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Posts tagged as “BSD”

A BSD Wish List for 2016

Larry the BSD Guy

FOSS Force editor Christine Hall beat me to the punch — that’s the luck of the draw (or lack thereof on my part) in my having a column appearing later in the week — on what she hopes to see in 2016 in the FOSS realm. So I’m taking a page from her playbook and, as a new PC-BSD user, I have a wish list for what I’d like to see on *BSD going forward into the new year.

Google Hangouts iconFirst things first: I know that the wide number of variants in the BSD family are primarily aimed at servers. That said, it’s clearly understandable that with the exception of PC-BSD and BSD variants like GhostBSD, desktop/laptop users are not the primary focus in the BSD constellation.

Plotting Out the BSD Year

Larry the BSD Guy

FreeBSD's Beastie BSDFreeBSD's Beastie BSDFirst things first: Remember when I said I didn’t have access to Michael Larabel’s fine set of Phoronix tools to do diagnostic hardware comparisons? Well, while looking around for something else in BSD’s very cool AppCafe, I found them — Phoronix tools available for BSD users. So while I go sit in the corner with a pointy hat, I will apologize for that error.

Larry CafieroLarry Cafiero

Larry Cafiero, a.k.a. Larry the Free Software Guy, is a journalist and a Free/Open Source Software advocate. He is involved in several FOSS projects and serves as the publicity chair for the Southern California Linux Expo. Follow him on Twitter: @lcafiero

Dell Frees UEFI, iXsystems Wins Double Silver & More…

FOSS Week in Review

I honestly wish this news was better: Please allow a moment of silence for what seems to be the passing of Firefox OS. As a ZTE Open owner and a one-time regular user of that phone (until I needed something more dependable), this hits a sentimental note with me, since I was truly hoping that Mozilla would get the OS for the phone up to speed so it wouldn’t — oh, just to give a personal example — abandon users while performing important, job-dependent communications, for example.

And now, for the wrap:

Fedora logoFedora logoDell Fixing UEFI for Linux? Linux users may be able to update their UEFI firmware on devices, if Dell has their way. The computer manufacturing giant is looking at making things easier for Linux users, and Richard Hughes writes on his GNOME blog that this capability might be available as early as Fedora 24. “With Dell on board, I’m hoping it will give some of the other vendors enough confidence in the LVFS to talk about distributing their own firmware in public,” Hughes writes, and we have our fingers crossed here.

Larry CafieroLarry Cafiero

Larry Cafiero, a.k.a. Larry the Free Software Guy, is a journalist and a Free/Open Source Software advocate. He is involved in several FOSS projects and serves as the publicity chair for the Southern California Linux Expo. Follow him on Twitter: @lcafiero

PC-BSD 11.0-Current Images Ready, and Let’s Read Some Mail

Larry the BSD Guy

Parsing the developments from the BSD side of things this week for consumption by the general public is a little trickier than it is across the street on the Linux side, however with a little juggling (and an important note from iXsystems to come tomorrow in the weekly FOSS roundup), we’ll take a look at the new images ready for your testing and feedback. Also, I’ll answer some questions which arose in last week’s comments.

BSD logoBSD logoBefore I do that, though, it bears noting that Susan Linton over at Ostatic.com has picked up the BSD ball and run with it in a recent item on that site. Of special note is this morsel: “PC-BSD is the Linux Mint of free BSDs, an easy-to-use desktop system.” Why it wasn’t referred to as the “vowel-laden-and-overbearing-Linux-distro of free BSD” is a mystery, but I’ll take Linux Mint any day. Also, extra points to Susan for putting the “f” in lower case in “free BSD” to emphasize “BSD which is free” as opposed to FreeBSD, which would have caused some confusion.

Larry CafieroLarry Cafiero

Larry Cafiero, a.k.a. Larry the Free Software Guy, is a journalist and a Free/Open Source Software advocate. He is involved in several FOSS projects and serves as the publicity chair for the Southern California Linux Expo. Follow him on Twitter: @lcafiero

Is That Linux? No, It’s PC-BSD

Larry the BSD Guy

My laptop cover always gets looks wherever I set up to work — usually at Firefly Coffee House in Santa Cruz, where once a five-year-old stared at my cover for literally three minutes. I timed him. But yesterday, I was at Aptos Coffee Roasting Company, not far from Cabrillo College, where I hunkered down while waiting for my daughter to finish her Japanese class (sorry, Firefly — but in my feeble defense, you are not open past six).

A father and son sat at a table nearby, laptops open and I assume they were working on things individually. At one point, the father got up and approached me.

Larry CafieroLarry Cafiero

Larry Cafiero, a.k.a. Larry the Free Software Guy, is a journalist and a Free/Open Source Software advocate. He is involved in several FOSS projects and serves as the publicity chair for the Southern California Linux Expo. Follow him on Twitter: @lcafiero

More Raspberry Pi, Exterminating LibreOffice & More…

FOSS Week in Review

Raspberry Pi ZeroRaspberry Pi ZeroThe Thanksgiving holiday really put a damper on FOSS developments this week — but that doesn’t mean there’s nothing to report. On the contrary. So without further adieu, and on the heels of Thanksgiving, help yourself to another slice of…

Pi Zero for $5: Our friends at Phoronix reported this week about the Pi Zero, the latest Raspberry Pi board, costing a grand total of $5 American.

