Three ways to run Windows software in Linux

In today's open source roundup: How to run Windows software in your favorite Linux distribution. Plus: Four tools to securely delete data in Linux, and MIPS-powered Chromebooks might be on the way

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Aun Raza reports for LinOxide:

Whenever we remove anything, the operating system deletes just the index of the particular data. It means that data is still there somewhere on the disk, this method is insecure, as any smart computer hacker can use any good data recovery tool to easily recover your deleted data.

Let’s see how we can safely and completely remove files/folders from our Linux system. The methods mentioned below remove data completely so it becomes very hard for recovery tools to find traces of the actual data and recover it.

Secure-Delete: Secure-Delete is a set of tools for Linux operating system and they provide advanced techniques for permanent removal of files.

Shred: The "shred" command destroys files/folder’s contents in a way that it is impossible to recover. It keeps overwriting the files with randomly generated data patterns so in this way it becomes very hard to recover any data from them even if hackers or thief uses high level of data recovery tools/equipments.

dd: This command is originally used for Disk Cloning. It is used to copy contents of one partition or disk to another. But it is also used for securely wiping out the contents of a hard disk or partitions.

Wipe: Wipe was originally developed to securely erase files from magnetic media. This command line utility writes special patterns to the files repeatedly. It uses fsync() call and/or the O_SYNC bit to force disk access. It uses Gutmann algorithm for repeated writes.

More at LinOxide

MIPS and Chromebooks

Google's Chromebooks have proven to be quite popular, with some models regularly appearing on Amazon's list of bestselling laptops. Today's Chromebooks use x86 or ARM processors, but soon users might be able to get MIPS-powered Chromebooks.

Lucian Armasu reports for Tom's Hardware:

We've had x86 Chromebooks and we've had ARM Chromebooks, but soon we may see Chrome OS work on yet another architecture: MIPS. The MIPS architecture, now owned by Imagination Technologies, appears to be supported in Chrome OS in some recent improvements made to Coreboot. Coreboot is Google's open source and lightweight alternative to the proprietary BIOS firmware we see in most computers.

The improvements done to Coreboot for the MIPS architecture mentioned the Pistachio SoC, which comes with a dual-core InterAptiv CPU. These improvements were written by Ionela Voinescu, who works at Imagination. Right now, we only have an indication of support for the InterAptiv core, which is one of Imagination's mid-range CPU lines. So far, Imagination has focused on selling its MIPS CPU designs to the lower end of the market. That's where the company has a better chance to make an entrance and displace a competing ARM CPU by undercutting it on price, on performance/price, or performance/die area.

More at Tom's Hardware

The article about MIPS and Chromebooks spawned an interesting discussion among Linux redditors:

Thesupergeek42: "Good! This may push some development to the Gentoo-MIPS project."

E_t_: "I'm in favor of any alternative CPU architecture gaining popularity. I don't think the x86 monoculture is a healthy technological development."

Kichigai: "Makes me miss the era when you heard about workstations running m68k, Alpha, Sparc, MIPS, PowerPC, and I have the feeling I'm missing one more (not the SuperH, I think)."

Tb01110100: "That's the problem. It's a monoculture. One of the primary benefits of a diverse CPU landscape is that viruses would be harder to write, since the virus writer would either have to target many architectures or target only one and accept that their field of potential victims is much smaller. Another advantage is that Intel wouldn't hold an effective monopoly on CPUs."

Euigrp: "MIPS cores are very simple. One of the most obvious examples is how it does virtual memory. (I'm not up on the latest, but I don't think they would have changed it.) When an x86 or ARM processor needs to translate a virtual page address into a physical page address, hardware walks an in memory tree to translate the virtual address into a physical one. In MIPS, it traps to the kernel (that runs in physical address land) and lets the OS sort it out. "

More at Reddit

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Copyright © 2015 IDG Communications, Inc.

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