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DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 506

Filed under
Linux

Welcome to this year's 18th issue of DistroWatch Weekly! Ubuntu's latest release, while not among the most innovative or adventurous ones, continues to intrigue many casual and home users (business users are probably more comfortable with one of LTS releases). Still, many are wondering whether they should risk an upgrade to a new but rather unremarkable release whose support has been cut down to just nine months.

In our feature article this week Jesse Smith takes a look at both Ubuntu and Kubuntu 13.04 and finds the latter a more pleasant experience.

In the news section, Debian "Wheezy" arrives after more than two years of intense development, Mageia delays its third stable release due to installer bugs, Slackware ponders the inevitability of systemd as a service manager, and FreeBSD expands its activities thanks to record-breaking receipts of funds in 2012.

Also in this issue, a link to an article comparing a number of special distributions for the Raspberry Pi, and a review of A Practical Guide to Linux Commands, Editors and Shell Programming by Mark Sobell.

Finally, we are pleased to announce that the recipient of the April 2013 DistroWatch.com donation is the Internet Software Consortium's DHCP project.

Happy reading!

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Security: Updates, 2017 Linux Security Summit, Software Updates for Embedded Linux and More

  • Security updates for Tuesday
  • The 2017 Linux Security Summit
    The past Thursday and Friday was the 2017 Linux Security Summit, and once again I think it was a great success. A round of thanks to James Morris for leading the effort, the program committee for selecting a solid set of talks (we saw a big increase in submissions this year), the presenters, the attendees, the Linux Foundation, and our sponsor - thank you all! Unfortunately we don't have recordings of the talks, but I've included my notes on each of the presentations below. I've also included links to the slides, but not all of the slides were available at the time of writing; check the LSS 2017 slide archive for updates.
  • Key Considerations for Software Updates for Embedded Linux and IoT
    The Mirai botnet attack that enslaved poorly secured connected embedded devices is yet another tangible example of the importance of security before bringing your embedded devices online. A new strain of Mirai has caused network outages to about a million Deutsche Telekom customers due to poorly secured routers. Many of these embedded devices run a variant of embedded Linux; typically, the distribution size is around 16MB today. Unfortunately, the Linux kernel, although very widely used, is far from immune to critical security vulnerabilities as well. In fact, in a presentation at Linux Security Summit 2016, Kees Cook highlighted two examples of critical security vulnerabilities in the Linux kernel: one being present in kernel versions from 2.6.1 all the way to 3.15, the other from 3.4 to 3.14. He also showed that a myriad of high severity vulnerabilities are continuously being found and addressed—more than 30 in his data set.
  • APNIC-sponsored proposal could vastly improve DNS resilience against DDoS