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Debian

Jonathan Carter: Debian project leader elections 2019

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Debian

I mentioned internal turmoil at the beginning of the post, this was because up until a few days before my self-nomination, I’ve been very confident, and consistently so for a very long time, that I never want to run for DPL. The work that I care about and spend most attention on doesn’t at all require me being a DPL. Also, having more responsibility in areas that I’d rather let others take care of sounded a bit daunting. I’d much rather spend time on technical and more general community issues than very specific interpersonal problems or administrative tasks like reading and approving budget proposals, sending out developer certificates, etc. On top of that, I was aware that running for DPL and opening myself like that means that I open myself to a very wide array of critique, that people might put everything I say under a microscope and try to tear it apart, and that running for DPL means being prepared for that.

Despite that turmoil, a small nagging part kept asking the questions “But what if?”, what if I were DPL, what would I do? What would I change? What would I do as DPL that would make Debian better, and better as a DPL than I just could as a normal debian developer? These questions helped form in my head what my platform would look like, why I wanted to run for DPL, and how the rest of my campaign would shaped up. This year is also unique for me compared to previous years in that I will actually have time over the next year to focus on DPL-like activities. That, combined with the plans that were shaping up that I’m very enthusiastic about, convinced me that it’s time to step up and proceed with my self-nomination.

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New Features Coming to Debian 10 Buster Release

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Debian

There is no set release date for Debian 10 Buster. Why is that so? Unlike other distributions, Debian doesn’t do time-based releases. It instead focuses on fixing release-critical bugs. Release-critical bugs are bugs which have either security issues CVE’s or some other critical issues which prevent Debian from releasing.

Debian has four parts in its archive, called Main, contrib, non-free and optional. Of the four, Debian Developers and Release Managers are most concerned that the packages which form the bedrock of the distribution i.e. Main is rock stable. So they make sure that there aren’t any major functional or security issues.

This is necessary because Debian is used as a server in many different environments and people have come to depend on Debian. They also look at upgrade cycles to see nothing breaks for which they look for people to test and see if something breaks while upgrading and inform Debian of the same.

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Debian: Dirk Eddelbuettel's Code, Molly de Blanc Becomes Debian Developer, Iustin Pop on Debian DPL Election and Debian Bug Squashing Party

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Debian
  • Dirk Eddelbuettel: tint 0.1.2: Some cleanups

    A new version 0.1.2 of the tint package is arriving at CRAN as I write this. It follows the recent 0.1.1 release which included two fabulous new vignettes featuring new font choices. The package name expands from tint is not tufte as the package offers a fresher take on the Tufte-style for html and pdf presentations.

    However, with the new vignettes in 0.1.1 we now had four full-length vignettes which made the package somewhat bulky. So for this release I reorganized things a little, added two new shorter vignettes with links to the full-length vignettes but keeping the size more constrained.

  • Molly de Blanc: developer

    I became a Debian Developer towards the end of 2018. I started the process in August 2017 at DebConf in Montreal. Over the course of 17 months I wrote emails, searched the Debian wiki, and learned a lot about the project.

  • Iustin Pop: Debian DPL election 2019

    As planned for this long weekend (in Switzerland), I went and re-read the platforms, and cast my vote. Which made me very happy, because I voted in the elections for the first time in a long while…

    But it didn’t start like that. The first call for nominations ended up with no (valid) nominations, and the follow-up thread was a bit depressing (high load for the DPL role, unclear expectations, etc.) For a time, it looked like the project is drifting, and some of the trolling on the list definitely didn’t help. I managed to prod a bit the thread and there was a nice reply from Lucas which seems to open the gates—the discussion livened up, and after many more meaningful mails, we ended up with 4 candidates. That’s, in my memory, a very good result.

  • Paris BSP and this blog

    I've never had a blog up to today, and apparently now I do. Why? Well, it happened that there was a Debian Bug Squashing Party in Paris a few weeks ago, and I thought that it might be nice to go, meet some nice people and humbly help releasing Buster. Great news is that the Debian project is willing to reimbourse its members some of the expenses for taking part to a BSP, asking in return to communicate publicly about what you do during a BSP so that others are motivated to participate as well.

    So I guessed that might be the occasion for me to start a blog, and start writing something about what I do in Debian. Here it goes!

    It was my first BSP ever, and I am very happy of it. We met for a couple of days at very nice Mozilla's office in Paris (I think they are moving and we were at the old one, though). We were probably around 15 people, mostly from France, Belgium, the Netherlands and UK (which is not surprising if you look at the high-speed rail map in Europe; or any map of Europe, as a matter of facts).

