LWDW 142: Big Red

Big Blue buys Redhat, Xfce 4.14 nears completion, an open source FIDO2 security key lands on Kickstarter and Pine64 is working on a Linux Smartphone.

Special thanks to:


Linux Weekly Daily Wednesday
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A weekly dose of all thing Linux and open source with a slice of Pi for good measure.



Colour key – Venn Pedro Jill

Big Red

  • Largest software purchase in history.
  • Expect to see tn (for telnet), help (for man) and all other sorts of atrocities grafted from AIX into RedHat Linux.
  • Anything thing that helps kill off z/OS.
  • Heh.
  • As we have talked about before, there has been speculation of an acquisition with Red Hat for a while now, including by the likes of Novell and Microsoft.
  • Actually, makes sense though, because IBM has been using Red Hat’s cloud services for quite some time.
  • Red Hat has the software and IBM has the hardware.  AIX Unix is not a thing anymore.
  • IBM is playing catch up with Amazon AWS, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud.


Medium sized Blue

  • 15 years since the release of Fedora Core 1.
  • GNOME 3.30 for the desktop.
  • Enable ZRAM for swap on ARMv7 and aarch64 pre generated images to improve performance and reliability on ARM Single Board Computers such a the Raspberry Pi.
  • ZRAM works by compressing part of memory and using it as a swap space.
  • A new Fedora Scientific spin which includes open source scientific and numerical tools.


Assuring Orange

  • As we have mentioned in the past, Ubuntu is the most popular linux distribution for cloud, server and enterprise infrastructure.
  • Mark Shuttleworth talks about this in his statement, and that many Red Hat customers had switched to Ubuntu.
  • After reading this article several times and reading between the lines, I felt that Shuttleworth was saying that Ubuntu will remain committed to business as usual, and no company will be acquiring its assets.
  • Many people in the community are speculating a Microsoft takeover of Ubuntu, and I think this is Shuttleworth’s answer to that.
  • It didn’t turn into a plug for Ubuntu until the fourth paragraph, progress.
  • RHEL and Ubuntu are not in competition, different bases.
  • Buntu has seen wide adoption in cloud / vps while RH deals with enterprise.


Full Solus Ahead

  • Since they are discussing it, we might as well touch on it.
  • I am so sorry Joshua Strobl wants us to stop supporting Solus on Patreon because they can’t access the account due to Ikey’s absence.
  • Just cancelled my Patreon donation to Solus and here is what I wrote Patreon and Tweeted for the reason why:
    • The creator Ikey Doherty is ill and not communicating, and the Solus Core Team can not access this account to get funded.  
    • Please fix this Patreon so they can receive the money from this account that they deserve!!!!
  • For those of you not wanting to decipher a wall of text in chat log format.
    • Ikey is cool, but MIA.
    • Solus was not raptor bus proof.
    • Something went wrong, they has issues getting control of services.
    • Most things are sorted and in better shape than they were originally.  
    • Solus has applied to join the Software Freedom Conservancy.
    • Development has resumed.
  • Bit of a heads up in case anyone finds themselves in a similar situation.
  • Google account, gone, export what you can and create a new one.
  • As for PayPal, Patreon or any service that holds financial / personal data (tax id, addresses, bank info) let it go.
  • For a GANG of reasons they cannot hand over control of those accounts nor should you want them to.
  • Protip: Deadman switch email system that poops out any and all logins if someone goes MIA for X amount of days.
  • Member how I told everyone to ignore the first email if I disappear after jury duty?
  • If you don’t have something like that set up, get it done right meow.


Distro search

  • A Torrent repository you can search via command line or webserver, sweet!  
  • And it works great!
  • It’s neat but the initial list is from TPB.
  • People, don’t download your ISO’s from TPB.


Not GIMP online

  • Photopea is a free online tool for editing raster art and vector graphics with support for PSD, XCF and Sketch files.
  • Photopea has been one of my favorite free online photo editors for several years, and is one of the most advanced and Photoshop like in this space.
  • It has many of the features of a professional photo editor you would expect:
    • Selection tools
    • Layers and layer masks
    • Blend modes, color adjustment tools and image filters.
    • A great selection of fonts with previews
  • Many of the other more sophisticated online photo editors either have free trials but charge for later use or have a free version that is lighter and a pro version you have to pay for, like Pixlr Editor.
  • Little critter opens *.xcf files, didn’t expect that.
  • You can do some basic image editing and throw in a few filters.


Open security

  • Solo, the world’s first open source security key that supports the newest FIDO2 standard for secure 2 factor authentication login!
  • I do love my YubiKeys but the Solo Keys are much cheaper and completely open source, including the hardware and software.
    • One Solo Key will retail $17.50 and one YubiKey is $45.00.
  • Yubico of YubiKey fame helped draft the open U2F or Universal 2nd Factor, and FIDO2 standards used by the Solo Keys.
  • I don’t normally back hardware Kickstarters but these are priced to sell.
  • Then again, if they have showed up at my house they probably remembered to bring a crowbar.


System D for Dolose

  • Several outlets tried to make this a booga booga story.
  • On all other Nix OSes, with the exception of OpenBSD, it looks like you have to have an active console session to initiate an attack.



  • For the 11 people using IPV6, myself included.
  • A security bug in Systemd can be exploited over the network via systemd-networkd, causing your linux computer to be pwned and malicious code injected.
  • Lennart Poettering has already published a security fix for the vulnerable component, and it will be rolling out to distros, so update your OS ASAP.



  • Xfce 4.14 is ~80% done.
  • They should have the other 80% sorted i short order.
  • All components of -core will be ported to Gtk+ 3.
    • This will be completed 7 hours before the release of GTK 4.

Slice of Pi


  • A display driver that lets you play games at 60fps from a Raspberry Pi!
  • Incredible, using a technology that is used for video codec compression is being used for a display driver.



  • The first PinePhone developer kit will be given to selected developers for free on November 1.
  • This is a combo kit of PINE A64 baseboard + SOPine module + 7″ Touch Screen Display + Camera + Wifi/BT + Playbox enclosure + Lithium-Ion battery case + LTE cat 4 USB dongle.
  • The target price is in the 100+ range so, $500?



  • Debian

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