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Debian

Debian Web Team, Debian Long Term Support, and Security Leftovers

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Security
Debian
  • Debian Web Team Sprint 2019

    The Debian Web team held a sprint for the first time, in Madrid (Spain) from March 15th to March 17th, 2019.

    We discussed the status of the Debian website in general, review several important pages/sections and agreed on many things how to improve them.

  • Freexian’s report about Debian Long Term Support, March 2019

    Like each month, here comes a report about the work of paid contributors to Debian LTS.

  • Raphaël Hertzog: Freexian’s report about Debian Long Term Support, March 2019

    Like each month, here comes a report about the work of paid contributors to Debian LTS.

  • Your Favorite Ad Blocker Can Be Exploited To Infect PCs With Malicious Code

    In July 2018, the popular Adblock Plus software released its version 3.2 that brought a new feature called $rewrite. This feature allowed one to change the filter rules and decide which content got blocked and which didn’t. It was said that often there are content elements that are difficult to block. This feature was soon implemented by AdBlock as well as uBlock.

    In a troubling development, it has been revealed that this filter option can be exploited by notorious actors to inject arbitrary code into the web pages. With more than 100 million users of these ad blocking tools, this exploit has great potential to harm the web users.

  • Adblock Plus filter lists may execute arbitrary code in web pages

    A new version of Adblock Plus was released on July 17, 2018. Version 3.2 introduced a new filter option for rewriting requests. A day later AdBlock followed suit and released support for the new filter option. uBlock, being owned by AdBlock, also implemented the feature.

    Under certain conditions the $rewrite filter option enables filter list maintainers to inject arbitrary code in web pages.

    The affected extensions have more than 100 million active users, and the feature is trivial to exploit in order to attack any sufficiently complex web service, including Google services, while attacks are difficult to detect and are deployable in all major browsers.

  • Big Companies Thought Insurance Covered a Cyberattack. They May Be Wrong.

    The disputes ares playing out in court. In a closely watched legal battle, Mondelez sued Zurich Insurance last year for a breach of contract in an Illinois court, and Merck filed a similar suit in New Jersey in August. Merck sued more than 20 insurers that rejected claims related to the NotPetya attack, including several that cited the war exemption. The two cases could take years to resolve.

    The legal fights will set a precedent about who pays when businesses are hit by a cyberattack blamed on a foreign government. The cases have broader implications for government officials, who have increasingly taken a bolder approach to naming-and-shaming state sponsors of cyberattacks, but now risk becoming enmeshed in corporate disputes by giving insurance companies a rationale to deny claims.

Debian 10 Buster's Installer Reaches RC Phase - Finally Offers Secure Boot Support

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Debian

While there are around 150 release critical bugs to be addressed before Debian 10.0 "Buster" can make its debut, the Debian Installer continues getting in great shape and is out today with its release candidate.

Debian Installer Buster RC1 is now available for testing as the first release candidate of the installer for this next major Debian GNU/Linux release. Most notable with today's RC1 release is finally having UEFI Secure Boot support in place for x86_64 (amd64) architecture. This will allow Debian to finally work out-of-the-box on SecureBoot-protected PCs after Debian 9 "Stretch" failed to get Secure Boot in order and thus Debian has been without this UEFI-based "security" feature until now.

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Also: Labtainers in a Web desktop through noVNC X11 proxy, full docker containers

Review: SolydXK 201902 "Xfce"

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Reviews
Debian

SolydXK is a Debian-based desktop distribution available in Xfce and KDE Plasma flavours. The distribution takes Debian's Stable branch and attempts to build a user friendly desktop experience on top of it. The latest version of the project adds new file system support for flash drives (offering f2fs and nilfs2 file systems). There have also been some changes in the arena of web browsers:
We changed the SolydXK Firefox settings even further to improve user privacy and also comply with Mozilla's distribution policies. This is done in the firefox-solydxk-adjustments package which can be purged if you don't need it.

Waterfox is now packaged and distributed by the SolydXK repository. You can install Waterfox with this command: apt install waterfox waterfox-solydxk-adjustments.
The official versions of SolydXK run on 64-bit (x86_64) machines only. There are 32-bit x86 ISO files provided by the community and there is a build for Raspberry Pi 3 computers. I opted to try the official Xfce edition which is a 1.5GB download.

The live media boots to the Xfce desktop. The live environment features bright orange wallpaper and offers a single icon on the desktop for launching the system installer. The desktop's panel, with the application menu and system tray, sit at the bottom of the screen.

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Debian 10 "Buster" Development and LTS Work

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Debian
  • Debian 10 "Buster" Has Around 150 Release Critical Bugs At The Moment

    Debian developer Jonathan Wiltshire who is part of the project's release team issued a Buster freeze status update on Sunday concerning the readiness of Debian 10.

    As of writing, Debian 10 "Buster" has around 150 release-critical bugs. These bugs must be addressed before the Debian 10.0 release can happen. There are also the non-release-critical bugs that are still being tackled, but as the official release nears, those non-blocker bugs will be deferred or rejected to focus on these 150 prominent issues.

  • Bits from the Release Team: buster freeze update

    Debian buster will ship with the same set of architectures as Debian stretch did.

  • Markus Koschany: My Free Software Activities in March 2019

    Welcome to gambaru.de. Here is my monthly report that covers what I have been doing for Debian. ( a bit later than usual) If you’re interested in Java, Games and LTS topics, this might be interesting for you.

Help test Debian Live

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Debian

During the stretch release period, it became apparent that very few people had been testing Debian Live, and some nasty bugs were discovered only during final release testing. The final stretch images for Debian live wasn’t quite up to the quality the Debian community deserved, and it lead to Steve McIntyre asking “IMPORTANT: Do live Debian images have a future?“.

I decided to get involved and have been doing testing and bug fixes throughout the buster release cycle, and with today’s builds, I think we’re at a point where we have something good that’s ready for wide-scale testing.

The Buster live images come with something new that a bunch of other distributions have also adopted, which is the Calamares installer. Calamares is an independent installer project (They call it “The universal installer framework”) which offers a Qt based interface for installing a system. It doesn’t replace debian-installer on the live images, rather, it serves a different audience. Calamares is really easy to use, with friendly guided partitioning and really simple full-disk encryption setup. It doesn’t cover all the advanced features of debian-installer (although it very recently got RAID support) and it doesn’t have an unattended install mode either. However, for 95%+ of desktop and laptop users, Calamares is a much easier way to get a system installed, which makes it very appropriate for live systems. For anyone who needs anything more complicated, or who’s doing a mass-install, debian-installer is still available in both text and GUI forms.

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AV Linux to Drop 32-Bit Support, Focus Its Development on Debian 10 "Buster"

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GNU
Linux
Debian

The developers of the Debian-based AV Linux multimedia oriented GNU/Linux distribution have released a new version and announced some major upcoming changes in the development of the project.

AV Linux is currently based on the stable Debian GNU/Linux 9 "Stretch" operating system series and features support for both 32-bit and 64-bit architectures, but AV Linux 2019.4.10 appears to be the last release with these features as the devs decided it's time for a change.

They announced that the next major release of AV Linux will be based on the upcoming Debian GNU/Linux 10 "Buster" (currently developed under the Debian Testing umbrella), and that it will drop support for 32-bit installations. However, most probably current 32-bit installations will still be supported.

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New Raspbian Brings Performance Improvements, Updated Packages To Raspberry Pi

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Debian

The Raspberry Pi Foundation has released a new version of Raspbian, its Debian-based operating system for Raspberry Pi devices.

Raspbian 2019-04-08 is the new release that remains based on Debian Stretch but with a number of changes on top. This is the first official update to Raspbian since last November and has upgraded to Chromium 72 and the VLC 3.0.6 media player along with a number of other updated packages.

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HP Linux Imaging & Printing Drivers Now Support Linux Mint 19.1 and Debian 9.7

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Linux
Debian

More than two months in development, the HP Linux Imaging and Printing 3.19.3 software and drivers are here implement support for a bunch of new HP printers, including HP OfficeJet Pro All-in-One 9010, HP OfficeJet Pro All-in-One 9020, HP OfficeJet All-in-One 9010, HP PageWide XL 4100 and 4600 printers, HP PageWide XL 4100 and 4600PS MFP, as well as HP Color LaserJet Managed MFP E77422a, E77422dv, E77422dn, and E77428dn.

Additionally, it now supports the HP LaserJet MFP E72425a, E72425dv, E72425dn, and E72430dn, HP LaserJet Managed MFP E62655dn and E62665hs, HP LaserJet Managed Flow MFP E62665h, E62675z, and E62665z, HP LaserJet Managed E60155dn, E60165dn, and E60175dn, HP Color LaserJet Managed E65150dn and E65160dn, as well as HP Color LaserJet Managed MFP E67650dh and HP Color LaserJet Managed Flow MFP E67660z printers.

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Debian, Event in Kosovo and ApacheCon

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OSS
Debian

Ubuntu/Debian: Snapcraft Release and LTS Work by Mike Gabriel and Sylvain Beucler

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Debian
Ubuntu
  • Snapcraft 3.3

    snapcraft 3.1 is now available on the stable channel of the Snap Store. This is a new minor release building on top of the foundations laid out from the snapcraft 3.3 release.

    If you are already on the stable channel for snapcraft then all you need to do is wait for the snap to be refreshed.

  • Mike Gabriel: My Work on Debian LTS/ELTS (March 2019)

    In March 2019, I have worked on the Debian LTS project for 14 hours (of 10 hours planned plus 4 hours pulled over from February) and on the Debian ELTS project for another 2 hours (of originally planned 6 hours) as a paid contributor.

  • Sylvain Beucler: Debian LTS - March 2019

    In February I had requested to join the Debian LTS project, which extends the security support for past Debian releases, as a paid contributor.

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Nebra Anybeam turns your Raspberry Pi into a pocket home cinema projector

TVs are available to buy in truly huge sizes these days, and with 4K (and upwards) resolution, movies and TV shows really come to life. But there’s something even more magical about watching a film projected onto a screen or a wall. With the right setup, it can be like having a cinema in your home. You don’t necessarily need to spend a fortune on a projector though. Nebra Anybeam can turn your Raspberry Pi into a cinema projector that you can slip into your pocket and take anywhere. Read more Also: Nebra AnyBeam - world's smallest pocket cinema projectors

Back in the Day: UNIX, Minix and Linux

I don't remember my UCSD email address, but some years later, I was part of the admin team on the major UUCP hub hplabs, and my email address was simply hplabs!taylor. Somewhere along the way, networking leaped forward with TCP/IP (we had TCP/IP "Bake Offs" to test interoperability). Once we had many-to-many connectivity, it was clear that the "bang" notation was unusable and unnecessarily complicated. We didn't want to worry about routing, just destination. Enter the "@" sign. I became taylor@hplabs.com. Meanwhile, UNIX kept growing, and the X Window System from MIT gained popularity as a UI layer atop the UNIX command line. In fact, X is a public domain implementation of the windowing system my colleagues and I first saw at the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center. PARC had computers where multiple programs were on the screen simultaneously in "windows", and there was a pointer device used to control them—so cool. Doug Englebart was inspired too; he went back to Stanford Research Institute and invented the mouse to make control of those windows easier. At Apple, they also saw what was being created at PARC and were inspired to create the Macintosh with all its windowing goodness. Still, who doesn't love the command line, as Ritchie and Kernighan had originally designed it in the early days of UNIX? (UNIX, by the way, is a wordplay on a prior multiuser operating system called Multics, but that's another story.) Read more

Python Programming Leftovers

GNU/Linux Leftovers

  • USB Support In Chrome OS 75 Will Make Linux Incredibly Versatile
    Chrome OS Linux instances are on the cusp of becoming immensely more useful and versatile based on a recent change spotted by Keith I Myers in the beta-specific Developer Channel following an update to version 75.0.3759.4. That's because while the update inevitably introduced some new bugs that will need to be squashed before a final release, it also included full support for USB devices on the Crostini side of the equation.
  • Old computer? Linux can give it a new lease on life
    The operating system is called Linux and was created in 1991 by Finnish student Linus Torvalds. He released Linux as open source which meant that any good programmer could tinker with it and improve upon the original. Today Linux is a popular free alternative for Windows and Mac computers and used by millions of people. The beauty is that Linux requires much less processing power and memory than Windows and is perfect for older computers.
  • At Least 27% Of Gentoo's Portage Can Be Easily LTO Optimized For Better Performance
    entooLTO is a configuration overlay for Gentoo's overlay to make it easy to enable Link Time Optimizations (LTO) and other compiler optimizations for enabling better performance out of the Gentoo packages. GentooLTO appears to be inspired in part by the likes of Clear Linux who employ LTO and other compiler optimization techniques like AutoFDO for yielding better performance than what is conventionally shipped by Linux distributions. The GentooLTO developers and users have wrapped up their survey looking at how practical this overlay configuration is on the massive Portage collection.  The initial GentooLTO survey has been going on since last October and they have collected data from more than 30 users. The survey found that of the Gentoo Portage 18,765 packages as of writing, at least 5,146 of them are working with the GentooLTO configuration.