Larry CafieroLarry Cafiero

Larry Cafiero, a.k.a. Larry the Free Software Guy, is a journalist and a Free/Open Source Software advocate. He is involved in several FOSS projects and serves as the publicity chair for the Southern California Linux Expo. Follow him on Twitter: @lcafiero

The Devil & BSD: Leaving Linux Behind

Over the last several weeks, I have to confess to doing a little soul-searching in the wake of some developments in the Linux world, and I’ve come to a decision of sorts. It’s hard to say when the actual tipping point was, but you can probably mark it around the time Sarah Sharp closed the door on any further Linux kernel work, augmented by the accompanying “lack of understanding” by some who are significantly smarter than their responses would reflect.

PC-BSD LogoPC-BSD LogoReally, folks, I get it: Linus Torvalds is a great and historic man, one who changed the world for the better by developing a kernel that put a huge fast-forward on technology for all, on a far-more-level playing field than it could have been with the Linux kernel’s absence.

Larry CafieroLarry Cafiero

Larry Cafiero, a.k.a. Larry the Free Software Guy, is a journalist and a Free/Open Source Software advocate. He is involved in several FOSS projects and serves as the publicity chair for the Southern California Linux Expo. Follow him on Twitter: @lcafiero

Setting Up Shop With KDE’s Plasma

We’ve all seen those “screenshot tours” of FOSS desktops, but how about a real, guided tour of the Plasma (KDE) desktop? There are still a great many people who simply are not familiar with Plasma’s features. A large number of people never had any computer training, and when they find themselves in such an advanced environment, they feel completely lost. Many people can barely find their way around a single desktop; the concept of multiple virtual desktops is completely lost on them — never mind Plasma’s activities. So let’s take a little time and make some very basic changes to our desktop theme, and then organize our work. After all, that’s what activities are all about.

Some of my favorite features of Plasma are:

  • Customizability: we can change just about anything I want
  • Activities: allow us to organize our tasks into related groups
  • Virtual Desktops (workspaces in some environments): standard fare in FOSS desktops
  • Application Set: Kontact, Digikam, Kate, K3B and Amarok — the apps by which I live and die
Don ParrisDon Parris

Don Parris wears a Facility Services cape by day, and transforms into LibreMan at night. He has written numerous articles about free tech, and hangs out with the Cha-Ha crowd, learning about computer security. He also enjoys making ceviche with his wife, and writing about his travels in Perú.

Microsoft Writes Check, Free OSCON Passes & More…

FOSS Week in Review

Money: Can’t live with it, and can’t live without it. OK, maybe you actually can live with it, but money seems to be the overriding theme this week when it comes to FOSS news. With this being payday for most of you, try not to spend too much mental currency on some of the developments this week, like:

OpenSSH logoOpenSSH logoMS Writes a Check: Well, this was probably inevitable. With a generous donation, Microsoft has become a gold contributor to the OpenBSD project — the first gold contributor — in an effort to get OpenBSD’s help in porting OpenSSH to Windows. This comes from a report on ZDNet, where Steven Vaughan-Nichols tells the tale of checkbook participation in open source as “the best option…for our team to adopt an industry proven solution,” says Microsoft’s Angel Calvo. A gold contributor writes a check for anywhere between $25,000 to $50,000, so even at the minimum, the OpenBSD Foundation scores big. In exchange, Microsoft gets to port OpenSSH, which arguably is the gold standard for remote administration. Of course, it isn’t revealed how much, in code, Microsoft is going to contribute going forward, but as long as the money is there…I guess the money is there.

Larry CafieroLarry Cafiero

Larry Cafiero, a.k.a. Larry the Free Software Guy, is a journalist and a Free/Open Source Software advocate. He is involved in several FOSS projects and serves as the publicity chair for the Southern California Linux Expo. Follow him on Twitter: @lcafiero

Despite Rumors, Xfce Alive & Kicking

Rumors: They exist, for better or worse, and there’s not much you can do about them. In addition, rumors are the starting blocks for the old Churchill adage that “a lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on.”

Three times this month, Xfce came up in conversation — online, of course, and in the realm of social media and in forum discussions — and the context in which each conversation came up had the desktop on the brink of closure, with one unwitting person saying that Xfce was dead.

Xfce logoXfce logoNothing could be further from the truth, and several in the discussions rose to Xfce’s defense on the absurdity.

Xfce lead developer Olivier Fourdan “won’t really comment on the rumors,” he said, “but as long as there are users and developers, the project is not dead.”

Larry CafieroLarry Cafiero

Larry Cafiero, a.k.a. Larry the Free Software Guy, is a journalist and a Free/Open Source Software advocate. He is involved in several FOSS projects and serves as the publicity chair for the Southern California Linux Expo. Follow him on Twitter: @lcafiero

Looking Ahead at Upcoming FOSS Events

Now that the mega-conference week that was is in the books — Ohio LinuxFest, All Things Open and Seattle GNU/Linux Conference are all history for this year — generally the Linux/FOSS world catches its collective breath and starts thinking about shows in 2015.

But wait. There’s one more event that deserves special mention before we close out the year. For those of you who are on the BSD side of the FOSS street, Meet BSD California 2014 takes place this weekend in San Jose at the offices of Western Digital.

Meet BSD LogoMeet BSD LogoA biennial tradition in the San Francisco Bay Area, MeetBSD 2014 uses a mixed unConference format featuring both scheduled talks and community-driven events such as birds-of-a-feather meetings, lightning talks, and speed geeking sessions. MeetBSD can be traced back to a local workshop for BSD developers and users, hosted annually in Poland since 2004. Since then, MeetBSD’s popularity has spread, and it’s now widely recognized as its own conference with participants from all over the world.

Larry CafieroLarry Cafiero

Larry Cafiero, a.k.a. Larry the Free Software Guy, is a journalist and a Free/Open Source Software advocate. He is involved in several FOSS projects and serves as the publicity chair for the Southern California Linux Expo. Follow him on Twitter: @lcafiero

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