Tag Archives: debian

Happy New Year 2016 and a solemn farewell to the creator of Debian


From all of us here at Linux Game News, we wish you all a very happy and safe New Year!! This has been quite the year for #Linuxgaming with the more recent arrival of Steam Machines and the Steam Controller, to an ever amounting catalogue of new titles available.

However, this is not a typical day of celebration, but also a #sadday for the Linux community as a whole. #IanMurdock, the creator of Debian, former employee of Sun Microsystems, former CTO of the Linux Foundation, and recently worked at Docker, has passed away.
The cause of death is not been made public, but his passing is certainly felt throughout the industry.


Murdock created Debian back in August 1993, the “ian” part of the project’s name, which is also named after his wife, Debra.

In his memory, the current Debian team wrote this:

With a heavy heart Debian mourns the passing of Ian Murdock, stalwart proponent of Free Open Source Software, Father, Son, and the ‘ian’ in Debian.

Ian started the Debian project in August of 1993, releasing the first versions of Debian later that same year. Debian would go on to become the world’s Universal Operating System, running on everything from embedded devices to the space station.

Ian’s sharp focus was on creating a Distribution and community culture that did the right thing, be it ethically, or technically. Releases went out when they were ready, and the project’s staunch stance on Software Freedom are the gold standards in the Free and Open Source world.

Ian’s devotion to the right thing guided his work, both in Debian and in the subsequent years, always working towards the best possible future.

Ian’s dream has lived on, the Debian community remains incredibly active, with thousands of developers working untold hours to bring the world a reliable and secure operating system.

The thoughts of the Debian Community are with Ian’s family in this hard time.

His family has asked for privacy during this difficult time and we very much wish to respect that. Within our Debian and the larger Linux community condolences may be sent to [email protected] where they will be kept and archived.

The thoughts of the Debian Community and the tech community are with Ian’s family in this hard time.


SteamOS updated to Linux Kernel 4.1 and ready for launch


Valve is getting ready for the launch of the anticipated Steam Machines, on November 10. The #Valve #developers have been busy preparing the distribution of the SteamOS operating system for the machines. SteamOS as we all know is a Linux distribution based on Debian, its developers are pushing all the latest updates in time for the official #release of the Steam Machine’s.

The SteamOS Beta was made available just last week. Now all of the packages have been migrated to a stable branch, with the biggest and most vital update being the migration of Linux kernel 4.1 LTS branch. A migration that also brings in a few patches made by Valve.

According to the official announcement and change log, udebs from brewmaster is now being used rather than brewmaster_beta isntaller. Plus support was added for multiple overlay planes, the on-screen keyboard issue has been resolved, with several keyboard and mice showing up as joysticks that are now blacklisted.

  • debian-installer – use udebs from brewmaster rather than brewmaster_beta
  • debian-installer – bump ABI version to the new kernel
  • steamos-compositor – Add support for multiple overlay planes, fixing on-screen keyboard in new Steam Client Beta.
  • linux – Linux 4.1 from debian bpo + valve patches + ESRT
  • linux-latest – Linux 4.1 from debian bpo + valve patches + ESRT
  • linux-tools – Linux 4.1 from debian bpo + valve patches + ESRT
  • mysql-5.5 – CVE-2015-4792[cve.mitre.org] CVE-2015-4802[cve.mitre.org] CVE-2015-4815[cve.mitre.org] CVE-2015-4816[cve.mitre.org] CVE-2015-4819[cve.mitre.org] CVE-2015-4826[cve.mitre.org] CVE-2015-4830[cve.mitre.org] CVE-2015-4836[cve.mitre.org] CVE-2015-4858[cve.mitre.org] CVE-2015-4861[cve.mitre.org] CVE-2015-4870[cve.mitre.org] CVE-2015-4879[cve.mitre.org] CVE-2015-4913[cve.mitre.org]
  • steamos-base-files – stop opting new installs into the Steam client beta, add /etc/udev/rules.d/51-these-are-not-joysticks.rules
  • fglrx-driver – updated to version 15.9, DKMS packages and firmware for Linux 4.1
  • firmware-nonfree – DKMS packages and firmware for Linux 4.1
  • nvidia-graphics-drivers – updated to version 352.55, DKMS packages and firmware for Linux 4.1
  • nvidia-support – latest to support NVIDIA driver
  • glx-alternatives – latest to support NVIDIA driver
  • tzdata – Latest upstream version

Details have been set for Steam Machine, the highly optimized gaming PC’s that are in fact ‘consoles’ and able to run a host of Steam games. Unlike typical gaming consoles, Steam Machines come in a variety of hardware configurations, with manufacturers making their own version. This leaves a greater deal of flexibility over typical consoles, making them upgradable. And almost all manufactures have upgradable options.

