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Ubuntu

Wind River Simics embedded sim platform gets easier and faster

Filed under
Linux
Ubuntu

Wind River has released a major update to its Wind River Simics simulation and testing platform for Wind River Linux. The new Simics offers ease of use and performance enhancements, including 20 percent faster simulation times.

One reason some embedded vendors pony up the big bucks for the Yocto-based Wind River Linux rather than developing from scratch using Yocto or tapping a generic Linux distro such as Ubuntu is Wind River’s extensive array of professionals services and development platforms. One of these value-added platforms is Wind River Simics, a mature simulation and testing platform that was recently integrated with Wind River Helix Virtualization Platform, a cloud-managed edge computing umbrella platform for both Wind River Linux and Wind River VxWorks.

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Canonical's Kernel Livepatch Ubuntu Advantage Client Is Out for Ubuntu 14.04 ESM

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Ubuntu

Canonical's Ubuntu Advantage client is a command-line client pre-installed on all Ubuntu Linux releases that works via single-token access to allow users to access Canonical's Ubuntu Advantage for Infrastructure services, such as Extended Security Maintenance (ESM) and Kernel Livepatch, which include patches for high and critical security vulnerabilities.

"The UA client for ‘Trusty Tahr’ enables easy access to Extended Security Maintenance (ESM) and Kernel Livepatch (requires HWE kernel). ESM provides fixes for high and critical CVEs for the most commonly used server packages in the Ubuntu main archive, and Livepatch permits users to apply critical kernel patches without rebooting," said Canonical.

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Arronax lets you create desktop starter files (.desktop files) on Ubuntu

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GNU
Linux
Ubuntu

Arronax helps create .desktop files for any program/script, customize it, and even make it appear in the application launcher.

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Ubuntu: Focal Fossa, Newsletter, and Poll

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Ubuntu
  • Early F-Cycle Adventuring

    This blog does recount my misadventures in using computers. I had not intended to so quickly get back into testing. After several frustrating failures in trying to upgrade to 19.10 that left me with a system that refused to boot I chose to take a risk.

    After many multiple failed upgrade attempts as well as a failed attempt to install something completely different I was about to settle for just using the Windows Subsystem for Linux under Windows 10 1903. The problems is that Windows 10 just feels so utterly slow to me compared to Xubuntu or even Ubuntu MATE. This may come from having to use very unmaintained computers for almost six years in a government job that ran very old versions of Microsoft Windows that were very behind the rest of the world.

    Considering all that I decided to push forward. I got Focal Fossa installed on my laptop and it is working for the time being.

  • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 603

    Welcome to the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter, Issue 603 for the week of October 27 – November 2, 2019. The full version of this issue is available here.

  • Best & Favorite Ubuntu Releases in 2019? -Poll

    You have four option to vote in this poll and they are:

    Ubuntu 18.04 – Bionic Beaver
    Ubuntu 18.10 – Cosmic Cuttlefish
    Ubuntu 19.04 – Disco Dingo
    Ubuntu 19.10 – Eoan Ermine

Canonical Pledges to Fully Support Ubuntu Linux on All Raspberry Pi Boards

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Linux
Ubuntu

When they released the Ubuntu 19.10 (Eoan Ermine) operating system series last month, Canonical said that Raspberry Pi's Foundation's latest Raspberry Pi 4 boards will be official supported. However, Ubuntu 19.10 ships with a Linux kernel bug that blocks the use of USB ports out of the box in the official arm64 image on the Raspberry Pi 4 SBC with 4GB RAM.

There's a temporary workaround to enable USB on Raspberry Pi 4 boards with 4GB RAM, which involves editing the /boot/firmware/usercfg.txt file to limit the RAM to 3GB instead of 4GB by adding the "total_mem=3072" line (without quotes). Canonical is currently working hard to test kernel patches for this bug, which should soon be released for everyone.

