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KDE Frameworks 5 Now Available as a Snap for Snapping KDE Apps on Ubuntu Linux

In a recent blog post, the developer explains how he managed to bundle KDE apps as Snaps while trying to make them as smaller as possible. The size of the downloadable binary Snap and Flatpak packages, as well as AppImage or other similar technology, always appeared to have been an issue for most users.
In order for Snaps and Flatpaks to be adopted by the mass, they need to be smaller, and thanks to the hard work of Harald Sitter, there’s now a Snap version of the KDE Frameworks 5 collection of add-on libraries for Qt 5, which KDE developers are using to develop KDE applications for the Plasma 5 desktop environment.
The idea for the KDE Frameworks 5 content Snap came after Harald Sitter tried to package the KCalc calculator utility as a Snap, which had no less than 70MB in size. “This allows us to share a common core of libraries and other content across all applications, making the individual applications just as big as they need to be. KCalc is only 312 KiB without translations,” explained the developer.

Source: http://news.softpedia.com/news/kde-frameworks-5-now-available-as-a-snap-for-snapping-kde-apps-on-ubuntu-linux-510745.shtml
Submitted by: Arnfried Walbrecht

Never Ever (Ever) Download Android Apps Outside of Google Play

This week, researchers revealed that a strain of malware hit at least 1.3 million Android phones, stealing user data as part of a scheme to boost ad revenue. Called “Gooligan,” it got into those devices the way so many of these large-scale Android attacks do: through an app. Specifically, an app that people downloaded outside the comfortable confines of the Google Play Store.
For criminals, the malicious Android app business is booming. It’s easy for a hacker to dress software up to look novel, benign, or like the dopplegänger of a mainstream product, and then plant it in third-party app stores for careless browsers to find.
Though staying in Play is the safest option for now, reputable third-party stores are possible, they’re just rare, because vetting apps to ensure security requires significant investment.
That’s true today more than ever. As desktop browsing declines and more people spend time on their mobile screens, apps are an increasingly appealing and lucrative target for hackers.

Source: https://www.wired.com/2016/12/never-ever-ever-download-android-apps-outside-google-play/
Submitted by: Arnfried Walbrecht

Refracta 8.0 Is a Pint-Sized Powerhouse

Refracta is a somewhat obscure Linux distribution that offers exceptional functionality and stability.
Obscurity is not always a bad thing when it comes to Linux distros. You can find some very worthwhile alternatives to your current operating system. Refracta is a big surprise in a small package.
Many look-alike desktop distros are difficult to distinguish from run-of-the-mill garden varieties. Others offer new adopters something unique that makes using them fun and productive.
Refracta is one of the few full-service Linux distros that makes an easy and more convenient replacement for pocket Linux options such as Puppy Linux. Not all Linux distros that install to a USB drive — and have the ability to save files and system settings in a persistent mode — work equally well.
Doing just that has been the rallying point around Puppy Linux-based variants, but Puppy Linux requires adjusting to a different set of computing tools and a few less-conventional operating procedures.
Refracta is not a Puppy Linux family member, but it just works. When I run Refracta with full persistence from a USB drive, my user experience is much like running it in a virtual machine or even a full hard drive installation.
In its portable Linux option running from a USB drive, Refracta offers a far superior user experience than the Live session CD, with its limitations and slow speed. Refracta can be an ideal computing solution to place on your everyday computer, as well as carry in your pocket as a portable Linux desktop you can plug into any computer.

