Linux is now ‘usable as a basic desktop’ for M1 Macs

Weller soldering station and magnifying glass at workbench with 2011 MacBook Pro

After almost a year of a project to port Linux to the M1 Macs, news looked better than worse. By the end of June, Linux Kernel was available to Macs with Apple’s proprietary processor, and now the creators of the project are saying Linux is now “usable as a basic desktop.”

Linux Kernel 5.13 officially launches with support for M1 Macs

Weller soldering station and magnifying glass at workbench with 2011 MacBook Pro

It took a few months, but Linux has now received support for M1 Macs with Linux Kernel 5.13. This comes after several months of testing, including its Release Candidate version first being announced more than a month ago.

Linux Kernel 5.13 RC brings official support for Apple’s M1 chip

Weller soldering station and magnifying glass at workbench with 2011 MacBook Pro

It was reported last month that Linux was about to get official support for the new Macs with the M1 chip, which could potentially arrive in June with the upcoming Linux Kernel 5.13 release. The first RC build of Linux Kernel 5.13 was released this week, and Linus Torvalds himself confirmed that it supports Apple’s M1 chip.

Official support for Linux on the M1 Macs could come as soon as June

Weller soldering station and magnifying glass at workbench with 2011 MacBook Pro

While we’ve seen a variety of different efforts to bring Linux support to the M1 Macs, official support could be coming sooner than expected. As reported by , the upcoming Linux 5.13 cycle could be when preliminary support for the M1 Macs is added.

Open-source team details the complexities in bringing Linux to Apple’s M1 Macs

Weller soldering station and magnifying glass at workbench with 2011 MacBook Pro

The crowdfunding Asahi Linux project has published the first progress report detailing its effort to port Linux to the Apple Silicon platform with the M1 Macs. Apple’s new processor architecture is creating some difficulties…

User successfully runs Ubuntu on a jailbroken iPhone 7

Weller soldering station and magnifying glass at workbench with 2011 MacBook Pro

The jailbreak process lets users run several tweaks and other iOS modifications, but one user recently decided to go further and install the Ubuntu operating system on an iPhone. The experiment was shared by the user identified as “newhacker1746” on Reddit.

Developer Hector Martin announces Patreon funding for bringing native Linux to M1 Macs

Weller soldering station and magnifying glass at workbench with 2011 MacBook Pro

Apple recently introduced its first Macs with ARM processors and although they offer incredible performance, users cannot run Windows or Linux natively on these machines — at least for now. Popular developer Hector Martin today announced a Patreon funding to help him bring Linux to Apple Silicon Macs.

More developers now use OS X than Linux, says ‘most comprehensive survey ever conducted’

Stack Overflow reports that more developers now use OS X than Linux as their primary OS, and that if the trend continues, fewer than half of all developers will be using Windows next year.

FingerKey app lets you unlock your Mac using iPhone’s TouchID fingerprint sensor

A new app called FingerKey allows Mac users to unlock their computer using Apple’s Touch ID fingerprint sensor on the iPhone 5s, 6, or 6 Plus.

That means you’ll be able to login to your Mac using your iPhone’s fingerprint sensor rather than typing in a password each time. The app takes advantage of for logins after previously being reserved for unlocking the device itself and authenticating App Store and iTunes purchases.

The FingerKey app includes the ability to unlock multiple computers from a distance, 256-bit AES encryption, and a Notification Center Today widget for quick access.

The developer says that support for logging into Windows and Linux computers is coming soon as is a Pattern Unlock feature for logging in via touchscreen gestures.

We , which also used a Bluetooth connection, that allowed users to unlock their Mac using by knocking on their iPhone’s screen.

