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02.15.14

Historical Week for Debian and Ubuntu (a Look Back)

Posted in Debian, GNU/Linux, Ubuntu at 6:34 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: A roundup of news about Debian, Ubuntu, and derivatives of Ubuntu

Debian

  • Updated Debian 7: 7.4 released

    The Debian project is pleased to announce the fourth update of its stable distribution Debian 7 (codename “wheezy”). This update mainly adds corrections for security problems to the stable release, along with a few adjustments for serious problems. Security advisories were already published separately and are referenced where available. Please note that this update does not constitute a new version of Debian 7 but only updates some of the packages included. There is no need to throw away old “wheezy” CDs or DVDs but only to update via an up-to-date Debian mirror after an installation, to cause any out of date packages to be updated.

Systemd in Debian

  • Systemd Is The Future Of Debian

    Since this weekend we have known that systemd was winning the Debian init system battle, but now it’s official: systemd has prevailed over Upstart in Debian.

    After a very heated fight between the Debian technical committee and also Debian stakeholders, Bdale Garbee as the chairman of the tech committee has announced systemd will be used in Debian 8.0 Jessie.

  • Finally, Debian chose* systemd as default init systemd, bye bye upstart

    systemd already has a wide adoption withing the GNU/Linux distribution with all major distros including openSUSE, Fedora, Arch Linux, etc using it as their default init system. Upstart was either way not getting much support from the free software community due to the restrictive CLAs Canonical requires which is often criticized by the community. With Debian going* for systemd, it will get even more developer power whereas Canonical will be left alone to deal with Upstart along with many more project that it’s trying to do on its own – including the recently discussed File Manager which may replace Nautilus (Files).

Systemd in Ubuntu

Systemd

  • Broken by design: systemd

    My view is that this idea is wrong: systemd is broken by design, and despite offering highly enticing improvements over legacy init systems, it also brings major regressions in terms of many of the areas Linux is expected to excel: security, stability, and not having to reboot to upgrade your system.

  • systemd analysis: a personal perspective

    As usual in these cases, not just Lennart, but many of those who supported him, also those who sponsored these efforts, has suffered all kind of attacks. Sadly not just for technical, I mean ATTACKS. Even journalists have been involved. Yes, Free Software is also mature enough to have “yellow (technical) press” associated, political and business interests and people in different communities willing to use them against anybody who threaten the current status quo.

Mobile

Licence Agreement

Valve

LTS

Development

  • Forward Momentum in the Ubuntu App Developer Platform

    Last week I was in Orlando sprinting with my team as well as the platform, SDK, and security teams and some desktop and design folks. As usual after a sprint, I have been slammed catching up with email, but I wanted to provide a summary of some work going that you can expect to see soon in the Ubuntu app developer platform.

  • The Next Ubuntu Developer Summit: 11-13 March 2014

    The Ubuntu Developer Summit is the primary place where we discuss, debate, and plan the future of Ubuntu. The entire event takes place online, is open and accessible to all, and every session is recorded so everyone can see how decisions are made. It is a useful, fun, and rewarding event to join.

Ubuntu Variants

Bodhi Linux

  • Interview: Jeff Hoogland Talks About Bodhi Linux

    We are huge fans of Jeff Hoogland’s work as a Software Developer and his efforts with Bodhi Linux. So we invited Jeff for a quick chat with Unixmen Australia. We were privileged when Jeff accepted our invitation. Here is what he had to say.

Linux Mint

  • Why Did Linux Mint Ax mintConstructor?

    It’s no great secret that our organization Reglue uses Linux Mint on many of our outgoing computers. I run Mint on one of my work computers and at home as well. Linux Mint has given us the opportunity to create a respin for educational purposes within our non profit, largely due to an app named mintConstructor. It provides a fairly simple method of making custom systems using Linux Mint as the base.

  • Revisited: Linux Mint 16 “Petra” KDE + Xfce

02.11.14

Recent News From the World of Ubuntu

Posted in News Roundup, Ubuntu at 7:52 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Ubuntu 12.04.4, Mobile, Tips, File Manager, CLA, and Decoupling

12.04.4

  • Ubuntu 12.04.4 LTS (Precise Pangolin) Officially Released by Canonical

    Canonical has just announced that Ubuntu 12.04.4 LTS (Precise Pangolin) has been officially released for its Desktop, Server, Cloud, and Core products.

  • Ubuntu 12.04.4 LTS Performance Benchmarks

    The benchmarks in this article are some straightforward tests done on the same HP EliteBook (Intel Core i5 2520M, 4GB RAM, Intel 160GB SSD, HD Graphics 3000) when comparing clean installs of Ubuntu 12.04.2, 12.04.3, and 12.04.4. Unfortunately the mirrors of the original Ubuntu 12.04 LTS release and the first point release have vanished, so the testing was limited to these three past point releases for the Linux distribution that originally shipped in 2012 and will be maintained through 2017.

Mobile

  • After Tizen, Vodafone puts a foot in the Ubuntu camp

    Ubuntu Touch devices might be some time away yet, but its parent company Canonical is gradually building carrier support with Vodafone becoming its latest addition supporter.

  • Vodafone signs as Ubuntu backer

    Vodafone Group became the latest member of the Ubuntu Carrier Advisor Group, although there has been no further detail on when smartphones powered by the platform will reach the market.

    According to a statement from Ubuntu: “Vodafone Group will join national and multi-national carriers in decisions that influence the development of Ubuntu for smartphones.

  • Vodafone is the latest carrier to support Ubuntu
  • Vodafone backs Ubuntu – but no sign of smartphone yet

    Canonical’s carrier advisory group allows operators to have a say in Ubuntu’s development on mobile.

  • Expect something Ubuntu flavoured at Mobile World Congress

    Mark Shuttleworth’s Canonical has confirmed that they will be at the annual Mobile World Congress (MWC) event in Barcelona at the end of next month to show off the Ubuntu OS in all its glory. Last year Canonical used MWC as a springboard to launch Ubuntu for tablets and smartphones so they’re no stranger to announcing big things at the event.

Tips

File Manager

  • Ubuntu’s convergence plan starts with File Manager

    For the past year, Ubuntu and Canonical’s founder, Mark Shuttleworth has been talking about full convergence i.e., the same OS and its applications can be run on desktops, servers and mobile devices. Canonical plans to start the converge from its Ubuntu 14.10 release cycle. However, no activity has been seen on the development front, until now.

  • Ubuntu Could Get a New File Manager as Development Model Shifts
  • Ubuntu Developers Planning To Develop Their Own File-Manager For Ubuntu 14.10

    Ubuntu is planning to develop its own file manager which will be introduced with their QT5 powered Unity8 desktop environment from Ubuntu 14.10 onwards. Ubuntu is currently using Nautilus File manager (also known as ‘Files’), developed by GNOME developers.Ubuntu users & developers are growing increasingly unhappy with the direction at which Nautilus file manager is leading. There are many necessary features which are missing in latest Nautilus, forcing users to replace Nautilus with their favourite file manager like feature-rich nautilus fork, Nemo or the popular Thunar – which is inarguably one of the best file managers.

  • Ubuntu Developers to Drop Nautilus Soon and Replace It with Their Own File Manager – Update

    “With the planned switch to unity8 in 14.10 it is most likely that we will also start using the converged QML apps that are developed today. With all the complaints and unhappiness about Nautilus upstream ripping out things like dual pane and other beloved and helpful features I expect we can do better,” said Ubuntu developer, Oliver Grawert.

  • Ubuntu Planning To Develop Its Own File Manager

    The latest piece of the desktop Linux stack that Ubuntu developers are planning to replace with their own home grown solution is a file manager.

CLA

  • Not all CLAs are equal

    Contributor License Agreements (“CLAs”) are a mechanism for an upstream software developer to insist that contributors grant the upstream developer some additional set of rights. These range in extent – some CLAs require that the contributor reassign their copyright over the contribution to the upstream developer, some merely provide the upstream developer with a grant of rights that aren’t explicit in the software license (such as an explicit patent grant for a contribution licensed under a BSD-style license).

Decoupling

  • Vacant Developer Membership Board seats: Second call for nominations
  • Canonical Seeks Even More Independence for Ubuntu Linux

    Canonical’s Ubuntu Linux already does many things differently from other leading open source operating systems. And it may soon diverge in yet another respect, with Ubuntu developers in the midst of discussions over replacing Nautilus—the file browser that has long been a core part of many Linux distributions—with something home-grown.

  • An Exciting Future

    We are growing a world-class community and app developer eco-system, fuelled by Open Source and open collaboration. We are putting the core pieces in place and I am delighted to be working with such a wonderful team:

01.31.14

Links 31/01/2014: Ubuntu News

Posted in GNU/Linux, Ubuntu at 2:35 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: News for the day and the week, covering various aspects of Ubuntu and Canonical

  • New Kernel Vulnerability Affects Ubuntu 13.10

    On January 30, Canonical announced in a security notice that a new Linux kernel update was available for its Ubuntu 13.10 (Saucy Salamander) operating system, fixing a security issue found recently in the Linux kernel packages.

  • On Planet Ubuntu

    I think the gist of Stuart’s view is that the personal stories on Planet Ubuntu is a wonderful part of being in a community. Ubuntu is not just about Ubuntu, it is about the stories and the lives of the people who contribute to our community. I agree with Stuart here too.

  • Ubuntu’s Juju Wins the Best Cloud Automation Solution Award
  • 7 Things We Expect from Ubuntu in 2014

    2013 was a milestone year for Canonical. Not only did Ubuntu expand its wings to other arenas like tablets and smartphones, it also propelled itself into the world of gaming. With major milestones like Steam, Ubuntu Edge, and Ubuntu Touch under its belt, Ubuntu has its eyes set on convergence in 2014. That said, you won’t get to see a convergent desktop this year. 2014 is just a setting stage for Shuttleworth’s ambitious plans to spread the reach of Ubuntu to every device.

  • Ubuntu 13.04 Is No Longer Supported, Upgrade to Ubuntu 13.10 Now

    As we reported at the beginning of the month, the Ubuntu 13.04 (Raring Ringtail) Linux operating system was supposed to reach end of life (EOL) today, January 27, 2014.

  • Unity To Have Anti-Aliased Corners, Full GTK3 Theming

    Unity 7 in Ubuntu 14.04 LTS will be picking up some new features even though Canonical’s major focus is on Unity 8 that will come past this next Long-Term Support release.

  • Latest Unity7 Update in Ubuntu 14.04 Features Anti-aliased Windows & Full GTK3+ Theming Support.

    Currently the default Ubuntu desktop is shipped with Unity7, even though Canonical developers are working on upcoming major iteration Unity8 (a.k.a Unity Next) which is based on Mir display server targeting convergence, there is clear announcement that Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr LTS will be shipped with Unity7 & not Unity8. Recently, unity7 stacks were upgraded in Ubuntu 14.04 LTS with including features of full GTK3+ theming support & windows with anti-aliased corners.

  • Sable Complete All-in-one Ubuntu Linux Pre-installed PC Released By System76.

    System76, the computer manufacturer well-known and highly appreciated for their support of opensource software has released new Sable Complete All-in-one PC with Ubuntu Linux pre-installed. The U.S based company, in last few months has already released several models of Laptops & Desktop-PCs based on latest fourth generation ‘Haswell’ Intel core processors & with other hardware which is capable of offering best possible support to Ubuntu.

  • Yet Another Ubuntu Powered Supercomputer: System76′s Sable Complete All-In-One Computer

    Hello Linux Geeksters. As you may know, System76 is computer manufacturer, creating Ubuntu computers, laptops and servers. They choose wise the hardware components, in order to have full support on the Ubuntu Linux systems. In November 2013, the System76 Sable Touch, All-in-One Touchscreen computer has been announced.

  • 3 Reasons Why Ubuntu Smartphone Will Succeed

01.24.14

Ubuntu Links: Security, OpenJDK, Mobile, Desktop, and CLA

Posted in Ubuntu at 10:33 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Security

OpenJDK

Mobile

Desktop

CLA

  • Linus Torvalds Says All Contributor License Agreements Are Broken

    A controversy regarding Canonical’s CLA has been going on for a couple of days, and now even Linus Torvalds has entered the discussion, although in a more peaceful manner.

    CLA stands for Contributor License Agreement and it basically allows the distributor of your software (Canonical, Apache, and almost all the big distributors out there) to defend the application in case it needs defending, in a copyright issue for example.

  • Linus Torvalds: Any CLA is fundamentally broken

    Canonical is often criticized for its CLAs – Contributor License Agreements – by the larger Open Source community. Ironically Canonical is not the only company which requires CLAs, even communities like FSF or ASF require CLAs. Since Canonical is not a community, but a for-profit company, what makes their CLAs so bad considering that companies like Google don’t get the same criticism for their CLAs? What makes Canonical’s CLA so bad whereas when everyone else is also doing the same thing?

Why a Deletion of Pear OS From the Web (Including SourceForge) is Mysterious

Posted in GNU/Linux, Ubuntu at 10:19 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: A rising star among Ubuntu derivatives abruptly shuts down and some believe that Apple may have caused it

LAST month it was Linux Mint, a popular derivative of Canonical’s Ubuntu (there are many such flavours [1,2], including new ones [3]), which received “distro of the year” honours, not just the top position at DistroWatch. Judging by journalists’ affinity towards it [4], as well as various positive new reviews [5-8], we are living in a Mint world [9] and Mint may be the world’s most popular (depending on how it’s measured) GNU/Linux distribution [10]. I use it myself sometimes. No wonder Canonical starts making things harder for Mint, in a similar fashion to what Red Hat did to CentOS back in the days. Canonical can also be quite aggressive with trademarks, but nowhere as aggressive as Apple, which has a history of shutting down clones, critics, and even news sites that reveal Apple “secrets”.

Among the popular distributions of Ubuntu there is a Chinese derivative, there is Kubuntu (which I use a lot along with Debian), the rising star Bodhi [11,12] (looking to raise funds right now), and several other independent-from-Canonical ‘flavours’, some of which we no longer hear about. One that we have been hearing about increasingly is this “French Ubuntu-based desktop Linux distribution” called Pear Linux or Pear OS. People have been speculating that Apple’s legal team would harass it.

According to the reports that say Pear OS is gone [13-16] there is also speculation that Apple might have had something to do with it [17]. We previously wrote about Pear OS as it had been rising in popularity and becoming very similar to OS X (like Elementary). Jim Lynch, who thinks that Apple may have had something to do with it, says “[t]he developer mentions that it was bought by another company but doesn’t say who nor does he give specific reasons on why they purchased it.” Curious to say the least. Softpedia, which has a copy of the distro, says [18]: “It looks like Pear OS also disappeared from many of SourceForge’s mirrors.” It remains to be know if Apple had something to do with the acquiring party. If we never find out who the buyer is, then maybe, as Lynch insinuates, it was a shell.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Xubuntu 13.10 – Same again please bartender
  2. Ubuntu flavours release Trusty Tahr Alpha 1
  3. Ubuntu Mini Remix 13.10 Is A Tiny Ubuntu 13.10 Unofficial Respin

    Hello Linux Geeksters. As you may know, Ubuntu Mini Remix 13.10 provides a minimal version of Ubuntu 13.10 Saucy Salamander, enabling the users to install the preferred desktop environment and all the main packages that will get installed.

  4. The Remarkable Intel NUC

    My unit had Win 8.1 pre-installed on the SSD, but I could easily install various versions of Linux. I’m currently playing with the MINT distro. The NUC easily booted from any of the USB CD Drives I had laying around the house and quickly into Linux Mint. The machine immediately recognized all the weird USB devices I had hooked to a hub connected to the little box.

  5. Linux Mint 16: No Surprises, but Plenty of Solid Improvements

    Linux Mint 16, also known as “Petra,” is a very solid release that fixes a lot of annoying traits left behind in previous versions.

  6. Linux Mint 16 “Petra” Cinnamon, KDE and MATE review

    Linux Mint 16, code-named Petra, is the latest edition of the popular desktop edition that is based on Ubuntu Desktop.

    This edition is different from Linux Mint Debian Edition (LMDE), which is also from the Linux Mint project, but is based on Debian, not Ubuntu.

    The Linux Mint line of this distribution has support for the Cinnamon, KDE, MATE and Xfce desktop environments. The Cinnamon edition, which is the main edition, is typically released before the others, but as at the time of writing this review, installation images for all four desktop environments have been released.

    This article presents a review of the Cinnamon, KDE and MATE desktops, starting with aspects that are common to all three.

  7. A minty fresh start

    We’re into a new year, so isn’t it time you thought about a fresh new start? Mint 16 is out and it’s easily the best version of Mint to date, packing Cinnamon 2.0 as its desktop. To celebrate its launch we’ve got eight pages dedicated to how the Mint community pushed through these key features, bug fixes, taking Mint 14 from what it was, to today; making Mint 16 a truly awesome Linux desktop experience. We also look forward to Mint 17, which creator Clement “Clem” Lefebvre and the Mint community have huge
    plans for.

  8. Linux Mint 16 Xfce Desktop Review

    We have all the highlights of Linux Mint 16 Xfce, so you can see if this is the right distribution for you. Users will not find a long list of new features, but thankfully the desktop is more stable than ever. The Mint 16 Cinnamon desktop release will likely get all of the publicity, so I decided it was time to revisit Xfce.

  9. Minty Day in the Linuxsphere

    Jim Lynch’s post “Is Linux Mint the most popular distro?” was the first article to catch my wandering eye today as I perused the newsfeeds. He was actually prompted by an article by David Hayward originally published in Linux Format and posted at www.techradar.com. In it, Hayward asked “What makes Linux Mint so awesome?” Then he answers it – in detail. But check out the rest of Lynch’s post too as he discusses more on Mint’s popularity.

  10. Is Linux Mint the most popular desktop distro?

    Who knew when Linux Mint started out that it would give Ubuntu itself a run for its money? The article notes the negative reaction to Ubuntu’s Unity desktop, and the many dissatisfied Ubuntu users that switched to Linux Mint.

    Think I’m kidding about that? Take a look at the screenshot below from DistroWatch’s rankings. Linux Mint is listed in the number one spot, beating out Ubuntu itself. I know a number of people who abandoned Ubuntu immediately when Unity was released, and they haven’t looked back since switching to Linux Mint.

  11. Bodhi Linux could easily become a desktop distribution contender
  12. Bodhi Linux powered Chromebook Raffle

    Something you may not know about Bodhi Linux is that we are 100% funded by user donations. We do not plaster our home page or user forums with ad content like so many distros do. We are very thankful to all of the folks that donate to keep our package servers running. Towards the tail end of 2011 we raffled off a Dell Netbook to a random person who donated at least five dollars during a set period of time.

  13. Bodhi Linux could easily become a desktop distribution contender
  14. Bodhi Linux powered Chromebook Raffle

    Something you may not know about Bodhi Linux is that we are 100% funded by user donations. We do not plaster our home page or user forums with ad content like so many distros do. We are very thankful to all of the folks that donate to keep our package servers running. Towards the tail end of 2011 we raffled off a Dell Netbook to a random person who donated at least five dollars during a set period of time.

