Open source news roundup for August 8 - 15, 2015

Gnome turns 18, new tools for Docker, Kali Linux 2.0, and more news

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In this week's edition of our open source news roundup, we take a look at new tools for Docker, Kali Linux 2.0, and more!

Our weekly news roundup typically goes out every Friday. We're trying something new, to capture more news in the roundup, by publishing it on Saturday.

Open source news roundup for August 8 - 15, 2015

New tools for Docker

Docker is big right now. Just about every tech conference has sessions on Docker, and new utilities for working with Docker come out quite frequently. InfoWorld took a brief look at the ever expanding list of tools for the Docker ecosystem. Their article examines Dusty, an alternative to Docker Compose with enhanced Mac OS X support; Gockerize, for building static Go binaries and packaging them into containers; Hyper, a tool for running Docker on any hypervisor; Docker UI, a Python Flask based Web-based UI for Docker Compose; and three different methods to create Docker containers with self-contained static Go binaries. InfoWorld looks at each tool briefly and provides links for readers to learn more.

In other Docker news, Docker announced the release of Docker Toolbox, a replacement for Boot2Docker. Docker Toolbox sets up a Docker development environment on Windows and Mac OS X computers. According to the release announcement:

Toolbox installs everything you need to get Docker running in development: the Docker client, Compose (Mac only), Kitematic, Machine, and VirtualBox. Toolbox uses Machine and VirtualBox to create an Engine in a VM to run your containers. On top of that VM, you can then use the Docker client, Compose and Kitematic to run containers.

Pixar's Universal Scene Description to be open source

Pixar announced that their Universal Scene Description program will become open source. According to the press release, Universal Screen Design "addresses the ever-growing need in the CG film and game industries for an effective way to describe, assemble, interchange, and modify high-complexity virtual scenes between digital content creation tools employed by studios." Basically, the software manages a common "scene graph" for different computer animation applications to work from. There is already an sizable collection of documentation available for the project available on the USD Documentation site. The tentative release date is summer 2016, but as Endgadget points out, Pixar planned to release Renderman as open source in 2014, but it was not actually released until earlier this year.

Kali Linux 2.0 Released

Kali Linux, a specialized distribution designed for penetration testing, released a new and massively updated version this week. This new version of Kali is based on Debian Jessie and version 4.0 of the Linux kernel. Starting with this new version 2.0, Kali is using a rolling release model, and they are using an upstream version checking system which checks daily to see which upstream projects have been updated, making for quicker updates to new versions of the software included in Kali.

Kali 2.0 supports a large number of desktop environments, including KDE, GNOME3, Xfce, MATE, e17, lxde, and i3wm. The default is GNOME 3, which is slightly customized and comes with several extensions. A lightweight version with Xfce is also available for download. Images of Kali that use the other desktop environments can be created using the Live Build process. And in addition to standard images, images for various ARM-based machines (including the Raspberry Pi) are available, and there are also images for VMware and VirtualBox.

While the new release of Kali mostly adds features and enhances things, there is one drawback. Metasploit Community/Pro no longer ships with the distribution. Instead, Kali ships with Metasploit Framework. Users who need Metasploit Community or Pro will need to download it from Rapid7 and register it.

Ubuntu smartphones now available worldwide

Released earlier this year for the European market, BQ's Ubuntu smartphones can now be purchased worldwide. Early adopters should be cautious however, because as Endgadget notes, the phones are European models designed to work with European carriers. Global customers should check to see if the the device is compatible with the cellular provider of their choice before rushing to purchase. TechCrunch's coverage goes into a little more detail and covers how Ubuntu phones are different from the current Android and iOS smartphones, but notes that the current app offerings are limited compared to the big two smartphone ecosystems.

GNOME's 18th birthday

August 15 is Gnome's 18th birthday. The project was started in 1997 by Miguel de Icaza and Federico Mena, and you can read the original email Miguel di Icaza's wrote announcing the Gnome project and its goals. Community Moderator for Opensource.com, Aleksandar Todorovic, also published today 18 reasons to use Gnome of its 18th birthday. The Gnome Foundation suggests celebrating the project's birthday by sharing on social media and thanking a Gnome contributor, so be sure to keep an eye on the #IAMGNOME, #GNOME2015, and #happybirthdaygnome hashtags for the celebration.

In other news

Thanks, as always, to Opensource.com staff members and moderators for their help this week. Make sure to check out our event calendar, to see what's happening next week in open source.

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About the author

Joshua Allen Holm
Joshua Allen Holm - Joshua Allen Holm is one of Opensource.com's correspondents and a Linux distribution reviewer for DistroWatch.com. He is a advocate for open access, open educational resources, and open source software. He holds a master's degree in library and information science from Wayne State University and a master's degree in higher education from Grand Valley State University. Joshua can be reached at holmja@opensource.com.