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Ubuntu Roadmap for official support for the Raspberry Pi 4

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GNU
Linux
Ubuntu
  • Roadmap for official support for the Raspberry Pi 4

    With 19.10 release of Ubuntu Server, Canonical announced official support for the Raspberry Pi 4. The latest board from the Raspberry Pi Foundation sports a faster system-on-a-chip with a processor that uses the Cortex-A72 architecture (quad-core 64-bit ARMv8 at 1.5GHz). Additionally, it offers up to 4GB of RAM. We are supporting the Raspberry Pi 4 to give developers access to a low-cost board, powerful enough to consolidate compute workloads at the edge.

    The Raspberry Pi has established itself as a most accessible platform for innovators in embedded space. Canonical is dedicated to empowering innovators with open-source software. Consequently, Canonical endeavors to offer full official support for all the boards in the Raspberry Pi family. Canonical will enable both Ubuntu Server and Ubuntu Core for all the Pi boards.

    The Raspberry Pi 4 model B comes with different choices of RAM: 1GB, 2GB and 4GB. However, our official support for this board is currently limited to the 1GB and 2GB versions. Due to a kernel bug, USB ports are not supported out of the box in the official arm64 image on the 4GB RAM version. Kernel fixes have been identified by Canonical engineers. We are currently testing these fixes extensively. We will push updates within weeks, following successful test completion.

  • Canonical Working To Ramp Up Ubuntu Support For The Raspberry Pi 4

    Ubuntu 19.10 should work well on the Raspberry Pi 1GB and 2GB models while the 4GB version doesn't have USB ports working with the current Ubuntu Eoan packages. They have discovered a workaround of using total_mem=3072 for limiting the kernel to just 3GB of RAM in order to get USB functionality. But Canonical is working on proper updates to push out for enabling full USB support on the 4GB Raspberry Pi 4.

This Ubuntu 19.10 Bug Shares Your Media Folders With Others, Without Warning

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Security
Ubuntu

The problem is caused by Ubuntu’s new media sharing feature (powered the Rygel media server) which is supposed to disabled by default.

But scores of users running Ubuntu 19.10 in a non-GNOME Shell/Ubuntu session report that rygel autostarts on log in, with no warning or indication provided that it is running in the background.

As a result, the full contents of ~/Photos, ~/Videos and ~/Music folders are accessible on local area network, (LAN), i.e, available to anyone and anything else connected to the same Wi-Fi point.

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iRobot’s Experience in Running ROS2 on Linux-Based Embedded Platforms

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Hardware
Ubuntu

During ROSCon 2019 Alberto Soragna, Juan Oxoby, and Dhiraj Goel from iRobot presented their experience in using Robot Operating System 2 (ROS 2) on a low-cost embedded platform. By experimenting with different Data Distribution Service (DDS) implementations they reduced the CPU and memory usage of their application, which improved performance.

As iRobot is creating consumer robots with low-cost embedded platforms in them, they investigated the use of ROS 2 on their embedded hardware. ROS 2 works well on desktop computers and on microcontrollers, but it is more difficult to use ROS on small Linux computers. iRobot took a comparable platform to what they have on their robots, which for them is a Raspberry Pi 2 with 1 gigabyte of RAM, and a 900mhz quad-core ARM cortex A7 CPU. To see if ROS2 was a viable option for them they were willing to accept a consumption overhead for ROS of less than 20% CPU and 20MB RAM, an acceptable latency for messages, and zero lost messages

A core challenge that iRobot faced during development is that they have approximately 1000 robots connected to the same network during their prototyping phase. This can create a lot of communication overhead, which they analyzed with a self-written tool. They used this tool to create the data to analyze and see how many messages were on time, arrived late, or arrived too late.

