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System76 Says Ubuntu-Based Pop!_OS Linux Won't Break Lenovo or Acer Laptops

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A System76 engineer working on Pop!_OS Linux, the company's Ubuntu-based operating system shipping pre-installed on all of their computers, writes about the recently discovered Ubuntu bug affecting some Lenovo laptops.

As you probably are aware, Canonical is currently discouraging users to download the latest Ubuntu release due to an issue that corrupts the BIOS of some Lenovo laptops, as well as other brands like Acer and Toshiba. The bug is related to the intel-spi-* drivers in the Linux 4.13 kernel packages shipping with Ubuntu 17.10 (Artful Aardvark), and should also affect other Ubuntu 17.10-based distro like Pop!_OS.

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Direct: Pop!_OS Community Update and Happy Holidays Edition Post!

Canonical Releases Snapcraft 2.38 Tool to Improve Support for Classic Snaps

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Announced just a few minutes ago by Sergio Schvezov, Snapcraft 2.38 will soon make its way into the stable software repositories of supported Ubuntu Linux releases, as well as other GNU/Linux distributions. The biggest change that landed in this new version is better support for classic Snaps, which will allow for true isolation for host's dynamically linked executables.

"Snapcraft now has a better architecture overall to handle classic Snaps, not only for those coming from parts that are built, but also for the case where prebuilt binaries are dumped into the Snap," writes Sergio Schvezov. "Prior to this version of Snapcraft, true isolation for a dynamically linked executable from the host was not possible. The work here makes sure that the correct interpreter is set and also sets up valid rpaths for the binary."

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Ubuntu: Mir, Trusty Tahr, and BIOS Issue

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  • Canonical's Mir 2018 Plans Include Some Potentially Interesting IoT Features

    Most interesting is the third item for Mir next year... It will certainly be interesting to see what comes of these "keen opportunities" since right now Mir is basically evolving into a glorified Wayland compositor. Alan also said "maybe" of seeing the Mir 1.0 release in 2018.

  • Mir: 2017 end of year review

    2017 was a wild year for Mir: when Canonical withdrew from a major downstream project (Unity8) the future of Mir seemed uncertain. And, indeed, we needed to re-organize and re-plan.

    But at the end of 2017, Mir is doing well: We’ve a new website, released a raft of new functionality, and the last two releases of Mir have been made available on both Ubuntu and Fedora.

  • Maybe it's you? Nope, Ubuntu Trusty tells us.

    No, it is not me. Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr shows, once again, that it is the undisputed king of professionalism and quality, and it is the best Ubuntu ever made. What happened more recently is just slow asphyxiation of enthusiasm and happiness. So there you have it. The same laptop, the same user, the same method, a different distro.

    After testing this system, I am amazed by how much the recent editions have regressed, across the board. Stability, performance, overall quality, fine details, hardware support, even the basics. Better yet, not only is Trusty better than all these other distros, it's also better than its former self! It has improved - less memory, less CPU, more stability! And all these other distros ... Well. It is appalling and alarming. It is disheartening. You can read those reviews and weep. One thing is sure. Aardvark and friends take the entire distroscape back to 2005. Question asked, answer provided. See you around.

  • Canonical pulls Ubuntu update after BIOS corruption issue affecting laptops

    Canonical has pulled the release of its Ubuntu 17.10 distribution of Linux after many users found that the release had corrupted the BIOS on their laptops.

Canonical's FY2017 Performance: $126 Million, Nearly 600 Employees

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While Red Hat is on track for a run rate of nearly three billion dollars for their current fiscal year, Canonical - the company behind Ubuntu - isn't quite there yet while still dominating the cloud landscape and other areas.

Canonical Group Limited and its Canonical UK Limited organization have filed their fiscal year 2017 data with Companies House in the UK this week. Canonical's 2017 fiscal year ended back on 31 March.

For their 2017 fiscal year they took in $126 million which is better than the prior year and their headcount grew from 496 to 566. On that $126 million, for their fiscal year they managed a net profit of just two million.

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Also: Ubuntu 17.10 PULLED: Linux OS knackers laptop BIOSes, Intel kernel driver fingered

Ubuntu News: Ubuntu 17.10, Ubuntu Podcast, Security and UBports

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  • Canonical temporarily disables Ubuntu 17.10 download

    Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu has seemingly disabled downloads of its latest release, Ubuntu 17.10. Those attempting to grab the build will have the option of downloading the 16.04 LTS release but when scrolling to the new 17.10 release, it says that users are "discouraged" from using this version due to a bug which corrupts the BIOS on many Lenovo laptops.

  • Ubuntu 17.10 corrupts the BIOS on some Lenovo, Toshiba and Acer laptops

    Following reports of BIOS corruption on a number of Acer, Lenovo and Toshiba laptops, Canonical is now discouraging users from downloading Ubuntu 17.10 "Artful Aardvark" from its website.

    The bug, which is labeled "critical" by the team behind Ubuntu, can cripple the BIOS on over 20 devices, as acknowledged in this report. This issue also affects other versions of the popular Linux-based distribution, including the older Ubuntu 16.04 "Xenial Xerus" -- in the "OEM" and "HWE-EDGE" packages.

  • Ubuntu Podcast from the UK LoCo: S10E42 – Tangy Orange Chairs - Ubuntu Podcast
  • Security Team Weekly Summary: December 21, 2017

    The Security Team weekly reports are intended to be very short summaries of the Security Team’s weekly activities.

  • UBports Releases Updated Ubuntu Touch (OTA-3)

    While Ubuntu Touch may be dead to Canonical, UBports continues to work where the convergence / Unity 8 developers left off with trying to make this mobile platform a reality.

    As an early Christmas present, the UBports team released Ubuntu Touch OTA-3. This update brings some new features and bug fixes atop the Ubuntu Touch 15.04 base. New features include some new packages requested by the community, the default start page and search provider was changed over to DuckDuckGo, and not displaying the keyboard when working with multiple windows. This over-the-air update has also removed the Ubuntu Store from the App Scope.

Ubuntu Phone OTA-3 Released by UBports with Own Push Notification System

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OTA-3's major new feature is the implementation of UBports' own push notification server. Previous OTAs still used Canonical's Ubuntu Touch push notification system for apps, but with OTA-3 users will be automatically switched to the UBports push server, which will take a few hours to roll out to everyone.

Other enhancements include a new Swiss-French keyboard layout, support for the Nextcloud file sharing and storage service, the addition of various small packages requested by the Ubuntu Phone community, integration of OpenStore into System Settings, and removal of the Ubuntu Store from the App Scope.

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More on Ubuntu i386 and Spotify News

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  • Ubuntu News: No 32-bit Support For Ubuntu Server 18.04, Ubuntu 17.10 Links Pulled, New Spotify Snap

    This week has been pretty eventful when it comes to the developments taking place in the world of Ubuntu. So, I thought I’d tell all about them, in brief, to keep you updated. Let’s take a look:

  • Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (Bionic Beaver) Server Edition Won't Ship with a 32-Bit ISO

    Canonical engineer Josh Powers posted a message today on the ubuntu-server mailing list to confirm the removal of the 32-bit (i386) daily ISO images of Ubuntu Server starting with Ubuntu 18.04 LTS.

    Following in the footsteps of Ubuntu Desktop, the Ubuntu Server official flavor won't be shipping with 32-bit ISO images when the Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (Bionic Beaver) operating system will be released next year in April. Therefore, you won't be able to install Ubuntu 18.04 LTS as a server, nor desktop OS on an old 32-bit computer.

    "After no objections or issues were brought up on the ubuntu-server mailing list, I am requesting the removal of the Ubuntu Server i386 daily images starting with 18.04. As with the desktop i386 ISO change, there are no other changes requested to d-i, mini.iso, archive, or the upgrade paths," writes Josh Powers on the mailing list.

  • Spotify made it easier to install its app on Linux
  • Spotify now available as a Snap for Linux

    If you are a user of Linux on the desktop, you know it can be quite annoying when you can’t use a popular app or service that is available on other platforms. While Windows and Mac certainly have more access to premium apps, Linux is no slouch. In fact, Linux is getting more and more love from developers nowadays. For example, Linux-based operating systems have official support for programs like Dropbox, Skype, and Spotify.

  • Spotify Made it Simpler to Install Its App on Linux

Ubuntu 17.10 Corrupts the BIOS of Some Lenovo Laptops, Respin ISOs Coming Soon

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The issue is causing the BIOS of several Lenovo laptops to no longer save new settings. Once you've installed Ubuntu 17.10 and you reboot the laptop, the system will start with the old BIOS settings. The cause appears to be related with the intel-spi-* drivers in the Linux kernel, which aren't ready for use.

Lenovo B40-70, Lenovo B50-70, Lenovo B50-80, Lenovo Flex-10, Lenovo G40-30, Lenovo G50-70, Lenovo G50-80, Lenovo S20-30, Lenovo U31-70, Lenovo Y50-70, Lenovo Y70-70, Lenovo Yoga Thinkpad (20C0), Lenovo Yoga 2 11" - 20332, Lenovo Z50-70, Lenovo Z51-70, and Lenovo IdeaPad 100-15IBY are among the Lenovo laptops known to be affected by the issue. A Toshiba S50t-B laptop is also affected.

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Also: Ubuntu 17.10 Temporarily Pulled Due To A BIOS Corrupting Problem

Canonical pulls Ubuntu 17.10 over UEFI corruption issue

Latest Ubuntu release pulled due to BIOS corruption bug

Spotify (Proprietary) and Rogue Intel on Ubuntu

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  • Ubuntu Insights: Canonical welcome Spotify as a snap for Linux users

    Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu, is happy to announce that Spotify, the world’s leading music streaming service, is now available as a snap, the universal Linux app packaging format.