    The great thing of a BSP is that you have a very short loop to other developers. Since a BSP is all about getting RC bugs closed, it is useful to talk directly to Release Team members, and discuss whether they would unblock your fix or not when you are not sure. This saves a lot in terms of human bandwidth and context-switching. Also, I had the occasion to watch more experienced developers in action and learn how to tackle issues I haven't dealt with ever before, like bumping up a library SONAME.

Debian Web Team, Debian Long Term Support, and Security Leftovers

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Security
Debian
  • Debian Web Team Sprint 2019

    The Debian Web team held a sprint for the first time, in Madrid (Spain) from March 15th to March 17th, 2019.

    We discussed the status of the Debian website in general, review several important pages/sections and agreed on many things how to improve them.

  • Freexian’s report about Debian Long Term Support, March 2019

    Like each month, here comes a report about the work of paid contributors to Debian LTS.

  • Raphaël Hertzog: Freexian’s report about Debian Long Term Support, March 2019

    Like each month, here comes a report about the work of paid contributors to Debian LTS.

  • Your Favorite Ad Blocker Can Be Exploited To Infect PCs With Malicious Code

    In July 2018, the popular Adblock Plus software released its version 3.2 that brought a new feature called $rewrite. This feature allowed one to change the filter rules and decide which content got blocked and which didn’t. It was said that often there are content elements that are difficult to block. This feature was soon implemented by AdBlock as well as uBlock.

    In a troubling development, it has been revealed that this filter option can be exploited by notorious actors to inject arbitrary code into the web pages. With more than 100 million users of these ad blocking tools, this exploit has great potential to harm the web users.

  • Adblock Plus filter lists may execute arbitrary code in web pages

    A new version of Adblock Plus was released on July 17, 2018. Version 3.2 introduced a new filter option for rewriting requests. A day later AdBlock followed suit and released support for the new filter option. uBlock, being owned by AdBlock, also implemented the feature.

    Under certain conditions the $rewrite filter option enables filter list maintainers to inject arbitrary code in web pages.

    The affected extensions have more than 100 million active users, and the feature is trivial to exploit in order to attack any sufficiently complex web service, including Google services, while attacks are difficult to detect and are deployable in all major browsers.

  • Big Companies Thought Insurance Covered a Cyberattack. They May Be Wrong.

    The disputes ares playing out in court. In a closely watched legal battle, Mondelez sued Zurich Insurance last year for a breach of contract in an Illinois court, and Merck filed a similar suit in New Jersey in August. Merck sued more than 20 insurers that rejected claims related to the NotPetya attack, including several that cited the war exemption. The two cases could take years to resolve.

    The legal fights will set a precedent about who pays when businesses are hit by a cyberattack blamed on a foreign government. The cases have broader implications for government officials, who have increasingly taken a bolder approach to naming-and-shaming state sponsors of cyberattacks, but now risk becoming enmeshed in corporate disputes by giving insurance companies a rationale to deny claims.

Debian 10 Buster's Installer Reaches RC Phase - Finally Offers Secure Boot Support

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Debian

While there are around 150 release critical bugs to be addressed before Debian 10.0 "Buster" can make its debut, the Debian Installer continues getting in great shape and is out today with its release candidate.

Debian Installer Buster RC1 is now available for testing as the first release candidate of the installer for this next major Debian GNU/Linux release. Most notable with today's RC1 release is finally having UEFI Secure Boot support in place for x86_64 (amd64) architecture. This will allow Debian to finally work out-of-the-box on SecureBoot-protected PCs after Debian 9 "Stretch" failed to get Secure Boot in order and thus Debian has been without this UEFI-based "security" feature until now.

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Also: Labtainers in a Web desktop through noVNC X11 proxy, full docker containers

Review: SolydXK 201902 "Xfce"

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Reviews
Debian

SolydXK is a Debian-based desktop distribution available in Xfce and KDE Plasma flavours. The distribution takes Debian's Stable branch and attempts to build a user friendly desktop experience on top of it. The latest version of the project adds new file system support for flash drives (offering f2fs and nilfs2 file systems). There have also been some changes in the arena of web browsers:
We changed the SolydXK Firefox settings even further to improve user privacy and also comply with Mozilla's distribution policies. This is done in the firefox-solydxk-adjustments package which can be purged if you don't need it.

Waterfox is now packaged and distributed by the SolydXK repository. You can install Waterfox with this command: apt install waterfox waterfox-solydxk-adjustments.
The official versions of SolydXK run on 64-bit (x86_64) machines only. There are 32-bit x86 ISO files provided by the community and there is a build for Raspberry Pi 3 computers. I opted to try the official Xfce edition which is a 1.5GB download.

