Wake Up Lil SUSE, Minty Goodness, and Caine Mutiny

suseToday in Linux news Simon Phipps discusses what the merger completion means for SUSE and Dedoimedo.com reviews openSUSE 13.2. Linux Mint 17.1 update was released a couple of days ago and Chris Hoffman and Craciun Dan cover what’s new. Matt Weinberger has a layman’s guide to Docker "without getting lost in the weeds, and without breaking out the diagrams" and Jamie Watson reviews Caine Linux.

The Micro Focus and Attachmate merger was finalized yesterday and Simon Phipps asked, "Will this latest move help or hurt the venerable Linux distributor?" He examines a bit of SUSE’s history of struggles and recent achievements, but seems to worry a bit of the proprietary past of Micro Focus. Phipps said, "Micro Focus seems to have no significant open source products in its existing portfolio, so understanding the community-based dynamic of Suse’s business may be new territory." But he concluded that the cloud just might offer up new opportunities.

A little closer to home, Dedoimedo.com said he lost interest in openSUSE around version 12, so he tested 13.2 to see if he could get his Geeko-passion back. He said the installer is "by far the safest and most intelligent around, with the best suggested partitioning scheme, but my recommendation is to make this smart wizard even smarter." He liked the package management saying it was "fast and true" if a bit "enterprisy." The application stack was "okay" and for multimedia "the initial system update took care of that." Dedoimedo said of resources, "openSUSE 13.2 did not drink too much digital juice." Despite his saying that "openSUSE is a top performer once again," it wasn’t all rosy.

Chris Hoffman begins his look at Mint by saying, "Mint isn’t chasing touch interfaces, rethinking the way we use the desktop, or enacting any other grand experiment. It’s just a polished, modern Linux desktop system — and that’s why people love it." He said that Compiz now works well and is easy to set up in Mint 17.1 MATE, "Desktop cubes, wobbly windows, and more — it’s all back." Cinnamon 2.4 offers a "smoother experience" and the update manager is much improved this release according to Hoffman who concluded, "Overall, this is exactly the kind of release I—and many other Linux users—like to see." In related news, Tuxarena.com has a look at 15 applications that shipped with Mint 17.1.

In other news:

* Hands on with Caine Linux: Pentesting and UEFI compatible

* Contain yourself: The layman’s guide to Docker

* FLOSS Works – Now It Has Salesmen (LibreOffice)

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Star Apps: Jena Malone

‘The Hunger Games’ actress sings ‘I’m OK.’

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Mozilla’s Revenue Growth Slows Down Amid Changes at the Organization

As I noted here yesterday, Mozilla is going through a huge sea change. It has historically gotten more than 90 percent of its revenues from Google, to the tune of $300 million recently, in exchange for search placement in the Firefox browser.  That has completely changed, and now Mozilla has struck a similar five-year deal with Yahoo.

The nonprofit organization has also disclosed its latest financial details in a tax filing published this week, which show that its revenues increased by only 1 percent to $314 million from 2012 to 2013.

That represents by far the smallest growth in revenues for Mozilla in recent years.

"The State of Mozilla" report also notes that Mozilla grew investments in its products by 40 percent. That caused cash flows from operations to be cut nearly in half from $70.3 million in 2012 to $36.9 million in 2013.

As we’ve reported, the company is shifting heavily toward a focus on its Firefox OS mobile platform, which is requiring investments and personnel shifts.

Yahoo will also help overhaul search in Firefox. "Our new search strategy doubles down on our commitment to make Firefox a browser for everyone," said CEO Chris Beard in a post this week. "We believe it will empower more people, in more places with more choice and opportunity to innovate and ultimately put even more people in control over their lives online."

 The Firefox browser just turned 10, but it is no longer the center of Mozilla’s universe. The organization will become much more dependent on Yahoo with its new deal in place, and will focus more on mobile platform growth.

"We will now focus on expanding our work with motivated partners to explore innovative new search interfaces, content experiences, and privacy enhancements across desktop and mobile," said Beard.

You can find out more about Mozilla’s financial report in its downloadable disclosure here


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OpenStack Survey Shows Admins Are Moving to Actual Deployments

In preparation for the recently held OpenStack Summit in Paris, the OpenStack Foundation conducted one of its regular surveys of operators and application developers, who were asked to provide feedback on their experiences. These surveys have traditionally yielded a lot of good information, not just about OpenStack usage but what kinds of tools are being used in conjunction with the cloud computing platform.

The results from the latest survey are interesting, and were also overseen by an external, independent research firm, Moor Insights & Strategy, to help analyze and report the data. Here are the details.

The latest version of the survey included any surveys that were created or updated between 20 February 2014 through to 9 October 2014.

One clear finding was that the number of OpenStack clouds in active use is greater than what was seen in recent surveys, as administrators move from evaluation stage to actual deployment. About 66 percent of OpenStack deployments were being used by organizations in IT, with telecommunications and academic deployments making up about a tenth of the remainder, and all others representing around 15 percent.

The top four business drivers for using OpenStack are “Ability to Innovate, Open Technology, Cost Savings and Avoiding Vendor Lock-In.” The notable change was that “Ability to Innovate” jumped from the 6th most often cited business driver to the 1st.