FingerKey is and the developer shared the video below of the app in action:

Parallels Desktop 10 Black Friday bundle: 1Password, Camtasia, CleanMyMac 2, Gemini, and more for $50 upgrade/$80 new ($285 off)

Starting this evening and running through Black Friday weekend, Parallels is running a special bundle of Mac apps for free when you upgrade to Parallels 10 for $49.99 or buy it new for $79.99. The bundled apps 1Password password manager, Camtasia screen recorder, CleanMyMac 2 file organizer/remover, Gemini file de-duplicator, Acronis True Image backup and restore software and a 2 year subscription to Parallels Access which allows you to run parallels VMs remotely on iOS and Android devices. Not a bad deal at all of you need any of these other apps.

Parallels 10 was announced in August and we reviewed it shortly thereafter noting it was the best way to run Windows and Linux VMs on a Mac.

Not sure you are into Parallels? Grab a 14 day free trial here. Just want Parallels in a shiny box? Amazon has it for $62. More info on the bundled apps below:

‘Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel’ will arrive on Mac Oct. 14, same day as PC & consoles

Aspyr just announced that it’s going to release the much anticipated next installment in the Borderlands series on October 14. For anyone keeping score, that’s the same day scheduled for 2K’s release on PC and consoles! The company also confirmed that Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel for Mac will feature everything the PC release has including cross-platform multiplayer and future DLC:

expand full story

‘Shell Shock’ command line vulnerability present in OS X, could be bigger than Heartbleed

Update: Apple has issued a statement to iMore regarding this issue, stating that most Mac users are already protected unless they have configured “advanced UNIX services.” An update is in the works to protect those users.

A vulnerability in Bash, the software used to control the command shell in many flavors of Unix, has been shown to be present in OS X – with some security researchers saying that the flaw could pose a bigger threat than the Heartbleed vulnerabilty discovered last year (which affected many Unix systems but not OS X).

The Bash vulnerability being referred to by some as ‘Shell Shock’ allows an attacker to run a wide range of malicious code remotely. It was discovered by security researchers at RedHat, and is described in detail in a blog post.

There are conflicting reports as to the extent to which Mac users are at risk … 

Mac users can now develop apps for Oculus Rift Virtual Reality Headset

Mac users who want to start developing software for the Facebook-owned Oculus Rift Virtual Reality Headset platform can now do so. Oculus today released an update to their software SDK that opens up support for users on OS X:

Notably, the Oculus SDK is now available for Mac OSX, along with a version of the Oculus Runtime and Unity Tuscany Demo for Mac. There’s no word on when Linux support will be ready.

Mac display drivers are unavailable, so users will need to use Extended Display mode on the Mac. To make full use of the software platform, eager developers will need to gain access to the Oculus Hardware Development Kit, which is a $350 online pre-order item.

Firefox 28 released w/ Mac OS X Notification Center support for web notifications

Firefox today released the latest version of its desktop browser for Mac, Linux, and Windows and in the process added one much welcomed feature for Mac OS X users: support for Notification Center. This means that web apps and sites taking advantage of Firefox’s web notifications feature will now also appear for Mac users in the Notification Center.

Version 28 of Firefox also introduces a few new behind the scenes improvements including VP9 video decoding, volume control for HTML5 audio/video, and a number of other fixes.

Firefox 28 for Mac is available to download from the Mozilla website now.

f.lux for Mac gets smarter with screen-dimming based on daily schedule, Movie Mode and more

f.lux, the popular utility that changes the color temperature of your Mac’s display to reflect the sun’s daylight cycle, has received a major update. Whilst still being in beta, the app can now calibrate your screen based on your actual schedule, not just sunrise and sunset times.

This means the app is now useful for people who have non-standard schedules, such as people who work night shifts. The app smoothly transitions between ‘daytime’,’sunset’ and ‘bedtime’ presets based on the schedule information provided. You tell the app when you wake up and it automatically calculates the color temperature levels for every hour of the day.

Google to add Chrome app support for iOS, Android with beta access coming in January

Google’s putting a lot of energy behind its packaged apps these days as the company continues to push Chromebook to the masses. Now, it appears that the company is building a toolkit to help developers create similar style Chrome apps for both Android and iOS.

