Oracle is Set to Kill Solaris. Here are the Alternatives to Solaris

By Sylvain Leroux

Solaris 12 has disappeared from the Oracle roadmap published in January 2017

In January 2017, Solaris 12 disappeared from the official Oracle roadmap.

Even if Oracle denied it, preferring to claim they will move to “continuous delivery” instead of “point zero” upgrades, that raised a lot of question and rumors about the future of Solaris under the umbrella of the firm of Redwood Shores.

In September 2017, the decision of Oracle to laid off the core Solaris technical staff confirmed our worries concerning the future of the Sun inherited operating systems. So, is this the end of Solaris? Not necessary…

A quick look back at Solaris history

The younger readers among you may have only known Linux and eventually some *BSD Unix-like systems. But for people of my generation, Solaris –just like AIX— is another big name. A little bit of history might help you understand why this operating system has a special place in our hearts — and in our server racks.

It all started in 1982 when three and a half students of Stanford university founded Sun Microsystems. I said three and a half since Bill Joy is considered as a co-founder alongside Vinod Khosla, Andy Bechtolsheim, and Scott McNealy, even if the former joined the team only after few months. Sun aimed initially at being a hardware company, designing high-quality MC68000-based graphical workstations.

But with the arrival of Bill Joy, a core BSD developer (and the original vi writer— yeah!), all was ready for Sun to become a leader in the software industry too. It was notably the case with the development of SunOS, the BSD-based operating system powering the commercially successful Sun SPARC servers and workstations.

SunOS rapidly gained a reputation for quality and innovation, introducing technologies and concepts several years ahead of their competitors like NFS (the Network File System, whose version 3 and 4 are still in use today), NIS+ (an alternative/predecessor of LDAP), Sun RPC (formally Open Network Computing Remote Procedure Call or SunView (a windowing system developed in the early 80s that were superseded by X10/X11 based products only several years later)

But the real birth of Solaris dates back to the 90s, after AT&T entered in the Sun Microsystems capital, and the OS switched from BSD base code to the (then newly) AT&T System V release 4. With that change, SunOS was rebranded Solaris.

During almost 20 years, from 1992 to 2010, Sun provided regular release of its OS, initially for its SPARC architecture, then for SPARC, UltraSPARC, x86 and finally x86_64. Each release providing its share of new technologies — some of them you may know because of their later port to other OSes like Linux: CacheFS, Doors), ZFS, DTrace, IPMP, Solaris Multiplexed I/O, or –pay special attention systemd haters– modern init replacement with SMF. Not mentioning the development of the Oak programming language since 1991 … and released in 1995 under the name Java because of trademark issues.

The 90s decade was rich in term of innovations, and during that period, Sun Microsystems had solid and constantly increasing incomes. Unfortunately, a large share of those incomes was the result of the “dot-com bubble”. And when the bubble burst, Sun faced a demand shortage and consequently important financial losses.

In an attempt to switch to a different model, in 2005 Sun launched the OpenSolaris project. For the first time in its history, the sources of the upcoming Solaris 10 would be available. While acclaimed by the community, observers predicted that move was too late given the predominant position already occupied by Linux at that time.

And indeed, they were right: only five years later, in 2010 Sun was finally bought by one of its competitors: Oracle Corporation. Rapidly, Oracle abandoned the OpenSolaris project and resumed Solaris development using a closed source model. That leads to the release of Solaris 11.0 to 11.3 from 2011 to 2015.

Is Solaris a legacy software?

Probably there is a share of nostalgia in our (my?) attachment to Solaris. But Solaris remains a robust, secure and scalable operating system. Particularly well suited for cloud computing infrastructure given its strong and native support for virtualization (Solaris zones, including branded zones), software defined network (Crossbow), real-time monitoring (DTrace) and fault tolerance (Solaris Fault Management, SMF). Worth mentioning many of these technologies were actually developed for Solaris 10 — so were an integral part of the OpenSolaris project.

Solaris has a pretty complex history

During the writing of this article, I started drawing infographics you can download from my website to summarize the long and complex history of Solaris. Anyway, after several twists and forks, Solaris has given birth to a few projects. Let’s have a look at them:

Operating Systems based on Solaris

1. illumos

If today the plans of Oracle for Solaris remains nebulous, hopefully, the ephemeral OpenSolaris project opened the door for a life for Solaris-based projects outside of the Sun/Oracle umbrella.