The official download link for SteamOS has been switched from alchemist to brewmaster and is now available for all.



People Posing as Debian Developers Trying To Scam Games From Valve

People Posing as Debian Developers Trying To Scam Games From Valve

Last month, Valve made a rather generous offer to #genuine #developers of the Linux-derived Debian operating system: drop us a line and we’ll give you the entire library of Steam games free. Unsurprisingly, such a juicy offer has had its share of scam attempts, though you can rest assured that the offer is being well policed.

According to Collabora’s Jo Shields, who is responsible for verifying the claims, the majority of responses have been from legitimate devs, with 279 approved so far and only 22 enquires refused. Of those 22, 10 were honest requests that didn’t meet the criteria, while seven were half-hearted (and easily identifiable) scam attempts. The last five, however, can only be described as incredibly dodgy.

As Shields explains, the requests try to look valid, but make elementary mistakes — mostly involving not signing their emails correctly with GPG. Even if this system wasn’t in place, I’d probably raise an eyebrow at any email that contained little more than the sentence “I’m would like to get the valve produced games”.

So, if you were thinking of trying one on in the hopes of bagging yourself the entire Steam library, you’re extremely unlikely to succeed.

Reblogged from: lifehacker.com.au

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Valve paying it forward by giving games to Linux Debian Developers

Valve is really pushing Linux, Gabe Newell see’s it as the future of gaming and is trying to bring us closer to that with #SteamOS and as a result, Valve is really keen to get some Linux #developers on board. How is Valve going to reel in those Linux developers? Well by offering them free games of course, Debian developers will be eligible for a subscription that gives them free access to all of Valve’s current releases as well as anything it brings out in the future.

Collabora, a well known open-source consulting company, has been working with Valve on the Debian-based SteamOS, part of Collabora’s job was to help Valve interact with current Developers. Now if you’re a Linux Debian developer you can contact Collabora with a signed email that’s part of the Debian key-ring to gain access to all of Valve’s games for free on Steam.

Those of us who aren’t developers still have to buy our games unfortunately but this move will certainly help Valve in its move towards Linux although, it still need to reveal some big developers that its working with, nobody is going to want to switch from Windows if we can’t still play our favourite games and franchises.

Reblogged from: kitguru.net

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Raspberry Pi computer is very tasty and selling like hot cakes

A tiny computer the size of a business card

IF any gadget has excited us this year, it is the $35 Raspberry Pi, a tiny computer the size of a business card that’s powerful enough to stream HD video.

ince the Raspberry arrived in the office, it has been a source of wonder, bewilderment and excitement to passersby.

It’s not that the Pi needs media reviews to be noticed. When orders opened on leap day, February 29 this year, Pis were selling like hot cakes. They were at one stage being pre-ordered at the rate of 700 per second. By mid-last month, distributors RS Components and Element14 between them had received more than 350,000 pre-orders and it is understood 10,000 Pis had been shipped, so there’s a huge backlog.

Before ordering even began, a handful of Pi boards were auctioned on eBay in January for enthusiasts, with one $35 board selling for $1586.

The UK-developed Pi is the brainchild of Eben Upton, Technical Director, Broadcom, and formerly of IBM and Intel, and David Braben, the programmer who wrote Elite, a space-trading computer game. It is their mission that British kids have an affordable device capable of teaching them computer science and the guts of what happens inside a computer, but the rest of the world is cashing in.

It is also an attempt at countering concern about emerging generations of children who are just consumers of apps on PCs, phones and tablet computers, and who are hooked on social networking and gaming, with no knowledge of computing. It is a return to the 1960s and early 1970s in Australia where students learnt computer programming using the Minitran and Miditran languages using punch cards they perforated with paper clips.

Hardware-wise, the Pi has a 700 Megahertz ARM 11 chip with 256MB of onboard memory. Its secret is its “system on a chip”. It combines the processor, graphics processor, digital signal processor and memory in one tiny Piece of hardware.

The Pi manages a phenomenal number of connections for its size. Our Model B Pi has an Ethernet port, full-sized HDMI and RCA video connectors, 2 USB ports nominally for a keyboard and mouse, a digital stereo socket for a headset or powered speakers, a MicroUSB port for a power-connector, and a slot underneath for a full-sized SD card. There’s a GPiO connector on top for driving LED lights, but the power output would need to be tiny.

