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Oli Warner: Two years without nicotine

Planet Ubuntu - Fri, 2014-07-18 07:47

So it's that time of year again, it's my ex-smoker-versary. Okay I'll come up with a better name for next year but for now you'll have to make do with my reflection on smoking and why it's really not that hard to quit, as well as a few silly numbers.

Thirty-six-score-and-ten days ago I stopped smoking.

  • I stopped picking them up.
  • I stopped buying them.
  • I stopped doing things that made me want to smoke.
  • I stopped cold turkey. No NRT, no e-cigs.

I just stopped and braced for the worst.
And I was expecting the worst.

It took me quitting to realise that it was probably that fear of unworldly cravings that kept me smoking for 10 years. When I got to 4 weeks without any nicotine I realised hadn't been that bad at all... Anything that says otherwise is probably either trying to keep you smoking or is trying to sell you something to do instead.

Quitting is easy, just stop smoking and you'll realise that

And this isn't a silly confidence trick. I'm not going to get all happy-clappy and woosah about this. Just stop smoking and you'll see that after a week you won't physically crave (the worst bit), after two or three you stop thinking about them, and after four weeks you're awesome...

Just don't start smoking again. A sober, smoke-free mind is jubilant you're not smoking, and under its sole influence you'll do anything to avoid clouds of smoke... But have a couple of drinks and you can very quickly find yourself drifting intimately close to smokers.

I've also heard from more than a couple of people who "tried to quit" but were still surrounded by cigarettes. Quitting does take willpower and few have enough to resist that "emergency packet" especially in the first couple of weeks. Chuck them all, avoid your triggers and make it easy on yourself.

You have to be vigilant. And consistent.
One cigarette is the end of the world. No, you cannot have a cigar.

Two years smoke-free in numbers

Now onto the fun stuff. There's a silly little tray application called QuitCount in the Ubuntu repos that I set up when I quit. It just keeps track of the number of days, an accumulated number of cigarettes (based on my rate of ~13 a day) and works out how much that would cost, as well as using some formula to work out how much less dead I'm going to be.

  • 9490 cigarettes have gone un-smoked
  • 94.9g of tar not in my lungs
  • An extra £3368.95 cluttering up my bank account (I wish), which is good because I also get:
  • An extra 66 days cluttering up the planet.

And I wasn't a heavy smoker. If you're on 20 or 40 a day, those numbers could be a whole lot higher if you quit today.

Photo credit: mendhak

Duncan McGreggor: Interview with Erlang Co-Creators

Planet Ubuntu - Fri, 2014-07-18 05:49
A few weeks back -- the week of the PyCon sprints, in fact -- was the San Francisco Erlang conference. This was a small conference (I haven't been to one so small since PyCon was at GW in the early 2000s), and absolutely charming as a result. There were some really nifty talks and a lot of fantastic hallway and ballroom conversations... not to mention Robert Virding's very sweet Raspberry Pi Erlang-powered wall-sensing Lego robot.

My first Erlang Factory, the event lasted for two fun-filled days and culminated with a stroll in the evening sun of San Francisco down to the Rackspace office where we held a Meetup mini-conference (beer, food, and three more talks). Conversations lasted until well after 10pm with the remaining die-hards making a trek through the nighttime streets SOMA and the Financial District back to their respective abodes.

Before the close of the conference, however, we managed to sneak a ride (4 of us in a Mustang) to Scoble's studio and conduct an interview with Joe Armstrong and Robert Virding. We covered some of the basics in order to provide a gentle overview for folks who may not have been exposed to Erlang yet and are curious about what it has to offer our growing multi-core world. This wend up on the Rackspace blog as well as the Building 43 site (also on YouTube). We've got a couple of teams using Erlang in Rackspace; if you're interested, be sure to email Steve Pestorich and ask him what's available!


The Fridge: Ubuntu 13.10 (Saucy Salamander) End of Life reached on July 17 2014

Planet Ubuntu - Thu, 2014-07-17 21:10

This is a follow-up to the End of Life warning sent last month to confirm that as of today (July 17, 2014), Ubuntu 13.10 is no longer supported. No more package updates will be accepted to 13.10, and it will be archived to old-releases.ubuntu.com in the coming weeks.

The original End of Life warning follows, with upgrade instructions:

Ubuntu announced its 13.10 (Saucy Salamander) release almost 9 months ago, on October 17, 2013. This was the second release with our new 9 month support cycle and, as such, the support period is now nearing its end and Ubuntu 13.10 will reach end of life on Thursday, July 17th. At that time, Ubuntu Security Notices will no longer include information or updated packages for Ubuntu 13.10.

The supported upgrade path from Ubuntu 13.10 is via Ubuntu 14.04 LTS. Instructions and caveats for the upgrade may be found at:

https://help.ubuntu.com/community/TrustyUpgrades

Ubuntu 14.04 LTS continues to be actively supported with security updates and select high-impact bug fixes. Announcements of security updates for Ubuntu releases are sent to the ubuntu-security-announce mailing list, information about which may be found at:

https://lists.ubuntu.com/mailman/listinfo/ubuntu-security-announce

Since its launch in October 2004 Ubuntu has become one of the most highly regarded Linux distributions with millions of users in homes, schools, businesses and governments around the world. Ubuntu is Open Source software, costs nothing to download, and users are free to customise or alter their software in order to meet their needs.

