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Ubuntu

Debian, Ubuntu, elementary OS, pfSense and Windows

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Ubuntu
  • My Free Software Activities in Jul-Sep 2017

    If you read Planet Debian often, you’ve probably noticed a trend of Free Software activity reports at the beginning of the month. First, those reports seemed a bit unamusing and lengthy, but since I take the time to read them I’ve learnt a lot of things, and now I’m amazed at the amount of work that people are doing for Free Software. Indeed, I knew already that many people are doing lots of work. But reading those reports gives you an actual view of how much it is.

  • OpenStack Development Summary – October 13, 2017

    Welcome to the seventh Ubuntu OpenStack development summary!

    This summary is intended to be a regular communication of activities and plans happening in and around Ubuntu OpenStack, covering but not limited to the distribution and deployment of OpenStack on Ubuntu.

    If there is something that you would like to see covered in future summaries, or you have general feedback on content please feel free to reach out to me (jamespage on Freenode IRC) or any of the OpenStack Engineering team at Canonical!

  • elementary OS 0.5 "Juno" GNU/Linux Distro Could Use Ubuntu's Snappy Technologies

    The guys over elementary OS, the popular GNU/Linux distribution based on Ubuntu, were interviewed recently by Canonical's Sarah Dickinson about upcoming integration of Snap packages into their infrastructure.

    As you are aware, there are three main universal binary packages available for GNU/Linux distributions, Snappy, Flatpak, and AppImage, and OS maintainers are free to implement which one they think it's best for their users, or even more of them.

    In the interview, elementary's devs revealed the fact that they want to go with Ubuntu's Snappy technologies to provide their users with a modern and secure confined app format because of the extra layer of security Snaps provide by design.

  • pfSense 2.4 BSD Operating System Debuts with New Installer, Drops 32-Bit Images

    Rubicon Communications' Jim Pingle announced the release of the pfSense 2.4.0 operating system, a major release that introduces support for new devices, new features, and numerous improvements.

    Based on the latest FreeBSD 11.1 operating system, the pfSense 2.4 release comes with an all-new installer based on bsdinstall and featuring support for the ZFS file system, UEFI machines, as well as multiple types of partition layouts, including the widely used GPT and BIOS.

  • Dutch privacy regulator says Windows 10 breaks the law

    The lack of clear information about what Microsoft does with the data that Windows 10 collects prevents consumers from giving their informed consent, says the Dutch Data Protection Authority (DPA). As such, the regulator says that the operating system is breaking the law.

    To comply with the law, the DPA says that Microsoft needs to get valid user consent: this means the company must be clearer about what data is collected and how that data is processed. The regulator also complains that the Windows 10 Creators Update doesn't always respect previously chosen settings about data collection. In the Creators Update, Microsoft introduced new, clearer wording about the data collection—though this language still wasn't explicit about what was collected and why—and it forced everyone to re-assert their privacy choices through a new settings page. In some situations, though, that page defaulted to the standard Windows options rather than defaulting to the settings previously chosen.

System76 Adds Finishing Touches to First Release of Ubuntu-Based Pop!_OS Linux

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Ubuntu

Ubuntu 17.10 (Artful Aardvark) is almost here and the guys over at System76 are adding finishing touches to the first release of their Pop!_OS Linux distro, which will be based on Ubuntu 17.10.

During the Beta testing of Pop!_OS Linux, it would appear that System76 received a lots of feedback from the community, users who installed and tested the Pop!_OS Linux Beta release on their personal computers, but especially on System76's laptops and workstations because that's why Pop!_OS Linux was made for in the first place.

"Thank you for all the feedback that you gave us during the beta release last week. Thanks to your efforts many bugs that were exposed through your feedback were addressed," said Sriram Ramkrishna, Community Manager at System76. "Our release is less than a week away and the more feedback we get, the better the end result."

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Canonical Puts Out Call for Users to Test Ubuntu 17.10's Release Candidate ISOs

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Ubuntu

Canonical's community manager Alan Pope recently put out a call for community members to test the upcoming Release Candidate (RC) ISO images of the Ubuntu 17.10 (Artful Aardvark) operating system.

