Ubuntu Touch OTA-11 Takes Shape, Promises Unity 8 Improvements and Miracast

It has been a while since we discussed here something about the development of the next major Ubuntu Touch OTA update, the OTA-11, and, at the request of many of you, we’ll post the following information to keep you guys up to date.

First of all, we would like to tell you that things are looking very good for the upcoming Ubuntu Touch OTA-11 software update and development continues in the background as the team behind the mobile operating system for Ubuntu Phones, and now the Ubuntu Tablet too, implements new features and updates existing components all the time.

Łukasz Zemczak has just informed us about the latest changes that landed this week for Ubuntu Touch OTA-11, which approaches its Final Freeze stage very fast, possibly later today. Among these changes, we can mention a new unity-scopes-shell release with support for embedded authentication parameters, the laterst network-manager release, as well as an updated Dialer app that now features a better lock-scr… (read more)

Development: GNOME 3.20.2 stable tarballs due (responsible: fredp)

Hello all,

Tarballs are due on 2016-05-09 before 23:59 UTC for the GNOME 3.20.2
stable release, which will be delivered on Wednesday. Modules which
were proposed for inclusion should try to follow the unstable schedule
so everyone can test them.  Please make sure that your tarballs will
be uploaded before Monday 23:59 UTC: tarballs uploaded later than that
will probably be too late to get in 3.20.2. If you are not able to
make a tarball before this deadline or if you think you'll be late,
please send a mail to the release team and we'll find someone to roll
the tarball for you!

For more information about 3.21, the full schedule, the official
module lists and the proposed module lists, please see our colorful 3.21

For a quick overview of the GNOME schedule, please see:


LibreOffice 5.0.6 Open-Source Office Suite Is Now Available for Download

We were informed just a few minutes ago by The Document Foundation’s Italo Vignoli about the immediate availability for download of the LibreOffice 5.0.6 “Still” open-source office suite.

LibreOffice 5.0.6 is the sixth maintenance version in the long-term supported, stable and reliable 5.0 branch of the acclaimed office suite software, which The Document Foundation recommends for deployments in large-scale organizations, such as various educational institutions like schools and universities, but also on enterprises and international companies that want to save money on their office budget.

“The Document Foundation suggests deploying LibreOffice 5.0.6 on a large scale only when backed by professional level 3 support from certified developers,” said Italo Vignoli. “When migrating to LibreOffice from proprietary office suites, organizations should seek professional support from certified migration consultants and trainers, which are listed on the same web page.”

What… (read more)

LibreOffice 5.0.6 available for download

month_of_libreofficeBerlin, May 5, 2016 – The Document Foundation announces LibreOffice 5.0.6 “still”, the sixth release of the LibreOffice 5.0 family, which can be used for the deployment in large organizations.

The Document Foundation suggests deploying LibreOffice 5.0.6 on a large scale only when backed by professional level 3 support from certified developers (a list available at: https://www.libreoffice.org/get-help/professional-support/). When migrating to LibreOffice from proprietary office suites, organizations should seek professional support from certified migration consultants and trainers, which are listed on the same web page.

In addition, there are companies providing LibreOffice LTS (Long Term Support) versions, with incremental updates, targeted at enterprise deployments.

People interested in technical details about the release can access the change log here: https://wiki.documentfoundation.org/Releases/5.0.6/RC1 (fixed in RC1) and https://wiki.documentfoundation.org/Releases/5.0.6/RC2 (fixed in RC2).

LibreOffice Conference

In 2016, LibreOffice Conference will be hosted by the Faculty of Information Technology at Brno University of Technology, and organized by OpenAlt, from September 7 to 9.

Details of Call for Papers, open until July 15, 2016, are available at: https://blog.documentfoundation.org/blog/2016/04/08/libreoffice-brno-conference-call-for-paper/. Registration for the conference is open at: http://conference.libreoffice.org/2016/registration/.

Download LibreOffice

LibreOffice 5.0.6 is immediately available for download from the following link: http://www.libreoffice.org/download/libreoffice-still/.

LibreOffice users, free software advocates and community members can support The Document Foundation with a donation at http://donate.libreoffice.org. They can also buy LibreOffice merchandise from the brand new project shop: http://documentfoundation.spreadshirt.net/.

Beautiful Simplicity Linux 16.04 OS Arrives, Based on LXPup and the LXDE Desktop

Simplicity Linux 16.04 is distributed in three main editions, namely Desktop, X, and Mini. The distribution has been in development for the past three months, since February, when it was initially released as Simplicity Linux 16.01.
Since then, the development team behind the Simplicity Linux project has managed to seed Alpha and Beta builds to early adopters and public beta testers who volunteered to help them polish the final release of the operating system before it hit the streets, which happened on May 2, 2016, after a small delay.
Being based on the excellent and lightweight LXPup GNU/Linux distribution, and built around the LXDE desktop environment, Simplicity Linux 16.04 is powered by a kernel from the 4.0 series (Linux 4.0.4) on the Desktop and Mini editions, and Linux kernel 4.4.5 LTS on the X flavor, which is the experimental branch of the OS, where all the bleeding-edge stuff happens before it lands in the more stable Desktop and Mini editions.

Source: http://news.softpedia.com/news/beautiful-simplicity-linux-16-04-os-arrives-based-on-lxpup-and-the-lxde-desktop-503654.shtml

IPFire 2.19 Core Update 102 Linux Firewall OS Lands More OpenSSL Security Fixes

Yesterday we reported news on the release of the IPFire 2.19 Core Update 102 Linux kernel-based firewall distribution, which brought many security patches and improvements, along with updated components.

Today, May 5, 2016, we’re informing our readers about the immediate availability of IPFire 2.19 Core Update 102, a small maintenance build to the stable IPFire 2.19 distribution that updates the OpenSSL package to version 1.0.2h, fixing a total of six vulnerabilities discovered upstream.

“This update contains various security fixes in the OpenSSL library. It is recommended to install this update as soon as possible,” said Michael Tremer in the announcement. “This Core Update brings you Ope… (read more)

Canonical Makes It Easy for Users to Install Snaps via Ubuntu Software

We published earlier an update to an article published last week about the fact that there was a nasty bug present in the GNOME Software application that made it impossible for Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus) users to install third-party .deb packages.

On May 4, 2016, Canonical finally pushed the patched version of the GNOME Software app, which is called Ubuntu Software in the newly released Ubuntu 16.04 LTS operating system, allowing users to install various applications distributed in the .deb file format and obtained from third-party sources with a simple double mouse click on the file.

But that’s not all Canonical introduced in today’s update of Ubuntu Software, as Mohan Ram informs us that it is also possib… (read more)

Linux Foundation Badges Aim to Separate Wheat From Chaff

The Linux Foundation’s Core Infrastructure Initiative project on Tuesday announced a free badge program to help foster security, quality and stability in open source software projects. Through an online app, the CII lets devs determine whether they’re following best practices, generally within an hour or so. If they are, they’ll receive the badge, which they can display on GitHub and other online properties. The ongoing development of the app and its criteria is an open source project to which devs can contribute.

GNOME: Red Hat Donates Servers to the GNOME Project

ORINDA CA. The GNOME Project thanks Red Hat for their recent donation of two new servers. The donation is part of a wider plan aiming to consolidate the location of the various GNOME servers around the globe into one single datacenter. This will help ease day-to-day operations and reduce intervention time in the case of network disruptions or outages.

Each donated server has 128GB of RAM, 48 cores and comes with an Enterprise SSD made for high throughput. This will greatly improve the running of services like build.gnome.org and sdk.gnome.org.

Once again, the GNOME Project thanks Red Hat for their continued sponsorship of servers, internet bandwidth and local hardware-related IT support.

Security Confinement in Ubuntu Core

snappy Ubuntu Core

As much anticipated, this week Ubuntu 16.04 LTS was released with integrated support for snaps on classic Ubuntu.

Ubuntu Core is a modern software platform that includes the ability to define rich interfaces between snaps that control their security and confinement, comprehensive observation and control of system changes, completion and undoing of partial system changes across restarts/reboots/crashes, macaroon-based authentication for local access and store access, preliminary development mode, a polished filesystem layout and CLI experience, modern sequencing of revisions, and so forth.

The previous post in this series described the reassuring details behind how snappy does system changes. This post will now cover interfaces, the mechanism that controls the confinement and integration of snaps with other snaps and with the system itself.

A snap interface gives one snap the ability to use resources provided by another snap, including the operating system snap (ubuntu-core is itself a snap!). That’s quite vague, and intentionally so. Software interacts with other software for many reasons and in diverse ways, and Snappy is a platform that has to mediate all of that according to user needs.

In practice, though, the mechanism is straightforward and pleasant to deal with. Without any snaps in the system, there are no interfaces available:

% sudo snap interfaces error: no interfaces found

If we install the ubuntu-core snap alone (done implicitly when the first snap is installed), we can already see some interface slots being provided by it, but no plugs connected to them:

% sudo snap install ubuntu-core 75.88 MB / 75.88 MB [=====================] 100.00 % 355.56 KB/s % snap interfaces Slot Plug :firewall-control - :home - :locale-control - (...) :opengl - :timeserver-control - :timezone-control - :unity7 - :x11 -

The syntax is <snap>:<slot> and <snap>:<plug>. The lack of a snap name is a shorthand notation for slots and plugs on the operating system snap.

Now let’s install an application:

% sudo snap install ubuntu-calculator-app 120.01 MB / 120.01 MB [=====================] 100.00 % 328.88 KB/s % snap interfaces Slot Plug :firewall-control - :home - :locale-control - (...) :opengl ubuntu-calculator-app :timeserver-control - :timezone-control - :unity7 ubuntu-calculator-app :x11 -

At this point the application should work fine. But let’s instead see what happens if we take away one of these interfaces:

% sudo snap disconnect  ubuntu-calculator-app:unity7 ubuntu-core:unity7 % /snap/bin/ubuntu-calculator-app.calculator QXcbConnection: Could not connect to display :0

The application installed depends on unity7 to be able to display itself properly, which is itself based on X11. When we disconnected the interface that gave it permission to be accessing these resources, the application was unable to touch them.

The security minded will observe that X11 is not in fact a secure protocol. A number of system abuses are possible when we hand an application this permission. Other interfaces such as home would give the snap access to every non-hidden file in the user’s $HOME directory (those that do not start with a dot), which means a malicious application might steal personal information and send it over the network (assuming it also defines a network plug).

Some might be surprised that this is the case, but this is a misunderstanding about the role of snaps and Snappy as a software platform. When you install software from the Ubuntu archive, that’s a statement of trust in the Ubuntu and Debian developers. When you install Google’s Chrome or MongoDB binaries from their respective archives, that’s a statement of trust in those developers (these have root on your system!). Snappy is not eliminating the need for that trust, as once you give a piece of software access to your personal files, web camera, microphone, etc, you need to believe that it won’t be using those allowances maliciously.

The point of Snappy’s confinement in that picture is to enable a software ecosystem that can control exactly what is allowed and to whom in a clear and observable way, in addition to the same procedural care that we’ve all learned to appreciate in the Linux world, not instead of it. Preventing people from using all relevant resources in the system would simply force them to use that same software over less secure mechanisms instead of fixing the problem.

And what we have today is just the beginning. These interfaces will soon become much richer and more fine grained, including resource selection (e.g. which serial port?), and some of them will disappear completely in favor of more secure choices (Unity 8, for instance).

These are exciting times for Ubuntu and the software world.

Original article

Distribution Release: Simplicity Linux 16.04

The Simplicity Linux project, a Puppy-based distribution, has announced the launch of a new stable release. The new version, simplicity Linux 16.04, is available in three flavours: Mini, Desktop and X. The Mini and Desktop editions are available in 32-bit builds while the X edition provides a 64-bit….

Ubuntu Tweak Is Now Officially Dead and Buried

The creator and maintainer of the once popular Ubuntu Tweak utility, Tualatrix Chou, announced a few minutes ago that its project is no longer under maintenance starting May 2, 2016.

Ubuntu Tweak was one of the most downloaded applications that could have allowed Ubuntu users to tweak every single component of their GNU/Linux operating systems, making their lives much easier while using Ubuntu.

Each time a new version of Ubuntu Linux was released, a few days later the Ubuntu Tweak tool was updated with support for the respective Ubuntu version so that users can install it and configure their system and desktop settings.

This is not the first time we hear that Ubuntu Tweak’s development has ended, as three years ago Tualatrix Chou announced that he would no longer be involved in the development of the open-source software project.

At that moment in time, he was “forced” to reconsider his decision, at the request of numerous Ubuntu users, but now it’s official. The… (read more)

Unity 8 Won’t Be the Default Desktop Session for Ubuntu 16.10 (Yakkety Yak)

The development of the Ubuntu 16.10 (Yakkety Yak) operating system had begun, with daily live ISO images being made available for early adopters and public testers who want to track the development cycle of the upcoming Ubuntu release.
Dubbed Yakkety Yak by Canonical founder Mark Shuttleworth, Ubuntu 16.10 will be officially released later this year, on October 20, bringing various improvements and refinements to existing components, such as Ubuntu Software, which will make installing snaps and fonts much easier.
However, one of the most anticipated features of the Ubuntu 16.10 (Yakkety Yak) was the Unity 8 desktop environment, which, unfortunately, won’t be the default session for the upcoming operating system, as the development of Unity 8 is still under heavy development.
Among other interesting features that should be implemented in Ubuntu 16.10 later this year, we can mention the removal of most of the Python 2 dependencies from the image, migration to the PackageKit 1.0 series, and move the OS to systemd for the user session, which still uses UpStart.

