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Ubuntu 17.10's Laptop Issue Appears To Be Under Control, Fixable

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A week ago Ubuntu 17.10's ISO was pulled due to a show-stopping laptop bug whereby some UEFI-enabled laptops from multiple vendors were running into "BIOS corruption" where BIOS settings could no longer be changed, USB booting becoming non-functional, and similar UEFI-related issues. Fortunately, a fixed kernel is now available and some affected users are reporting a successful workaround for making their laptops full-functioning once again.

As reported earlier, the issue stems from the Intel SPI driver found in Ubuntu 17.10's default Linux 4.13-based kernel causing the issue for some systems. Immediately they sent out an updated kernel to for now disable this driver (CONFIG_SPI_INTEL_SPI_PLATFORM) but that's to no avail to already affected Ubuntu laptop owners.

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Also: Lubuntu Seeds are now in Git

Ubuntu: Canonical's Finances, UBPorts Keeping Canonical Products Going, Mint Has Monthly News

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  • A Look At Canonical's Financial Performance From 2009 To 2017

    Last week we reported on Ubuntu maker Canonical's financial performance for FY2017 with a $122M turnover and nearly 600 employees after spotting the latest data. For those wondering how that compares to previous years, here is more of the past year's performance.

    The data was compiled from the public reports of the UK's Companies House with their most recent filing having been last week for their 2017 fiscal year that ended back on 31 March. Their reports go back to 2009 when the Canonical Group Limited entity itself was formed. Of course, Canonical/Ubuntu itself dates back to 2004.

  • UBPorts bringing Android app support to Ubuntu phones (via Anbox)

    After Canonical essentially gave up on developing Ubuntu Linux software for smartphones earlier this year, a group of developers at UBPorts decided to pick up where Canonical left off.

    The community-based project doesn’t have the resources of a company like Canonical, but the developers still like the idea of running Ubuntu on smartphones, and so they’re continuing to develop the software and they’ve released official and unofficial builds for a number of devices.

  • Monthly News – December 2017

    The year is almost over, our latest release is out, all the work we’ve done has been delivered and this holiday season is an opportunity to take a little break to contemplate and enjoy where we are and what we have, before 2018 starts with a new development cycle, new ambitions and two important targets on the horizon: Linux Mint 19 and LMDE 3.

    I’d like to thank you for your support, for your help and for your feedback. 2017 was a lot of fun. See you all next year for more!

Linux Mint 18.3 Sylvia - Very nice

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Linux Mint 18.3 Sylvia is a very reasonable distribution. First, it's better than most 2017 offerings by a long shot. But comparing to bad stuff is hardly useful. When we stack it against a few rare gems, it holds quite well. You get familiar looks, most if not all of the stuff you need out of the box, and the rest is just a click away. Good networking, media and smartphone support, elegant package management, excellent stability, easy customization. Lots of perks and smart touches.

The negatives would be an odd glitch or two, and some visual dust. Mint feels a bit archaic, and font quality can be improved mostly by altering the default theme actually. But there are no showstoppers, no cardinal problems, nothing to make you want to cry in a dark corner of an abandoned warehouse. Solid, predictable, practical. Grade 9.7/10, and it really is one of the more refreshing distro releases recently. Well worth testing. So you should. Right now.

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Ubuntu Phones Will Soon Run Android Apps Thanks to Anbox, Says UBports

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Just a couple of days after releasing the OTA-3 software update for supported Ubuntu Phone devices, Ubuntu Touch maintainer UBports now teases users with upcoming support for Android apps.

Remember Anbox (Android-in-a-Box)? It's the open-source project that allows Linux users to run Android apps in a container inside their GNU/Linux distributions. Well, UBports has found a way to implement Anbox into the Ubuntu Touch mobile operating system to let Ubuntu Phone owners run Android apps too.

"People have come to depend on certain applications that are not available on Ubuntu Touch. In order to become a full-featured and mainstream mobile operating system, Ubuntu Touch needs to offer its users the proprietary services they depend on, at least until the point when free and open source alternatives are viable," writes Dalton Durst.

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System76 Says Ubuntu-Based Pop!_OS Linux Won't Break Lenovo or Acer Laptops

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A System76 engineer working on Pop!_OS Linux, the company's Ubuntu-based operating system shipping pre-installed on all of their computers, writes about the recently discovered Ubuntu bug affecting some Lenovo laptops.

As you probably are aware, Canonical is currently discouraging users to download the latest Ubuntu release due to an issue that corrupts the BIOS of some Lenovo laptops, as well as other brands like Acer and Toshiba. The bug is related to the intel-spi-* drivers in the Linux 4.13 kernel packages shipping with Ubuntu 17.10 (Artful Aardvark), and should also affect other Ubuntu 17.10-based distro like Pop!_OS.

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Direct: Pop!_OS Community Update and Happy Holidays Edition Post!

Canonical Releases Snapcraft 2.38 Tool to Improve Support for Classic Snaps

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Announced just a few minutes ago by Sergio Schvezov, Snapcraft 2.38 will soon make its way into the stable software repositories of supported Ubuntu Linux releases, as well as other GNU/Linux distributions. The biggest change that landed in this new version is better support for classic Snaps, which will allow for true isolation for host's dynamically linked executables.