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Ubuntu 17.10 Artful Aardvark is Nearly Ready, Out in Less Than a Week

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Ubuntu
  • Ubuntu 17.10 Artful Aardvark Enters Final Freeze — Final Release On October 19th

    The last big milestone in Ubuntu 17.10 development process was the release of Beta 2 that witnessed the participation of Ubuntu’s flagship edition which now ships with GNOME desktop environment. In a way, it was the first chance to try the new and polished features.

    “Adam Conrad, on behalf of the Ubuntu Release Team is pleased to announce that artful has entered the Final Freeze period in preparation for the final release of Ubuntu 17.10 next week,” the Ubuntu Fridge announcement reads.

  • Artful Aardvark (17.10) Final Freeze

    Adam Conrad, on behalf of the Ubuntu Release Team is pleased to announce that artful has entered the Final Freeze period in preparation for the final release of Ubuntu 17.10 next week.

LinuxAndUbuntu Review Of Pantheon Desktop Environment

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Linux
Reviews
Ubuntu

Pantheon is beautiful, lightweight, fast, simple and brings something new to Linux desktops. For Linux newbies, Pantheon is pretty straightforward and easy to use. For advanced users who prefer to tinker with their desktop, Pantheon is a no go as there is little to do in terms of customizations. Changing wallpapers and switching workspace could surely do with some simplification Nonetheless, I believe everyone who used Pantheon is going to be impressed with how beautiful this desktop environment is.

​The Pantheon desktop is definitely among the very best desktop environments. Currently, there are efforts to bring the Pantheon desktop to some major distributions such as Fedora and Arch. There is even a community version of Manjaro that comes with Pantheon. But if you really want to use this desktop go with elementary OS.

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Ubuntu: elementaryOS Snaps, Kernel, MAAS, and Ubuntu Server

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Ubuntu
  • elementary on why snaps are right for their Linux distro

    elementary is the company behind the elementary OS Linux distribution and the associated app store. Celebrating their tenth anniversary this year, elementary began in 2007 with their first release in 2011. They are currently on their 4th release (Loki) and are working towards their 5th (Juno) with Jupiter, Luna and Freya as previous releases. At the Ubuntu Rally in New York, we spoke to elementary’s founder Daniel Fore and Systems Architect, Cody Garver, to discover what made snaps the right Linux application packaging format for their distro.

  • Kernel Team Summary- October 11, 2017
  • MAAS 2.3.0 beta 2 released!
  • Ubuntu Server Development Summary – 10 Oct 2017

    The purpose of this communication is to provide a status update and highlights for any interesting subjects from the Ubuntu Server Team. If you would like to reach the server team, you can find us at the #ubuntu-server channel on Freenode. Alternatively, you can sign up and use the Ubuntu Server Team mailing list.

Canonical Outs Important Linux Kernel Updates for All Supported Ubuntu Releases

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Ubuntu

Canonical released new kernel updates for all supported Ubuntu Linux releases, including Ubuntu 14.04 LTS (Trusty Tahr), Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus), and Ubuntu 17.04 (Zesty Zapus), fixing a total of five security vulnerabilities.

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Ubuntu MATE 17.10 to Be First Linux OS to Ship with a Snap Installed by Default

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Ubuntu

Ubuntu MATE leader Martin Wimpress is pioneering pre-installed Snap support in his Ubuntu distro by shipping the forthcoming Ubuntu MATE 17.10 release as the first distro with a Snap app installed by default.

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GNOME and Budgie: 2 Comfy Ubuntu 17.10 Environments

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GNOME
Reviews
Ubuntu

If you are looking for a change-of-pace desktop that has a modern flare and very tiny learning curve, Ubuntu's integration of both GNOME 3 and Budgie easily can fit your needs. If you want to keep using the Ubuntu family desktop line, take the other Ubuntu flavors for a spin.

Or, consider checking out the GNOME and Budgie flavors as an alternative to your current Linux distro. Canonical is a solid developer that has pioneered many innovations.

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Newbie's Guide to Ubuntu 17.10 and More Information

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Ubuntu
  • Newbie's Guide to Ubuntu 17.10 Part 1

    This is a tutorial series for newbies to operate Ubuntu 17.10. This is targeted to help newbies from MS Windows environment to run Ubuntu. This series is divided into 3 parts: first operating the desktop, second navigating the file manager, and third setting the system so it suits your needs. After the final part, this will be re-published as an ebook of UbuntuBuzz. So start your Ubuntu and enjoy this!