For $25, you can buy the cheaper Model A which has one USB port instead of two, and no Ethernet internet connector, but we don’t see the point of Model A unless this $10 saving is absolutely necessary or you’re using the Pi for a specialised purpose, where the internet is not needed.

If you haven’t a spare HDMI cable, headset, keyboard, mouse or display, you will be up for extra money to make the necessary connections to the Pi. I scrounged most of these from our offices and used an Apple 5 volt phone charger with a standard micro USB cable for the power supply. Input current needs to be at least 700 milliamps, so the 1 ampere iPhone charger was ideal.

Be careful to check the phone charger as some are more than 5 volts, even new iPad ones. Fried Raspberry Pi is not my favourite dish. We did, however, add a powered USB hub, so we could connect not only a keyboard and mouse, but flash drives with video and music files we wanted to stream.

The SD card you attach underneath is the system’s hard-drive and contains the operating system. The Pi runs adapted strains of Linux, rather than Microsoft Windows or Apple’s iOS. The Raspberry Pi Foundation through its distributors will eventually sell these SD cards with the operating system installed, so you’ll insert the SD card, power up the Pi, and be away. But in these pioneering days it is a do-it-yourself job.

For early adapters out there, we’ll include online some links to help you create the SD card operating system, but it’s straight forward enough. You download the OS, and write the image to the card using a downloadable program for this purpose.

We tested the Pi using two operating system images we created with 16GB SD cards. One was a Debian Squeeze image, the other an early Pi implementation of XBMC, which is a media centre capable of streaming video and music stored on the internet, or media on a connected drive. Linux Fedora, however, is expected to be the mainstay of the Pi.


This pioneering phase means you have to tinker with the Pi to get it going. That means using Linux console commands to set the locale/time-zone, to change the default UK keyboard to US UTF format so that characters such as @ and ” are in the right place, and re-partitioning the SD card so that it uses all 16GBs are used, rather than 1 GB for your files.

Needless to say, the Pi isn’t a system for one’s grandmother, unless she is capable of entering console commands such as “sudo dpkg-reconfigure tzdata”. I don’t know a Granny who can.

Configuring the Pi is in the realm of Geekdom, but that may change in time as online enthusiasm for software development around the Pi matches its hardware sales. It’s a matter of time.

Let’s now deal with what the Pi isn’t. It is not a $35 replacement for an office desktop computer, so for back-to-the-wall company accountants reading this and fantasising about replacing row upon row of office PCs with $35 Pis — well, it’s time to take a nice cool shower.

We did fire up the Pi’s graphic user interface and surf the net using the supplied Midori web browser, but we didn’t have Flash and with a limited 256 MB of memory (shared with the graphics processor) we weren’t wanting to run Java.

But we managed to surf the web, and even open Gmail, although only using the basic HTML view. Other Google functions such as Google Drive didn’t load. There doesn’t seem a ready-made offering of cloud applications you can run with the Pi — yet. However, we did download AbiWord, a lightweight word processor, prepare documents, and email them using our Gmail in the browser. No doubt with time there’ll be a distro that offers capable basic office applications, but not now.

Office work though is probably the least imaginative thing you can do with the Pi, and our second SD card with the XBMC media centre loaded, showed why.

Despite XMBC being an early alpha-implementation, we were able to watch MP4 and AVI video and listen to MP3 and M4A audio, although we did have to manually mount the USB flash drive in Linux to make it work. But the video experience was fine and there was no stuttering, as the native media player, OMXplayer, uses hardware acceleration. It does, however, play only a few codecs.

Long-term, we see the Pi as outrageously popular not only among enthusiasts but schools also. At $35 each, a classroom of 20 can be outfitted with Pis for the cost of a tablet computer, although the 20 HDMI monitors they use will cost lots more.

A few critics say that by loading virtual machine software, schools can achieve what the Pi offers on existing PC systems, and there’s no need to buy extra hardware, but it’s hard to argue against a child curating their own Raspberry Pi like a Tamagotchi.

The other big group of users will be those who adapt the Raspberry Pi to a bevy of home and maybe industrial uses. There are projects online under way to develop software so that a Pi can control a home-monitoring and energy system, operate as a computer in a car or boat, remotely control a coffee machine, act as a cheap stand-alone internet radio or bit torrent media downloader, or be the brain of a mobile robot.

Some kids and adults alike will either build these systems or make use of completed open-source code versions of them that eventually will be available online with little extra work involved. At $35 each, we all can afford a slice of Raspberry Pi.


COST: $35 (or $25 for Model A)


General guide

Getting started & configuring the keyboard/time zone

XBMC media centre distribution


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