Source: http://www.technewsworld.com/story/84129.html
Submitted by: Arnfried Walbrecht

GNOME Software 3.22.3 Lets Users Upgrade Two Fedora Linux Versions at a Time

A new maintenance version of the GNOME Software package manager has been released on the first day of December 2016, versioned 3.22.3, for the GNOME 3.22 desktop environment.
As you might know, GNOME 3.22 got its second and last scheduled point release last month, which also brought us the GNOME Software 3.22.2 maintenance update, but it looks like some bugs needed to be fixed for the graphical package manager used by default in popular GNU/Linux distributions.
And today, we see the GNOME Software 3.22.3 update landing in the stable repositories of various Linux-based operating systems, including the recently released Fedora 25. Talking about Fedora, it appears that GNOME Software 3.22.3 makes it possible to upgrade two Fedora Linux versions at once.
Also new in the GNOME Software 3.22.3 update is a fix for a memory leak with every search request, better support for the codec search window when using the application on the Wayland session, which is now the default for Fedora 25 users, as well as a bunch of improvements for the Flatpak universal binary format support.
It also looks like the Search Results page has been greatly improved when searching packages and it should now display much better results, the spinner state handling on the Updates page was improved as well, and GNOME Software will no longer display a screenshot placeholder for add-ons that can’t have a screenshot taken.

Source: http://news.softpedia.com/news/gnome-software-3-22-3-lets-users-upgrade-two-fedora-linux-versions-at-a-time-510663.shtml
Submitted by: Arnfried Walbrecht

Cloud Chatter: November 2016

Welcome to our November edition. We begin with details on our latest partnership with Docker. Next up, we bring you a co-hosted webinar with PLUMgrid exploring how enterprises can build and manage highly scalable OpenStack clouds. We also have a number of exciting announcements with partners including Microsoft, Cloud Native Computing Forum and Open Telekom Cloud. Take a look at our top blog posts for interesting tutorials and videos. And finally, don’t miss out on our round up of industry news.

docker

A Commercial Partnership With Docker

Docker and Canonical have announced an integrated Commercially Supported (CS) Docker Engine offering on Ubuntu providing Canonical customers with a single path for support of the Ubuntu operating system and CS Docker Engine in enterprise Docker operations.

As part of this agreement Canonical will provide Level 1 and Level 2 technical support for CS DOcker Engine backed by Docker, Inc providing Level 3 support.
Learn more

Webinar: Secure, scale and simplify your OpenStack deployments

In our latest on-demand webinar, we explore how enterprises and telcos can build and manage highly scalable OpenStack clouds with BootStack, Juju and PLUMgrid. Arturo Suarez, Product Manager for BootStack at Canonical, and Justin Moore, Principal Solutions Architect, at PLUMgrid, discuss common issues users run into when running OpenStack at scale, and how to circumnavigate them using solutions such as BootStack, Juju and PLUMgrid ONS.

Watch on-demand

In Other News

Microsoft loves Linux. SQL Server Public Preview available on Ubuntu

Canonical announced that the next public release of Microsoft’s SQL Server is now available for Ubuntu. SQL Server on Ubuntu now provides freedom of choice for developers and organisations alike whether you use on premises or in the cloud. With SQL Server on Ubuntu, there are significant cost savings, performance improvements, and the ability to scale & deploy additional storage and compute resources easier without adding more hardware. Learn more

Canonical launches fully managed Kubernetes and joins the CNCF

Canonical recently joined The Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF), expanding the Canonical Distribution of Kubernetes to include consulting, integration and fully-managed on-prem and on-cloud Kubernetes services. Ubuntu leading the adoption of Linux containers, and Canonical’s definition of a new class of application and new approach to operations, are only some of the key contributions being made. Learn more

Open Telekom Cloud joins Certified Public Cloud

T-Systems, a subsidiary of Deutsche Telekom, recently launched its own Open Telekom Cloud platform, based on Huawei’s OpenStack and hardware platforms. Canonical and T-Systems have announced their partnership to provide certified Ubuntu images on all LTS versions of Ubuntu to users of their cloud services. Learn more