    By launching as a snap, it enables users to enjoy Spotify natively on all Linux distributions that support snaps including Linux Mint, Manjaro, Debian, OpenSUSE, Solus as well as Ubuntu.

  • Canonical Makes It Easier to Install Spotify for Linux on Ubuntu, Other Distros

    Canonical announced today that Spotify has launched its Spotify for Linux desktop client as a Snap universal binary package for all supported Ubuntu Linux releases and other Snappy-enabled GNU/Linux distros.

    Running the official Spotify for Linux client on a GNU/Linux distro like Ubuntu or Solus isn't all that easy these days, but with the availability of the Snap universal binary package across more and more distros, you can install the app with a single command on any Snappy-powered system, thanks to the Snapcraft team over at Canonical.

  • Intel SPI Driver in Ubuntu 17.10 Release Might Corrupt Your Laptop Bios

    Canonical has pulled their latest Ubuntu 17.10 release because there are many reports of Lenovo and other brand laptops experiencing corrupted BIOS when the OS is installed. At this time it looks like the Intel SPI driver is the culprit. Once a new kernel can be compliled without these drivers the OS will be made available for download once again. If you downloaded this before this morning then you shouldn't install on your laptop. In some cases only a motherboard replacement will fix the bad BIOS. Beware.

  • Latest Ubuntu release pulled due to BIOS corruption bug

    A bug report said, "Many users are reporting issues with BIOS corruption with 17.10. This seems to stem from enabling the Intel-SPI-* drivers in the kernel, which don't appear to be ready for use on end-user machines."

Ubuntu Server 18.04 LTS Dropping 32-Bit/i386 Support

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With Ubuntu 17.10 the 32-bit desktop image/installer was dropped while for the upcoming Ubuntu 18.04 LTS release they plan to do away with the ubuntu-server i386 release.

With no objections having been raised over a comment period the past nearly two months on the Ubuntu Server mailing list, Josh Powers of Canonical has issued the go-ahead to do away with the Ubuntu Server i386 daily images and the subsequent final Bionic Beaver release.

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Also: Ubuntu 17.10 no longer available for download due to LENOVO bios getting corrupted

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today's howtos

Games Chronicon, BROKE PROTOCOL, Internet Archive

  • 2D action RPG 'Chronicon' to arrive on Linux with the next big update
    The colourful action RPG Chronicon [Steam, Official Site] should arrive on Linux with the next big update, the developer has said.
  • BROKE PROTOCOL is like a low-poly GTA Online and it's coming to Linux
    BROKE PROTOCOL [Steam], a low-poly open-world action game that's a little like GTA Online and it's coming to Linux.
  • The Internet Archive Just Uploaded a Bunch of Playable, Classic Handheld Games
    The non-profit Internet Archive is perhaps best known for its Wayback Machine that takes snap shots of web sites so you can see what they looked like in the past. However, it also has a robust side project where it emulates and uploads old, outdated games that aren’t being maintained anymore. Recently, the organization added a slew of a unique kind of game that’s passed into memory: handheld LCD electronic games. The games–like Mortal Kombat, depicted above–used special LCD screens with preset patterns. They could only display the exact images in the exact place that they were specified for. This meant the graphics were incredibly limited and each unit could only play the one game it was designed to play. A Game Boy, this was not.
  • Internet Archive emulator brings dozens of handheld games back from obscurity
    Over the weekend, the Internet Archive announced it was offering a new series of emulators. This time, they’re designed to mimic one of gaming’s most obscure artifacts — handheld games. When I say a “handheld game,” I don’t mean the Game Boy or the PSP — those are handheld consoles. These are single-game handheld or tabletop devices that look and feel more like toys. The collection includes the very old, mostly-forgotten games sold in mini-handhelds from the 80s onward.

Linux Foundation Videos and Projects

LibrePlanet free software conference celebrates 10th anniversary, this weekend at MIT, March 24-25

This weekend, the Free Software Foundation (FSF) and the Student Information Processing Board (SIPB) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) present the tenth annual LibrePlanet free software conference in Cambridge, March 24-25, 2018, at MIT. LibrePlanet is an annual conference for people who care about their digital freedoms, bringing together software developers, policy experts, activists, and computer users to learn skills, share accomplishments, and tackle challenges facing the free software movement. LibrePlanet 2018 will feature sessions for all ages and experience levels. LibrePlanet's tenth anniversary theme is "Freedom Embedded." Embedded systems are everywhere, in cars, digital watches, traffic lights, and even within our bodies. We've come to expect that proprietary software's sinister aspects are embedded in software, digital devices, and our lives, too: we expect that our phones monitor our activity and share that data with big companies, that governments enforce digital restrictions management (DRM), and that even our activity on social Web sites is out of our control. This year's talks and workshops will explore how to defend user freedom in a society reliant on embedded systems. Read more Also: FSF Blogs: Friday Free Software Directory IRC meetup time: March 23rd starting at 12:00 p.m. EDT/16:00 UTC