A corner stone of that “free” Solaris ecosystem is illumos. The illumos project is an open and independent successor of OpenSolaris, whose main goal is to continue the development of OS/Net, that is the Solaris kernel, the base libraries, and the core userland tools. Today, the illumos implementation of OS/Net is known as the illumos-gate project. And the core userland utilities port is part of the illumos-userland project.

illumos is not a distribution per-se, but serves as a base for most if not all non-Oracle Solaris distributions. The best known of them being OpenIndiana.

2. OpenIndiana

OpenIndiana is the continuation of the Sun Indiana project. While OpenSolaris aimed at providing the source of OS/Net, the Indiana project aimed at providing a full Solaris-like distribution around OpenSolaris.

OpenIndiana was announced in 2010 after Oracle has discontinued the support for open-source development around Solaris. While initially based on OpenSolaris, the project switched to illumos OS/Net implementation one year later.

Today, OpneIndiana is the de-facto standard for illumos-based general purposes distributions. OpenIndiana is actively maintained and is suitable both for server and desktop usage. For that latter use case, while other projects exist, OpenIndiana is clearly the most successful.

If you’re looking for a GUI version of Solaris, or if you come from a Linux background and want to try out Solaris in a familiar and rather comfortable environment, OpenIndiana is certainly for you.

3. OmniOS Community Edition (OmniOSce)

  • http://www.omniosce.org
  • x86-64 only since r151022, IA-32/x86_64 before r151022
  • FOSS
  • Backed up by OmniIT until mars 2017
  • illumos-based distribution for server

OmniOS Community Edition is the continuation of the OmniOS project originally supported by OmniTI. The goal of OmniOS is to provide an “illumos based server OS with ZFS, DTrace, Crossbow, SMF, KVM, and Linux zone support”.

While OpenIndian is a general purpose distribution that you can use for server applications, OmniOSce is specifically designed for that purpose. The project is actively developed and aims at delivering a stable release every six months, and the long term support distribution every two years. The latest LTS version at the time of this writing is OmniOSce r151022 — whose supports should continue until 2020 (http://www.omniosce.org/schedule.html).

If you’re looking for a Solaris distribution for your server, OmniOSce is the place to start.

4. SmartOS

Linux is well-known and used by a wide variety of users with many different needs. On the other hand, Solaris appears more confidential and was confined in high-end applications and niche markets. And with the release of the sources as part of the OpenSolaris project, some companies have started to develop very specialized distributions tailored for their operational needs.

This is the case with SmartOS. As the opposite of previous distributions, this one is a “Live” distribution in that sense it runs entirely on RAM. You boot on SmartOS from a USB device, from an ISO image, or –probably your choice in production– over the network via PXE.

The goal of SmartOS is to provide a complete virtualization environment using zones for containers (including bare-metal performances for Linux application in LX zones) and KVM for running arbitrary OS. In some sense, SmartOS is an hypervisor rather than an OS. SmartOS is a free and open-source project developed by and for Joyent (recently bought by Samsung) and used on their own cloud infrastructure.

Being build for cloud applications, SmartOS might seem confusing if you don’t have a previous experience in virtualized environments or server administration. But if you’re looking for a free alternative to VMware ESXi, SmartOS is certainly the illumos distribution to consider.

5. NexentaStor

Given it runs entirely from RAM, SmartOS is suitable as the embedded OS on appliances or smart devices. But if you need an illumos-based distribution specifically designed for that purpose, take a look at NexentaStor.

Worth mentioning, as the opposite of the previous solutions, NexentaStor is no longer open source. As its name implies, it is specifically well suited for storage devices and appliances (NAS, SAN, iSCSI or Fibre Channel applications).

There used to be a NexentaStor Community Edition, but from what I saw, this project is more or less canceled and if you login on the Nexenta website and try to download NexentaStor 5.x CE, you end up having to request a license for the “free version for up to 10TB of allocated disk space”. So it looks more like a trial version than a community edition to me. Or am I wrong? Don’t hesitate to use the comment section below if you have more information on that topic!

A reason to mention NexentaStor here is Nexenta Systems alongside with Joyent were very active members of the illumos community. Being at the core of many improvements and features we can use today on any illumos-based distributions.

The few project mentioned above are clearly the “big names” of the illumos ecosystem today. But besides them, they are countless lesser known projects that ensure Solaris remains alive — and that actually play a significant role in the IT landscape.

For example, I can mention MenloStor from MenloWare, that leverages the power of ZFS and software defined network capabilities of illumos to provide advanced storage solutions.

