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Ubuntu

The Combined Impact Of Retpoline + KPTI On Ubuntu Linux

Filed under
Graphics/Benchmarks
Ubuntu

Over the past week I have posted many KPTI and Retpoline benchmarks for showing the performance impact of these patches to combat the Spectre and Meltdown vulnerabilities. But with my testing so far I haven't done any showing the combined impact of KPTI+Retpoline on Ubuntu versus a completely unpatched system. Here are some of those results.

Similar to the Benchmarking Clear Linux With KPTI + Retpoline Support, these tests are similar but with a few different systems and looking at the performance when testing from Ubuntu 17.10. The comparison on each system was to a stock Linux 4.14.0 kernel compared to the Linux 4.14 kernel with the upstream KPTI patches paired with the Retpline v5 patches that have yet to be merged for mitigating Spectre.

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Debian vs. Linux Mint: The Winner Is?

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Debian
Ubuntu

Linux Mint is on track to becoming the most popular desktop distro available. This isn't to suggest that it's already happened, rather that it's on track to happen if Linux Mint continues to find its fans among Windows converts. By contrast, Debian has received almost no credit for this success whatsoever. Worse, neither does Ubuntu, which uses Debian as a base.

So are Linux Mint and Debian really all that different? After all, Linux Mint is based on Ubuntu, which is based on Debian. One might surmise that the these distros are more similar than different. Fact is stranger than fiction. Linux Mint and Debian may share a common heritage, but that's where the similarities end.

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Also:

  • Security notice: Meltdown and Spectre

    If you haven’t already done so, please read “Meltdown and Spectre“.

    These vulnerabilities are critical. They expose all memory data present on the computer to any application running locally (including to scripts run by your web browser).

    Note: Meltdown and Spectre also affect smart phones and tablets. Please seek information on how to protect your mobile devices.

  • Linux Mint Devs Respond to Meltdown and Spectre Security Vulnerabilities

    Linux Mint developers have published today a statement regarding the recently unearthed Meltdown and Spectre security vulnerabilities, informing users on how to keep their PCs secure.

    Last week, two of the most severe security flaws were publicly disclosed as Meltdown and Spectre, affecting billions of devices powered by a modern processor from Intel, AMD, ARM, or Qualcomm. To mitigate these vulnerabilities, OEMs and OS vendors started a two and half months long battle to redesign software and kernels.

    Almost all known operating systems are affected, and all web browsers. Linux Mint is one of the most popular GNU/Linux distributions out there with millions of users, but it hasn't yet been patched against Meltdown and Spectre because it still relies on updates from the Ubuntu operating system.

System76 Continues to Improve HiDPI Support for Their Ubuntu-Based OS in 2018

Filed under
OS
Ubuntu

Work on the second release of Pop!_OS Linux will continue this year with a rebase on Canonical's upcoming Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (Bionic Beaver) operating system, due for release on April 26, 2018. The distro will also be released this spring, after Ubuntu 18.04 LTS, and will feature out-of-the-box support for HiDPI displays.

System76 says that it received great feedback from the community in regards to the HiDPI improvements they are adding into Pop!_OS Linux lately, and, besides the fixing many of the reporting issues, they are also working on better integration of the HiDPI daemon into the desktop, including support for tweaking its behavior.

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Who Was To Blame For The Ubuntu BIOS Bug?

Filed under
Security
Ubuntu

So who is to blame for the corruption of the BIOS?

Ultimately I would put the majority of the blame at the door of the manufacturers and the BIOS developers. You simply should not be able to corrupt the BIOS and there should be a reset option which returns it to factory settings if all else fails. The Ubuntu developers were the unlucky people to instantiate the bug by including a defective driver within the Kernel.

Some of the blame has to go to the users as well. Maybe we need to be a bit smarter when installing operating systems and not necessarily jump at the latest thing.

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Ubuntu 17.10 Will Be Re-Released on January 11, Will No Longer Brick Laptops

Filed under
Ubuntu

Lenovo laptops were among those most affected by the ‘bug’, though reports were also filed by users of devices from other computer vendors, including Acer and Dell.

The bug could corrupt the BIOS of an affected laptop, leaving the user unable to save settings or make changes. In extreme cases the bug left users unable to boot their laptop at all.

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Debian/Ubuntu: deepin GNU/Linux, Lubuntu, Debian LTS

Filed under
Debian
Ubuntu
  • Are You Looking for 32 Bit deepin GNU/Linux?

    Use Manjaro Deepin 32 bit instead! As you may know, deepin GNU/Linux doesn't provide 32 bit version, and it's still no "Ubuntu Deepin Remix" with latest version  for 32 bit until today, so you having 32 bit computers may want a 32 bit, living & supported GNU/Linux distro with Deepin Desktop Environment (DDE). The closest answer for that is Manjaro Deepin 32 bit, a new community edition of Manjaro that comes with DDE + latest applications, and being actively developed. This article includes the download links + screenshots + short list of its default applications.

  • Lubuntu 17.04 End Of Life and Lubuntu 17.10 Respins

    Following the End of Life notice for Ubuntu, the Lubuntu Team would like to announce that as a non-LTS release, 17.04 has a 9-month support cycle and, as such, will reach end of life on Saturday, January 13, 2018. Lubuntu will no longer provide bug fixes or security updates for 17.04, and we highly recommend that you update to 17.10, which continues to be actively supported with security updates and select high-impact bug fixes.

    [..]

    We are pleased to announce that images with the affected driver disabled are being created at the time of writing, and should be ready for testing in the next day or so, which could be released next Thursday. Once images are ready for testing, we will announce a call for testing on the Lubuntu-devel mailing list, so please subscribe to that if you are interested. As always, we will announce something on our official blog at Lubuntu.me once we are ready to release these images.

  • My Free Software Activities in December 2017

    My monthly report covers a large part of what I have been doing in the free software world. I write it for my donors (thanks to them!) but also for the wider Debian community because it can give ideas to newcomers and it’s one of the best ways to find volunteers to work with me on projects that matter to me.

UBports Is Making Progress With Unity 8 On The Desktop

Filed under
Ubuntu

While it's approaching one year since Canonical decided to divest from Unity 8 and mobile/convergence, the UBports community continues making some progress in getting their forked desktop environment ready for their forked Ubuntu Touch environment as well as the desktop.

Shared this weekend on YouTube is a new video showing off the current state of Unity 8 on the desktop. Recent work by the UBports folks includes better XMir support so applications like Google Chrome will behave properly, and more.

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Canonical Plans to Release Ubuntu 17.10 Respin ISOs for All Flavors Next Week

Filed under
Ubuntu

Canonical announced on Friday that it plans to release the promised respin ISO images of the Ubuntu 17.10 (Artful Aardvark) operating system early next week on January 11.

The announcement comes minutes after Canonical announced the end of life of its Ubuntu 17.04 "Zesty Zapus" operating system on January 13, 2018, saying that it's beneficial to have Ubuntu 17.10 images available in the face of the impending EOL for Ubuntu 17.04, as users will need to upgrade their installations.

Last month, several users reported broken BIOSes due to a bug in the Ubuntu 17.10 installation images. Laptops from Lenovo, Acer, and Toshiba were affected by the issue, which locked users out of their BIOS settings. The bug could make user's system unbootable even if the image was booted in live mode.

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Also: Ubuntu 17.10 To Be Re-Released Next Week

Direct: Exceptional respins of Ubuntu 17.10 media; call for testing

Ubuntu 17.04, the Last Release with Unity 7, Reaches End of Life on January 13

Filed under
Ubuntu

Canonical announced today that it's putting an end to the support offered by the Linux company for its Ubuntu 17.04 "Zesty Zapus" operating system next week on January 13.

Launched last year on April 13, Ubuntu 17.04 was a powerful release, both inside and outside, running the latest (at that time) stable Linux 4.10 kernel series and shipping with an up-to-date graphics stack based on Mesa 17.0 and X.Org Server 1.19 series. It was also the last Ubuntu release to ship with the Unity 7 desktop by default.

"As a non-LTS release, 17.04 has a 9-month support cycle and, as such, will reach end of life on Saturday, January 13th," says Steve Langasek, Engineering Manager, Ubuntu Foundations at Canonical. "At that time, Ubuntu Security Notices will no longer include information or updated packages for Ubuntu 17.04."

Read more

Direct: Ubuntu 17.04 (Zesty Zapus) reaches End of Life on January 13, 2018

Also: Announcing the Dell XPS 13 Developer Edition 9370 with Ubuntu

Debian Development and Ubuntu Derivatives

Filed under
Debian
Ubuntu
  • Reproducible builds folks: Reproducible Builds: Weekly report #140

    12 package reviews have been added, 23 have been updated and 45 have been removed in this week, adding to our knowledge about identified issues.