  • Ubuntu 17.10 New Features, Release Date and Upgrade Procedure

    Ubuntu 17.10 is a short-term release and will be supported for nine months. Which means that in July 2018, you must upgrade to a newer version or else you won’t get system and security updates.

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Security: OpenSSL, IoT, and LWN Coverage of 'Intelpocalypse'

  • Another Face to Face: Email Changes and Crypto Policy
    The OpenSSL OMC met last month for a two-day face-to-face meeting in London, and like previous F2F meetings, most of the team was present and we addressed a great many issues. This blog posts talks about some of them, and most of the others will get their own blog posts, or notices, later. Red Hat graciously hosted us for the two days, and both Red Hat and Cryptsoft covered the costs of their employees who attended. One of the overall threads of the meeting was about increasing the transparency of the project. By default, everything should be done in public. We decided to try some major changes to email and such.
  • Some Basic Rules for Securing Your IoT Stuff

    Throughout 2016 and 2017, attacks from massive botnets made up entirely of hacked [sic] IoT devices had many experts warning of a dire outlook for Internet security. But the future of IoT doesn’t have to be so bleak. Here’s a primer on minimizing the chances that your IoT things become a security liability for you or for the Internet at large.

  • A look at the handling of Meltdown and Spectre
    The Meltdown/Spectre debacle has, deservedly, reached the mainstream press and, likely, most of the public that has even a remote interest in computers and security. It only took a day or so from the accelerated disclosure date of January 3—it was originally scheduled for January 9—before the bugs were making big headlines. But Spectre has been known for at least six months and Meltdown for nearly as long—at least to some in the industry. Others that were affected were completely blindsided by the announcements and have joined the scramble to mitigate these hardware bugs before they bite users. Whatever else can be said about Meltdown and Spectre, the handling (or, in truth, mishandling) of this whole incident has been a horrific failure. For those just tuning in, Meltdown and Spectre are two types of hardware bugs that affect most modern CPUs. They allow attackers to cause the CPU to do speculative execution of code, while timing memory accesses to deduce what has or has not been cached, to disclose the contents of memory. These disclosures can span various security boundaries such as between user space and the kernel or between guest operating systems running in virtual machines. For more information, see the LWN article on the flaws and the blog post by Raspberry Pi founder Eben Upton that well describes modern CPU architectures and speculative execution to explain why the Raspberry Pi is not affected.
  • Addressing Meltdown and Spectre in the kernel
    When the Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities were disclosed on January 3, attention quickly turned to mitigations. There was already a clear defense against Meltdown in the form of kernel page-table isolation (KPTI), but the defenses against the two Spectre variants had not been developed in public and still do not exist in the mainline kernel. Initial versions of proposed defenses have now been disclosed. The resulting picture shows what has been done to fend off Spectre-based attacks in the near future, but the situation remains chaotic, to put it lightly. First, a couple of notes with regard to Meltdown. KPTI has been merged for the 4.15 release, followed by a steady trickle of fixes that is undoubtedly not yet finished. The X86_BUG_CPU_INSECURE processor bit is being renamed to X86_BUG_CPU_MELTDOWN now that the details are public; there will be bug flags for the other two variants added in the near future. 4.9.75 and 4.4.110 have been released with their own KPTI variants. The older kernels do not have mainline KPTI, though; instead, they have a backport of the older KAISER patches that more closely matches what distributors shipped. Those backports have not fully stabilized yet either. KPTI patches for ARM are circulating, but have not yet been merged.
  • Is it time for open processors?
    The disclosure of the Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities has brought a new level of attention to the security bugs that can lurk at the hardware level. Massive amounts of work have gone into improving the (still poor) security of our software, but all of that is in vain if the hardware gives away the game. The CPUs that we run in our systems are highly proprietary and have been shown to contain unpleasant surprises (the Intel management engine, for example). It is thus natural to wonder whether it is time to make a move to open-source hardware, much like we have done with our software. Such a move may well be possible, and it would certainly offer some benefits, but it would be no panacea. Given the complexity of modern CPUs and the fierceness of the market in which they are sold, it might be surprising to think that they could be developed in an open manner. But there are serious initiatives working in this area; the idea of an open CPU design is not pure fantasy. A quick look around turns up several efforts; the following list is necessarily incomplete.
  • Notes from the Intelpocalypse
    Rumors of an undisclosed CPU security issue have been circulating since before LWN first covered the kernel page-table isolation patch set in November 2017. Now, finally, the information is out — and the problem is even worse than had been expected. Read on for a summary of these issues and what has to be done to respond to them in the kernel. All three disclosed vulnerabilities take advantage of the CPU's speculative execution mechanism. In a simple view, a CPU is a deterministic machine executing a set of instructions in sequence in a predictable manner. Real-world CPUs are more complex, and that complexity has opened the door to some unpleasant attacks. A CPU is typically working on the execution of multiple instructions at once, for performance reasons. Executing instructions in parallel allows the processor to keep more of its subunits busy at once, which speeds things up. But parallel execution is also driven by the slowness of access to main memory. A cache miss requiring a fetch from RAM can stall the execution of an instruction for hundreds of processor cycles, with a clear impact on performance. To minimize the amount of time it spends waiting for data, the CPU will, to the extent it can, execute instructions after the stalled one, essentially reordering the code in the program. That reordering is often invisible, but it occasionally leads to the sort of fun that caused Documentation/memory-barriers.txt to be written.

