Tuesday 15 August 2023

Devuan 5.0.0 Daedalus released

Dear Friends and Software Freedom Lovers,

Devuan Developers are delighted to announce the release of Devuan Daedalus 5.0.0 as the project's new stable release. This is the result of many months of painstaking work by the Team and detailed testing by the wider Devuan community.

# Devuan 5 Daedalus Release Notes

Sunday 30 July 2023

Windscribe VPN Leaking DNS in Linux

This post pertains to the Windscribe GUI app on Linux as encountered here on Debian and Ubuntu based Linux Mint with the latest version 2.6.14 as well as the previous version. To be fair the GUI app is still marked as in beta.

If you go to the download page it funny enough first attempted to serve me the older and more reliable CLI program, supposedly tried and tested, and only at the second attempt offered the GUI program for download. I'ld have to check if this problem is also present in the CLI version (it wasn´t previously when used around three years ago as I ran frequent tests) but for now with the move to a more comfortable graphical interface I've only got the new app installed.

Most sites like whatismyip.com will tell you that everything is fine. It seems like they're only running one test. Also, when tested on AirVPN's ipleak.net everything appears fine at first glance. However, they're running more tests and eventually after around 20-30 seconds suddenly a second DNS is detected and pops up as visible in the screenshot below. This is the DNS of the ISP.

Sunday 26 February 2023

Hello 2023: Current Setup and State of Affairs

It's been a while since I posted anything here. Testing various distros eventually loses its appeal and we settle on one or a mix of distributions. I'm not really using Slackware anymore except very occasionally in the form of Alien's LiveSlak on a USB stick and experimenting with Porteus. Slax also once again has a version based on Slackware but I find Porteus the better choice these days if a modular system is what you want. All this is toying around though.

My day to day work is done on a mixture of MX Linux KDE edition, AntiX, and Linux Mint. Yes, the one with systemd. Simply due to the fact that it is the one distribution that I tried that managed to set up the Nvidia driver without further fiddling and work correctly with my hybrid graphics laptop to allow for some advanced Steam gaming. The other reason would be that it is the one distribution where Cinnamon really shines in combination with the Mint tools. If not for that I'ld be going Plasma only. This combo has proven to be more than adequate to deal with anything I throw at it and is a great production setup.

Friday 4 February 2022

Slackware 15.0 Finally Released After 5 1/2 Years

Wow, it has really happened. Slackware 15 is out and we live to see the day.

Here's an excerpt from the announcement. 

"Well folks, in spite of the dire predictions of YouTube pundits, this morning the Slackhog emerged from its development den, did *not* see its shadow, and Slackware 15.0 has been officially released - another six weeks (or years) of the development treadmill averted. This has been an interesting development cycle (in the "may you live in interesting times" sense). Anyone who has followed Linux development over the years has seen the new technology and a slow but steady drift away from the more UNIX-like structure. The challenge this time around was to adopt as much of the good stuff out there as we could without changing the character of the operating system. Keep it familiar, but make it modern. And boy did we have our work cut out for us. We adopted PAM (finally) as projects we needed dropped support for pure shadow passwords. We switched from ConsoleKit2 to elogind, making it much easier to support software that targets that Other Init System and bringing us up-to-date with the XDG standards. We added support for PipeWire as an alternate to PulseAudio, and for Wayland sessions in addition to X11. Dropped Qt4 and moved entirely to Qt5. Brought in Rust and Python 3. Added many, many new libraries to the system to help support all the various additions. We've upgraded to two of the finest desktop environments available today: Xfce 4.16, a fast and lightweight but visually appealing and easy to use desktop environment, and the KDE Plasma 5 graphical workspaces environment, version 5.23.5 (the Plasma 25th Anniversary Edition). This also supports running under Wayland or X11."

Also, for the first time ever a "make_world.sh" script that allows automatically rebuilding the entire operating system from source is included. All the sources have been tested and confirmed to build properly.

Monday 26 April 2021

DNS Level Blocking with Control D

As you probably know I'm quite interested and active in testing different security approaches like sandboxing, firewalls and VPNs. Compartmentalizing with virtual machines is also a good strategy. Part of a good multi-layered defence is also a well curated hosts file like this one kept by Dan Pollock and secure, encrypted DNS services. Better even if you can combine features of the last two and keep the nasties out with DNS level blocking. This will give us a much cleaner internet and might even negate the need for a browser level blocker like uBlock Origin.
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