Apple publishes its improvements to the open-source components of Mavericks, as bound by the code licenses

Today, Apple has made available the open-source components of OS X Mavericks’ code to the public. Apple regularly does this for both iOS and OS X as prescribed by the license agreements of the open source code Apple uses.

Valve has been teasing announcements surrounding its much rumored Steam Box platform on its website, and today the company revealed “SteamOS” as the first of three announcements. There aren’t many details available just yet, but Valve says the Linux-based platform will be available soon as a “free stand-alone operating system for living room machines” and “freely licensable operating system for manufacturers.”

Steam is not a one-way content broadcast channel, it’s a collaborative many-to-many entertainment platform, in which each participant is a multiplier of the experience for everyone else. With SteamOS, “openness” means that the hardware industry can iterate in the living room at a much faster pace than they’ve been able to. Content creators can connect directly to their customers. Users can alter or replace any part of the software or hardware they want. Gamers are empowered to join in the creation of the games they love. SteamOS will continue to evolve, but will remain an environment designed to foster these kinds of innovation.

Not too long ago Valve’s Gabe Newell expressed that the biggest threat to bringing Steam and PC gaming to the living room would be if Apple got there first:

“The biggest challenge, I don’t think is from the consoles,” Newell said. “I think the biggest challenge is that Apple moves on the living room before the PC industry sort of gets its act together.”

Valve says that game developers are already optimizing new releases set for 2014  that will take advantage of “significant performance increases in graphics processing” and “audio performance and reductions in input latency” in SteamOS. Although Apple has been beefing up its Apple TV with new content recently, it looks like Valve could beat Apple when it comes to bringing its ecosystem of games to the living room.

The webpage for SteamOS also mentions four new features coming to SteamOS and the Steam client soon, including: In-home streaming, music/TV/movies, Family Sharing, and Family options. Family Sharing will let users “take turns playing one another’s games while earning your own Steam achievements and saving your individual game progress to the Steam cloud.” The in-home streaming feature will allow users to stream games from their Mac or PC to a SteamOS machine over their home network, and Family Options will provide customizable libraries for different members of your household.

The company also says it’s working with “media services” to help bring music, TV, and movies to SteamOS, so we could be looking at more of a direct Apple TV competitor than simply a game console.

If the latest Chrome update crashes your jailbroken iPhone, the fix is to enable crash reporting

Sigh. @googlechrome added untested jailbreak-specific code on iOS; if you have “send crash reports” off, it crashes. https://t.co/HyJnDmqezg

We heard reports that yesterday’s Chrome browser update is crashing on Jailbroken iPhones. It appears there was some code that detected jailbreaks in the browser and assumed that crash-reporting was enabled. The fix is unsurprisingly enabling crash reporting.

Google said a fix will be in the next update, but it doesn’t have a timeframe on that.

We have found a bug that affects jailbroken devices with crash reporting and metrics *disabled*. The fix will be in our next release (we can’t say when that will be, please don’t ask).

One workaround is to enable crash reporting. Open “Library/Application Support/Google/Chrome/Local State” and change the “reporting_enabled” flag to “true”. That will enable reporting without needing to reinstall the app. Mind you, we haven’t tested this ourselves. 🙂 If you do not wish to do this, or are not comfortable doing this, you’ll need to wait for the next release. The other workaround is to uninstall and re-install and enable crash reporting, but you might lose data if you don’t use sync.

For those who are hitting crashes with 3rd-party add-ons, this workaround is not sufficient and you will need to contact the 3rd-party developer directly and have them update their add-on to work with Chrome M25.

@googlechrome Your jailbreak detection code has a scheduling issue. Bet it’s fun explaining to Apple why you need a fast update.

