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Ubuntu: Snapcraft, Bug, Newsletter Issue 535 and Minimal Ubuntu

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Ubuntu
  • New business models on their way for IoT hardware [Ed: by Jamie Bennett, VP of Engineering, IoT & Devices at Canonical]

    Snaps are containerised software packages easily managed through Snapcraft, a platform for building and publishing applications to an audience of millions of Linux users. Snapcraft enables authors to push software updates that install automatically and roll back in the event of failure. The likelihood of an errant update breaking a device or degrading the end user experience is, as a result, greatly reduced. If a security vulnerability is discovered in the libraries used by an application, the app publisher is notified so the app can be rebuilt quickly with the supplied fix and pushed out.

    As application packages bundle their runtime dependencies, they work without modification on all major Linux distributions as well as being tamper-proof and easily confined. A snap cannot modify or be modified by another app, and access to the system beyond its confinement must be explicitly granted. Precision definition, therefore, brings simpler documentation for installing and managing applications. Taking into account the automatic updates, which eliminate a long tail of releases, applications perform more intuitively for both the publisher and end-user.

    Snapcraft also gives managers the tools to organise releases into different release grades, or channels. One set of tools can be used to push app updates from automatic CI builds, to QA, beta testers, and finally all users. It visualises updates as they flow through these channels and helps developers track user base growth and retention. In short, they can simplify a developer’s route, and that of their company’s, to engaging with a vast number of Linux users. Streamlining a route to market not only maximises developer worth, it also opens up new revenue drivers in the process.

  • Ubuntu bug allows anyone with physical access to bypass your lock screen

    A bug filed on Ubuntu Launchpad in the middle of June has just been made public. The bug in question appears to allow anyone with physical access to the computer bypass the lock screen by just removing the hard drive. The bug was tested on Ubuntu 16.04.4 and it’s unclear whether it affects other versions of Ubuntu or other distributions but there’s an almost certain chance it affects other distributions based on Ubuntu 16.04, such as Linux Mint 18.

  • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 535

    Welcome to the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter, Issue 535 for the week of July 1 – 7, 2018. The full version of this issue is available here.

  • ​Minimal Ubuntu for containers and clouds

    By default, Linux comes with a lot of extras. Usually, that's a good thing. But, sometimes you want just the bare necessities of Linux life for your server, containers, and clouds. That's where Canonical's latest Ubuntu release, Minimal Ubuntu, comes in.

    When Canonical says "Minimal", they mean minimal. Weighing in at a mere 29MB for the Ubuntu 18.04 Docker image, Minimal Ubuntu could fit on a CD with hundreds of Megabytes to spare.

    This is far from the first time Canonical has offered a small-footprint Ubuntu. The minimal Ubuntu ISO image, about 40 MB, is meant for people who download packages from online archives at installation time.

  • Minimal Ubuntu, on public clouds and Docker Hub

    Today we are delighted to introduce the new Minimal Ubuntu, optimized for automated use at scale, with a tiny package set and minimal security cross-section. Speed, performance and stability are primary concerns for cloud developers and ops.

  • Minimal Ubuntu Can Boot Faster, But Still Not The Fastest Booting On Amazon EC2 Cloud

    Canonical today released new Ubuntu Minimal images for cloud computing. The new images are half the size of the traditional Ubuntu Server and are said to boot up to 40% faster, so I decided to run a quick Amazon EC2 Linux distribution boot time comparison today...

    Using a t2.micro instance type in the EC2 US-WEST2 region, I ran the systemd boot time benchmark on various Linux distributions... Ubuntu 16.04, Minimal Ubuntu 16.04, Ubuntu 18.04, Minimal Ubuntu 18.04, SUSE Linux Enterprise 12 SP3, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.5, Amazon Linux 2 AMI, and Clear Linux 23550.

More on Ubuntu today (as above)

  • Minimal Ubuntu For Clouds: 50% Smaller, Up To 40% Faster Boot

    Canonical today announced the new Minimal Ubuntu, which is a "tiny" package set focused for speed, performance, and stability of Ubuntu in cloud deployments.

  • Canonical 'unlikely' to fix bug that allows hackers to bypass Ubuntu's lock screen [Ed: If you want to bypass the lock screen and have physical access, then on most setups you just physically press "Reset"; not as critical as they make it seem.]

    OPEN SOURCE OS Ubuntu has a bug that allows anyone to bypass a machine's lock screen, providing they have physical access to the computer's hard drive.

    Real-world hackers can simply remove the hard drive of a machine they want access to providing it's running Ubuntu 16.04.4 and then skip straight past the lock screen.