Top blog posts from Insights

Industry News

Ubuntu Cloud in the news

OpenStack & NFV

Containers & Storage

Big data / Machine Learning / Deep Learning

Four New Kernel Vulnerabilities Patched in All Supported Ubuntu OSes, Update Now

The company pushed patched variants of the kernel packages in Ubuntu 16.10 (Yakkety Yak), Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus), Ubuntu 14.04 LTS (Trusty Tahr), and Ubuntu 12.04 LTS (Precise Pangolin) to the stable software repositories, addressing a total of four vulnerabilities discovered recently by various hackers and security researchers.
The most common security flaw, CVE-2016-7425, was discovered by Marco Grassi in Linux kernel’s Areca RAID Controllers driver, which was not capable of properly validating control messages, thus allowing a local attacker to crash the system or gain administrative privileges. The issue affects Ubuntu 16.10, 16.04 LTS, 14.04, and 12.04 LTS.
Canonical recommends all Ubuntu Linux users to update their systems immediately. The new kernel versions are linux-image 4.8.0.28.37 for Ubuntu 16.10, linux-image 4.4.0.51.54 for Ubuntu 16.04 LTS, linux-image 3.13.0.103.111 for Ubuntu 14.04 LTS, and linux-image 3.2.0.116.132 for Ubuntu 12.04 LTS.
The HWE (Hardware Enablement) kernels for Ubuntu 14.04.5 LTS and Ubuntu 12.04.5 LTS have been updated as well, and users are urged to update their systems to linux-image 4.4.0.51.38 on Ubuntu 14.04.5 LTS, as well as linux-image 3.13.0-103.150~precise1 on Ubuntu 12.04.5 LTS.

Source: http://news.softpedia.com/news/four-new-kernel-vulnerabilities-patched-in-all-supported-ubuntu-oses-update-now-510627.shtml
Submitted by: Arnfried Walbrecht

Linux Mint 18.1 “Serena” Cinnamon – BETA Release

This is the BETA release for Linux Mint 18.1 “Serena” Cinnamon Edition.

Linux Mint 18.1 Serena Cinnamon Edition

Linux Mint 18.1 is a long term support release which will be supported until 2021. It comes with updated software and brings refinements and many new features to make your desktop even more comfortable to use.

New features:

This new version of Linux Mint contains many improvements.

For an overview of the new features please visit:

What’s new in Linux Mint 18.1 Cinnamon“.

Important info:

The release notes provide important information about known issues, as well as explanations, workarounds and solutions.

To read the release notes, please visit:

Release Notes for Linux Mint 18.1 Cinnamon

System requirements:

  • 512MB RAM (1GB recommended for a comfortable usage).
  • 9GB of disk space (20GB recommended).
  • Graphics card capable of 800×600 resolution (1024×768 recommended).
  • DVD drive or USB port.

Notes:

  • The 64-bit ISO can boot with BIOS or UEFI.
  • The 32-bit ISO can only boot with BIOS.
  • The 64-bit ISO is recommend for all modern computers (Almost all computers sold in the last 10 years are equipped with 64-bit processors).

Upgrade instructions:

  • This BETA release might contain critical bugs, please only use it for testing purposes and to help the Linux Mint team fix issues prior to the stable release.
  • It will be possible to upgrade from this BETA to the stable release.
  • It will also be possible to upgrade from Linux Mint 18. Upgrade instructions will be published next month after the stable release of Linux Mint 18.1.

Bug reports:

  • Please report bugs below in the comment section of this blog.
  • When reporting bugs, please be as accurate as possible and include any information that might help developers reproduce the issue or understand the cause of the issue:
    • Bugs we can reproduce, or which cause we understand are usually fixed very easily.
    • It is important to mention whether a bug happens “always”, or “sometimes”, and what triggers it.
    • If a bug happens but didn’t happen before, or doesn’t happen in another distribution, or doesn’t happen in a different environment, please mention it and try to pinpoint the differences at play.
    • If we can’t reproduce a particular bug and we don’t understand its cause, it’s unlikely we’ll be able to fix it.
  • Please visit https://github.com/linuxmint/Roadmap to follow the progress of the development team between the BETA and the stable release.

Download links:

Here are the download links for the 64-bit ISO:

A 32-bit ISO image is also available at https://www.linuxmint.com/download_all.php.