Source: http://linux.softpedia.com/blog/unity-8-won-t-be-the-default-desktop-session-for-ubuntu-16-10-yakkety-yak-503631.shtml
Submitted by: Arnfried Walbrecht

Joomla! will provide FREE Video Training in partnership with OSTraining

New York, NY, – May 3, 2016 – Joomla!, one of the world’s most popular open source content management systems (CMS) used for everything from websites and blogs to custom apps and Intranets, announced today that OSTraining is the RFP winner for the Joomla! Free Video Training. This partnership will make it even easier to get started with Joomla!.

RuneLabs | Your Ideas for 2017

This is your chance to get your biggest, boldest ideas into RuneScape!

Unity 8 Won’t Be the Default Desktop Session for Ubuntu 16.10 (Yakkety Yak)

The Ubuntu Online Summit started just a few moments ago, and you can watch the Ubuntu Engineering team live right now talking about the features planned for the next Ubuntu release.

We reported last week that the development of the Ubuntu 16.10 (Yakkety Yak) operating system had begun, with daily live ISO images being made available for early adopters and public testers who want to track the development cycle of the upcoming Ubuntu release.

Dubbed Yakkety Yak by Canonical founder Mark Shuttleworth, Ubuntu 16.10 will be officially released later this year, on October 20, bringing various improvements and refinements to existing components, such as Ubuntu Software, which will make installing snaps and… (read more)

3-in-4 Android phones, slabs, gizmos menaced by fresh hijack flaws

Google has today issued a bundle of 40 security patches for its Android operating system.
A dozen of the fixes correct critical vulnerabilities in versions 4.4.4 of the operating system and above. About 74 per cent of in-use Android devices run Android 4.4.4 or higher.
These critical bugs can be potentially exploited by miscreants to hijack millions of vulnerable handsets, tablets and other Android gadgets, install malware on the devices, and spy on people.
Opening a malicious video file could lead to remote-code execution. Apps can infiltrate Qualcomm’s TrustZone kernel, which is supposed to be a secure area away from Android where things like fingerprint readers are controlled. Drivers by Qualcomm and Nvidia can be exploited by apps to gain extra privileges.
Hackers have to dodge Android’s built-in defenses to succeed, but this is not an impossible task. Never mind that, though, Google has decided to tweak the name of its monthly security patches.
“To reflect a broader focus, we renamed this bulletin (and all following in the series) to the Android Security Bulletin. These bulletins encompass a broader range of vulnerabilities that may affect Android devices, even if they do not affect Nexus devices,” the Android advisory said.

Source: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2016/05/02/android_may_patch_batch/
Submitted by: Arnfried Walbrecht

Mega May – Meg’s Cases | May Weekends | Port Boosts

From detective cases every day to weekends of bonuses, this May has it all!

International Day against DRM

253651703_5d9f260d28_oToday, May 3, is the International Day against DRM (Digital Restrictions Management).

Digital Restrictions Management is the practice of imposing technological restrictions that control what users can do with digital media. When a program is designed to prevent you from copying or sharing a song, reading an ebook on another device, or playing a single-player game without an Internet connection, you are being restricted by DRM.

In other words, DRM creates a damaged good. It prevents you from doing what would be possible without it. This concentrates control over production and distribution of media, giving DRM peddlers the power to carry out massive digital book burnings and conduct large scale surveillance over people’s media viewing habits.

If we want to avoid a future in which our devices serve as an apparatus to monitor and control our interaction with digital media, we must fight to retain control of our media and software.

Fedora-Based Sugar on a Stick Is One Sweet Desktop

The Fedora 23 Sugar on a Stick desktop offering is an unusually flexible computing desktop for children of all ages, school admins and organizations looking for the best bang for absolutely no bucks on existing computer hardware. The Sugar environment is both a desktop and a collection of activities or apps that involve user engagement. Activities automatically save results to a journal. Users can add comments and share the activity instances with other users. Many of these activities support real-time collaboration.