US Sanctions Against Chinese Android Phones, LWN Report on Eelo

  • A new bill would ban the US government from using Huawei and ZTE phones
    US lawmakers have long worried about the security risks posed the alleged ties between Chinese companies Huawei and ZTE and the country’s government. To that end, Texas Representative Mike Conaway introduced a bill last week called Defending U.S. Government Communications Act, which aims to ban US government agencies from using phones and equipment from the companies. Conaway’s bill would prohibit the US government from purchasing and using “telecommunications equipment and/or services,” from Huawei and ZTE. In a statement on his site, he says that technology coming from the country poses a threat to national security, and that use of this equipment “would be inviting Chinese surveillance into all aspects of our lives,” and cites US Intelligence and counterintelligence officials who say that Huawei has shared information with state leaders, and that the its business in the US is growing, representing a further security risk.
  • U.S. lawmakers urge AT&T to cut commercial ties with Huawei - sources
    U.S. lawmakers are urging AT&T Inc, the No. 2 wireless carrier, to cut commercial ties to Chinese phone maker Huawei Technologies Co Ltd and oppose plans by telecom operator China Mobile Ltd to enter the U.S. market because of national security concerns, two congressional aides said. The warning comes after the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump took a harder line on policies initiated by his predecessor Barack Obama on issues ranging from Beijing’s role in restraining North Korea to Chinese efforts to acquire U.S. strategic industries. Earlier this month, AT&T was forced to scrap a plan to offer its customers Huawei [HWT.UL] handsets after some members of Congress lobbied against the idea with federal regulators, sources told Reuters.
  • Eelo seeks to make a privacy-focused phone
    A focus on privacy is a key feature being touted by a number of different projects these days—from KDE to Tails to Nextcloud. One of the biggest privacy leaks for most people is their phone, so it is no surprise that there are projects looking to address that as well. A new entrant in that category is eelo, which is a non-profit project aimed at producing not only a phone, but also a suite of web services. All of that could potentially replace the Google or Apple mothership, which tend to collect as much personal data as possible.

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Mozilla: Resource Hogs, Privacy Month, Firefox Census, These Weeks in Firefox

  • Firefox Quantum Eats RAM Like Chrome
    For a long time, Mozilla’s Firefox has been my web browser of choice. I have always preferred it to using Google’s Chrome, because of its simplicity and reasonable system resource (especially RAM) usage. On many Linux distributions such as Ubuntu, Linux Mint and many others, Firefox even comes installed by default. Recently, Mozilla released a new, powerful and faster version of Firefox called Quantum. And according to the developers, it’s new with a “powerful engine that’s built for rapid-fire performance, better, faster page loading that uses less computer memory.”
  • Mozilla Communities Speaker Series #PrivacyMonth
    As a part of the Privacy Month initiative, Mozilla volunteers are hosting a couple of speaker series webinars on Privacy, Security and related topics. The webinars will see renowned speakers talking to us about their work around privacy, how to take control of your digital self, some privacy-security tips and much more.
  • “Ewoks or Porgs?” and Other Important Questions
    You ever go to a party where you decide to ask people REAL questions about themselves, rather than just boring chit chat? Us, too! That’s why we’ve included questions that really hone in on the important stuff in our 2nd Annual Firefox Census.
  • These Weeks in Firefox: Issue 30