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Debian and Ubuntu: Debian LTS, Debian 9.4, Zstd and More

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Debian
Ubuntu
  • Debian LTS work, February 2018

    I was assigned 15 hours of work by Freexian's Debian LTS initiative and worked 13 hours. I will carry over 2 hours to March.

    I made another release on the Linux 3.2 longterm stable branch (3.2.99) and started the review cycle for the next update (3.2.100). I rebased the Debian package onto 3.2.99 but didn't upload an update to Debian this month.

  • Debian 9.4 Stretch GNU/Linux Released With 150+ Fixes: Update Now

    One of the great things about using a popular Linux distro is that you keep getting timely upgrades, which ensure that you’re running a secure operating system. The same holds true for Debian GNU/Linux, whose development team keeps offering regular updates. Just a couple of days ago, the team pushed the fourth point release of Debian 9 “stretch.”

    For those who don’t know, Debian 9.0 series is an LTS edition, and it’ll remain supported for the next five years.

  • Debian GNU/Linux 9.4 "Stretch" Point Release Brings More Than 70 Security Fixes

    The Debian Project announced over the weekend the release of the fourth maintenance update to the stable Debian GNU/Linux 9 "Stretch" operating system series.

    Debian GNU/Linux 9.4 "Stretch" comes three months after the 9.3 point release and brings more than 70 security fixes and 89 miscellaneous bugfixes for various core components or other packages available in the main software repositories of the Linux-based operating system. However, the Debian Project warns that this point release doesn't represent a new version of Debian Stretch.

    "This point release mainly adds corrections for security issues, along with a few adjustments for serious problems. Security advisories have already been published separately and are referenced where available. Please note that the point release does not constitute a new version of Debian 9 but only updates some of the packages included," reads the release announcement.

  • Debian 9.4 released
  • Ubuntu Installs Made 10% Faster Using Facebook Tech

    If you long to install Ubuntu a little bit faster help it at hand thanks to some nifty open-source tech developed by Facebook.

    Using Zstandard (zstd), a ‘lossless data compression algorithm’ developed by Facebook, Ubuntu developers have been able to speed up Ubuntu installs by 10%.

    While Zstd is primarily designed for use in “real-time compression scenarios” it is able to unpack packages during an Ubuntu install faster than current compression tools Xz and Gzip do.

  • Canonical Working On Zstd-Compressed Debian Packages For Ubuntu

    Support for Zstd-compressed Debian packages was worked on last week by some Canonical/Ubuntu developers and already by the end of the year they are looking at potentially using it by default.

    Zstd is the compression algorithm out of Facebook that has been attracting a fair amount of interest in the Linux/open-source space due to its higher decompression speeds that can trump XZ or Gzip.

  • Keeping Governance Simple and Uncomplicated

    We did this in Ubuntu. We started with some core governance boards (the Community Council, focused on community policy and the Technical Council focused on technical policy). The rest of the extensive governance structure came as Ubuntu grew significantly. Our goal was always to keep things as lightweight as possible.

  • Ubuntu 18.04 LTS Beta 1 Released for Participating Flavors

    Ahoy, Beavers! The first beta builds of the Ubuntu 18.04 release cycle have been released and are available to download.

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More in Tux Machines

The Last Independent Mobile OS

The year was 2010 and the future of mobile computing was looking bright. The iPhone was barely three years old, Google’s Android had yet to swallow the smartphone market whole, and half a dozen alternative mobile operating systems—many of which were devoutly open source—were preparing for launch. Eight years on, you probably haven’t even heard of most of these alternative mobile operating systems, much less use them. Today, Android and iOS dominate the global smartphone market and account for 99.9 percent of mobile operating systems. Even Microsoft and Blackberry, longtime players in the mobile space with massive revenue streams, have all but left the space. Then there’s Jolla, the small Finnish tech company behind Sailfish OS, which it bills as the “last independent alternative mobile operating system.” Jolla has had to walk itself back from the edge of destruction several times over the course of its seven year existence, and each time it has emerged battered, but more determined than ever to carve out a spot in the world for a truly independent, open source mobile operating system. After years of failed product launches, lackluster user growth, and supply chain fiascoes, it’s only been in the last few months that things finally seem to be turning to Jolla’s favor. Over the past two years the company has rode the wave of anti-Google sentiment outside the US and inked deals with large foreign companies that want to turn Sailfish into a household name. Despite the recent success, Jolla is far from being a major player in the mobile market. And yet it also still exists, which is more than can be said of every other would-be alternative mobile OS company. Read more

How I Quit Apple, Microsoft, Google, Facebook, and Amazon

It was just before closing time at a Verizon store in Bushwick, New York last May when I burst through the door, sweaty and exasperated. I had just sprinted—okay I walked, but briskly—from another Verizon outlet a few blocks away in the hopes I’d make it before they closed shop for the night. I was looking for a SIM card that would fit a refurbished 2012 Samsung Galaxy S3 that I had recently purchased on eBay, but the previous three Verizon stores I visited didn’t have any chips that would fit such an old model. When I explained my predicament to the salesperson, he laughed in my face. “You want to switch from you current phone to an... S3?” he asked incredulously. I explained my situation. I was about to embark on a month without intentionally using any services or products produced by the so-called “Big Five” tech companies: Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, and Microsoft. At that point I had found adequate, open source replacements for most of the services offered by these companies, but ditching the Android OS, which is developed by Google, was proving difficult. Most of the tech I use on a day-to-day basis is pretty utilitarian. At the time I was using a cheap ASUS laptop at work and a homebrew PC at my apartment. My phone was a Verizon-specific version of the Samsung Galaxy J3, a 2016 model that cost a little over $100 new. They weren't fancy, but they’ve reliably met most of my needs for years. For the past week and a half I had spent most of my evenings trying to port an independent mobile OS called Sailfish onto my phone without any luck. As it turned out, Verizon had locked the bootloader on my phone model, which is so obscure that no one in the vibrant Android hacking community had dedicated much time to figuring out a workaround. If I wanted to use Sailfish, I was going to have to get a different phone. Read more

RISC-V Will Stop Hackers Dead From Getting Into Your Computer

The greatest hardware hacks of all time were simply the result of finding software keys in memory. The AACS encryption debacle — the 09 F9 key that allowed us to decrypt HD DVDs — was the result of encryption keys just sitting in main memory, where it could be read by any other program. DeCSS, the hack that gave us all access to DVDs was again the result of encryption keys sitting out in the open. Because encryption doesn’t work if your keys are just sitting out in the open, system designers have come up with ingenious solutions to prevent evil hackers form accessing these keys. One of the best solutions is the hardware enclave, a tiny bit of silicon that protects keys and other bits of information. Apple has an entire line of chips, Intel has hardware extensions, and all of these are black box solutions. They do work, but we have no idea if there are any vulnerabilities. If you can’t study it, it’s just an article of faith that these hardware enclaves will keep working. Now, there might be another option. RISC-V researchers are busy creating an Open Source hardware enclave. This is an Open Source project to build secure hardware enclaves to store cryptographic keys and other secret information, and they’re doing it in a way that can be accessed and studied. Trust but verify, yes, and that’s why this is the most innovative hardware development in the last decade. Read more

ONAP Myths Debunked

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