  15. Pear OS downloads removed
  16. Pear OS Is No Longer Available for Download

    We are extremely sorry to inform all users of the Pear OS Linux operating system that David Tavares, the creator of Pear OS, has announced a few minutes ago on Google+ that the Pear OS distribution will no longer be available for download.

  17. Pear Departure, Bodhi Fundraiser, and Mageia 4 RC
  18. Mysterious Disappearance Of PearOS

    A distro with GUI resembling MacOS and known for distribution of multimedia codecs has suspended downloads. That could violated GPL licensing unless the new owners appear promptly.“Its future is now in hands of a company who wants to remain anonymous for the moment. The concept has pleased them it and now wants to continue and improve the system for their own products. I can not give a name but it is a very large company well known …”

  19. Was Apple involved in the death of Pear OS?

    Was Apple involved in any way with the death of Pear OS? The conspiracy-minded among us probably think that might be a real possibility, particularly if Apple acted behind the scenes via a shell company. Apple has been known to do just that in years past when it wanted to negotiate for something without having its real identity known.

  20. Pear OS Is No Longer Available for Download

01.15.14

Links: Ubuntu/Canonical in January 2014

Posted in News Roundup, Ubuntu at 11:16 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: News from the past couple of weeks, touching on the different parts or projects at Canonical

Server

Financials

Desktop/Tablets/Other

  • Ubuntu 13.04 Received Its Last Major Kernel Update

    A few days before the announcement for the end of life of Ubuntu 13.04 (Raring Ringtail), Canonical has released the last major update of its soon to be unsupported Ubuntu operating system, fixing no more than nine vulnerabilities discovered by various developers in the upstream kernel packages.

  • Ubuntu 12.04 Is More Secure Than Windows 8 and Mac OS X, Says UK Government

    The UK government now says that Ubuntu 12.04 is the safest operating system available, way ahead of Windows 8 and Mac OS X.

    The Communications-Electronics Security Group (CESG) is the UK National Technical Authority for information assurance and they’ve done a series of tests to find out what is the most secure operating system available for the governmental apparatus.

    The security assessment made by CESG included the following categories: VPN, Disk Encryption, Authentication, Secure Boot, Platform Integrity and Application Sandboxing, Application Whitelisting, Malicious Code Detection and Prevention, Security Policy Enforcement, External Interface Protection, Device Update Policy, Event Collection for Enterprise Analysis, and Incident Response.

  • Not Quite Off Topic: Switch to Linux/Ubuntu
  • Previewing Canonical’s New Icons for Ubuntu Linux
  • Top 13 developments of Ubuntu in 2013
  • Will Ubuntu dominate tablets in 2014?

    Tech Republic has five reasons why an Ubuntu tablet could do quite well in 2014.

  • What to expect from Ubuntu in 2014

    You won’t see an Ubuntu Edge at CES this week. Ubuntu’s parent company, Canonical, raised $12.8-million on Indiegogo to develop and build this Ubuntu Linux/Android-powered Ubuntu Edge combination smartphone and PC, but it still fell far short of its $32 million goal. So what?

  • Ubuntu hints at full convergence and semi rolling updates

    In an interview with PCpro that it was revealed by Mark Shuttleworth that Canonical is now leading the race for full convergence across all devices and architectures. There is also a possibility of shifting over from bi-annual releases to semi-rolling releases as mobile users are accustomed to updates being released ‘whenever’ they’re ready by the maintainers.

  • Ubuntu 12.04.4 Officially Arrives on February 6

    Canonical has confirmed that the next point release of Ubuntu 12.04 LTS (Precise Pangolin) will be available on February 6.

    The company has postponed by two weeks the release of the fourth maintenance build, but now the release date has been confirmed and set in stone.

  • Ubuntu 13.10 – The “Marmite” Linux Operating System

    Ubuntu is the “Marmite” operating system within the Linux community. You either love it or hate it.

