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Ubuntu: Ubuntu 18.04, Snapcraft Summit, and Microsoft Exploiting Snaps to Promote (in the Media) Malicious Software

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Ubuntu
  • Ubuntu 18.04 LTS Might Ship With OpenJDK 10, Transition To OpenJDK 11

    Canonical's Tiago Daitx has laid out a proposal today for having an OpenJDK stable release update exception for the upcoming Ubuntu 18.04 LTS "Bionic Beaver" to reduce their long-term maintenance burden.

    Right now in the Ubuntu 18.04 development archive is OpenJDK 8, but the hope is this Ubuntu Long Term Support release will default to OpenJDK 10 as its Java JRE/JDK and then replace it with OpenJDK 11 after its release. If they stick to OpenJDK 8, Canonical will have more of a maintenance burden in the years ahead for maintaining this Java Development Kit version for this Ubuntu Long Term Support.

  • Ubuntu 18.04 Minimal Spin Down To ~30MB Compressed / ~81MB On Disk

    For those using Ubuntu Minimal images for containers/Docker, assembling your own base distribution, setting up an embedded Linux environment, or related use-cases, the minimal images for the upcoming Ubuntu 18.04 LTS release will be even smaller.

  • RFC: Ubuntu 18.04 LTS Minimal Images

    In last year's AskHN HackerNews post, "Ask HN: What do you want to see in Ubuntu 17.10?", and the subsequent treatment of the data, we noticed a recurring request for "lighter, smaller, more minimal" Ubuntu images.

    This is particularly useful for container images (Docker, LXD, Kubernetes, etc.), embedded device environments, and anywhere a developer wants to bootstrap an Ubuntu system from the smallest possible starting point.

  • Snapcraft Summit summary – day 3

    Strictly-confined snaps can only access specific areas on disk that are defined by the interfaces they utilize. This works well, but can occasionally be somewhat inflexible. For example, if you want your snap to access something in /opt, you’re a bit out of luck as there’s no interface that covers this type of access. How cool would it be for you as a user to gain more fine-grained control over this, where you can say “yes, I want this snap to access that file in /opt“? With this ability, even the home interface would no longer be as necessary as it is today! James Henstridge and Jamie Strandboge are working on exactly this, progressing toward using xdg-desktop-portal. James spent the day hacking on user mounts, which is a prerequisite for this whole story.

  • Skype now available as a snap for Linux users
  • Skype released as Snap for Linux
  • Skype is now available as a snap
  • Microsoft Loves Linux: Skype Released as Snap on Ubuntu, Linux Mint
  • Skype now available as a snap for Linux users [Ed: Canonical itself is now advertising Microsoft malware. It used to do it in Ubuntu's front page.]

    Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu, announces today that Skype is now available as a snap, the universal Linux app packaging format. Available as of today, the release means that Skype can deliver its communication service to a wider range of Linux users, including millions on Ubuntu.

Debian and Ubuntu (Microsoft) Leftovers

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Debian
Ubuntu

Canonical/Ubuntu Promote Snap and Microsoft Exploits That to Market Its Malware

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Microsoft
Ubuntu

Canonical/Ubuntu: Snapcraft Summit, Ubuntu Server, NTT TechnoCross

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Ubuntu
  • Plex joins Snapcraft Summit to advance snap learnings

    Plex is the leading streaming platform for personal media collections, also offering over-the-air Live TV and DVR capabilities, and curated news from over 200 global media partners. It’s the only solution that seamlessly combines your personal collection of TV shows, movies, music, photos, and videos alongside live and recorded TV. With a highly-customisable and easy-to-use interface, Plex is a top 10 most-watched app with 4+ star ratings on all major OTT platforms. Plex’s mission is to give users the very best OTT media experience.

  • Ubuntu Server Development Summary – 30 Jan 2018
  • NTT TechnoCross becomes Canonical Certified Support Partner in Japan

    NTT TechnoCross Corporation has signed a partnership agreement with Canonical to provide strengthened OSS support to its customers in Japan including OpenStack deployments.

    NTT TechnoCross will provide Japanese support for domestic customers and will be the first contact for customer enquiries and fault isolation and resolution phase.

    NTT TechnoCross has extensive experience with OSS including OpenStack and provides a wide range of support options to customers from OS to middleware.

    Working with Canonical, NTT TechnoCross will increase its presence in cloud platform with a combination of technical support on OSS and OpenStack and expand its presence in IoT/Edge Computing.

Canonical/Ubuntu/System76

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Ubuntu
  • LXD Weekly Status #32
  • Ubuntu reverting to Xorg in Bionic Beaver

    Ten years' worth of effort to replace the Xorg graphics framework has been given a “must try harder” mark by Ubuntu, which says its next release will not use Wayland by default.