    It's a simple-sounding hack and works by exploiting a bug in how the system stores data when Ubuntu it's suspended in low-power mode.

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More in Tux Machines

Linux Kernel: EROFS, Heterogeneous Memory Management, Getting Involved, 4.20-rc3, and DRM ('Secure Output Protocol')

  • There Is Finally A User-Space Utility To Make EROFS Linux File-Systems
    Back when Huawei introduced the EROFS Linux file-system earlier this year, there wasn't any open-source user-space utility for actually making EROFS file-systems. Even when EROFS was merged into the mainline tree, the user-space utility was still non-existent but now that issue has been rectified.
  • The State Of Heterogeneous Memory Management At The End Of 2018
    Heterogeneous Memory Management is the effort going on for more than four years that was finally merged to the mainline Linux kernel last year but is still working on adding additional features and improvements. HMM is what allows for allowing the mirroring of process address spaces, system memory to be transparently used by any device process, and other functionality for GPU computing as well as other device/driver purposes. Jerome Glisse at Red Hat who has spearheaded Heterogeneous Memory Management from the start presented at last week's Linux Plumbers Conference on this unified memory solution.
  • An attempt to create a local Kernel community
    Now I am close to complete one year of Linux Kernel, and one question still bugs me: why does it have to be so hard for someone in a similar condition to become part of this world? I realized that I had great support from many people (especially from my sweet and calm wife) and I also pushed myself very hard. Now, I feel that it is time to start giving back something to society; as a result, I began to promote some small events about free software in the university and the city I live. However, my main project related to this started around two months ago with six undergraduate students at the University of Sao Paulo, IME [3]. My plan is simple: train all of these six students to contribute to the Linux Kernel with the intention to help them to create a local group of Kernel developers. I am excited about this project! I noticed that within a few weeks of mentoring the students they already learned lots of things, and in a few days, they will send out their contributions to the Kernel. I want to write a new post about that in December 2018, reporting the results of this new tiny project and the summary of this one year of Linux Kernel. See you soon :)
  • Feral Interactive Announces Total War: WARHAMMER II to Be Released for Linux Tomorrow, Uber Joined The Linux Foundation, Security Bug Discovered in Instagram, Fedora Taking Submissions for Supplemental Wallpapers and Kernel 4.20-rc3 Is Out
    Linux kernel 4.20-rc3 is out. Linus says the only unusual thing was his travel and that the changes "are pretty tiny".
  • Wayland Secure Output Protocol Proposed For Upstream - HDCP-Like Behavior
    Collabora developer Scott Anderson sent out a "request for comments" patch series that would add a Secure Output Protocol to the Wayland space. The Secure Output Protocol is for allowing a Wayland client to tell the compositor to only display if it's going to a "secure" output, such as for HDCP-like (High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection) configurations, but there is no mandate at the protocol level about what is the definition of secure -- if anything. This does not impose any DRM per se by Wayland but is mostly intended for set-top-boxes and other closed systems where a Wayland client can reasonably trust the compositor. The Wayland Secure Output Protocol is based upon the work done by Google on their Chromium Wayland code.

more of today's howtos

Best Linux Desktop Environments: Strong and Stable

A desktop environment is a collection of disparate components that integrate together. They bundle these components to provide a common graphical user interface with elements such as icons, toolbars, wallpapers, and desktop widgets. Additionally, most desktop environments include a set of integrated applications and utilities. Desktop environments (now abbreviated as DE) provide their own window manager, system software that controls the placement and appearance of windows within a windowing system. They also provide a file manager which organizes, lists, and locates files and directories. Other aspects include a background provider, a panel to provide a menu and display information, as well as a setting/configuration manager to customize the environment. Ultimately, a DE is a piece of software. While they are more complicated than most other types of software, they are installed in the same way. Read more

KDE neon upgrade - From 16.04 to 18.04

I am quite happy with the KDE neon upgrade, going from the 16.04 to the 18.04 base. I think it's good on several levels, including improved hardware support and even slightly better performance. Plus there were no crashes or regressions of any kind, always a bonus. This means that neon users now have a fresh span of time to enjoy their non-distro distro, even though it's not really committing to any hard dates, so the LTS is also only sort of LTS in that sense. It's quite metaphysical. On a slightly more serious note, this upgrade was a good, positive experience. I semi-accidentally tried to ruin it, but the system recovered remarkably, the post-upgrade results are all sweet, and you have a beautiful, fast Plasma desktop, replete with applications and dope looks and whatnot. I'm happy, and we shall bottle that emotion for when the need arises, and in the Linux world it does happen often, I shall have an elixir of rejuvenation to sip upon. KDE neon, a surprisingly refined non-distro distro. Read more