Originally posted to the ubuntu-announce mailing list on Thu Jul 17 16:19:36 UTC 2014 by Adam Conrad

Ubuntu Podcast from the UK LoCo: S07E16 – The One with the Race Car Bed

Planet Ubuntu - Thu, 2014-07-17 20:33

We’re back with Season Seven, Episode Sixteen of the Ubuntu Podcast! Alan Pope, Mark Johnson, Tony Whitmore, and Laura Cowen are drinking tea and eating Battenberg cake in Studio L.

 Download OGG  Download MP3 Play in Popup

In this week’s show:

  • We interview David Hermann about his MiracleCast project…

  • We also discuss:

    • Getting a dashcam
    • Going to Bruges
    • Reading a Stephen King book (Pet Sematary) for the first time…
    • And something that we’ll never know now…
  • We share some Command Line Lurve: YouTube-Upload to upload videos to YouTube from the command line:

$ youtube-upload --email=myemail@gmail.com --password=mypassword --title="A.S. Mutter" --description="$(< description.txt)" --category=Music --keywords="mutter, beethoven" anne_sophie_mutter.flv
  • And we read your feedback, including:

    • Simon’s link to Seafile
    • ”’full screen cast email here when we have permission”’

    Thanks for sending it in!

We’ll be back next week, so please send your comments and suggestions to: podcast@ubuntu-uk.org
Join us on IRC in #uupc on Freenode
Leave a voicemail via phone: +44 (0) 203 298 1600, sip: podcast@sip.ubuntu-uk.org and skype: ubuntuukpodcast
Follow us on Twitter
Find our Facebook Fan Page
Follow us on Google+

Jonathan Riddell: Barcelona Plasma and KDE Frameworks 5.0 Release party

Planet Ubuntu - Thu, 2014-07-17 18:29
KDE Project:

Barcelona Free Software Users & Hackers are having a Barcelona Free Software Users & Hackers mañana, see you there!

Sergio Meneses: Ubucon LatinAmerica Speakers! #1

Planet Ubuntu - Thu, 2014-07-17 17:58

Ubucon LatinAmerica speakers list is here! This is the first post about our Speakers.

1- Bhavani Shankar

He is coming from India, he has an amazing background as Ubuntu Developer and member of the Ubuntu Loco Council.

He will talk about “Ubuntu Developing for Dummies” Esp:”Desarrollo de Ubuntu para dummies”. We will learn about all the components of Ubuntu, coding and making own our software and much more!

You can find more information about him in his wikipage: https://wiki.ubuntu.com/BhavaniShankar
Information in Spanish: http://ubuntu-co.com/node/3233

2- Marcos Alvarez Costales

He is Linux Developer and Works with Ubuntu Spain Community, founder and developer of Gufw ( http://gufw.org/ ) , Pylang, Folder Color and the Weapp for Telegram.

His conferences will be about Linux Security and how to create your own WebAppps in Ubuntu.

You can find more information about him in his wikipage: https://wiki.ubuntu.com/costales
Information in Spanish: http://ubuntu-co.com/node/3230

3- Fernando Lanero

Teacher, administrator of http://ubuntuleon.com , worked with migrations in education centers to Ubuntu. His talk called “Linux is Education, Linux is Science” , Spanish: “Linux es Educación, Linux es Ciencia”

Information in Spanish: http://ubuntu-co.com/node/3231

4- Fernando García Amen

Information in Spanish: http://ubuntu-co.com/node/3231

5- Darwin Proaño Orellana

IT engineer from Universidad del Azuay and President of CloudIT Ecuador, his talks will be about “freee-clouds” and “How to migrate from Windows in a safety mode”

As you know the Ubucon LatinAmerica will be on August 14th until 16th.

You can find all the information about the UbuconLA in our website or the wikipage.


Lubuntu Blog: Lubuntu 13.10 support ends today

Planet Ubuntu - Thu, 2014-07-17 15:55
The official support for the Saucy Salamader ends today, 17 July. Canonical recommends upgrade your older Ubuntu versions, and so do we, for the official Lubuntu flavour. Instructions about the upgrade process can be found here. Get yourself into the Trusty wagon and re-start with an improved and more stable environment.

Vincent Untz: Stepping down as openSUSE Board Chairman

Planet Ubuntu - Thu, 2014-07-17 14:40

Two years ago, I got appointed as chairman of the openSUSE Board. I was very excited about this opportunity, especially as it allowed me to keep contributing to openSUSE, after having moved to work on the cloud a few months before. I remember how I wanted to find new ways to participate in the project, and this was just a fantastic match for this. I had been on the GNOME Foundation board for a long time, so I knew it would not be easy and always fun, but I also knew I would pretty much enjoy it. And I did.