Or napp-it which targets a similar market and you can use for free at home or in SOHO environment. During my researches for this article, I was told about Delphix OS too — especially well suited apparently for database storage and backup. But I must admit I didn’t review this one in details. Finally, besides industry-supported distributions, there are a couple of lesser known projects like Tribblix — which aims at providing a lightweight and accessible desktop and server distribution that can run anywhere, including on SPARC and 32bit x86 (IA-32) hardware with limited resources. And there are probably many other great projects I forgot in that list!

What do you think?

I wish to thank Peter Tribble (author of Tribblix), Theo Schlossnagle, Jim Klimov and all other people on the OmniOS mailing list for their help during the writing of this article. And more generally, thanks to the whole illumos community for your great work!

So, is Solaris dead? Well, the Solaris brand maybe. But the Solaris spirit and its unique combination of innovative features are still alive. And well alive.

I can only encourage you to try one or the other illumos distributions mentioned above: at the very least, you will discover something different. And who knows? Maybe you could realize that Solaris was the OS you were looking for. As of myself, I’m really looking forward to reading your feedbacks about Solaris/illumos in the comment section below!

From: It’s FOSS

GeckoLinux Review: A Hassle-Free openSUSE Spin

By Ambarish Kumar

GeckoLinux screenshot

GeckoLinux is an openSUSE spin that is available both in static and rolling editions.

It comes in two flavors, the Static editions for GeckoLinux are based on openSUSE Leap 42.2 with its periodic life cycle and long support lifetime while the rolling edition is based on the stable openSUSE Tumbleweed release.

GeckoLinux GNOME screenshot

More of a refined edition of openSUSE, GeckoLinux uses the official repo with modifications to the theme, patterns and allows installation from additional repositories. openSUSE uses Patterns that install a lot of applications that most of us don’t need it. GeckoLinux tries to solve this problem as it comes with very minimal usage of patterns to avoid extra packages that keep coming back even after uninstalling in the former.

Let us look at the features, installation steps and also see how GeckoLinux is different than openSUSE.

Features of GeckoLinux

  • GeckoLinux comes with offline installation live DVD / USB image for both static and rolling editions.
  • It offers various customized editions optimized for different desktop environments. There is a Cinnamon, XFCE, Gnome, Plasma, Mate, Budgie LXQt and Barebones edition for both static and rolling editions.
  • It comes with various pre-installed open source applications and proprietary ones like media codecs saving you from the pain of manual installation.
  • GeckoLinux supports packages from the Pacman repo.
  • It comes with a better font rendering and does not force the installation of additional recommended packages after system installation.
  • Desktop programs in GeckoLinux can be uninstalled with all their dependencies.

Download GeckoLinux

You can grab a copy of GeckoLinux from its download page:

Download GeckoLinux

There are different flavors for both static and rolling release.

Installation

I grabbed a copy of GeckoLinux Rolling Gnome edition, Gnome is always the second best for me after Unity. The installation process was simple and without hassle in a Virtual Box. Once I was done with the initial VM set up of assigning memory and hard disk creation, I went on to boot the VM with the ISO downloaded.

Calamares Installer was there on the Desktop, which while running shows the openSUSE installer title. It took another 30 min to install everything up.

Click to view slideshow.

Restarting and selecting “Boot from Hard disk” took me to the login screen. The experience thereafter was smoother and soothing.

As I said, it uses the openSUSE tumbleweed installer, and hence the final screen 🙂

Difference between GeckoLinux and openSUSE

  • openSUSE requires you to have the minimal understanding of installing patterns and packages for a desktop environment while GeckoLinux offers several desktop environments which do not require you to learn additional skills.
  • Proprietary media codecs and other necessities are pre-installed in GeckoLinux whereas, in openSUSE, you have to do it manually.
  • openSUSE is strict with proprietary software while GeckoLinux uses packages from the Pacman repo when they are available.
  • GeckoLinux has a better font rendering than openSUSE default font configuration.
  • While uninstalling a desktop program, GeckoLinux removes it along with their dependencies while openSUSE’s pattern sometimes causes uninstalled packages to be reinstalled automatically.

If I can summarize it in a line, GeckoLinux is an improvement to openSUSE with better font rendering, pre-configured with different desktop environments and a bit more proprietary friendly with a very less usage of patterns.

If you prefer doing things yourself, go with openSUSE. If you want to avoid it, GeckoLinux serves your purpose. To some, it fixes things which they dislike about openSUSE.