  • Ubuntu 13.04 Reaches End of Life on January 27, Get Ubuntu 13.10

    Adam Conrad has announced earlier today, January 7, that the Ubuntu 13.04 Linux operating system, also known as Raring Ringtail among its fans, will reach end of life (EOL) on Monday, January 27, 2014, as Canonical will no longer provide security/critical fixes and software updates for it.

  • Ubuntu developer builds Pirate Bay torrent search into operating system

    Torrent search would be added to Ubuntu’s Dash, a central tool that lets users search files and applications on their desktop as well as online sources like Amazon or Wikipedia. The search tool prototype uses the Pirate Bay as a data source. It may be modified to filter out pirated content, but users can change the filters to suit their desires. It’s also possible that a future version could use a different data source.

  • Ubuntu In 2014

    2013 was a phenomenal year for Ubuntu. It is difficult to believe that it was just a year ago today that we announced Ubuntu for phones. Since then we have built and released the first version of Ubuntu for phones complete with core apps, delivered Mir in production on the phone, built a vastly simplified and more powerful new app delivery platform complete with full security sand-boxing, created a powerful smart scopes service to bring the power of native search and online content to devices, delivered a new SDK with support for QML, HTML5, and Scopes, built an entirely new developer.ubuntu.com, created extensive CI and testing infrastructure to ensure quality as we evolve our platform, shipped two desktop releases, extended the charm store, delivered Juju Gui, spun up multiple clouds with Juju, and much more.

  • Introducing Ubuntu Unity for Arch Linux

    Back in June, we were ready to announce the immediate availability for download of a new Linux distribution, called Unity-for-Arch, which used Ubuntu’s Unity user interface on a basic Arch Linux Live CD.

  • Linux distro Ubuntu enables SSD TRIM support by default

    The popular Linux distribution Ubuntu will enable TRIM support for SSDs by default in its upcoming Ubuntu 14.04 Long Term Support (LTS) release. For those unfamiliar with what TRIM is, it is a command the OS instructs to the drive to wipe invalid flash blocks when they are no longer needed.

  • Hurrah for SSD fans! Ubuntu 14.04 will have TRIM turned on

Mobile

Wi-Fi and Security

01.10.14

In Proprietary Software, Back Doors Should be Assumed by Default

Posted in GNU/Linux, OpenSUSE, Security, Ubuntu at 5:01 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: GNU/Linux hypocrites and their addiction to proprietary software like vBulletin leads to password leakages

Ubuntu and SUSE are too rather dumb projects (in their management) because they let Microsoft spy on their users and they use proprietary software like vBulletin in their forums, showing just how apathetic they are towards software freedom.

Last year Ubuntu Forums got cracked (no surprise, as it was proprietary software) and now it’s OpenSUSE Forums [1]. What do they have in common? Yes, proprietary software. It’s like Canonical’s mistake (leaking out passwords of users) did nothing to teach SUSE a lesson. vBulletin is a mess and it does almost nothing to guard passwords (which many people reuse across sites). In OpenSUSE’s case they say that only E-mails got leaked, but who knows if they’re honest…

What’s hard to grasp is why some companies continue to trust secret code and systems which earned no respect through independent audits.

In the next post we are going to share some of the latest revelations about the NSA. It is clear that back doors are often there by design, so it’s not a matter of whether or not a piece of proprietary software is secure, it’s a question of where there is a back door. See [2-5] below. The FBI requests that US companies make back doors and the NSA even bribes for it.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. openSUSE Forum Hacked, Everyday Linux, and Mageia RC Delay
  2. More Security Experts Cancel Speech for RSA Conference
  3. Infosec experts boycott RSA conflab over alleged ‘secret’ NSA contract
  4. What It’s Like When The FBI Asks You To Backdoor Your Software

    At a recent RSA Security Conference, Nico Sell was on stage announcing that her company—Wickr—was making drastic changes to ensure its users’ security. She said that the company would switch from RSA encryption to elliptic curve encryption, and that the service wouldn’t have a backdoor for anyone.