Integrity and authenticity checks:

Once you have downloaded an image, please verify its integrity and authenticity.

Anyone can produce fake ISO images, it is your responsibility to check you are downloading the official ones.

Enjoy!

We look forward to receiving your feedback. Many thanks in advance for testing the BETA!

Linux Mint 18.1 “Serena” MATE – BETA Release

This is the BETA release for Linux Mint 18.1 “Serena” MATE Edition.

Linux Mint 18.1 Serena MATE Edition

Linux Mint 18.1 is a long term support release which will be supported until 2021. It comes with updated software and brings refinements and many new features to make your desktop even more comfortable to use.

New features:

This new version of Linux Mint contains many improvements.

For an overview of the new features please visit:

What’s new in Linux Mint 18.1 MATE“.

Important info:

The release notes provide important information about known issues, as well as explanations, workarounds and solutions.

To read the release notes, please visit:

Release Notes for Linux Mint 18.1 MATE

System requirements:

  • 512MB RAM (1GB recommended for a comfortable usage).
  • 9GB of disk space (20GB recommended).
  • Graphics card capable of 800×600 resolution (1024×768 recommended).
  • DVD drive or USB port.

Notes:

  • The 64-bit ISO can boot with BIOS or UEFI.
  • The 32-bit ISO can only boot with BIOS.
  • The 64-bit ISO is recommend for all modern computers (Almost all computers sold in the last 10 years are equipped with 64-bit processors).

Upgrade instructions:

  • This BETA release might contain critical bugs, please only use it for testing purposes and to help the Linux Mint team fix issues prior to the stable release.
  • It will be possible to upgrade from this BETA to the stable release.
  • It will also be possible to upgrade from Linux Mint 18. Upgrade instructions will be published next month after the stable release of Linux Mint 18.1.

Bug reports:

  • Please report bugs below in the comment section of this blog.
  • When reporting bugs, please be as accurate as possible and include any information that might help developers reproduce the issue or understand the cause of the issue:
    • Bugs we can reproduce, or which cause we understand are usually fixed very easily.
    • It is important to mention whether a bug happens “always”, or “sometimes”, and what triggers it.
    • If a bug happens but didn’t happen before, or doesn’t happen in another distribution, or doesn’t happen in a different environment, please mention it and try to pinpoint the differences at play.
    • If we can’t reproduce a particular bug and we don’t understand its cause, it’s unlikely we’ll be able to fix it.
  • Please visit https://github.com/linuxmint/Roadmap to follow the progress of the development team between the BETA and the stable release.

Download links:

Here are the download links for the 64-bit ISO:

A 32-bit ISO image is also available at https://www.linuxmint.com/download_all.php.

Integrity and authenticity checks:

Once you have downloaded an image, please verify its integrity and authenticity.

Anyone can produce fake ISO images, it is your responsibility to check you are downloading the official ones.

Enjoy!

We look forward to receiving your feedback. Many thanks in advance for testing the BETA!

Canonical’s Distribution of Kubernetes Reduces Operational Friction

Linux containers (LXC) are one of the hottest technologies in the market today. Developers are adopting containers, especially Docker, as a way to speed-up development cycles and deliver code into testing or production environments much faster than traditional methods. With the largest base of LXC, LXD, and Docker users, Ubuntu has long been the platform of choice for developers driving innovation with containers and is widely used to run infrastructure like Kubernetes as a result. Due to customer demand, Canonical recently announced a partnership with Google to deliver the Canonical Distribution of Kubernetes.


Marco Ceppi, Engineering Manager at Canonical, tells our container story at KubeCon 2016

Explaining Containers and Canonical’s Distribution of Kubernetes

First, a bit of background, containers offer an alternative to traditional virtualization. Containers allow organizations to virtually run multiple Linux systems on a single kernel without the need for a hypervisor. One of the most promising features of containers is the ability to put more applications onto a physical server than you could with a virtual machine. There are two types of containers – machine and process.

