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Ubuntu 18.04 Review: Tough Love

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Reviews
Ubuntu

This Ubuntu review of 18.04 is going to be more blunt than what you've seen elsewhere. Perhaps a bit of tough love.

Not because there is anything wrong with the release or the distro. Rather the fact that in 2018 Ubuntu's big push isn't for the desktop any longer. The 18.04 release is about developing technologies, not desktop technologies.

This Ubuntu 18.04 review will touch on the areas we need to consider before upgrading or switching to a new distro. Allow me to say: my opinions may not be terribly popular, but they are my own.

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Canonical Releases New Kernel Live Patch for Ubuntu 16.04 LTS & Ubuntu 14.04 LTS

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Ubuntu

According to the security advisory, the new kernel live patch addresses a race condition (CVE-2017-0861) found in Linux kernel's ALSA PCM subsystem and a use-after-free vulnerability (CVE-2017-15129) discovered in the network namespaces implementation, both of which could allow a local attacker to crash the system or execute arbitrary code.

Additionally, the new kernel live patch fixes a race condition (CVE-2018-5344) discovered in Linux kernel's loop block device, which could allow a local attacker to either crash the system by causing a denial of service or possibly execute arbitrary code, and a null pointer dereference (CVE-2018-5333) in the RDS (Reliable Datagram Sockets) protocol implementation that lets local attackers to crash the vulnerable system.

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Ubuntu MATE 18.04 Bionic Beaver - Medium-well

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GNU
Linux
Reviews
Ubuntu

Ubuntu MATE 18.04 Bionic Beaver is a reasonable distro. But it's nowhere near LTS good. On the bright side, MATE has undergone a phenomenal face lift, Boutique is dog's bollocks, and the media-phone stack is really awesome. Lots of nice things all around.

On the other hand, we have application crashes, less-than-average battery usage, tons of visual niggles, Samba problems, and quality that works fine for an amateur project, not for a serious distro that people might need to rely on for the next five years of their life and work. I know I can't. The underlying issues need all be fixed out before this can be a candidate for my production setup. Shame, because there's so much cool and funky stuff, marred by almost nonexistent QA and life-sapping bugs.

Overall, the MATE edition of the 18.04 LTS family is better than Kubuntu. Something like 7.5/10. But when we remember what's out there, and how Trusty fared, and how Zesty fared, well, this is hardly an achievement. I will do the whole long-term follow up, and of course, the whole bucket of useless bugs that were arbitrarily released sometime in late April will surely be fixed in the coming months. I might even end up using this a year from now. But it won't be love or enthusiasm, more of a lesser evil if it comes to that. And that's not how I roll. Aiming for mediocrity is the worst kind of ambition. Let's hope Linux - and Ubuntu MATE - can do better.

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Ubuntu: Privacy, Codename, and Hardware Support

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Ubuntu
  • What Data Does Ubuntu Collect About Your PC?

    Ubuntu includes a new data collection tool in its latest release — but exactly what kind of data does it collect?

    Well, thanks to the doors-wide-open nature of open-source software it’s easy to find out.

    It also helps that Canonical is being (unusually) upfront and open about its Ubuntu data collection policy, which is opt-out for new Ubuntu 18.04 installs, and opt-in on upgrades.

  • The Ubuntu 18.10 Codename Is (Probably) Out of This World

    The Ubuntu 18.10 codename has been revealed — well: half of it has, anyway!

    Canonical’s Adam Conrad has registered the ‘cosmic’ series on Launchpad, the code-hosting site where Ubuntu development takes place.

    Unless this celestial-themed clue is a colossally sized red-herring — spoiler: it isn’t — then ‘cosmic‘ is clearly the first part of the Ubuntu 18.10 code name.

    But where’s the rest?!

  • Ubuntu MATE / Studio / Budgie All End Their 32-bit ISOs For New Releases

    Following the recent Ubuntu 18.04 Long Term Support release, more Ubuntu derivatives are taking this opportunity to end the production of their 32-bit software images.

