Don’t Use ZFS on Linux: Linus Torvalds

“Don’t use ZFS. It’s that simple. It was always more of a buzzword than anything else, I feel, and the licensing issues just make it a non-starter for me.”

This is what Linus Torvalds said in a mailing list to once again express his disliking for ZFS filesystem specially over its licensing.

What’s the licensing issue with ZFS and Linux kernel?

Dont Use Zfs Torvalds

Oracle open sourced ZFS in 2013. This would have meant that Linux distributions start supporting ZFS. But that didn’t really happen because of the complexity of open source licenses.

ZFS is open source under Common Development and Distribution License (CDDL) 1.0 whereas Linux kernel is licensed under the GNU General Public License (GPL) 2.0.

These two open source licenses are not fully compatible with each other. As noted by PCWorld, if ZFS with this license is included in the Linux kernel, this would mean that kernel+ZFS is a derivative work of the (original ZFS-less) Linux kernel.

Torvalds doesn’t trust Oracle

Linus Torvalds Zfs Quotes

While the whole derivative thing is a matter of debate for legal and licensing experts, Torvalds is skeptical of Oracle. Oracle has a history of suing enterprises for using its code. Remember Oracle vs Android lawsuit over the use of Java?

Other people think it can be ok to merge ZFS code into the kernel and that the module interface makes it ok, and that’s their decision. But considering Oracle’s litigious nature, and the questions over licensing, there’s no way I can feel safe in ever doing so.

And I’m not at all interested in some “ZFS shim layer” thing either that some people seem to think would isolate the two projects. That adds no value to our side, and given Oracle’s interface copyright suits (see Java), I don’t think it’s any real licensing win either.

Torvalds doesn’t want Linux kernel to get into legal troubles with Oracle in future and hence he refuses to include ZFS in mainline kernel until Orcale provides a signed letter that a kernel with ZFS will be under GPL license.

And honestly, there is no way I can merge any of the ZFS efforts until I get an official

Upgrading Fedora 30 to Fedora 31

Fedora Linux 31 officially released and ships with GNOME 3.34, Kernel 5, Python 3, Perl 5, PHP 7, MariaDB 10, Ansible 2.7, Glibc 2.30, NodeJS 12 and many other improvements. If you are already...

from Tecmint: Linux Howtos, Tutorials & Guides https://www.tecmint.com/upgrading-fedora-30-to-fedora-31/…

Huawei’s Linux Distribution openEuler is Available Now!

Huawei offers a CentOS based enterprise Linux distribution called EulerOS. Recently, Huawei has released a community edition of EulerOS called openEuler.

The source code of openEuler is released as well. You won’t find it on Microsoft owned GitHub – the source code is available at Gitee, a Chinese alternative of GitHub.

There are two separate repositories, one for the source code and the other as a package source to store software packages that help to build the OS.

Openeuler Website

The openEuler infrastructure team shared their experience to make the source code available:

We are very excited at this moment. It was hard to imagine that we will manage thousands of repositories. And to ensure that they can be compiled successfully, we would like to thank all those who participated in contributing

openEuler is a Linux distribution based on CentOS

Like EulerOS, openEuler OS is also based on CentOS but is further developed by Huawei Technologies for enterprise applications.

It is tailored for ARM64 architecture servers and Huawei claims to have made changes to boost its performance. You can read more about it at Huawei’s dev blog.

Openeuler Gitee

At the moment, as per the official openEuler announcement, there are more than 50 contributors with nearly 600 commits for openEuler.

The contributors made it possible to make the source code available to the community.

It is also worth noting that the repositories also include two new projects (or sub-projects) associated with it, iSulad and A-Tune.

A-Tune is an AI-based OS tuning software and iSulad is a lightweight container runtime daemon that is designed for IoT and Cloud infrastructure, as mentioned on Gitee.

Also, the official announcement post mentioned that these systems are built on the Huawei Cloud through script automation. So, that is definitely something interesting.

Downloading openEuler

OpenEuler

As of now, you won’t find the documentation for it in English – so you will have to wait for it or choose to help them with the documentation.