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Also: SPARC CPU In A Cheap FPGA

Ubuntu: The State of Robotics – October 2019

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Ubuntu

October came, and October went. Happy November everybody. This month, since last month was quite Ubuntu robotics heavy, the focus is more on you. For you. Community news. But before we get to that, there are several updates from October to cover just in case you missed them. First, this month Canonical, the company that publishes Ubuntu, announced the Ubuntu 19.10 release (a fact I would be remiss not to mention even here) and all its new features. Go ahead and read about it, maybe give it a download once you’re done. We also got a new cover image (isn’t it nice <3), and we received our first community contribution for the series — a very exciting month.

Of course, what we want is for this to grow and become a highlight reel of all sorts of robotics projects. So, if you are working on (or know of) something that you think would be interesting to our audience, let us know. Send a summary of the work to robotics.community@canonical.com, and it might just feature in next month’s blog. Now, let’s talk October.

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Light Desktop Theme for Ubuntu Eoan

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Ubuntu

If you dislike dark theme, here's how you can have bright theme for Ubuntu Desktop. We can use XONE Catalina Shell Theme in mix with Yaru Light GTK Theme. I hope this can make your desktop look brighter and clearer for you. This includes some drawbacks, but I also includes some secrets below. Enjoy!

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More in Tux Machines

Android Leftovers

Kernel Articles at LWN (Paywall Just Expired)

  • Filesystem sandboxing with eBPF

    Bijlani is focused on a specific type of sandbox: a filesystem sandbox. The idea is to restrict access to sensitive data when running these untrusted programs. The rules would need to be dynamic as the restrictions might need to change based on the program being run. Some examples he gave were to restrict access to the ~/.ssh/id_rsa* files or to only allow access to files of a specific type (e.g. only *.pdf for a PDF reader). He went through some of the existing solutions to show why they did not solve his problem, comparing them on five attributes: allowing dynamic policies, usable by unprivileged users, providing fine-grained control, meeting the security needs for running untrusted code, and avoiding excessive performance overhead. Unix discretionary access control (DAC)—file permissions, essentially—is available to unprivileged users, but fails most of the other measures. Most importantly, it does not suffice to keep untrusted code from accessing files owned by the user running the code. SELinux mandatory access control (MAC) does check most of the boxes (as can be seen in the talk slides [PDF]), but is not available to unprivileged users. Namespaces (or chroot()) can be used to isolate filesystems and parts of filesystems, but cannot enforce security policies, he said. Using LD_PRELOAD to intercept calls to filesystem operations (e.g. open() or write()) is a way for unprivileged users to enforce dynamic policies, but it can be bypassed fairly easily. System calls can be invoked directly, rather than going through the library calls, or files can be mapped with mmap(), which will allow I/O to the files without making system calls. Similarly, ptrace() can be used, but it suffers from time-of-check-to-time-of-use (TOCTTOU) races, which would allow the security protections to be bypassed.

  • Generalizing address-space isolation

    Linux systems have traditionally run with a single address space that is shared by user and kernel space. That changed with the advent of the Meltdown vulnerability, which forced the merging of kernel page-table isolation (KPTI) at the end of 2017. But, Mike Rapoport said during his 2019 Open Source Summit Europe talk, that may not be the end of the story for address-space isolation. There is a good case to be made for increasing the separation of address spaces, but implementing that may require some fundamental changes in how kernel memory management works. Currently, Linux systems still use a single address space, at least when they are running in kernel mode. It is efficient and convenient to have everything visible, but there are security benefits to be had from splitting the address space apart. Memory that is not actually mapped is a lot harder for an attacker to get at. The first step in that direction was KPTI. It has performance costs, especially around transitions between user and kernel space, but there was no other option that would address the Meltdown problem. For many, that's all the address-space isolation they would like to see, but that hasn't stopped Rapoport from working to expand its use.