Have you tried it yet? If no, time to give a try to another Linux distribution. If yes, do share your experience in the comment section.

From: It’s FOSS

GeckoLinux Review: A Hassle-Free openSUSE Spin

By Ambarish Kumar

GeckoLinux screenshot

GeckoLinux is an openSUSE spin that is available both in static and rolling editions.

It comes in two flavors, the Static editions for GeckoLinux are based on openSUSE Leap 42.2 with its periodic life cycle and long support lifetime while the rolling edition is based on the stable openSUSE Tumbleweed release.

GeckoLinux GNOME screenshot

More of a refined edition of openSUSE, GeckoLinux uses the official repo with modifications to the theme, patterns and allows installation from additional repositories. openSUSE uses Patterns that install a lot of applications that most of us don’t need it. GeckoLinux tries to solve this problem as it comes with very minimal usage of patterns to avoid extra packages that keep coming back even after uninstalling in the former.

Let us look at the features, installation steps and also see how GeckoLinux is different than openSUSE.

Features of GeckoLinux

  • GeckoLinux comes with offline installation live DVD / USB image for both static and rolling editions.
  • It offers various customized editions optimized for different desktop environments. There is a Cinnamon, XFCE, Gnome, Plasma, Mate, Budgie LXQt and Barebones edition for both static and rolling editions.
  • It comes with various pre-installed open source applications and proprietary ones like media codecs saving you from the pain of manual installation.
  • GeckoLinux supports packages from the Pacman repo.
  • It comes with a better font rendering and does not force the installation of additional recommended packages after system installation.
  • Desktop programs in GeckoLinux can be uninstalled with all their dependencies.

Download GeckoLinux

You can grab a copy of GeckoLinux from its download page:

Download GeckoLinux

There are different flavors for both static and rolling release.

Installation

I grabbed a copy of GeckoLinux Rolling Gnome edition, Gnome is always the second best for me after Unity. The installation process was simple and without hassle in a Virtual Box. Once I was done with the initial VM set up of assigning memory and hard disk creation, I went on to boot the VM with the ISO downloaded.

Calamares Installer was there on the Desktop, which while running shows the openSUSE installer title. It took another 30 min to install everything up.

Click to view slideshow.

Restarting and selecting “Boot from Hard disk” took me to the login screen. The experience thereafter was smoother and soothing.

As I said, it uses the openSUSE tumbleweed installer, and hence the final screen 🙂

Difference between GeckoLinux and openSUSE

  • openSUSE requires you to have the minimal understanding of installing patterns and packages for a desktop environment while GeckoLinux offers several desktop environments which do not require you to learn additional skills.
  • Proprietary media codecs and other necessities are pre-installed in GeckoLinux whereas, in openSUSE, you have to do it manually.
  • openSUSE is strict with proprietary software while GeckoLinux uses packages from the Pacman repo when they are available.
  • GeckoLinux has a better font rendering than openSUSE default font configuration.
  • While uninstalling a desktop program, GeckoLinux removes it along with their dependencies while openSUSE’s pattern sometimes causes uninstalled packages to be reinstalled automatically.

If I can summarize it in a line, GeckoLinux is an improvement to openSUSE with better font rendering, pre-configured with different desktop environments and a bit more proprietary friendly with a very less usage of patterns.

If you prefer doing things yourself, go with openSUSE. If you want to avoid it, GeckoLinux serves your purpose. To some, it fixes things which they dislike about openSUSE.

Have you tried it yet? If no, time to give a try to another Linux distribution. If yes, do share your experience in the comment section.

From: It’s FOSS

Mastodon: The Open Source Alternative To Twitter

By Kev Quirk

I don’t know about you, but I have long yearned for a social network that I can truly call home. Facebook is no good as it’s full of pictures of people’s cats and their dinner. Twitter is full of trolls and rude people, in my experience at least. When Google+ came along, I had high hopes for it, but alas, it’s pretty much a ghost town these days.

So what is an intrepid lover of all things FOSS supposed to do with their spare time? Well, the answer is now simple – use Mastodon of course!

What Is Mastodon?

Mastodon is the world’s largest free, open source, decentralized micro-blogging network. Quite a mouthful, right? Basically, Mastodon is an open source alternative to Twitter. It has many of the advantages of Twitter, but none of the trolls, or none that I have found so far at least.

As you can see from the image above, the Mastodon feed looks a lot like the popular Twitter client, TweetDeck and it does work in much the same way. So if you have used TweetDeck in the past, you should be right at home on Mastodon. There are, of course, also various Android and iOS apps available, most of which work really well – my personal recommendation for Android would be Mastalab.

