Neon Introduced, PCLOS ChimpBox, rm -rf /

by Ostatic Staff - Feb. 02, 2016

The top story today in Linux news was the warning not to use rm -rf / anymore. Anymore? In a bit of competition for the MintBox, the PCLinuxOS project announced a new mini computer with their OS factory installed starting at around $300. Jonathan Riddell revealed more about the new Neon project and the GNOME Foundation stated today that Karen Sandler did not bankrupt them.

"rm -rf /" was only considered a good idea if you were a mean-spirited prankster trying to trick a new user or an experienced user wanting to watch their OS meltdown (it was a thing for a while there). ...Or so I thought. Apparently, some folks have been using it as a short cut instead of reformatting before a reinstall and have found a nasty consequence of UEFI and systemd. A poster to the Arch forums discovered he could no longer boot his Samsung laptop after removing his Linux OS with "rm -rf /." He didn't mean boot an OS, the BIOS wouldn't even post. He found out the hard way that efivars is mounted as a read-write filesystem at /sys/class/firmware/efi/efivars. So when he removed everything from the root filesystem, that included the UEFI firmware on the motherboard. So, the general rule is now do not delete your root filesystem with rm if you have a UEFI motherboard. A workaround or safeguard is to change the variable in your /etc/fstab from rw to ro (or read-write to read-only) because the default will remain read-write.

It's been quiet over at PCLinuxOS lately, but Saturday the project announced The Chimpbox Quad Core (and ChimpBox Jr.) featuring PCLinuxOS. The hardware includes an AMD Fusion APU A4-5000 Quad-Core Processor, BIOSTAR A68N-5000 motherboard, Radeon HD 8330 graphics, 8 GB RAM, and all kinds of connectors and ports. This is a small form-factor fanless mini PC with a 1-Year warranty and starts at around $300.

Alexandre Franke today posted that the GNOME "Foundation was never bankrupt." According to Franke, the project ran short of cash when some donations/sponsorships were late coming in. "GNOME Foundation’s board temporarily froze expenditures while it collected the funds and revamped its financial procedures." Those pledges arrived and the project fully recovered. Franke also added that "GNOME collected administrative fees which covered" the cost of administering the outreach program. The foundation said they hated to see Sandler go and they still support her women's program.

In other news:

* FOSDEM: Announcing KDE neon, KDE Neon Website

* Experiences with deepin 15

* Could Linux Mint Replace Ubuntu?

* Zenwalk 8 Beta Led Me Down a Rocky Road

* Hands on with Debian GNU/Linux 8.3