Unix Tutorial - Annual Digest - 2020

Unix Tutorial - Annual Digest Unix Tutorial - Annual Digest

Wow, 2020 just flew by! With one lockdown after another, most of the year was spent working from home and checking local government websites for guidance around when schools and after-schools would re-open.

I didn’t blog as much as I hoped but stayed sane and otherwise productive - so can’t complain much about 2020.

Below are the things I found more interesting in the past year. Please let me know if anything needs to be corrected or clarified.

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Unix Tutorial News

2020 has been a quiet year, but I spiced it up by finally migrating from Wordpress (am stil a big fan!) to static website engine called Jekyll.

Unix and Linux News

Quite a few great changes happened in 2020:

  • Linux Kernel progressed to 5.10 branch
  • macOS 11 BigSur was released
  • CentOS announced they’ll be maintaining only CentOS Stream releases
    • this brought about Rocky Linux and Lenix announcements that will continue the traditional mode with major releases
  • CUPS project was forked to continue development as part of the OpenPrinting project - new CUPS repo is here
  • Docker Hub introduced new pricing - I’m now a paying customer

Hardware News

This wan’t even a category in the last year’s digest, but I’m following some of the developments closely enough to mention them here.

  • AMD Ryzen processors with Zen 3 architecture arrived and set the new performance bar in the desktops space - Threadripper took lead in overwhelming majority of benchmarks compared to top Intel CPUs. Check out this review.
  • Apple released ARM-based MacBooks and MacMini based on M1 processor - they turned out to be revolutionary in terms of performance, with seemingly no other vendor prepared for a competition in this space just yet
  • Raspberry Pi 4 with 64bit support arrived - Raspberry Pi 4 with 8GB RAM!
  • Raspberry Pi 400 - keyboard with built-in RPi4 computer was released - such a great idea!

Software News

This is by no means a complete list or even the more important news of the year - but they affected me at work or in my [Unix Tutorial projects][projects] and so deserve a mention.

  • Inclusive Naming Initiatve arrived and made quite a stir in most IT organisations and communities. Have a look at the word list and proposed alternatives.
    • The Inclusive Naming Initiative’s mission is to help companies and projects remove all harmful and unclear language of any kind and replace it with an agreed-upon set of neutral terms. The initiative’s goal is to define processes and tools to remove harmful language from projects.
  • Grafana 7.0.0 arrived
  • Adobe Flash is officially no more - all the major browsers disabled support for it sometime in December 2020
  • Debian 11 released
  • OpenIndiana 2020.04 released
  • Ubuntu 20.04 and Ubuntu 20.10 released
  • Linux Mint 20.0 Ulyana got released
  • Kali Linux 2020 started supporting Raspberry Pi 4
  • PHP 8.8 arrived
  • Ruby 3.0 arrived
  • Python 3.9 arrived
  • Brave browser Sync v2 arrived - finally a way to sync tabs!
  • Homebrew is now 2.7.0 with support for binary packages (bottles) stored as GitHub releases

Scary Stuff

As every year, quite a few things got hacked or leaked:

  • GitHub and GitHub Enterprise source code got leaked - but it wasn’t a hack of GitHub infrastructure
  • Algolia infrastructure got hacked via two Salt vulnerabilities
  • Twitter was attacked again with popular accounts being temporarily taken over
  • SolarWinds (Solorigate) - perhaps the worst breach of the year, an attack on the SolarWinds component within Microsoft - this meant that not just Microsoft but many enterprise users of SolarWinds Orion were compromised, 400+ companies of the Fortune 500 list.

It’s a Wrap, 2020

In many ways 2020 has been slow. With Coronavirus claiming thousands of lives every day, a lot of projects and activities were delayed or deemed non-essential in may areas, including IT. But slow-downs and lay-offs were somewhat compensated by the incredible boost in software and hardware development aimed at remote working and collaboration. Many companies and open source projects had to let some of their staff go, but reported that this was done with global and long term improvements in mind.

That’s it for the Year of 2020! Wishing you a great 2021!

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