Advantages Of Mastodon

This is where things get interesting! I’ll start with the simple stuff – you’re not restricted to 140 characters like on Twitter. On Mastodon, you have 500 characters to play with. This has been more than enough for me personally, without having to mess around trying to shorten what I want to say.

Right, on to the really good stuff…

Possibly the biggest advantage of Mastodon over any social network is that you can self-host it. That’s right, you can spin up your very own Mastodon instance, keep it public, or make it private for your own use. Now, you might be thinking “what’s the point in self-hosting? You’re just going to end up with a load of insular servers sprawled all over the Internet.”

If that’s what you’re thinking, you’re wrong. You see, each Mastodon instance is part of a federated network. This means that all instances can talk to one another. So if my account is on instance A, and Bill has an account on instance B, we can still follow one another and see each other’s updates.

Think of it like email – you and I don’t need to have our emails hosted with the same provider, because they all use open standards. Which means that even though our email servers are completely separate, they can still email one another. That’s basically how Mastodon works, even your handle looks like an email address. For example, mine is @kev@fosstodon.org.

However, if you want a completely private Mastodon instance, you can also turn federation off.

Feda-what?!

So what does all this mean? Well, if Twitter goes down, that’s it. Bye bye Twitter and all your tweets. It’s the same story for Facebook, Google+, and pretty much any other social network. On Mastodon that isn’t the case. For example, if my instance goes down, the rest of the network continues on and all my users can quickly and easily sign up to another instance and be back up and running in no time. Plus, there isn’t a single entity controlling Mastodon – like all good things, it’s managed by a community.

When you’re browsing your Mastodon instance, you can view you home feed, which consists of only the people you follow. Your public feed, which is all the toots (Mastodon’s version of a tweet) on that particular instance. Or you can look at the federated feed, which is all the toots from all the instances that are connected to your instance. This makes it incredibly easy to consume content and find interesting people to follow.

How Do I Get Started?

It’s quite simple really, there are tonnes of Mastodon instances online, so there is likely to be at least one in the niche you’re interested in. You can search for some here.

However, judging by the fact you’re reading a FOSS website, I’m willing to bet that you’re interested in FOSS. If that is the case, you can join my instance, Fosstodon, where you will be made very welcome. Or you can check out some other really great Linux/FOSS-centric instances, like LinuxRocks.Online or Mastodon.Rocks.

Are you already a Mastodon user? If so, why not tell us what you think about it in the comments section below.

I look forward to seeing you guys on Mastodon soon!

From: It’s FOSS

Mastodon: The Open Source Alternative To Twitter

By Kev Quirk

I don’t know about you, but I have long yearned for a social network that I can truly call home. Facebook is no good as it’s full of pictures of people’s cats and their dinner. Twitter is full of trolls and rude people, in my experience at least. When Google+ came along, I had high hopes for it, but alas, it’s pretty much a ghost town these days.

So what is an intrepid lover of all things FOSS supposed to do with their spare time? Well, the answer is now simple – use Mastodon of course!

What Is Mastodon?

Mastodon is the world’s largest free, open source, decentralized micro-blogging network. Quite a mouthful, right? Basically, Mastodon is an open source alternative to Twitter. It has many of the advantages of Twitter, but none of the trolls, or none that I have found so far at least.

As you can see from the image above, the Mastodon feed looks a lot like the popular Twitter client, TweetDeck and it does work in much the same way. So if you have used TweetDeck in the past, you should be right at home on Mastodon. There are, of course, also various Android and iOS apps available, most of which work really well – my personal recommendation for Android would be Mastalab.

Advantages Of Mastodon

This is where things get interesting! I’ll start with the simple stuff – you’re not restricted to 140 characters like on Twitter. On Mastodon, you have 500 characters to play with. This has been more than enough for me personally, without having to mess around trying to shorten what I want to say.

Right, on to the really good stuff…

Possibly the biggest advantage of Mastodon over any social network is that you can self-host it. That’s right, you can spin up your very own Mastodon instance, keep it public, or make it private for your own use. Now, you might be thinking “what’s the point in self-hosting? You’re just going to end up with a load of insular servers sprawled all over the Internet.”

If that’s what you’re thinking, you’re wrong. You see, each Mastodon instance is part of a federated network. This means that all instances can talk to one another. So if my account is on instance A, and Bill has an account on instance B, we can still follow one another and see each other’s updates.

