to hide away deception and to effect control. This shift from the abstract to the abstruse and obstructive is what we sometimes call "Dark Computing Patterns", but really it goes deeper than that - visual computing is it's own realm of psychology, politics, semiotics, iconography and subterfuge that in many cases thoroughly bastardises the function of computers qua "tools".

The GUI/TUI debate can be framed in many ways; preference, freedom, extensibility, cognitive overhead, portability, control (tweakability), depth of understanding (legibility), and more.

For me, tool longevity and stability are important. I still use the same applications and skills I learned in 1980. Some people, foolishly I think, imagine that to be a bad/anti-progressive stance. One of the most underrated abilities in computer programming is knowing when something is finished. As is the ability to just use something instead of worshipping it as a digital artefact (cue NFT "first editions of brand apps).

By contrast many of my colleagues must re-learn their entire productivity stack every few months at the whim of corporate developers or seemingly random events in "the market". I literally hear them anthropomorphising:

"Oh, Slack won't let me do that now"

"Oh, Google ate my email"

"Sorry, something broke, can you resend it please?"

Their "computers" are chaotic mystery machines, magic fun fairs where superstitious ritual ministrations must be performed. This sort of Scooby-Doo "clown computing" has no place in serious business, in my opinion. So, another hugely underrated quality that TUIs favour is stability.

Where did this mess come from? In the 1980s "home computers" created a culture of their own, and from there Apple and Microsoft, needed to counter a socially constructed but actually mythical "fear" of computers as nerdy and silly, but also "dangerous". Remember granny worrying that it would "blow up" if you typed the wrong thing?

Continuing a culture of sysadmins from the time-sharing Unix days, we created the "user" as a particular stereotype. To put it quite bluntly, we manufactured "users" to be idiots. Indeed, use of the word "users" instead of a more neutral term like "operators" is significant. The developer-user relationship today is a power relationship, and often an abusive one (in both directions).

In fact denigrating attitudes have their roots in the fragility of early software development. The "user" was an enemy who would always find ways to break our software and exhibit extraordinary "stupidity" by failing to understand our non-obvious interface puzzles. We used tropes like (P.E.B.K.A.C), lusers, and treated others with disrespectful and superior smugness.

Computing had its hashtag moment, and markets demanded that perceptions change. Microsoft solved the problem by erecting some soothing blue fire-hazard cladding around a crumbling DOS. Underneath, exposure to "The Registry" was like staring directly into the open core of Chernobyl.

At that point, enter Apple, who could play Good Cop, adding value by simply subtracting (or consolidating) features. For many, Steve Jobs was elevated to the man who "invented computers". For a certain generation, he did. The ancient science of HCI (human computer interaction) was beaten and disfigured into the designer denomination of UX/UI that emphasised intuition, feel, and experience, which in turn ushered in the age of performative productivity. This trajectory of form over function culminated in neurotic obsessions with $2000 disposable thin laptops and the Onion's infamous Apple Wheel parody that confused many as to whether it was a genuinely good idea.

Meanwhile the command line simply kept calm and carried on. Nothing changed in 30 years. Those who ran the servers, databases, scientific and technical applications never strayed far from the console, except where "presentation" demanded. However, through the mass media and advertising, digital technology became synonymous with these corporate veneers over actual computers, while Hollywood made the command-line a glowing green preserve of malcontents bent on destroying civilisation.

So, although the Command Line Challenge is fun - and I hope it inspires some people to go beyond their comfort zone - let's be aware that human factors, history and politics play a greater role behind the scenes. Yes, it's about mental models, rote motor skills and habits, rather than any intrinsic good or bad. But it's also about culture and popular ideas of what a computer "is".

The emphasis of Cheapskate's article is on TUI allowing the use of older computers. That's a very topical and important concern in the age of climate emergency. If readers don't know already about books like Gerry McGovern's World Wide Waste, I urge you to read more about e-waste. Making the connections between textual interfacing, more modest tech-minimalist use, and a better society and healthier planet, isn't obvious to everyone.

There are many reasons people may prefer to return to the command line. I vastly prefer TUI's for another reason. As a teacher I deal in ideas not applications, so it's a way of imparting lasting concepts instead of ephemeral glitter. Commands are connections of action concepts to words, essential for foundational digital literacy. Almost everything I can teach (train) students to use by GUI will have changed by the time they graduate.

For younger people the difference is foundational. My daughter and I sit down together and do basic shell skills. She can log in, launch an editor, play music and her favourite cartoon videos. We use Unix talk to chat. It's slow, but great fun, because character based coms is very expressive as you see the other person typing. She's already internalising the Holy Trinity - storage, processing and movement.

To make this work I obviously customised bash, creating a kind of safe sandbox for her with highly simplified syntax. This week we are learning about modifier keys - shift is for SHOUTING and control is to CANCEL (you can't get around needing to teach CTRL-C). What we are really working on is her typing skills, which are the foundation of digital literacy in my opinion. I think at the age of 5 she is already a long way ahead of her school friends who paw at tablets.

In conclusion then, the TUI/GUI saga is about much more than interchangeable and superficial ways of interacting with computers. In it's essence it is about literacy, the ability to read and write (type). Behind, and ahead of it, are matters of cultural importance relevant to education, autonomy, democracy, self-expression, and the economy. So if you're a mouser or screen smudger, why not give Cheapskate's challenge a try?

20-22 Vision for Tux Machines

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Site News

What lies ahead? Wait and watch

THIS year the site will turn 18 and will cross the 170,000-node threshold (some time in late summer), eclipsing the breadth and depth of many sites out there, not just GNU/Linux-centric sites.

Our plan is to not change much (Susan's tradition of "today's howtos", for instance, will be preserved and cherished). We'll try to publish blog posts more routinely, Rianne predicts she might write about animals (not only penguins), as she wants to encourage support for conservation.

Thank you for reading Tux Machines and happy new year!

An Advanced New Year's Message/Greetings From Tux Machines

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Tux Machines 2021-2022

ABOUT two days from now, depending on your local timezone, 2021 will be over. It's almost December 30th -- 30 minutes away to be precise -- in JST.

2021 was very good to us. We served about 190,000,000 hits, we published about 18,000 nodes, and about half a dozen regular contributors were involved, both behind the scenes and in public. In 2022 we'll turn 18.

Earlier this year we moved our IRC channel from the Freenode network to the Techrights network and days ago we published all the IRC logs. They tell quite the story.

Tux Machines at 160,000 Nodes

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TuxMachines at 160,000 nodes!

A number of months ago, way back in June, we celebrated passing the 150,000-node milestone. In a matter of a few hours we will have posted 160,000 nodes in total, so that's about 10,000 nodes in just over 6 months. 40,000 more should take just over 2 more years assuming the publication pace remains roughly the same. In 2022 the site turns 18.

Snowfall on your Linux Desktop this Christmas

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Linux

Let us make this Christmas special for you and more of your Linux desktop.

December 25th...

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Just talk

A merry xmas from tux machines

TOMORROW we shall publish IRC logs for the whole year. It's this time of the year again. News is expected to be a lot slower over the weekend, but we'll stay on top of it regardless.

Proxychains – Run Commands and Applications using Proxy Tunnels

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Linux

Require to run commands and applications through secure tunnel of Tor nodes?

Proxychains – Run Commands and Applications using Proxy Tunnels

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Linux

Require to run commands and applications through secure tunnel of Tor nodes?

Install and Configure Mutt Command-Line Email Client

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Linux

Are you DevOps engineer working on cloud infrastructure connected with your remote Linux server.

Creating executable file for python program

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Howtos

Finally, you have finished your python program and wanted to share someone else.

Migrate google chrome web browser profiles and settings from Windows to Linux?

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Howtos

Google chrome is one of the most popular application in the world of browser.

Best PDF reader/viewer for Linux

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Linux

Finding the best PDF readers suitable and fulfilling all your needs? Then you are in the right place.

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More in Tux Machines

digiKam 7.7.0 is released

After three months of active maintenance and another bug triage, the digiKam team is proud to present version 7.7.0 of its open source digital photo manager. See below the list of most important features coming with this release. Read more

Dilution and Misuse of the "Linux" Brand

Samsung, Red Hat to Work on Linux Drivers for Future Tech

The metaverse is expected to uproot system design as we know it, and Samsung is one of many hardware vendors re-imagining data center infrastructure in preparation for a parallel 3D world. Samsung is working on new memory technologies that provide faster bandwidth inside hardware for data to travel between CPUs, storage and other computing resources. The company also announced it was partnering with Red Hat to ensure these technologies have Linux compatibility. Read more

today's howtos

  • How to install go1.19beta on Ubuntu 22.04 – NextGenTips

    In this tutorial, we are going to explore how to install go on Ubuntu 22.04 Golang is an open-source programming language that is easy to learn and use. It is built-in concurrency and has a robust standard library. It is reliable, builds fast, and efficient software that scales fast. Its concurrency mechanisms make it easy to write programs that get the most out of multicore and networked machines, while its novel-type systems enable flexible and modular program constructions. Go compiles quickly to machine code and has the convenience of garbage collection and the power of run-time reflection. In this guide, we are going to learn how to install golang 1.19beta on Ubuntu 22.04. Go 1.19beta1 is not yet released. There is so much work in progress with all the documentation.

  • molecule test: failed to connect to bus in systemd container - openQA bites

    Ansible Molecule is a project to help you test your ansible roles. I’m using molecule for automatically testing the ansible roles of geekoops.

  • How To Install MongoDB on AlmaLinux 9 - idroot

    In this tutorial, we will show you how to install MongoDB on AlmaLinux 9. For those of you who didn’t know, MongoDB is a high-performance, highly scalable document-oriented NoSQL database. Unlike in SQL databases where data is stored in rows and columns inside tables, in MongoDB, data is structured in JSON-like format inside records which are referred to as documents. The open-source attribute of MongoDB as a database software makes it an ideal candidate for almost any database-related project. This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you the step-by-step installation of the MongoDB NoSQL database on AlmaLinux 9. You can follow the same instructions for CentOS and Rocky Linux.

  • An introduction (and how-to) to Plugin Loader for the Steam Deck. - Invidious
  • Self-host a Ghost Blog With Traefik

    Ghost is a very popular open-source content management system. Started as an alternative to WordPress and it went on to become an alternative to Substack by focusing on membership and newsletter. The creators of Ghost offer managed Pro hosting but it may not fit everyone's budget. Alternatively, you can self-host it on your own cloud servers. On Linux handbook, we already have a guide on deploying Ghost with Docker in a reverse proxy setup. Instead of Ngnix reverse proxy, you can also use another software called Traefik with Docker. It is a popular open-source cloud-native application proxy, API Gateway, Edge-router, and more. I use Traefik to secure my websites using an SSL certificate obtained from Let's Encrypt. Once deployed, Traefik can automatically manage your certificates and their renewals. In this tutorial, I'll share the necessary steps for deploying a Ghost blog with Docker and Traefik.