In the May 2014 survey 14 percent of production deployments were running the most current release, while in this round 30 percent of production deployments are running the latest release. Sixty seven percent of production deployments are running either Havana or Icehouse (the latest two stable releases at the time this survey was conducted).

Production deployments of established services (Nova, Swift, Keystone, Glance, Horizon) have risen significantly since the last survey results. Many people are starting pre-production testing of the new components (Ironic, Heat, Trove).

KVM continues to be the most widely used hypervisor deployed with OpenStack across all deployments. Ceph is the most popular Block Storage driver followed by the default LVM option. For development tools, Puppet continues to be the most widely used across all deployments, but Ansible barely overtook Chef as the second most popular tool for production deployments. Ubuntu continues to be the platform that most OpenStack deployments are built on, but CentOS is on the rise

For storage, Ceph, LVM, and GlusterFS comprised the top three choices among survey respondents.

Correlated well with the most popular programming language (Python), the most popular toolkit to use when building OpenStack apps is the OpenStack Python Clients. There is also a wide variety of client libraries in use.

Do you want the complete results? You can find them here, including graphics and charts showing all the specific data.

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dupeGuru – Find And Remove Duplicate Files Instantly From Hard Drive

Introduction Disk full is one of the big trouble for us. No matter how we’re careful, sometimes we might copy the same file to multiple locations, or download the same file twice unknowingly….

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Free as in Beer, SUSE News, and 7 Years Uptime

tuxToday in Linux news Jack Germain reviewed Makulu Cinnamon Debian and said it can give Linux Mint Cinnamon some competition. Bruce Byfield said free as in beer has slowed the adoption of Open Source software. The SUSE parent company Attachmate and Micro Focus merger is now complete and Sam Varghese has several interviews from SUSECon today. Neil McGovern will probably get take-down notices for his adaption of Barbie: I Can Be a Computer Engineer and Alexys Jacob ruined a seven year uptime.

Bret Fitzgerald today posted of the completion of the Micro Focus and Attachmate merger announced last September. Spokesman from both entities have reassured customers and users that the operating systems will not be abandoned. In related news, Sam Varghese today filled several posts speaking with SUSECon attendees. Dominique Leuenberger is a newer contributor who maintains the numerous GNOME packages for openSUSE, "something that consumes all of his working hours." Varghese also spoke with Vojtěch Pavlík, SUSE "kernel guru." He leads a team of 50 developers who work on "the kernel, toolchain, compiler and now Samba." He throws in this story of an "attendee’s tale" too.

Bruce Byfield today said, ‘From the beginning, free pricing has affected how outsiders regarded free software. "You get what you pay for," outsiders often say.’ While acknowledging that being free of cost has helped proliferate the usage of free as in speech software, he thinks it has simultaneously has hurt its expansion into high-tech industries – losing out to proprietary alternatives. Byfield said Microsoft is adapting to free software and the cloud, but Linux almost missed the boat on the cloud. He concluded, "While free prices may not be a defining point of free software, they have affected its fortunes over the years more than most advocates imagine."

Seven years is a long time if you’ve been suffering bad luck or have suddenly developed an "itch." It’s even longer for a computer to stay up and running these days. So it’s with a tug of sadness that I report Alexys Jacob’s blog post today saying he’s just taken down his old server that had 2717 days uptime. This server, named ns2, ran Gentoo Linux for those seven (and nearly a half) years. If you have a longer uptime, post the output in the comments below.

In other news:

* Barbie the Debian Developer, (another one)

* Kubuntu 14.10 review

* Cinnamon Desktop Spices Up Makulu Linux

* Six Clicks: The six fastest computers in the world (run Linux)

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Surprise! Mozilla Switches Out its Deal with Google for One with Yahoo

This month may very well prove to be the most momentous one in the history of Mozilla. Only a few days ago, I put up a post noting that Mozilla was up for renewal negotiations for its deal with Google, which has historically subsidized more than 90 percent of Mozilla’s revenues, to the tune of more than $300 million per year at times. In return, for lots of money, Google got primary search placement in the Firefox browser over the years. 

Now, though, the news has arrived that Google has taken its ball and gone home, while Yahoo and Mozilla have announced a "strategic five-year partnership" agreement which will make Yahoo the primary search option for Firefox. This is evidence of how far Google has come with its own Chrome browser, and how it doesn’t have the same need for the eyeballs and on-ramps that Firefox provides. 

Yahoo will introduce an enhanced search experience for U.S. Firefox users which is scheduled to launch in December.  Both Yahoo and Mozilla engineers are working on its implementation.

As Mozilla CEO Chris Beard notes:

"Today we are announcing a change to our strategy for Firefox search partnerships.  We are ending our practice of having a single global default search provider. We are adopting a more local and flexible approach to increase choice and innovation on the Web, with new and expanded search partnerships by country."

Without a doubt, though, Yahoo will be the Big Kahuna in search placement for Firefox.

Recently, Firefox has been either holding steady market share in the browser market or losing share, while Google’s Chrome browser has steadily gained share. In all likelihood, Google didn’t feel the need to keep shelling out hundreds of millions of dollars a year for placement in Firefox.

And, of course, Mozilla is ever more focused on its Firefox OS mobile platform, so change is in the air for it, as well.


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