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South Korean Government Considers Move to Linux Desktop

The South Korean Government is on the verge of migrating from Windows 7 to Linux on the desktop. This began back in May 2019, when South Korea's Interior Ministry announced the plans to look into making the switch.

Since that initial date, the South Korean Ministry of Strategy and Planning announced the government is now exploring migrating over three million Windows 7 desktops over to Linux. According to Choi Jang-hyuk (head of the Ministry of Strategy and Finance), South Korea will resolve their dependency on Microsoft while reducing the budget by migrating to an open source operating system.

What is driving this migration? It's primarily a financial decision. The cost of migrating so many desktops from Windows 7 to Windows 10 would reach over $650 million dollars. With the Ministry of National Defense and the National Police Agency already using Harmonica OS 3.0 (based on Ubuntu Linux 18.04), and the Ministry of Public Administration and Security using Gooroom Cloud OS (based on Debian), the choice to make the nation-wide switch to Linux made perfect sense. Once the migration officially begins, the Korean Postal Service will be moving to Korean-based TMaxOS, which includes a unique desktop environment and uses ToGate, a Chromium-based web browser.

Although this may be nothing more than a bid to get Microsoft to offer South Korea a significant discount for a Windows 7 to 10 migration, until that comes to fruition, it looks as though the move to Linux is happening.

Source: https://www.fosslinux.com/29117/south-korea-switching-their-3-3-million-pcs-to-linux.htm

OpenSSH Now Supports FIDO/U2F Security Keys

OpenSSH is, by far, the single most popular tool for logging into remote servers and desktops. SSH logins are generally considered fairly safe, but not 100 percent. If you're not satisfied with the out of the box security offered by OpenSSH, you can always opt to go with SSH key authentication. If that's not enough, there's also 2 Factor Authentication, which would then require you to enter a PIN generated by an application such as OTPClient (https://github.com/paolostivanin/OTPClient) or Authy. (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.authy.authy)

As of OpenSSH 8.2, there's a newly supported option, FIDO/U2F security keys. What this means is that you can now use 2FA hardware keys (such as the Yubi Key [https://www.yubico.com/]) to authenticate your SSH login attempt.

2FA is often considered the easiest method of adding an additional layer of security to SSH logins. However, for many, Hardware Keys are considered the single most secure means of preventing hackers from brute-forcing your SSH passwords. To make things easy, the OpenSSH developers have made it possible to generate a FIDO token-backed key using the ssh-keygen command. So anyone used to creating SSH keys shouldn't have any problem getting up to speed with integrating hardware keys into SSH.

To gain this feature, make sure you've upgraded to the latest OpenSSH release (8.2 or newer).

Original news release: http://www.openssh.com/txt/release-8.2

System76 Launches New AMD Threadripper Machine

The most successful retailer of Linux-based desktops, laptops, and servers has announced a new addition to their popular Thelio desktop lineup (https://system76.com/desktops). The new option, part of the Thelio Major model, adds AMD's 64 Core Threadripper 3990X CPU into the mix. This system can compile the Linux kernel in 24 seconds, apply a circular motion blur in 44 seconds, and render a Blender scene in 76 seconds. That's incredibly fast.

The Threadripper Thelio Major has been optimized for the heat produced by the 280 watt, 64-Core CPU, which was a serious undertaking. System76 accomplished the task by using a 5.5" duct that pulls air from inside the system, directs it across a heat sink, and then (drawing the heated air through copper piping) sends it out of the machine through the rear. This method compartmentalized the GPU and CPU heat sources as well as the air that is used to cool the individual chips.

The Thelio Major ships with Pop!_OS and can be customized to best fit your needs (GPU, RAM, storage). The Threadripper version of the Thelio Major starts at $3,798 USD, but can be maxed out to a whopping $14,131 USD.

If the Threadripper version of the Thelio Major is out of your price range, you can always opt for the basic Thelio model, which starts at $899 USD.

Original announcement: https://system76.com/threadripper

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