    Ubuntu's desktop engineering manager Will Cooke made the announcement last Friday, saying the decision applies to the Bionic Beaver release due in April.

    He listed three shortcomings in Wayland: screen sharing works (for example in Skype, Hangouts and WebRTC) better in Xorg, remote desktop control ditto, and “recoverability from Shell crashes is less dramatic”.

  • System76 Wants to Offer Full Disk Encryption for Its Ubuntu-Based Pop!_OS Linux

    System76, the computer reseller specialized in the sale of Linux-based notebook, desktop, and server computers, shared details on new installer work for the next release of Pop!_OS Linux.

    It would appear that System76 is collaborating with elementary's Daniel Foré on a new installer, which will offer full disk encryption support, for the next major release of their Ubuntu-Based Pop!_OS Linux distribution, which is coming this spring based on Canonical's Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (Bionic Beaver) operating system.

Ubuntu and Derivatives: Ubuntu 18.04, elementary OS, Pop!_OS

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Ubuntu
  • Ubuntu 18.04 will revert to long-in-the-tooth Xorg

    Canonical has announced that it’ll be reverting back to the Xorg graphics stack as the default option in Ubuntu 18.04 LTS “Bionic Beaver”. While Wayland will still be available as an option, the testing that Canonical carried out by making Wayland default in Ubuntu 17.10 has found that Xorg is still more advantageous to use over Wayland, especially for a release which needs to be rock solid as it gets picked up by educational institutions and businesses.

  • How to put icons on the desktop in elementary OS

    Ever tried elementary OS? If so you’ll know that you can’t put icons on the desktop by default.

    It’s a frustrating experience, particularly if you’re used to being able to use the desktop space as a literal ‘desktop space’. Sadly, elementary (sic) says it has ‘no plans’ to rethink its approach.

    But there is good news. An app called Desktop Folder lets you enable a desktop on elementary (of sorts) so that you can layer icons, files and app shortcuts all over your desktop wallpaper.

  • System76 Eyeing Disk Encryption By Default

    Ubuntu-focused Linux PC vendor System76 who has also been working on their own Pop!_OS distribution is looking at enabling disk encryption by default.

    System76 has shared another blog post highlighting their work on Pop!_OS. The latest is on their design work and installer. But what got me excited about this post is the mention of "Full disk encryption is seen as an important part of security and privacy and should be a default option...A hurdle for a privacy and security focused OEM like System76 is how to deliver a computer with the encryption provided by default."

  • Installer, elementary and Pop!_OS collaboration

    Welcome back, Pop! Fans - time for an update on the week! We have some great stuff going on.

    This week has been primarily been dominated by installer work. Daniel Foré from elementary flew in to work with us on what the new installer is going to be like. Last week, we shared quite a bit of the styling around Pop!_Shop and the installer with the visual designs. The work with elementary was focused on user experience around installation, drive partitioning, dual booting, and full disk encryption.

    At the kick off, we discussed what the various screens should look like and how they should be organized., as well as full disk encryption. Full disk encryption is seen as an important part of security and privacy and should be a default option. We worked around the challenges of incorporating full disk in the UI and what it means for the backend and identifying the various scenarios that exist. A hurdle for a privacy and security focused OEM like System76 is how to deliver a computer with the encryption provided by default. Pre-encrypting would require a unique key for that user that can’t be guaranteed. If a user wanted to have encryption they would have to encrypt and re-install the whole OS which is also not ideal.

Ubuntu and Linux Mint Monthly News

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Ubuntu
  • ucaresystem core 4.4.0 : Pkexec, check for reboot and minor fix

    The new release 4.4.0 of ucaresystem core introduces two internal but important features and a minor bug fix for Debian Jessie. Let’s check them out…Thanks to an idea of Mark Drone on launchpad, I added in ucaresystem core the feature to recognize and inform the user in case they need to restart the system after installing upgrades that require it.

  • 16.04.4 point release delayed; new date TBD

    Due to the ongoing evolution of the fixes for the recently announced
    Meltdown and Spectre security vulnerabilities [1], we are delaying the
    16.04.4 point release, originally scheduled for the week of February
    15. We intend that, when it is released, 16.04.4 will include kernels
    which mitigate these severe vulnerabilities. We also recognize that,
    because updates for these security vulnerabilities are currently
    monopolizing the SRU queue for kernels, there is no opportunity for
    any other point-release-critical fixes to be included, and we need to
    allow the dust to settle a bit before putting the finishing touches on
    the point release.

  • Ubuntu 16.04.4 LTS Delayed Due to Meltdown and Spectre Security Vulnerabilities

    Canonical announced today that it decided to delay the upcoming 16.04.4 point release of the long-term supported Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus) operating system due to the Spectre and Meltdown security vulnerabilities.

    Originally scheduled for release next month on February 15, 2018, Ubuntu 16.04.4 LTS is the fourth of five scheduled maintenance updates for Xenial Xerus, and it was supposed to ship with up-to-date kernel and graphics stacks based on those from the last stable release, Ubuntu 17.10 (Artful Aardvark).

  • Linux Mint Monthly News – January 2018

    Things are very exciting for us at the moment. This is the start of a new year, we’re working on two new bases (Ubuntu 18.04 for Linux Mint 19 and Debian 9 for LMDE 3) and rather than diving straight into the development cycle, and working on fixing bugs and developing new features, we’ve taken some time off to improve our infrastructure, our documentation and the way we work.

    Before we dive into that, we’d like to thank all the people who donated to us: Neil V. in particular for donating $4,000, and the 653 other people who donated to us this December. We’ve never received as much in a single month, we’ve never received as much from a single donation, and we’ve never received donations from as many people in a single month before. So we’re extremely humbled, and extremely proud of us, and of you, and happy to see your enjoyment and your response to what we do. This is really amazing.

Canonical Releases New Linux Kernel Update for Ubuntu 17.10 and 16.04 HWE Users

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Ubuntu

Coming a few days after the last kernel update released earlier this week, which included mitigations for the Spectre security vulnerability that puts billions of devices at risk of attacks, today's security update addresses a logic error in Linux kernel's x86-64 syscall entry implementation, discovered by Jay Vosburgh.

According to the security advisory published today by Canonica, it would appear that the security issue has been introduced by the mitigations for the Spectre hardware bug, and it could allow a local attacker to either execute arbitrary code or cause a denial of service (DoS attack).

Read more

Bionic Beaver 18.04 LTS to use Xorg by default

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Ubuntu

Bionic Beaver, the codename for the next Ubuntu LTS release, is due in April 2018 and will ship with both the traditional Xorg graphics stack as well as the newer Wayland based stack, but Xorg will be the default.

17.10, released in October 2017, ships with the Wayland based graphics server as the default and the Xorg based equivalent is available as an option from the login screen. When we started out on the GNOME Shell route for 17.10 (Artful Aardvark) we knew that we needed to have Wayland as the default option otherwise we wouldn’t know if it would work well for our users in the LTS only 6 months later. The LTS is supported for five years meaning that we need to be certain that what goes out the door on release day will be maintainable and sustainable for the duration and will serve all our users and customers needs, which is no mean feat.

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Also: Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (Bionic Beaver) Will Ship with XOrg by Default, Says Canonical

Ubuntu Linux 18.04 'Bionic Beaver' LTS will default to Xorg

Ubuntu 18.04 LTS Will Default To The X.Org Stack, Not Wayland

Canonical/Ubuntu: Ubuntu Development Summary, LXD, and Kernel Patches for Intel's Sabotage

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Ubuntu
  • Ubuntu Development Summary – 23 Jan 2018

    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.

  • LXD Weekly Status #31

    Nothing too major happened this past week. Part of the time was at an internal planning meeting and the rest have been working on clustering, preparation for 3.0 and fixing a variety of bugs.

  • Kernel Team Summary: January 24, 2018

    The Kernel Team is completely focused on addressing any Spectre and Meltdown issues as they arise. A secure Ubuntu is our top priority. No new Livepatches are being produced and our regular SRU cycles are suspended while we address Spectre and Meltdown.

  • Meltdown, Spectre and Ubuntu: What you need to know

    As details of the Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities1 have become clearer a number of statements have been published by the multiple vendors affected; Canonical has issued advisories and updates on fixes and mitigations, the latest of which mitigate known Spectre attacks. However, most of these statements focus on the mechanics of applying fixes and corresponding damage control, and not on explaining what the problems are, how the mitigations work, and how they may affect you.

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More in Tux Machines

GNOME and Fedora

  • RFC: Integrating rsvg-rs into librsvg
    I have started an RFC to integrate rsvg-rs into librsvg. rsvg-rs is the Rust binding to librsvg. Like the gtk-rs bindings, it gets generated from a pre-built GIR file.
  • 1+ year of Fedora and GNOME hardware enablement
    A year and a couple of months ago, Christian Schaller asked me to pivot a little bit from working full time on Fleet Commander to manage a new team we were building to work on client hardware enablement for Fedora and GNOME with an emphasis on upstream. The idea was to fill the gap in the organization where nobody really owned the problem of bringing up new client hardware features vertically across the stack (from shell down to the kernel), or rather, ensure Fedora and GNOME both work great on modern laptops. Part of that deal was to take over the bootloader and start working closer to customers and hardware manufacturing parnters.
  • Fedora Atomic Workstation: Works on the beach
    My trip is getting really close, so I decided to upgrade my system to rawhide. Wait, what ? That is usually what everybody would tell you not to do. Rawhide has this reputation for frequent breakage, and who knows if my apps will work any given day. Not something you want to deal with while traveling.
  • 4 cool new projects to try in COPR for February

Why You Shouldn’t Use Firefox Forks (and Proprietary Opera)

  • Why You Shouldn’t Use Firefox Forks Like Waterfox, Pale Moon, or Basilisk
    Mozilla Firefox is an open source project, so anyone can take its code, modify it, and release a new browser. That’s what Waterfox, Pale Moon, and Basilisk are—alternative browsers based on the Firefox code. But we recommend against using any of them.
  • Opera Says Its Next Opera Release Will Have the Fastest Ad Blocker on the Block
    Opera Software promoted today its upcoming Opera 52 web browser to the beta channel claiming that it has the faster ad blocker on the market compared to previous Opera release and Google Chrome. One of the key highlights of the Opera 52 release will be the improved performance of the built-in ad blocker as Opera claims to have enhanced the string matching algorithm of the ad blocker to make it open web pages that contain ads much faster than before, and, apparently than other web browsers, such as Chrome.

Graphics: Glxinfo, ANV, SPIR-V

  • Glxinfo Gets Updated With OpenGL 4.6 Support, More vRAM Reporting
    The glxinfo utility is handy for Linux users in checking on their OpenGL driver in use by their system and related information. But it's not often that glxinfo itself gets updated, except that changed today with the release of mesa-demos-8.4.0 as the package providing this information utility. Mesa-demos is the collection of glxinfo, eglinfo, glxgears, and utilities related to Mesa. With the Mesa-demos 8.4.0 it is predominantly glxinfo updates.
  • Intel ANV Getting VK_KHR_16bit_storage Support Wrapped Up
    Igalia's Jose Maria Casanova Crespo sent out a set of patches today for fixes that allow for the enabling of the VK_KHR_16bit_storage extension within Intel's ANV Vulkan driver. The patches are here for those interested in 16-bit storage support in Vulkan. This flips on the features for storageBuffer16BitAccess, uniformAndStorageBuffer16BitAccess, storagePushConstant16 and the VK_KHR_16bit_storage extension. This support is present for Intel "Gen 8" Broadwell graphics and newer. Hopefully the work will be landing in Mesa Git soon.
  • SPIR-V Support For Gallium3D's Clover Is Closer To Reality
    It's been a busy past week for open-source GPU compute with Intel opening up their new NEO OpenCL stack, Karol Herbst at Red Hat posting the latest on Nouveau NIR support for SPIR-V compute, and now longtime Nouveau contributor Pierre Moreau has presented his latest for SPIR-V Clover support. Pierre has been spending about the past year adding SPIR-V support to Gallium3D's "Clover" OpenCL state tracker. SPIR-V, of course, is the intermediate representation used now by OpenCL and Vulkan.

Security: Updates, Tinder, FUD and KPTI Meltdown Mitigation

  • Security updates for Friday
  • Tinder vulnerability let hackers [sic] take over accounts with just a phone number

    The attack worked by exploiting two separate vulnerabilities: one in Tinder and another in Facebook’s Account Kit system, which Tinder uses to manage logins. The Account Kit vulnerability exposed users’ access tokens (also called an “aks” token), making them accessible through a simple API request with an associated phone number.

  • PSA: Improperly Secured Linux Servers Targeted with Chaos Backdoor [Ed: Drama queen once again (second time in a week almost) compares compromised GNU/Linux boxes to "back doors"]
    Hackers are using SSH brute-force attacks to take over Linux systems secured with weak passwords and are deploying a backdoor named Chaos. Attacks with this malware have been spotted since June, last year. They have been recently documented and broken down in a GoSecure report.
  • Another Potential Performance Optimization For KPTI Meltdown Mitigation
    Now that the dust is beginning to settle around the Meltdown and Spectre mitigation techniques on the major operating systems, in the weeks and months ahead we are likely to see more performance optimizations come to help offset the performance penalties incurred by mitigations like kernel page table isolation (KPTI) and Retpolines. This week a new patch series was published that may help with KPTI performance.