  • Debian {Developers, Maintainers} in Kerala

    We have three Debian Developers and two Debian Maintainers here in Kerala.

  • My Debian Activities in December 2017

    This month I accepted 222 packages and rejected 39 uploads. The overall number of packages that got accepted this month was 348.

    According to the statistic I now passed the mark of 12000 accepted packages.

  • [Older] Debian and the GDPR

    GDPR is a new EU regulation for privacy. The name is short for "General Data Protection Regulation" and it covers all organisations that handle personal data of EU citizens and EU residents. It will become enforceable May 25, 2018 (Towel Day). This will affect Debian. I think it's time for Debian to start working on compliance, mainly because the GDPR requires sensible things.

  • Linspire Is Back From The Dead In 2018

    Remember Linspire? The Linux distribution formerly known as "Lindows" is back from the dead...

    Linspire/Lindows was the Debian/Ubuntu-based operating system targeting the home desktop that dated back to 2001 when founded by controversial figure Michael Robertson. Back in the day it tried to offer an easier time with Linux package management and graphical utilities along with shipping Wine in its much earlier form for Windows software compatibility... Linspire 6.0 is a decade old but now Linspire and Freespire are being lifted back up.

  • smdavis.us Is Now bluesabre.org!

    So, you’ve clicked on a link or came to check for a new release at smdavis.us, and now you’re here at bluesabre.org. Fear not! Everything is working just as it should.

    To kick off 2018, I’ve started tidying up my personal brand. Since my website has consistently been about FOSS updates, I’ve transitioned to a more fitting .org domain. The .org TLD is often associated with community and open source initiatives, and the content you’ll find here is always going to fit that bill. You can continue to expect a steady stream of Xfce and Xubuntu updates.

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More in Tux Machines

GNOME: GNOME Shell, Bug Tracking, GXml

  • How to Install GNOME Shell Extensions GUI / CLI
    GNOME Shell extensions are small and lightweight pieces of codes that enhance GNOME desktop’s functionality and improves the user experience. They are the equivalent of add-ons in your browser. For instance, you can have add-ons that download videos like IDM downloader or block annoying ads such as Adblocker. Similarly, GNOME extensions perform certain tasks e.g. Display weather and geolocation. One of the tools used to install and customize GNOME Shell extensions is the GNOME tweak tool. It comes pre-installed in the latest Linux distributions. This article we cover how to install GNOME Shell extensions from GUI and from the command line on various Linux distros.
  • Musings on bug trackers
    I love bugzilla, I really do. I’ve used it nearly my entire career in free software. I know it well, I like the command line tool integration. But I’ve never had a day in bugzilla where I managed to resolve/triage/close nearly 100 issues. I managed to do that today with our gitlab instance and I didn’t even mean to.
  • ABI stability for GXml
    I’m taking a deep travel across Vala code; trying to figure out how things work. With my resent work on abstract methods for compact classes, may I have an idea on how to provide ABI stability to GXml. GXml have lot of interfaces for DOM4, implemented in classes, like Gom* series. But they are a lot, so go for each and add annotations, like Gee did, to improve ABI, is a hard work.

More on Barcelona Moving to Free Software

  • Barcelona Aims To Oust Microsoft In Open Source Drive
    The city of Barcelona has embarked on an ambitious open source effort aimed at reducing its dependence on large proprietary software vendors such as Microsoft, including the replacement of both applications and operating systems.
  • Barcelona to ditch Microsoft software for open source software
    Barcelona, one of the most popular cities in the Europe is now switching to open-source software by replacing Microsoft Windows, Office and Exchange with Linux, Libre Office and Open Xchange respectively. The city council is already piloting the use of Ubuntu Linux desktops along with Mozilla Firefox as the default browser. With this move, Barcelona city is planning to save money over the years by reducing software/service licensing fees. They are also planning to hire new developers to write open-source software. The open-source product will also be made available to other Spanish municipalities and public bodies further afield allowing them the opportunity to save money on software licences.
  • Barcelona to ditch Microsoft in favour of open source Linux software
    Catalan capital Barcelona is planning to ditch proprietary software products from Microsoft in favour of free, open source alternatives such as Open-Xchange email. That’s according to a report by Spain's national paper El Pais, which reports that Barcelona plans to invest 70% of its annual software budget in open source this year.