The live media boots to the Xfce desktop. The live environment features bright orange wallpaper and offers a single icon on the desktop for launching the system installer. The desktop's panel, with the application menu and system tray, sit at the bottom of the screen.

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Debian 10 "Buster" Development and LTS Work

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Debian
  • Debian 10 "Buster" Has Around 150 Release Critical Bugs At The Moment

    Debian developer Jonathan Wiltshire who is part of the project's release team issued a Buster freeze status update on Sunday concerning the readiness of Debian 10.

    As of writing, Debian 10 "Buster" has around 150 release-critical bugs. These bugs must be addressed before the Debian 10.0 release can happen. There are also the non-release-critical bugs that are still being tackled, but as the official release nears, those non-blocker bugs will be deferred or rejected to focus on these 150 prominent issues.

  • Bits from the Release Team: buster freeze update

    Debian buster will ship with the same set of architectures as Debian stretch did.

  • Markus Koschany: My Free Software Activities in March 2019

    Welcome to gambaru.de. Here is my monthly report that covers what I have been doing for Debian. ( a bit later than usual) If you’re interested in Java, Games and LTS topics, this might be interesting for you.

Help test Debian Live

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Debian

During the stretch release period, it became apparent that very few people had been testing Debian Live, and some nasty bugs were discovered only during final release testing. The final stretch images for Debian live wasn’t quite up to the quality the Debian community deserved, and it lead to Steve McIntyre asking “IMPORTANT: Do live Debian images have a future?“.

I decided to get involved and have been doing testing and bug fixes throughout the buster release cycle, and with today’s builds, I think we’re at a point where we have something good that’s ready for wide-scale testing.

The Buster live images come with something new that a bunch of other distributions have also adopted, which is the Calamares installer. Calamares is an independent installer project (They call it “The universal installer framework”) which offers a Qt based interface for installing a system. It doesn’t replace debian-installer on the live images, rather, it serves a different audience. Calamares is really easy to use, with friendly guided partitioning and really simple full-disk encryption setup. It doesn’t cover all the advanced features of debian-installer (although it very recently got RAID support) and it doesn’t have an unattended install mode either. However, for 95%+ of desktop and laptop users, Calamares is a much easier way to get a system installed, which makes it very appropriate for live systems. For anyone who needs anything more complicated, or who’s doing a mass-install, debian-installer is still available in both text and GUI forms.

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AV Linux to Drop 32-Bit Support, Focus Its Development on Debian 10 "Buster"

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GNU
Linux
Debian

The developers of the Debian-based AV Linux multimedia oriented GNU/Linux distribution have released a new version and announced some major upcoming changes in the development of the project.

AV Linux is currently based on the stable Debian GNU/Linux 9 "Stretch" operating system series and features support for both 32-bit and 64-bit architectures, but AV Linux 2019.4.10 appears to be the last release with these features as the devs decided it's time for a change.

They announced that the next major release of AV Linux will be based on the upcoming Debian GNU/Linux 10 "Buster" (currently developed under the Debian Testing umbrella), and that it will drop support for 32-bit installations. However, most probably current 32-bit installations will still be supported.

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New Raspbian Brings Performance Improvements, Updated Packages To Raspberry Pi

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Debian

The Raspberry Pi Foundation has released a new version of Raspbian, its Debian-based operating system for Raspberry Pi devices.

Raspbian 2019-04-08 is the new release that remains based on Debian Stretch but with a number of changes on top. This is the first official update to Raspbian since last November and has upgraded to Chromium 72 and the VLC 3.0.6 media player along with a number of other updated packages.

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More in Tux Machines

Graphics: Red Hat's Wayland Agenda and AMD Begins Queueing Graphics Driver Changes For The Linux 5.3 Kernel

