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DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 511

Filed under
Linux

Welcome to this year's 23rd issue of DistroWatch Weekly! The Linux Mint distribution is a desktop oriented project which has become quite popular in the past few years. The project's latest release of their Ubuntu-based edition introduces some new system utilities and polished versions of traditional desktop environments. Read Jesse Smith's review in this week's feature to get the details on Linux Mint 15.

In this edition of DistroWatch Weekly we will hear from a number of developers as they discuss important technology in the world of open source software. First Stephen Gallagher talks about the new GNOME Classic desktop which will be featured in Fedora 19 and then Matt Ahrens takes the stage to talk about the history and future of the ZFS advanced file system. We will also bring you news of Ubuntu's new community portal and efforts by the MINIX development team to port many new software packages to the educational operating system. OpenBSD users and people interested in experimenting with the highly secure operating system will want to read this week's book review which covers "Absolute OpenBSD", a text that explains the inner workings of OpenBSD in a fun and educational manner. Also in this week's issue we bring you reviews, podcasts and newsletters from Around The Web and share with you the distribution releases of the past week.

We wish you a pleasant week and happy reading!




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Security: Updates, 2017 Linux Security Summit, Software Updates for Embedded Linux and More

  • Security updates for Tuesday
  • The 2017 Linux Security Summit
    The past Thursday and Friday was the 2017 Linux Security Summit, and once again I think it was a great success. A round of thanks to James Morris for leading the effort, the program committee for selecting a solid set of talks (we saw a big increase in submissions this year), the presenters, the attendees, the Linux Foundation, and our sponsor - thank you all! Unfortunately we don't have recordings of the talks, but I've included my notes on each of the presentations below. I've also included links to the slides, but not all of the slides were available at the time of writing; check the LSS 2017 slide archive for updates.
  • Key Considerations for Software Updates for Embedded Linux and IoT
    The Mirai botnet attack that enslaved poorly secured connected embedded devices is yet another tangible example of the importance of security before bringing your embedded devices online. A new strain of Mirai has caused network outages to about a million Deutsche Telekom customers due to poorly secured routers. Many of these embedded devices run a variant of embedded Linux; typically, the distribution size is around 16MB today. Unfortunately, the Linux kernel, although very widely used, is far from immune to critical security vulnerabilities as well. In fact, in a presentation at Linux Security Summit 2016, Kees Cook highlighted two examples of critical security vulnerabilities in the Linux kernel: one being present in kernel versions from 2.6.1 all the way to 3.15, the other from 3.4 to 3.14. He also showed that a myriad of high severity vulnerabilities are continuously being found and addressed—more than 30 in his data set.
  • APNIC-sponsored proposal could vastly improve DNS resilience against DDoS