OSS Leftovers

  • Open Source turns 20
    While open source software is ubiquitous, recognized across industries as a fundamental infrastructure component as well as a critical factor for driving innovation, the "open source" label was coined only 20 years ago. The concept of open source software - as opposed to free software or freeware - is credited to Netscape which, in January 1998, announced plans to release the source code of its proprietary browser, Navigator, under a license that would freely permit modification and redistribution. This code is today the basis for Mozilla Firefox and Thunderbird. The Open Source Initiative (OSI) regards that event as the point at which "software freedom extended its reach beyond the enthusiast community and began its ascent into the mainstream".
  • Coreboot 4.7 Released With 47 More Motherboards Supported, AMD Stoney Ridge
    Coreboot 4.7 is now available as the latest release of this free and open-source BIOS/UEFI replacement. Coreboot 4.7 is the latest tagged release for this project developed via Git. This release has initial support for AMD Stoney Ridge platforms, Intel ICH10 Southbridge support, Intel Denverton/Denverton-NS platform support, and initial work on supporting next-gen Intel Cannonlake platforms.
  • Thank you CUSEC!
    Last week, I spoke at CUSEC (Canadian Undergraduate Software Engineering Conference) in Montreal.   I really enjoy speaking with students and learning what they are working on.  They are the future of our industry!  I was so impressed by the level of organization and the kindness and thoughtfulness of the CUSEC organizing committee who were all students from various universities across Canada. I hope that you all are enjoying some much needed rest after your tremendous work in the months approaching the conference and last week.
  • Percona Announces Sneak Peek of Conference Breakout Sessions for Seventh Annual Percona Live Open Source Database Conference
  • The Universal Donor
    A few people reacted negatively to my article on why Public Domain software is broadly unsuitable for inclusion in a community open source project. Most argued that because public domain gave them the rights they need where they live (mostly the USA), I should not say it was wrong to use it. That demonstrates either parochialism or a misunderstanding of what public domain really means. It should not be used for the same reason code known to be subject to software patents should not be used — namely that only code that, to the best efforts possible, can be used by anyone, anywhere without the need to ask permission (e.g. by buying a patent license) or check it it’s needed (e.g. is that PD code PD here?) can be used in an open source project. Public domain fails the test for multiple reasons: global differences in copyright term, copyright as an unalienable moral rather than as a property right, and more. Yes, public domain may give you the rights you need. But in an open source project, it’s not enough for you to determine you personally have the rights you need. In order to function, every user and contributor of the project needs prior confidence they can use, improve and share the code, regardless of their location or the use to which they put it. That confidence also has to extend to their colleagues, customers and community as well.

Ubuntu: Ubuntu Core, Ubuntu Free Culture Showcase for 18.04, Lubuntu 17.04 EoL

  • Ubuntu Core: A secure open source OS for IoT
    Canonical's Ubuntu Core, a tiny, transactional version of the Ubuntu Linux OS for IoT devices, runs highly secure Linux application packages, known as "snaps," that can be upgraded remotely.
  • Introducing the Ubuntu Free Culture Showcase for 18.04
    Ubuntu’s changed a lot in the last year, and everything is leading up to a really exciting event: the release of 18.04 LTS! This next version of Ubuntu will once again offer a stable foundation for countless humans who use computers for work, play, art, relaxation, and creation. Among the various visual refreshes of Ubuntu, it’s also time to go to the community and ask for the best wallpapers. And it’s also time to look for a new video and music file that will be waiting for Ubuntu users on the install media’s Examples folder, to reassure them that their video and sound drivers are quite operational. Long-term support releases like Ubuntu 18.04 LTS are very important, because they are downloaded and installed ten times more often than every single interim release combined. That means that the wallpapers, video, and music that are shipped will be seen ten times more than in other releases. So artists, select your best works. Ubuntu enthusiasts, spread the word about the contest as far and wide as you can. Everyone can help make this next LTS version of Ubuntu an amazing success.
  • Lubuntu 17.04 has reached End of Life
    The Lubuntu Team announces that as a non-LTS release, 17.04 has a 9-month support cycle and, as such, reached end of life on Saturday, January 13, 2018. Lubuntu will no longer provide bug fixes or security updates for 17.04, and we strongly recommend that you update to 17.10, which continues to be actively supported with security updates and select high-impact bug fixes.