    Ubuntu Budgie, Ubuntu MATE, and now Ubuntu Studio have all announced they are ending their 32-bit/i386 images as of the next release, Ubuntu 18.10. Ubuntu itself has already been concentrating on x86_64 while now these other derivatives are also deciding to cease their 32-bit images -- of course, still maintaining 32-bit package support, but no longer focusing installer media for hardware more than one decade old. Ubuntu Studio joined the list this morning as the latest doing away with old Intel/AMD 32-bit ISOs.

*Ubuntu 18.10 Hardware Constraints

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Ubuntu
  • 18.10 and beyond - 64bit images only

    We have had a successful release of Ubuntu Budgie 18.04 LTS and we now are in full planning mode for 18.10.

    Similar to the decision made by Ubuntu themselves at 17.10, we have decided to concentrate all our efforts on producing a really good image based on the hardware almost all of you actually use now.

  • Ubuntu MATE 18.10 - dropping i386 images

    Following the successful release of Ubuntu MATE 18.04 LTS last week the development cycle for 18.10 has now opened. We have taken the decision to stop making i386 (32-bit Intel) images starting with Ubuntu MATE 18.10

  • Ubuntu MATE And Ubuntu Budgie Dropping 32-bit Hardware Support

    Many leading Linux distros like Ubuntu, Arch Linux, Manjaro, etc., have already ditched the support for 32-bit architecture and decided to focus on 64-bit machines. Now, following their footsteps, Ubuntu Budgie (source) and Ubuntu MATE (source) have also joined the league.

    The main reason behind these moves is the decreasing number of users actually running these operating systems on 32-bit machines. That’s why it doesn’t make a lot of sense to keep allocating resources and time to the hardware that people don’t use anymore.

GNU/Linux Review: Ubuntu 18.04 LTS Bionic Beaver

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Reviews
Ubuntu

Ubuntu 18.04 LTS "Bionic Beaver" has been released at Thursday, 26 April 2018 by announcements in their mailing list and Release Notes. After installing Bionic on my laptop since the Beta 1 and Beta 2, here's my report: it uses around 1.2GiB of RAM at least; it brings LibreOffice 6, Firefox 59, and GNOME 3.28 by default; still using Ubiquity as graphical installer. The biggest difference to previous LTS is it no longer uses Unity 7 desktop, so no HUD, no global menu anymore. It is powerful and still very easy to use like before, but needs more powerful hardware. The rest of this review explains those for you with additional links if you want to learn further. Enjoy!

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Canonical to Send Notifications to Snap Developers for Ubuntu Security Updates

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Security
Ubuntu

If you're a Snap app developer, you'll be glad to know that Canonical will now send you alerts via email everytime new Ubuntu Security Notices (USNs) are published and contain details about security fixes for the staged packages in the Snap. This will work only if you use "stage-packages" in Snap's snapcraft.yaml configuration file.

"Once a day, the service examines snaps that have manifest.yaml files for their currently published channels/tracks and checks whether USNs have been issued for the versions of the staged packages in the snap. If any snap revisions are affected, the tool will generate a report to send via email," said Canonical in a blog post.

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Ubuntu Budgie 18.10 Is Also Dropping Support for 32-Bit Installations

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Ubuntu

After writing the article about the Ubuntu MATE team deciding to drop support for new 32-bit installations with the upcoming Ubuntu MATE 18.10 release, we discovered that Ubuntu Budgie team also requested that 32-bit ISOs to no longer be generated for the Ubuntu Budgie 18.10 release as they want to concentrate only on 64-bit support.

"We have had a successful release of Ubuntu Budgie 18.04 LTS and we now are in full planning mode for 18.10. Similar to the decision made by Ubuntu themselves at 17.10, we have decided to concentrate all our efforts on producing a really good image based on the hardware almost all of you actually use now," said project leader David Mohammed. "From 18.10 onwards we would like to concentrate on the 64-bit ISO only."

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Also: Ubuntu MATE 18.10 Will Drop 32-Bit Support for New Installations

Ubuntu MATE & Budgie Drop 32-bit ISOs

Ubuntu 18.10 “Cosmic” Daily Builds Available: 7 Expected Features And Release Date

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Ubuntu

In late April, Canonical released the final stable release of Ubuntu 18.04 Bionic Beaver. As it’s an LTS release, it’s of greater importance than other Ubuntu releases with nine-month support cycle. 18.04’s release also meant that the work on the next release has started.