  • Hans de Goede: Wayland itches summary
    1. Middle click on title / header bar to lower the Window does not work for native apps. Multiple people have reported this issue to me. A similar issue was fixed for not being able to raise Windows. It should be easy to apply a similar fix for the lowering problem. There are bugs open for this here, here and here. 2. Running graphical apps via sudo or pxexec does not work. There are numerous examples of apps breaking because of this, such as lshw-gui and usbivew. At least for X11 apps this is not that hard to fix. But sofar this has deliberately not been fixed. The reasoning behind this is described in this bug. I agree with the reasoning behind this, but I think it is not pragmatic to immediately disallow all GUI apps to connect when run as root starting today.
  • Hans de Goede: Better support for running games under Wayland (with GNOME3/mutter as compositor)
    First of all I do not want people to get their hopes up about $subject of this blogpost. Improving gaming support is a subjects which holds my personal interest and it is an issue I plan to spend time on trying to improve. But this will take a lot of time (think months for simple things, years for more complex things).
  • AMD Begins Queueing Graphics Driver Changes For The Linux 5.3 Kernel
    Being past the Linux 5.2 kernel merge window, AMD's open-source Linux graphics driver developers have already begun queuing changes anticipated for Linux 5.3 via a work-in-progress tree. Given the short time that this 5.3 WIP tree has been around, there isn't too much exciting about the changes -- yet. But surely over the weeks ahead it will get interesting. Making things particularly interesting is that we are expecting initial Navi support to make it for Linux 5.3... In recent weeks AMD began pushing AMDGPU LLVM compiler back-end changes for GFX10/Navi and we expect the AMDGPU DRM kernel driver enablement to come for Linux 5.3. Linux 5.3 will already be arriving after the rumored release of the first Navi graphics cards so having to wait past 5.3 for mainline support would already be tragic. But given the recent LLVM activity, we expect AMD to push out the Navi kernel driver changes soon. For that likely massive patch-set to be reviewed in time, the Navi patches would need to make their debut within the next few weeks.

today's howtos and programming

Fedora 30 Workstation review - Smarter, faster and buggier

Fedora 30 is definitely one of the more interesting releases of this family in a long-time. It brings significant changes, including solid improvements in the desktop performance and responsiveness. Over the years, Fedora went from no proprietary stuff whatsoever to slowly acknowledging the modern needs of computing, so now it gives you MP3 codecs and you can install graphics drivers and such. Reasonable looks, plus good functionality across the board. However, there were tons of issues, too. Printing to Samba, video screenshot bug, installer cropped-image slides, package management complications, mouse cursor lag, oopses, average battery life, and inadequate usability out of the box. You need to change the defaults to have a desktop that can be used in a quick, efficient way without remembering a dozen nerdy keyboard shortcuts. All in all, I like the freshness. In general, it would seem the Linux desktop is seeing a cautious revival, and Fedora's definitely a happy player. But there are too many rough edges. Well, we got performance tweaks after so many years, and codecs, we might get window buttons and desktop icons one day back, too. Something like 6/10, and definitely worth exploring. I am happy enough to do two more tests. I will run an in-vivo upgrade on the F29 instance on this same box, and then also test the distro on an old Nvidia-powered laptop, which will showcase both the support for proprietary graphics (didn't work the last time) and performance improvements, if they scale for old hardware, too. That's all for now. Read more

Events: Automotive at LF, Linux Clusters Institute, Linux Plumbers Conference (LPC)

  • Automotive Linux Summit and Open Source Summit Japan Keynote Speakers and Schedule Announced
    The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization enabling mass innovation through open source has announced the speaker line up for Open Source Summit Japan and Automotive Linux Summit. One registration provides access to all content at both events, which will be held July 17-19 at the Toranomon Hills Forum in Tokyo. Open Source Summit Japan (OSSJ) and Automotive Linux Summit (ALS) will bring together top talent from companies on the leading edge of innovation including Toyota Motor Corporation, Uber, Intel, Sony, Google, Microsoft and more. Talks will cover a range of topics, with ALS talks on everything from infrastructure and hardware to compliance and security; and OSSJ sessions on AI, Linux systems, cloud infrastructure, cloud native applications, open networking, edge computing, safety and security and open source best practices.
  • Register Now for the 2019 Introductory Linux Clusters Institute Workshop
    Registration is now open for the 2019 Linux Clusters Institute (LCI) Introductory Workshop,which will be held August 19-23, 2019 at the Rutgers University Inn & Conference Center in New Brunswick, NJ. This workshop will cover the fundamentals of setting up and administering a high-performance computing (HPC) cluster and will be led by leading HPC experts.
  • Additional early bird slots available for LPC 2019
    The Linux Plumbers Conference (LPC) registration web site has been showing “sold out” recently because the cap on early bird registrations was reached. We are happy to report that we have reviewed the registration numbers for this year’s conference and were able to open more early bird registration slots. Beyond that, regular registration will open July 1st. Please note that speakers and microconference runners get free passes to LPC, as do some microconference presenters, so that may be another way to attend the conference. Time is running out for new refereed-track and microconference proposals, so visit the CFP page soon. Topics for accepted microconferences are welcome as well.