You can download the ISO directly from its official website to test it out:

What do you think of Huawei openEuler?

As per cnTechPost, Huawei had announced that …

How to Get Total Inodes of Root Partition

On Linux and other Unix-like operating systems, an inode stores information that describes a file or directory (also a file – because everything is a file in Unix) except its name and content or...

from Tecmint: Linux Howtos, Tutorials & Guides https://www.tecmint.com/check-inodes-in-linux/…

Bandwhich – A Network Bandwidth Utilization Tool for Linux

Bandwhich, formerly known as “what”, is a terminal utility written in Rust programming language, which is used for monitoring current network bandwidth utilization by the process, connection, and remote IP/hostname. It sniffs a specified...

from Tecmint: Linux Howtos, Tutorials & Guides https://www.tecmint.com/bandwhich-monitor-linux-network-bandwidth-utilization/…

Kali Linux Will No Longer Have The Default Root User

Kali Linux is a specialized Linux distribution for cyber security testing and hacking related tasks.

If you’ve used Kali Linux, you probably know that it followed a default root user policy. In other words, you are always root in Kali Linux. Whatever you do – you will be accessing tools/applications as root by default.

It looks like everything back then was kind of “root for all” for everything. So, the default root user policy existed.

They also explained the history for this in their announcement post:

A lot of those tools back then either required root access to run or ran better when ran as root. With this operating system that would be ran from a CD, never be updated, and had a lot of tools that needed root access to run it was a simple decision to have a “everything as root” security model. It made complete sense for the time.

Kali Linux will now have a default non-root user (like most other distributions)

Kali Linux Default Root User

A default non-root model was necessary because a lot of users now use Kali Linux as their daily driver.

Of course, they do not recommend using Kali Linux as a replacement for stable distributions like Ubuntu/Fedora/Manjaro – however, with its active development, some users do consider using it on a day-to-day basis instead of just using it for its tools.

So, with a wide mainstream usage of the distro, the Kali Linux team thought of switching to a default non-root model because nowadays a lot of applications/tools do not require root access.

While we don’t encourage people to run Kali as their day to day operating system, over the last few years more and more users have started to do so (even if they are not using it to do penetration testing full time), including some members of the Kali development team. When people do so, they obviously don’t run as default root user. With this usage over time, there is the obvious conclusion that default root user is no longer necessary and Kali will be better off moving to a more traditional security model.

So I am reiterating that you should …

App Highlight: Catfish Desktop File Searching Tool

Brief: Catfish is a nifty file searching GUI tool for Linux desktop. The interface is lightweight and simple and the tool allows to refine your search with criteria like time, file type etc.

The Linux purists use commands like locate, find and grep to search for files in the terminal.

But as a desktop Linux user, you don’t need to leave the comfort of the graphical user interface (GUI) and deep dive into the command line interface (CLI) just for searching files on your desktop.

Most Linux distributions provide a basic desktop search feature either via the file manager or through the desktop environment itself.

On GNOME desktop, you can search for files in the Activities area (use the Windows key to bring it up). Files (previously known as Nautilus) also has a built-in search button.

Search Files Gnome
Nautilus file manager already has advanced search feature

You can extend this search and add options like time and type of the file. One thing it doesn’t do is to search inside the files. For example, you cannot use it to get all the files that contains “university”.

This is where a desktop file search tool like Catfish could help you.

Catfish: A nifty GUI tool for searching files on Linux

Catfish is a GUI tool that enables you to search your desktop for any kind of files. It uses locate and find commands underneath. The autocompletion feature uses Zeitgeist daemon and locate command. It’s a lightweight tool and uses GTK+.

Catfish is developed by Christian Dywan, the same person who develops the lightweight Midori web browser.