Think of it like email – you and I don’t need to have our emails hosted with the same provider, because they all use open standards. Which means that even though our email servers are completely separate, they can still email one another. That’s basically how Mastodon works, even your handle looks like an email address. For example, mine is @kev@fosstodon.org.

However, if you want a completely private Mastodon instance, you can also turn federation off.

Feda-what?!

So what does all this mean? Well, if Twitter goes down, that’s it. Bye bye Twitter and all your tweets. It’s the same story for Facebook, Google+, and pretty much any other social network. On Mastodon that isn’t the case. For example, if my instance goes down, the rest of the network continues on and all my users can quickly and easily sign up to another instance and be back up and running in no time. Plus, there isn’t a single entity controlling Mastodon – like all good things, it’s managed by a community.

When you’re browsing your Mastodon instance, you can view you home feed, which consists of only the people you follow. Your public feed, which is all the toots (Mastodon’s version of a tweet) on that particular instance. Or you can look at the federated feed, which is all the toots from all the instances that are connected to your instance. This makes it incredibly easy to consume content and find interesting people to follow.

How Do I Get Started?

It’s quite simple really, there are tonnes of Mastodon instances online, so there is likely to be at least one in the niche you’re interested in. You can search for some here.

However, judging by the fact you’re reading a FOSS website, I’m willing to bet that you’re interested in FOSS. If that is the case, you can join my instance, Fosstodon, where you will be made very welcome. Or you can check out some other really great Linux/FOSS-centric instances, like LinuxRocks.Online or Mastodon.Rocks.

Are you already a Mastodon user? If so, why not tell us what you think about it in the comments section below.

I look forward to seeing you guys on Mastodon soon!

From: It’s FOSS

Mozilla is Funding Open Source Projects in India

By Ambarish Kumar

Mozilla to fund open source projects in India

In an encouraging move, Mozilla announced the launch of “Global Mission Partners: India”, an award program for open source enthusiasts from India to participate and win funding up to Rs 1.0 crore. Applicants can apply for funding to support any open source/free software projects which extends Mozilla’s Mission.

Mozilla Mission is basically 10 principles which the organization is dedicated to. These principles support Internet as an integral part of modern life and must remain open and accessible for all. Internet must enrich the lives of the individual and their security and privacy should be the fundamental right. Individuals must have the ability to shape the internet and their experiences.

Mozilla believes free and open source promotes the development of the internet as a public resource and transparency is a key component promoting participation, accountability, and trust. Mozilla also acknowledges commercial involvement brings many benefits to the web and lists magnifying public aspects of the internet as important goal.

To support and further extends its Principles, Mozilla has come up with the “Global Mission Partners: India” promoting the active participation of Indian students and professionals in the area of open source and free software.

With Linux and Open Source gaining popularity lately in India, if you are already onto something which can benefit the open source world, you can get a funding of Rs. 1.25 lac – 50 lac ($2000-$80,000)!

Project Criteria

For your project to qualify, you must be an individual resident of India, a company registered in India or a non-profit organization which is FCRA-registered. An umbrella organization who intend to use the money to contract an individual resident of India can also participate.

The project should meet the below criteria:

  • The project should be to write or enhance some software or software documentation which already falls in Open Source / Free Software license.
  • The project should benefit Mozilla’s Mission listed above.
  • Project activity must be endorsed by someone well-known and respected in a wider community of which the project is a part of.

Selection Criteria

Mozilla explicitly mentions these selection criteria are indicative and does not really guarantee a particular outcome, however these will help them more or less likely to make an award.

  • How significantly your project advances Mozilla mission.
  • Will the award make a significant impact on the project?
  • Is level of funding appropriate for the completion of the task?
  • What reputation the project have in technical, inclusion or other areas.
  • Your track record of delivering.

A committee of 5 participants has been formed to assess awards.

How to apply

You can apply by filling the form below:

Apply for Mozilla Funding

The last date to apply is September 30, 2017, midnight IST.

We at It’s FOSS sincerely thank Mozilla’s initiative to promote and fund open source projects in India.

From: It’s FOSS

Mozilla is Funding Open Source Projects in India

By Ambarish Kumar

Mozilla to fund open source projects in India

In an encouraging move, Mozilla announced the launch of “Global Mission Partners: India”, an award program for open source enthusiasts from India to participate and win funding up to Rs 1.0 crore. Applicants can apply for funding to support any open source/free software projects which extends Mozilla’s Mission.