Valve’s Gabe Newell says Apple TV, not consoles, is the biggest threat to Steam Box


Polygon

 covered a recent talk today given by Valve’s Gabe Newell at the University of Texas, where he said Apple, not the big gaming console makers, is the biggest threat for the company’s upcoming Linux-based Steam Box hardware. Newell said he thought the biggest challenge for bringing the massively popular Steam service to the TV will be if “Apple moves on the living room before the PC industry sort of gets its act together.” He also said Apple could “shut out the open-source creativity” that Steam hopes to bring to the living room:

“The threat right now is that Apple has gained a huge amount of market share, and has a relatively obvious pathway towards entering the living room with their platform,” Newell said. “I think that there’s a scenario where we see sort of a dumbed down living room platform emerging — I think Apple rolls the console guys really easily. The question is can we make enough progress in the PC space to establish ourselves there, and also figure out better ways of addressing mobile before Apple takes over the living room?”

“The biggest challenge, I don’t think is from the consoles,” Newell said. “I think the biggest challenge is that Apple moves on the living room before the PC industry sort of gets its act together.”

A working exploit for Sophos 8.0.6 on Mac is available, however the
techniques used in the exploit easily transfer to Windows and Linux,
due to multiple critical implementation flaws described in the paper.
Testcases for the other flaws described in the paper are available on
request.

Sophos responded with a post on the multiple vulnerabilities, and it responded over and over that “Sophos has seen no evidence of this vulnerability being exploited in the wild.” But, is that really good enough? How about issuing a fix in the two plus months that they’ve known about these issues?  It only takes one wild exploit.

Some were fixed last month, and for others we started rolling out patches to our users today.  🙂

Users of Sophos products should be automatically updated, but if anyone wants to be sure they can initiate a manual update.

Poll: Which Mac software do you use for virtualization (Parallels, VMware Fusion, Virtual Box…)?

Both Parallels and VMware announced new versions of their software over the last 12 hours. Which software do you use to run Windows applications, if any? Do you Virtualize Linux or other builds of MacOS X?

For the record, I have been using Parallels to deal with @#$% QuickBooks most recently, but off and on for years overall. VMware has also impressed me when I have tried it. Both products are so much better than the slow SoftWindows- type solutions we had in the PowerPC days.

Steve Jobs tried to hire Linux founder a decade ago

This is an interesting little paragraph from Wired’s profile of Linus Torvalds, the founder of Open Source Linux OS:

Torvalds has never met Bill Gates, but around 2000, when he was still working at Transmeta, he met Steve Jobs. Jobs invited him to Apple’s Cupertino campus and tried to hire him. “Unix for the biggest user base: that was the pitch,” says Torvalds. The condition: He’d have to drop Linux development. “He wanted me to work at Apple doing non-Linux things,” he said. That was a non-starter for Torvalds. Besides, he hated Mac OS’s Mach kernel.

Linux is now the core of many operating systems, such as Android, Chrome WebOS, and a few others. If Apple hired Torvalds in 2000, Linux might not have made it to 2012.

VLC 2.0 arriving with all-new UI, native full screen in Lion, Blu-ray support, more

VideoLAN, the organization behind the open-source cross-platform VLC media player, is geared to launch VLC 2.0—a total rewrite of the program with new capabilities and an all-new user interface on the Mac platform. Available on Mac OS X, Windows and a variety of Linux/Unix platforms, VLC 2.0 [changelog] includes enhancements such as a native full screen mode in Lion, a redesigned subtitle manager, support for multiple video files inside RAR archives and enhanced video output modes. The Mac version will also support unprotected Blu-ray media, and Windows users will get to enjoy a 64-bit version.

The developers also added support for VLC’s lua-based extensions, letting users get information about movies from Allociné, post to Twitter, fetch subtitles automatically, and so forth. No disc burning features are included because “there are more suited apps for that.” One of the developers on the project Felix Kühne published a series of screenshots (more available on Flickr) highlighting the new Mac interface, credited to designer Damien Erambert. According to Kühne: