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Ubuntu

Ubuntu 18.04 Telemetry, Peppermint 9, Linux Mint 19

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Ubuntu

Ubuntu: Snapcraft, Intel, AMD Patches, and Telemetry

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Ubuntu
  • SD Times Open-Source Project of the Week: Snapcraft

    Canonical, the company behind operating system and Linux distribution Ubuntu, is looking to help developers package, distribute and update apps for Linux and IoT with its open-source project Snapcraft.

    According to Evan Dandrea, engineering manager at Canonical, Snapcraft “is a platform for publishing applications to an audience of millions of Linux users.” The project was initially created in 2014, but recently underwent rebranding efforts.

  • Ubuntu 16.04 LTS Now Certified on Select Intel NUC Mini PCs and Boards for IoT Development, LibreOffice 6.0.5 Now Available, Git 2.8 Released and More

    Canonical yesterday announced that Ubuntu 16.04 LTS is certified on select Intel NUC Mini PCs and boards for IoT development. According to the Ubuntu blog post, this pairing "provides benefits to device manufacturers at every stage of their development journey and accelerates time to market." You can download the certified image from here.

    In other Canonical news, yesterday the company released a microcode firmware update for Ubuntu users with AMD processors to address the Spectre vulnerability, Softpedia reports. The updated amd64-microcode packages for AMD CPUs are available for Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (Bionic Beaver), Ubuntu 17.10 (Artful Aardvark), Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus), and Ubuntu 14.04 LTS (Trusty Tahr), "all AMD users are urged to update their systems."

  • Canonical issues Spectre v2 fix for all Ubuntu systems with AMD chips

    JUST WHEN YOU THOUGHT YOU'D HEARD THE END of Spectre, Canonical has released a microcode update for all Ubuntu users that have AMD processors in a bid to rid of the vulnerability.

    The Spectre microprocessor side-channel vulnerabilities were made public at the beginning of this year, affecting literally billions of devices that had been made in the past two decades.

  • A first look at desktop metrics

    We first announced our intention to ask users to provide basic, not-personally-identifiable system data back in February. Since then we have built the Ubuntu Report tool and integrated it in to the Ubuntu 18.04 LTS initial setup tool. You can see an example of the data being collected on the Ubuntu Report Github page.

Ubuntu Is Used All over the World, Reveal Initial Ubuntu 18.04 Desktop Metrics

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Ubuntu

During the development cycle of Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (Bionic Beaver), Canonical announced that there would be an optional personal and system data collection tool implemented in the operating system to help them improve Ubuntu. Later, closer to the final release, it was revealed that the data collection tool was implemented in an all-new Welcome screen displayed only once after the first boot.

The data collected by Canonical to improve the Ubuntu Linux operating system contained information about Ubuntu flavor used and version, users' setups, installed software, network connectivity, OEM manufacturer, CPU family, RAM, disk size, screen resolution, GPU vendor and model, as well as users' location based on the options they choose during the installation.

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Peppermint 9 Officially Released Based on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS, Here's What's New

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OS
Ubuntu

Based on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (Bionic Beaver), Peppermint 9 is using the Linux 4.15 kernel and supports both 32-bit and 64-bit hardware architectures. Highlights of this release include a new default system theme based on the popular Arc GTK+ theme, support for both Snap and Flatpak universal binary packages via GNOME Software, which will now be displayed in the main menu.

Also installed by default is the Menulibre menu editor, the Xfce Panel Switch utility, xfce4-screenshooter as default screenshot utility instead of pyshot, and xfce4-display-setttings replaces the lxrandr utility for monitor settings. The Htop system monitor utiliy is available as well and has its own menu item, and the Mozilla Firerefox is now the default web browser instead of Chromium.

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Canonical Releases AMD Microcode Updates for All Ubuntu Users to Fix Spectre V2

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Security
Ubuntu

The Spectre microprocessor side-channel vulnerabilities were publicly disclosed earlier this year and discovered to affect billions of devices made in the past two decades. Unearthed by Jann Horn of Google Project Zero, the second variant (CVE-2017-5715) of the Spectre vulnerability is described as a branch target injection attack.

The security vulnerability affects all microprocessors that use branch prediction and speculative execution function, and it can allow unauthorized memory reads via side-channel attacks if the system isn't patched. For example, a local attacker could use it to expose sensitive information, including kernel memory.

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Ubuntu 16.04 LTS Is Now Certified on Intel's NUC Mini PCs and IoT Boards

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Ubuntu

Released on April 21, 2016, Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus) is a long-term supported release that will receive security and software updates for five years, until April 2021, as well as a total of five point releases ending with Ubuntu 16.04.5 LTS, which is expected to arrive in early August 2018.

Ubuntu 16.04 LTS is Canonical's 6th LTS release and the last to use the Unity desktop environment by default. The operating system is compatible with a wide-range of hardware components, including Intel's NUC mini PCs, but now, after a partnership between Intel and Canonical, Ubuntu 16.04 LTS is officially certified for NUC devices.

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Canonical: GNOME Software, Buzzwords, Ubuntu Server, Themes and Zenkit

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Ubuntu
  • Report from the GNOME Software design sprint

    A couple of weeks ago representatives from across Canonical met in London to talk about ideas to improve the user experience of GNOME Software. We had people from the store team, snap advocacy, snapd, design and from the desktop team. We were also fortunate enough to be joined by Richard Hughes representing upstream GNOME Software.

  • Emerging Trends in Financial Services: IoT, AI and Blockchain

    The answer has its roots at both an infrastructure level, where legacy technology is being replaced with something more akin to what is seen in challengers banks or in technology leaders from Silicon Valley, and in changing mentalities, where a new mindset can be just as important as the technology that’s adopted.

    Of course, to say that this is simply a technological problem is naive, often, technology implementation is the easy part, with the larger challenge coming with organisational acceptance of the need to change.

    Often, the case is that an organisation isn’t culturally ready for change, resulting in projects that fail and negatively impact the ability to evolve with an increasingly tumultuous market that is being impacted by regulatory changes and a technology revolution.

    Mark Baker, Field Product Manager at Canonical, said: “We tend to find that the technology is the easy part once we’ve got the business aligned around a common goal with common sets of objectives and accepting of the change.”

    However, once an organisation is culturally aligned around a common goal and is accepting of technological change, then it is possible to work with a technology partner like Canonical in order to deploying the technology simple.

  • Ubuntu Server development summary – 19 June 2018

    The purpose of this communication is to provide a status update and highlights for any interesting subjects from the Ubuntu Server Team.

  • Simple Dark/Light GTK/Gnome Shell Theme for Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (Bionic Beaver)

    There are many dark themes for GTK with a simple and good color scheme. But, I have been looking for a simple dark theme especially for Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (Bionic Beaver). I tried many Dark themes on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (Bionic Beaver) and my mind was set on Qogir Dark theme.

    The simple design and the comfort of the dark colors scheme is quite amazing and gives a relief looking for the desktop environment. Qogir comes with a Dark and Light Theme for GTK 2.0 / GTK 3.0 and Gnome Shell. The Dark or the Light theme integration with the default installed applications such as Nautilus file manager, LibreOffice and Mozilla Firefox are quite good.

  • Zenkit: The influence of developer communities in progressing snaps

    Last month, Zenkit published their project management tool as a snap. For those not familiar with Zenkit, they introduced themselves in a guest blog at the time the snap was published which can be read here. Since then, we caught up with Philipp Beck, Full Stack Developer at Zenkit, to discover his opinion on snaps and the publishing experience.

    Philipp was introduced to snaps via a developer friend of his and could immediately appreciate the potential benefits for Zenkit to pursue and the advantages it would offer their users. For the former, Philipp comments: “The biggest draw for us was the ease at which we could reach a diverse range of Linux users, without having to specifically package Zenkit for each distribution. There are obvious benefits here in terms of time saved in updating multiple Linux packages too.”

Latest Ubuntu Touch release from UBPorts is based on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS

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Ubuntu

Canonical may have stopped developing/supporting a version of Ubuntu for smartphones and tablets. But the folks at UBPorts have kept the idea of a touch-friendly version of Ubuntu alive for the past year.

Now the team has released Ubuntu Touch RC OTA-4, which is the first version based on Ubuntu 16.04 Xenial Xerus.

That’s significant because Xenial is an LTS (Long Term Support) release, which means the underlying operating system will still be supported by Canonical until 2021.

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First Ubuntu Touch OTA-4 Release Candidate Based on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS Is Here

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Ubuntu

The latest Ubuntu Touch update from UBports, OTA-3, was released last year near the Christmas holidays, but it was still based on Ubuntu 15.04 (Vivid Vervet), so if you though Ubuntu Phones are dead, think again, because the UBports team has been hard at work to bring you the OTA-4, which will be the first to rebase the operating system on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus).

"The main reason why the arrival of OTA-4 seemed to take so long is because Ubuntu Touch switched its base to Ubuntu 16.04 LTS Xenial Xerus. This is a mammoth milestone for the project, because it allowed us to transition from the unsupported Ubuntu 15.04 Vivid Vervet to a Long Term Support (LTS) base," reads today's announcement.

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Also: UBports' Ubuntu Touch OTA-4 RC Released, Upgrades To Ubuntu 16.04 LTS

Kubuntu 18.04 Bionic Beaver upgrades - Results!

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KDE
Reviews
Ubuntu

A month later, two upgrades later, Kubuntu 18.04 Bionic Beaver is a nicer distribution than what I tested shortly after its official release. But then, it's not perfect. The older box with the Nvidia card returned better results overall, although there were some niggles. On the multi-boot laptop, I wasn't too happy with the slow-boot issue, although this is NOT a Kubuntu-specific problem, as you will learn in a few days. But it still does not give me the razor-sharp confidence I need and expect from an LTS.

In general, Ubuntu-family upgrades are reasonably robust, but they can still be more streamlined, including package removal, third-party repos and odd glitches here and there. I wonder how I'd have felt if I tested Beaver fresh, right now. Alas, I cannot delete the memory of my first encounter. With Trusty, it was just right. Here, it might be right, and I may even end up using - and loving - Plasma Bionic in my prod setup, but it will never be the amazing chemistry I had with 14.04.

But if you're wondering, by all means, worth testing and upgrading, and the post-release Kubuntu Beaver is a pretty slick and tight distro. If I had to judge in isolation, i.e. no early-May scars, then when I combine performance, looks, fonts, media, hardware support, and such, 'tis really neat. Something like 9/10. Now, just waiting for the Men In Black mind-zapping eraser thingie, so I can be blissfully happy. And we're done.

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