Mozilla Mission is basically 10 principles which the organization is dedicated to. These principles support Internet as an integral part of modern life and must remain open and accessible for all. Internet must enrich the lives of the individual and their security and privacy should be the fundamental right. Individuals must have the ability to shape the internet and their experiences.

Mozilla believes free and open source promotes the development of the internet as a public resource and transparency is a key component promoting participation, accountability, and trust. Mozilla also acknowledges commercial involvement brings many benefits to the web and lists magnifying public aspects of the internet as important goal.

To support and further extends its Principles, Mozilla has come up with the “Global Mission Partners: India” promoting the active participation of Indian students and professionals in the area of open source and free software.

With Linux and Open Source gaining popularity lately in India, if you are already onto something which can benefit the open source world, you can get a funding of Rs. 1.25 lac – 50 lac ($2000-$80,000)!

Project Criteria

For your project to qualify, you must be an individual resident of India, a company registered in India or a non-profit organization which is FCRA-registered. An umbrella organization who intend to use the money to contract an individual resident of India can also participate.

The project should meet the below criteria:

  • The project should be to write or enhance some software or software documentation which already falls in Open Source / Free Software license.
  • The project should benefit Mozilla’s Mission listed above.
  • Project activity must be endorsed by someone well-known and respected in a wider community of which the project is a part of.

Selection Criteria

Mozilla explicitly mentions these selection criteria are indicative and does not really guarantee a particular outcome, however these will help them more or less likely to make an award.

  • How significantly your project advances Mozilla mission.
  • Will the award make a significant impact on the project?
  • Is level of funding appropriate for the completion of the task?
  • What reputation the project have in technical, inclusion or other areas.
  • Your track record of delivering.

A committee of 5 participants has been formed to assess awards.

How to apply

You can apply by filling the form below:

Apply for Mozilla Funding

The last date to apply is September 30, 2017, midnight IST.

We at It’s FOSS sincerely thank Mozilla’s initiative to promote and fund open source projects in India.

From: It’s FOSS

A Kidney Stone Could Not Stop Linus Torvalds from Releasing Linux Kernel 4.13

By Derick Sullivan M. Lobga

Linux Kernel 4.13 is released

Just months after the release of Linux Kernel 4.12 which had support for Nvidia’s GTX 1000 Pascal and AMD’s new Radeon RX Vega graphics card, Linus Torvalds has gone ahead to officially release Linux Kernel 4.13.

According to the release on the Linux Kernel Mailing List, Linus said he saw no reason delaying the release of 4.13 even though “last week was actually somewhat eventful”.

He continued to inform public on how he passed “seven hours of pure agony due to a kidney stone”. In a more welcoming note, he said “I’m all good, but it sure _felt_ a lot longer than seven hours, and I don’t even want to imagine what it is for people that have had the experience drag out for longer. Ugh”.

One of the most important changes seen in Linux 4.13 is the generic protocol security issue where users have to be aware of the behavior change before thinking of upgrading.

This comes from the default cifs behavior. Users have been asked to use SMB 3.0 instead of SMB 1.0 as default cifs mount. He said users “shouldn’t have been using SMB1”, though some must have been “blithely continued using SMB1 without thinking about it”.

However, they can continue to use it but need to be aware of the recent default change. Users have also been advised to preferably use “vers=2.1” because SMB1 “is just bad, bad, bad”.

Other changes that could be seen are the DRM sync object, AMD Raven Ridge and initial Cannonlake supports, a new DMA mapping system, subsystem merging of MUX, enhanced hardware support and others.

Linux Kernel 4.13 features

Major Feature Changes in this release are:

  • Initial Intel Cannonlake and Coffeelake support

  • DRM synchronization object support has been merged to core DRM

  • There have been many fixes for Vega and AMD Raven Ridge support which is new on the AMDGPU DRM. There is no display support for Raven / Vega since the DC/DAL code wasn’t merged.

  • The pl111 display controller code has been merged

  • Thunderbolt improvements
  • cpu_cooling integration with CPUFreq and POWER saw some improvement and updates respectively

  • F2FS has been improved and now supports statx for enhanced file information. EXT4 also supports “largedir” feature which now lets about two billion entries in one directory as against ten million in the previous. XFS has been enhanced also to support SEEK_HOLE and SEEK_DATA.

Check out Phoronix to get additional features of Linux Kernel 4.13.