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Ubuntu 18.10 Daily Build ISOs Are Now Available to Download

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Ubuntu

Now that Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (Bionic Beaver) was released, it's time for the Ubuntu development team to concentrate their efforts on the next release of the Linux-based operating system.

That's right, we're talking about Ubuntu 18.10, the next Ubuntu Linux release that's expected to arrive later this fall. It will be a short-lived release supported for only 9 months, but it should come with some of the latest GNU/Linux technologies and Open Source software applications.

Now that Canonical decided to move to GNOME by default, we expect Ubuntu 18.10 to ship with the upcoming GNOME 3.30 desktop, due for release on September 6, 2018. The first point release, GNOME 3.30.1, is scheduled for September 26, so Ubuntu 18.10 might ship with this version considering it's launching sometime in October.

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Also: Ubuntu 18.04 LTS Review Roundup

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More in Tux Machines

Security: VPNFilter, Encryption in GNU/Linux, Intel CPU Bug Affecting rr Watchpoints

  • [Crackers] infect 500,000 consumer routers all over the world with malware

    VPNFilter—as the modular, multi-stage malware has been dubbed—works on consumer-grade routers made by Linksys, MikroTik, Netgear, TP-Link, and on network-attached storage devices from QNAP, Cisco researchers said in an advisory. It’s one of the few pieces of Internet-of-things malware that can survive a reboot. Infections in at least 54 countries have been slowly building since at least 2016, and Cisco researchers have been monitoring them for several months. The attacks drastically ramped up during the past three weeks, including two major assaults on devices located in Ukraine. The spike, combined with the advanced capabilities of the malware, prompted Cisco to release Wednesday’s report before the research is completed.

  • Do Not Use sha256crypt / sha512crypt - They're Dangerous

    I'd like to demonstrate why I think using sha256crypt or sha512crypt on current GNU/Linux operating systems is dangerous, and why I think the developers of GLIBC should move to scrypt or Argon2, or at least bcrypt or PBKDF2.

  • Intel CPU Bug Affecting rr Watchpoints
    I investigated an rr bug report and discovered an annoying Intel CPU bug that affects rr replay using data watchpoints. It doesn't seem to be hit very often in practice, which is good because I don't know any way to work around it. It turns out that the bug is probably covered by an existing Intel erratum for Skylake and Kaby Lake (and probably later generations, but I'm not sure), which I even blogged about previously! However, the erratum does not mention watchpoints and the bug I've found definitely depends on data watchpoints being set. I was able to write a stand-alone testcase to characterize the bug. The issue seems to be that if a rep stos (and probably rep movs) instruction writes between 1 and 64 bytes (inclusive), and you have a read or write watchpoint in the range [64, 128) bytes from the start of the writes (i.e., not triggered by the instruction), then one spurious retired conditional branch is (usually) counted. The alignment of the writes does not matter, and it's not related to speculative execution.

In Memoriam: Robin "Roblimo" Miller, a Videographer and Free Software Champion

Videographer Robin Roblimo Miller

Robin "Roblimo" Miller was a clever, friendly, and very amicable individual who everyone I know has plenty of positive things to say about. I had the pleasure of speaking to him for several hours about anything from personal life and professional views. Miller was a very knowledgeable person whose trade as a journalist and video producer I often envied. I have seen him facing his critics in his capacity as a journalist over a decade ago when he arranged a debate about OOXML (on live radio). Miller, to me, will always be remembered as a strong-minded and investigative journalist who "did the right thing" as the cliché goes, irrespective of financial gain -- something which can sometimes be detrimental to one's longterm health. Miller sacrificed many of his later years to a cause worth fighting for. This is what we ought to remember him for. Miller was - and always will be - a FOSS hero.

May everything you fought for be fulfilled, Mr. Miller. I already miss you.

Today in Techrights

Tux Machines Privacy Statement

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