    As she left the stage, before she’d even had a chance to take her microphone off, a man approached her and introduced himself as an agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation. He then proceeded to “casually” ask if she’d be willing to install a backdoor into Wickr that would allow the FBI to retrieve information.

  5. What The Intelligence Community Doesn’t Get: Backdoor For ‘The Good Guys’ Is Always A Backdoor For The ‘Bad Guys’ As Well

    Bruce Schneier, over at the Atlantic, recently made nearly the same point in talking about the massive costs of all of this NSA surveillance (as well as talking about the near total lack of benefits). There’s the cost of running these programs that are massive. There is the fact that these programs will be abused (they always are). There are the costs of destroying trust in various tech businesses (especially from foreign users and customers). But just as important is the fact that the NSA, FBI and others in the intelligence community are flat out weakening our national security by installing backdoors that malicious users can and will find and exploit:

01.02.14

As GNU and Linux Become Dominant Platforms They Need Not Follow Microsoft With UEFI

Posted in Antitrust, GNU/Linux, Ubuntu at 10:06 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Positive outlook for GNU and Linux is overshadowed somewhat by tactless embrace of UEFI by the likes of Canonical

2013, as we’ve pointed out throughout that year, was an excellent year for GNU/Linux (others agree [1]). Even Microsoft boosters realise that the world is leaving Windows behind, mostly because Google (with Chrome OS and Android) is occupying more and more segments, enjoying huge market share (by some criteria higher than Windows’). As an example of one Microsoft booster in a stage of acceptance, see “Facing the Biggest Problem with Windows in 2014″ (written by a famous Windows booster).

The last thing we need right now is technology that helps keep Windows around. It is baffling to see Ubuntu, which is now managed by former Microsoft staff, wasting everyone’s time with UEFI (this is counter-productive). Here is the latest: “An Ubuntu developer has proposed 32-bit UEFI support within new Ubuntu Linux install images to support the new “Bay Trail” laptops and other hardware that requires 32-bit UEFI support.”

Ubuntu’s Mark Shuttleworth says that Ubuntu Linux on track for full convergence before Microsoft [2], but why is he following Microsoft’s ‘lead’ (in antifeatures)? This is not necessary. He would be better off joining antitrust complaints. Shuttleworth is correct in pointing out that we’re moving towards mobile and servers (pundits agree with him [3] and so do sales numbers [3-6], which demonstrate Linux domination [7]).

GNU/Linux is doing just fine without following Microsoft’s footsteps. Canonical should rethink its UEFI strategy at this stage. It’s never too late.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. 2013 REVIEWED – FROM A LINUX USER’S POINT OF VIEW

    2013 was one of the most dramatic years of my life-time. The Edward Snowden revelations made this year the most remarkable year in the history. As a Gnu/Linux user (where privacy and control of data is prime objective) this year was quite promising as Gnu/Linux rose as the dominant player in the consumer space.

  2. Shuttleworth: Ubuntu Linux on track for full convergence before Microsoft

    Microsoft is widely expected to converge its operating systems across desktops, mobile phones and tablets. However, according to Mark Shuttleworth, Ubuntu Linux is on track to achieve full convergence first.

  3. What Happened In Desktop Linux In 2013? Not Much

    Much like the overall IT industry, the Linux community shifted its focus to mobile and cloud computing.

  4. Amazon Delivers Quick 9 Second Kindle Fire HDX Mayday Response
  5. Amazon’s Kindle Fire blazed new trails over the holidays
  6. Amazon Kindle Smartphone to launch in 2014?
  7. Linux dominates Amazon’s Christmas tablet sales

    While I’m happy to see Android doing so well, I’d really like to see other Linux-based products topping the charts too. Perhaps an Ubuntu based tablet or phone might also be a good option for consumers. I’d very much prefer that customers had another choice besides just Android, iOS or Microsoft Windows based products.

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