Linux kernel 4.5 released

penguin linux open source crystal ball predict future

Also in today's open source roundup: Life in the free software dating scene isn't easy for one redditor, and DistroWatch reviews ReactOS 4.0


Linux kernel 4.5 released

Linus has been hard at work on kernel 4.5, and now it has finally been released. Click through to read Linus' announcement and see a short list of changes and fixes in kernel 4.5. You can also read a great summary of what's in version 4.5 on the Kernel Newbies page.

Linus announced kernel 4.5 on the Linux Kernel Mailing list:

So this is later on a Sunday than my usual schedule, because I just couldn't make up my mind whether I should do another rc8 or not, and kept just waffling about it. In the end, I obviously decided not to, but it could have gone either way.

We did have one nasty regression that got fixed yesterday, and the networking pull early in the week was larger than I would have wished for. But the block layer should be all good now, and David went through all his networking commits an extra time just to make me feel comfy about it, so in the end I didn't see any point to making the release cycle any longer than usual.

And on the whole, everything here is pretty small. The diffstat looks a bit larger for an xfs fix, because that fix has three cleanup refactoring patches that precedes it. And there's a access type pattern fix in the sound layer that generated lots of noise, but is all very simple in the end.

In addition to the above, there's random small fixes all over.

Shortlog appended for people who want to skim the details as usual.

More at Linux Kernel Mailing List

Life in the free software dating scene isn't easy

Free software has much to offer all of us, but what happens when you try to get a date while adhering to free software principles? One redditor shared his free software dating experiences and drew some…er…blunt responses from his fellow Linux redditors

Redditor Alternative_sharpton started the thread with this post:

As a twenty year old single male I think it's very hard to find a girl who's actually interested in free software. I've had girls jokingly ask to "Netflix and chill" but when I tell her that I don't use Netflix since Netflix requires proprietary software to stream content, they stop talking to me. And worse if they do stay they think I'm weird since I blocked google IP's in my host file and we can't even watch youtube.

I can't ever seem to get girls to come over to my place and I can't text them either. Once I get their numbers since I've added customs roms to my phone and refuse to use sms since it's a security concern I require all of my friends to download a free and open source messaging app and I share with them my public gpg key so that we can verify that our conversations are secure. None of my friends are willing to do this.

And I can't use sites like tinder since it's not only proprietary software but a major privacy vulnerability. How come it is so hard to find a girl concerned about software freedom. I feel like I'm going to be a virgin forever.

More at Reddit

His fellow Linux redditors pulled no punches in their responses to his lament about the free software dating scene:

Mackstann: "You've made such extreme decisions to boycott commonly used things that you have made yourself pretty eccentric. You have greatly narrowed the field of possible mates by making such unusual and strict choices. Are you really surprised by your dating difficulties? It seems completely predictable to me."

Sp33dojo3: "Fu*king hilarious."

Nyxisto: "I'm not actually sure if I can believe that this is serious. I just imagine OP bringing a date home and instead of watching a movie he grabs his projector and shows her a one hour lecture by Stallman."

Sxb: "What's the point of dating anyway? I'd much rather stay home by myself and enjoy my privacy than going out and revealing my personal information to others, especially females who have no regards for privacy and always nagging to know every bit of your life."

MCMXChris: "That's a pretty narrow view to take on women. Sure, there are a lot like that. And they share more than men do with each other. But you are gonna share 50% of your planet with them. Better get to it sooner than later or never!"

Linuxdirk: "Keep on searching and don't change. One you found a nerd/geek girl it'll be the best thing in life! (Pro tip: Of course you'll die as virgin.)"

PMME: "Aren't basically all the dating apps revealing exact location data these days? I'm not sure about Tinder, but I have read about how Grindr uses no encryption and does its location "fuzzing" on the client side, making it trivially easy to triangulate any user's position. Scruff is also similarly compromised. Neither seem to have any intention of improving privacy. As for Tinder, while I have no evidence one way or the other, I wouldn't be surprised if it was just as bad."

2BuellerBells: "All the free software in the world won't help us if our friends won't use it. The goddamned network effect."

ShariVegas: "First, your attitude is reticent in the wrong direction. If you want to lie, lie about the amount of money you earn and your interests. Use the psychotic encryption mentality you have in a story alluding to being in some job that requires your communications be encrypted or something. Considering you have a smartphone at all breaks your narrative about being devoted to Free Software, because most - if not all - cellphones are (allegedly?) running an operating system operating on the radio chips outside of the purview of the guest operating system, with control over it. Never mind all of the binary blobs tainting the kernel. If you want to look legitimate, then ditch the cellphone."

More at Reddit

DistroWatch reviews ReactOS 4.0

Microsoft's and its Windows operating system have not exactly been regarded as friends of the open source community. Yet there will always be folks who need or want to run Windows applications. ReactOS is an open source operating system designed to offer the Windows experience, but without actually using any Windows code.

Jesse Smith reports for DistroWatch:

ReactOS is an open source operating system which seeks to re-implement the design and technology of Microsoft Windows. Written from scratch, without using any code from Windows, ReactOS uses its own implementation of the NT kernel and cooperates with the WINE project to offer compatibility with Windows software, file systems and device drivers.

The ReactOS project appears to be trying to recreate the experience of Windows 95 through to Windows 2000 as faithfully as possible and, from a look and feel perspective, the developers have done an amazing job. However, from a practical point of view ReactOS rarely delivered the functionality I would expect from its closed source cousin. The system refused to run on either of my test machines and, though it would install in VirtualBox, I regularly ran into system crashes, sound didn't work and most of the Windows applications I tried to run failed in some way. I have had better luck running Windows software with WINE on Linux boxes than I did with ReactOS.

In the end, while I admire the ReactOS team's attention to detail in recreating the Windows interface, I do not think running ReactOS is practical for most situations. WINE will run most Windows software passably well and there are lots of good open source alternatives to most closed source applications. Running an old copy of Windows in a virtual machine would probably offer a better experience in most circumstances.

The one area where I think ReactOS would shine would be if a person needed to run a Windows clone on hardware that also required Windows specific drivers. ReactOS reports itself to be compatible with drivers written for Microsoft's operating system and I think that may prove to be the project's strong point. Some old systems are very particular when it comes to applications and drivers and I think ReactOS might fill in nicely in those situations.

More at DistroWatch

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