Get Linux Kernel 4.13

Your distribution might provide it in near or distant future. I advise waiting for it but if you can’t, get it from kernel.org. Ubuntu users can easily upgrade kernel thanks to GUI tool Ukuu.

Don’t forget to share your views on the new Linux Kernel 4.13 features in the comment section.

From: It’s FOSS

A Kidney Stone Could Not Stop Linus Torvalds from Releasing Linux Kernel 4.13

By Derick Sullivan M. Lobga

Linux Kernel 4.13 is released

Just months after the release of Linux Kernel 4.12 which had support for Nvidia’s GTX 1000 Pascal and AMD’s new Radeon RX Vega graphics card, Linus Torvalds has gone ahead to officially release Linux Kernel 4.13.

According to the release on the Linux Kernel Mailing List, Linus said he saw no reason delaying the release of 4.13 even though “last week was actually somewhat eventful”.

He continued to inform public on how he passed “seven hours of pure agony due to a kidney stone”. In a more welcoming note, he said “I’m all good, but it sure _felt_ a lot longer than seven hours, and I don’t even want to imagine what it is for people that have had the experience drag out for longer. Ugh”.

One of the most important changes seen in Linux 4.13 is the generic protocol security issue where users have to be aware of the behavior change before thinking of upgrading.

This comes from the default cifs behavior. Users have been asked to use SMB 3.0 instead of SMB 1.0 as default cifs mount. He said users “shouldn’t have been using SMB1”, though some must have been “blithely continued using SMB1 without thinking about it”.

However, they can continue to use it but need to be aware of the recent default change. Users have also been advised to preferably use “vers=2.1” because SMB1 “is just bad, bad, bad”.

Other changes that could be seen are the DRM sync object, AMD Raven Ridge and initial Cannonlake supports, a new DMA mapping system, subsystem merging of MUX, enhanced hardware support and others.

Linux Kernel 4.13 features

Major Feature Changes in this release are:

  • Initial Intel Cannonlake and Coffeelake support

  • DRM synchronization object support has been merged to core DRM

  • There have been many fixes for Vega and AMD Raven Ridge support which is new on the AMDGPU DRM. There is no display support for Raven / Vega since the DC/DAL code wasn’t merged.

  • The pl111 display controller code has been merged

  • Thunderbolt improvements
  • cpu_cooling integration with CPUFreq and POWER saw some improvement and updates respectively

  • F2FS has been improved and now supports statx for enhanced file information. EXT4 also supports “largedir” feature which now lets about two billion entries in one directory as against ten million in the previous. XFS has been enhanced also to support SEEK_HOLE and SEEK_DATA.

Check out Phoronix to get additional features of Linux Kernel 4.13.

Get Linux Kernel 4.13

Your distribution might provide it in near or distant future. I advise waiting for it but if you can’t, get it from kernel.org. Ubuntu users can easily upgrade kernel thanks to GUI tool Ukuu.

Don’t forget to share your views on the new Linux Kernel 4.13 features in the comment section.

From: It’s FOSS

Desktop Linux Now Has its Highest Market Share Ever

By Derick Sullivan M. Lobga

Linux Market Share has increased

There has been an upsurge in the desktop Linux market share which has seen a rise to 3.37% in the latest statistics on Net Market Share for operating systems. Linux market share has witnessed a steady increase, especially in the last two summer months.

The stats show May 2017 with 1.99%, June with 2.36%, July had 2.53% and August showed Linux market share increasing to 3.37%.

Net Market Share is an analytical company that “collects data from the browsers of site visitors to our exclusive on-demand network of HitsLink Analytics and SharePost clients”. Their network includes over 40,000 websites across the globe.

Quite clearly this is not the real statistics on how many Linux desktops are in use and perhaps that is even not possible. But this is as close as we can get in collecting data on Linux market share.

Chromebooks help Linux Market Share?

The stats seem to take count Chrome OS as Linux since it is built on top of Linux kernel. Chromebooks, devices pre-installed with Chrome OS, have grown popular lately especially among college going students.

Chromebooks are usually lower end devices that have low prices and are lightweight. They come handy in carrying around and taking notes and saving them to cloud.

This might be a factor as students preparing to go to college may have boosted Chromebook sales.

However, this is my speculation and it may happen that more people are actually using desktop Linux. It is worthy to note that Linux distros dominate the market in servers and embedded devices. Not to forget that Linux simply rules super-computers with almost all of the top 500 supercomputers running on Linux.

Leave your comments below on what you think might have caused the increase in Linux market share for operating systems.

From: It’s FOSS