  • Identifying buggy patches with machine learning

    The stable kernel releases are meant to contain as many important fixes as possible; to that end, the stable maintainers have been making use of a machine-learning system to identify patches that should be considered for a stable update. This exercise has had some success but, at the 2019 Open Source Summit Europe, Sasha Levin asked whether this process could be improved further. Might it be possible for a machine-learning system to identify patches that create bugs and intercept them, so that the fixes never become necessary? Any kernel patch that fixes a bug, Levin began, should include a tag marking it for the stable updates. Relying on that tag turns out to miss a lot of important fixes, though. About 3-4% of the mainline patch stream was being marked, but the number of patches that should be put into the stable releases is closer to 20% of the total. Rather than try to get developers to mark more patches, he developed his machine-learning system to identify fixes in the mainline patch stream automatically and queue them for manual review. This system uses a number of heuristics, he said. If the changelog contains language like "fixes" or "causes a panic", it's likely to be an important fix. Shorter patches tend to be candidates.

  • Next steps for kernel workflow improvement

    The kernel project's email-based development process is well established and has some strong defenders, but it is also showing its age. At the 2019 Kernel Maintainers Summit, it became clear that the kernel's processes are much in need of updating, and that the maintainers are beginning to understand that. It is one thing, though, to establish goals for an improved process; it is another to actually implement that process and convince developers to use it. At the 2019 Open Source Summit Europe, a group of 20 or so maintainers and developers met in the corner of a noisy exhibition hall to try to work out what some of the first steps in that direction might be. The meeting was organized and led by Konstantin Ryabitsev, who is in charge of kernel.org (among other responsibilities) at the Linux Foundation (LF). Developing the kernel by emailing patches is suboptimal, he said, especially when it comes to dovetailing with continuous-integration (CI) processes, but it still works well for many kernel developers. Any new processes will have to coexist with the old, or they will not be adopted. There are, it seems, some resources at the LF that can be directed toward improving the kernel's development processes, especially if it is clear that this work is something that the community wants.

Server Leftovers

  • Knative at 1: New Changes, New Opportunities

    This summer marked the one-year anniversary of Knative, an open-source project that provides the fundamental building blocks for serverless workloads in Kubernetes. In its relatively short life (so far), Knative is already delivering on its promise to boost organizations’ ability to leverage serverless and FaaS (functions as a service). Knative isn’t the only serverless offering for Kubernetes, but it has become a de-facto standard because it arguably has a richer set of features and can be integrated more smoothly than the competition. And the Knative project continues to evolve to address businesses’ changing needs. In the last year alone, the platform has seen many improvements, giving organizations looking to expand their use of Kubernetes through serverless new choices, new considerations and new opportunities.

  • Redis Labs Leverages Kubernetes to Automate Database Recovery

    Redis Labs today announced it has enhanced the Operator software for deploying its database on Kubernetes clusters to include an automatic cluster recovery that enables customers to manage a stateful service as if it were stateless. Announced at Redis Day, the latest version of Kubernetes Operator for Redis Enterprise makes it possible to spin up a new instance of a Redis database in minutes. Howard Ting, chief marketing officer for Redis Labs, says as Kubernetes has continued to gain traction, it became apparent that IT organizations need tools to provision Redis Enterprise for Kubernetes clusters. That requirement led Redis Labs to embrace Operator software for Kubernetes developed by CoreOS, which has since been acquired by Red Hat. IT teams can either opt to recover databases manually using Kubernetes Operator or configure the tool to recover databases automatically anytime a database goes offline. In either case, he says, all datasets are loaded and balanced across the cluster without any need for manual workflows.

  • Dare to Transform IT with SUSE Global Services

Audiocasts/Shows: FLOSS Weekly and Linux Headlines

  • FLOSS Weekly 555: Emissions API

    Emissions API is easy to access satellite-based emission data for everyone. The project strives to create an application interface that lowers the barrier to use the data for visualization and/or analysis.

  • 2019-11-13 | Linux Headlines

    It’s time to update your kernel again as yet more Intel security issues come to light, good news for container management and self-hosted collaboration, and Brave is finally ready for production.