"Snapcraft now has a better architecture overall to handle classic Snaps, not only for those coming from parts that are built, but also for the case where prebuilt binaries are dumped into the Snap," writes Sergio Schvezov. "Prior to this version of Snapcraft, true isolation for a dynamically linked executable from the host was not possible. The work here makes sure that the correct interpreter is set and also sets up valid rpaths for the binary."

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Ubuntu: Mir, Trusty Tahr, and BIOS Issue

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  • Canonical's Mir 2018 Plans Include Some Potentially Interesting IoT Features

    Most interesting is the third item for Mir next year... It will certainly be interesting to see what comes of these "keen opportunities" since right now Mir is basically evolving into a glorified Wayland compositor. Alan also said "maybe" of seeing the Mir 1.0 release in 2018.

  • Mir: 2017 end of year review

    2017 was a wild year for Mir: when Canonical withdrew from a major downstream project (Unity8) the future of Mir seemed uncertain. And, indeed, we needed to re-organize and re-plan.

    But at the end of 2017, Mir is doing well: We’ve a new website, released a raft of new functionality, and the last two releases of Mir have been made available on both Ubuntu and Fedora.

  • Maybe it's you? Nope, Ubuntu Trusty tells us.

    No, it is not me. Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr shows, once again, that it is the undisputed king of professionalism and quality, and it is the best Ubuntu ever made. What happened more recently is just slow asphyxiation of enthusiasm and happiness. So there you have it. The same laptop, the same user, the same method, a different distro.

    After testing this system, I am amazed by how much the recent editions have regressed, across the board. Stability, performance, overall quality, fine details, hardware support, even the basics. Better yet, not only is Trusty better than all these other distros, it's also better than its former self! It has improved - less memory, less CPU, more stability! And all these other distros ... Well. It is appalling and alarming. It is disheartening. You can read those reviews and weep. One thing is sure. Aardvark and friends take the entire distroscape back to 2005. Question asked, answer provided. See you around.

  • Canonical pulls Ubuntu update after BIOS corruption issue affecting laptops

    Canonical has pulled the release of its Ubuntu 17.10 distribution of Linux after many users found that the release had corrupted the BIOS on their laptops.

Canonical's FY2017 Performance: $126 Million, Nearly 600 Employees

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While Red Hat is on track for a run rate of nearly three billion dollars for their current fiscal year, Canonical - the company behind Ubuntu - isn't quite there yet while still dominating the cloud landscape and other areas.

Canonical Group Limited and its Canonical UK Limited organization have filed their fiscal year 2017 data with Companies House in the UK this week. Canonical's 2017 fiscal year ended back on 31 March.

For their 2017 fiscal year they took in $126 million which is better than the prior year and their headcount grew from 496 to 566. On that $126 million, for their fiscal year they managed a net profit of just two million.

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Also: Ubuntu 17.10 PULLED: Linux OS knackers laptop BIOSes, Intel kernel driver fingered

Ubuntu News: Ubuntu 17.10, Ubuntu Podcast, Security and UBports

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  • Canonical temporarily disables Ubuntu 17.10 download

    Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu has seemingly disabled downloads of its latest release, Ubuntu 17.10. Those attempting to grab the build will have the option of downloading the 16.04 LTS release but when scrolling to the new 17.10 release, it says that users are "discouraged" from using this version due to a bug which corrupts the BIOS on many Lenovo laptops.

  • Ubuntu 17.10 corrupts the BIOS on some Lenovo, Toshiba and Acer laptops

    Following reports of BIOS corruption on a number of Acer, Lenovo and Toshiba laptops, Canonical is now discouraging users from downloading Ubuntu 17.10 "Artful Aardvark" from its website.

    The bug, which is labeled "critical" by the team behind Ubuntu, can cripple the BIOS on over 20 devices, as acknowledged in this report. This issue also affects other versions of the popular Linux-based distribution, including the older Ubuntu 16.04 "Xenial Xerus" -- in the "OEM" and "HWE-EDGE" packages.

  • Ubuntu Podcast from the UK LoCo: S10E42 – Tangy Orange Chairs - Ubuntu Podcast
  • Security Team Weekly Summary: December 21, 2017

    The Security Team weekly reports are intended to be very short summaries of the Security Team’s weekly activities.

  • UBports Releases Updated Ubuntu Touch (OTA-3)

    While Ubuntu Touch may be dead to Canonical, UBports continues to work where the convergence / Unity 8 developers left off with trying to make this mobile platform a reality.

    As an early Christmas present, the UBports team released Ubuntu Touch OTA-3. This update brings some new features and bug fixes atop the Ubuntu Touch 15.04 base. New features include some new packages requested by the community, the default start page and search provider was changed over to DuckDuckGo, and not displaying the keyboard when working with multiple windows. This over-the-air update has also removed the Ubuntu Store from the App Scope.

Ubuntu Phone OTA-3 Released by UBports with Own Push Notification System

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OTA-3's major new feature is the implementation of UBports' own push notification server. Previous OTAs still used Canonical's Ubuntu Touch push notification system for apps, but with OTA-3 users will be automatically switched to the UBports push server, which will take a few hours to roll out to everyone.

Other enhancements include a new Swiss-French keyboard layout, support for the Nextcloud file sharing and storage service, the addition of various small packages requested by the Ubuntu Phone community, integration of OpenStore into System Settings, and removal of the Ubuntu Store from the App Scope.

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