Machine containers (sometimes called OS containers) allow developers/organizations to configure, install, and run applications, multiple processes, or libraries within a single container. They create an environment where companies can manage distributed software solutions across various environments, operating systems, and configurations. Machine containers are largely used by organizations to “lift-and-shift” legacy applications from on-premise to the cloud. Whereas process containers (sometimes called application containers) share the same kernel host, they can only run a single process or command. Process containers are especially valuable for creating microservices or API functions calls that are fast, efficient, and optimized. Process containers also allow developers to deploy services and solutions more efficiently and on time without having to deploy virtual machines.

Ubuntu is the container OS (operating system) used by a majority of Docker developers and deployments worldwide, and Kubernetes is the leader in coordinating process containers across a cluster, enabling high-efficiency DevOps, horizontal scaling, and support for 12-factor apps. Our Distribution of Kubernetes allows organizations to manage and monitor their containers across all major public clouds, and within private infrastructures. Kubernetes is effectively the air traffic controller for managing how containers are deployed.

Even as the cost of software has declined, the cost to operate today’s complex and distributed solutions have increased as many companies have found themselves managing these systems in a vacuum. Even for experts, deploying, and operating containers and Kubernetes at scale can be a daunting task. However, by deploying Ubuntu, Juju for software modeling, and Canonical’s Kubernetes distribution helps organizations to make deployment simple. Further, we have certified our distribution of Kubernetes to work with most major public clouds as well as on-premise infrastructure like VMware or Metal as a Service (MaaS) solutions thereby eliminating many of the integration and deployment headaches.

A new approach to IT operations

Containers are only part of the major change in the way we think about software. Organisations are facing fundamental limits in their ability to manage escalating complexity, and Canonical’s focus on operations has proven successful in enabling cost-effective scale-out infrastructure. Canonical’s approach dramatically increases the ability of IT operations teams to run ever more complex and large scale systems.

Leading open source projects like MAAS, LXD, and Juju help enterprises to operate in a hybrid cloud world. Kubernetes extends the diversity of applications which can now be operated efficiently on any infrastructure.

Moving to Ubuntu and to containers enables an organization to reduce overhead and improve operational efficiency. Canonical’s mission is to help companies to operate software on their public and private infrastructure, bringing Netflix-style efficiency to the enterprise market.

Canonical views containers as one of the key technologies IT and DevOps organizations will use as they work to become more cost effective and based in the cloud. Forward-looking enterprises are moving from proof of concepts (POCs) to actual production deployments, and the window for competitive advantage is closing.

For more information on how we can help with education, consulting, and our fully-managed or on cloud Kubernetes services, check out the Canonical Distribution of Kubernetes.

Canonical offers direct Docker support to Ubuntu users

Enterprise Ubuntu users running Docker in production now have a new source for Docker support: from Canonical.
Canonical and Docker announced joint support for the commercial edition of Docker Engine on Ubuntu. The pair also will provide updates for Docker on Ubuntu through an application delivery system Canonical originally devised.
This isn’t first time Docker has partnered with an enterprise vendor to offer support. HP Enterprise, for example, includes support with its Docker-ready hardware and software products, and Microsoft offers the same as part of the out-of-the-box enterprise experience for the new version of Windows Server.
David Messina, SVP Product and Corporate Marketing of Docker, cited a “large, positive overlap of enterprise users that use Ubuntu [and] that use Docker” as a key motive. “We see a significant install base of Ubuntu users using Docker, and we collectively thought this was a great relationship, but not the only one of its kind.”
Docker and Canonical also allow customers the choice of whichever support channel they’re most comfortable with. If a company already has a relationship with Docker, it can use that. If it’s already a Canonical customer, it can employ its existing Canonical service contract.

Source: http://www.infoworld.com/article/3146044/application-development/canonical-offers-direct-docker-support-to-ubuntu-users.html
Submitted by: Arnfried Walbrecht