Catfish Screenshot
Catfish interface on MX Linux

Some of the main features of Catfish are:

  • Search for files anywhere on your system, including the mounted partitions
  • Search inside the files for its contents (can be enabled from preferences)
  • Search hidden files as well
  • Refine your search based on modification time
  • Refine your search based on file type (images, videos, documents etc)
  • Refine your search based on location (Documents, Downloads, Pictures or other folders)
  • Exclude certain directories and paths from your search
  • Lightweight and simple interface
  • Support for Wayland display server (from version 1.4.12)

Catfish is now …

Shocking! EA is Permanently Banning Linux Gamers on Battlefield V

Only when I thought that EA as a game company might be getting better after its decision to make its games available on Steam – but it looks like that isn’t the case.

In a Reddit thread, a lot of Linux players seem to complain about getting banned by FairFight (which is the server-side anti-cheat engine used for BF V) just because they chose to play Battlefield V (BF V) on Linux using Wine.

Reddit Thread Ea

Is this a widespread issue?

Unfortunately, it seems to be the case with a number of Linux players using Wine to play Battlefield V on Linux.

You can also find users on Lutris Gaming forums and Battlefield forums talking about it.

Of course, the userbase on Linux playing Battlefield V isn’t huge – but it still matters, right?

What’s exactly the issue here?

It looks like EA’s anti-cheat tech considers DXVK (Vulkan-based implementation of DirectX which tries to solve compatibility issues) as cheating.

So, basically, the compatibility layer that is being utilized to make it possible to run Battlefield V is being detected as a modified file through which you’re “potentially” cheating.

Battlefield V Lutris Gaming
Battlefield V on Lutris

Even though this could be an innocent problem for the anti-cheat engine but EA does not seem to acknowledge that at all.

Here’s what they respond with when one of the players wrote an email to EA in order to lift the ban:

After thoroughly investigating your account and concern, we found that your account was actioned correctly and will not remove this sanction from your account.

Also, with all this going on, Lutris Gaming seems to be quite furious on EA’s behavior with the permanent bans:

Not just Battlefield V, it’s the same with Destiny 2

As pointed by a Redditor in the same thread, Bungie also happens to consider …

GNOME has a ‘Secret’ Screen Recorder. Here’s How to Use it!

GNOME is one of the most popular desktop environments and for good reasons. It has a modern UI and it comes with a number of GNOME-specific applications that blend well with the overall desktop appearance.

You can tweak GNOME to your liking as much as you want but I am not here to discuss that. GNOME desktop has some hidden features that you probably are not aware of.

One of such not-so-obvious feature is a built in screen recorder.

Yes, you read that right. If you are using GNOME desktop, you don’t necessarily need to install other screen recorders in Linux. You just need to know the correct keyboard shortcut.

Instantly record your screen with GNOME Screen Recorder

To quickly access the GNOME screen recorder, you have to press this keyboard shortcut in Ubuntu or other distributions using GNOME desktop:

Ctrl + Alt + Shift + R

This will immediately start recording your desktop. You can tell that the screen recording is in progress by looking at the red dot in the system tray area of the top panel:

Gnome Screen Recording
The red dot in the system tray area indicates that screen recording is in progress

Increase the screencast duration

The default maximum record time is just 30 seconds. It can be increased though.

Open a terminal and use the following command:

gsettings set org.gnome.settings-daemon.plugins.media-keys max-screencast-length 300

In the above command, I have increased the maximum length of the recording to 300 seconds (i.e. 5 minutes). You can change it to any other value but it should be in seconds.

If you don’t want any limit on the maximum recording time, set it to 0 and then the recording won’t stop until you manually stop it or your disk runs out of space.

Stop the screen recording

As I mentioned, your desktop recording will stop automatically after it reaches the maximum time limit.

To stop the recording before that, you can press the same key combination:

Ctrl + Alt + Shift + R

Your recordings are saved in webm format in the Videos folder of your Home directory.

Limitations

While it might be handy to record your desktop quickly with this …

Signal: A Secure, Open Source Messaging App

Signal is a secure open-source messaging app for smartphones. It also offers a standalone desktop app for Linux, Windows, and macOS. Here, we take a look at its features and usability.

from It’s FOSS https://itsfoss.com/signal-messaging-app/…