Fast-forward to today: I'm still deeply caring about the project and I'm still excited about what we do in the openSUSE board. However, some happy event to come in a couple of months means that I'll have much less time to dedicate to openSUSE (and other projects). Therefore I decided a couple of months ago that I would step down before the end of the summer, after we'd have prepared the plan for the transition. Not an easy decision, but the right one, I feel.

And here we are now, with the official news out: I'm no longer the chairman :-) (See also this thread) Of course I'll still stay around and contribute to openSUSE, no worry about that! But as mentioned above, I'll have less time for that as offline life will be more "busy".

openSUSE Board Chairman at oSC14

Since I mentioned that we were working on a transition... First, knowing the current board, I have no doubt everything will be kept pushed in the right direction. But on top of that, my good friend Richard Brown has been appointed as the new chairman. Richard knows the project pretty well and he has been on the board for some time now, so is aware of everything that's going on. I've been able to watch his passion for the project, and that's why I'm 100% confident that he will rock!

Jonathan Riddell: Plasma 5.1 Kickoff

Planet Ubuntu - Thu, 2014-07-17 14:08
KDE Project:

We had a fun two hour meeting in #plasma yesterday to decide on the tasks for the next release. It's due out in October and there's plenty of missing features that need to be added before Plasma 5 is ready for the non-geek.

Previously Plasma has used wiki lists to manage the Todo list but this is very old-school and clunky to manage. Luckily Ben the KDE Sysadmin has just finished saving some children from a burning building before he swooped in and set up
todo.kde.org just in time for us to add some 30 Todo items.

There will also be a meeting next week to discuss Wayland action items, come along if you want to help Martin shape the future.


Plasma 5.1 Todo list

Meanwhile former tabloid rag turned bastian of quality journalism OMGUbuntu said
KDE Plasma 5 Arrives with Fresh New Look, True Convergence
. More nice comments: "I tested the neon iso yesterday and it looks absolutely stunning!".

I'd like to thank Scarlett for putting in loads of hours perfecting the KF5 and Plasma 5 packages and now Rohan is tidying KF5 up and uploading to the Ubuntu archive.

Jono Bacon: Community Leadership Summit and OSCON Plans

Planet Ubuntu - Thu, 2014-07-17 00:44

As many of you will know, I organize an event every year called the Community Leadership Summit. The event brings together community leaders, organizers and managers and the projects and organizations that are interested in growing and empowering a strong community.

The event kicks off this week on Thursday evening (17th July) with a pre-CLS gathering at the Doubletree Hotel at 7.30pm, and then we get started with the main event on Friday (18th July) and Saturday (19th July). For more details, see http://www.communityleadershipsummit.com/.

This year’s event is shaping up to be incredible. We have a fantastic list of registered attendees and I want to thank our sponsors, O’Reilly, Citrix, Oracle, Mozilla, Ubuntu, and LinuxFund.

Also, be sure to join the new Community Leadership Forum for discussing topics that relate to community management, as well as topics for discussion at the Community Leadership Summit event each year. The forum is designed to be a great place for sharing and learning tips and techniques, getting to know other community leaders, and having fun.

The forum is powered by Discourse, so it is a pleasure to use, and I want to thank discoursehosting.com for generously providing free hosting for us.

Speaking Events and Training at OSCON

I also have a busy OSCON schedule. Here is the summary:

Community Management Training

On Monday 21st July from 9am – 6pm in D135 I will be providing a full day of community management training at OSCON. This full day of training will include topics such as

  • The Core Mechanics Of Community
  • Planning Your Community
  • Building a Strategic Plan
  • Building Collaborative Workflow
  • Defining Community Governance
  • Marketing, Advocacy, Promotion, and Social Media
  • Measuring Your Community
  • Tracking and Measuring Community Management
  • Conflict Resolution
Dealing With Disrespect

On Tues 22nd July at 10.40am in Expo Hall A I will be providing an Office Hours Meeting in which you can come and ask me about:

  • Building collaborative workflow and tooling
  • Conflict resolution and managing complex personalities
  • Building buzz and excitement around your community
  • Incentivized prizes and innovation
  • Hiring community managers
  • Anything else!
Office Hours

Finally, on Wed 23rd July at 2.30pm in E144 I will be giving a presentation called Dealing With Disrespect that is based upon my free book of the same name for managing complex communications.

This is the summary of the talk:

In this new presentation from Jono Bacon, author of The Art of Community, founder of the Community Leadership Summit, and Ubuntu Community Manager, he discusses how to process, interpret, and manage rude, disrespectful, and non-constructive feedback in communities so the constructive criticism gets through but the hate doesn’t.

The presentation covers the three different categories of communications, how we evaluate and assess different attributes in each communication, the factors that influence all of our communications, and how to put in place a set of golden rules for handling feedback and putting it in perspective.

If you personally or your community has suffered rudeness, trolling, and disrespect, this presentation is designed to help.

I will also be available for discussions and meetings. Just drop me an email at jono@jonobacon.org if you want to meet.

I hope to see many of you in Portland this week!

Nicholas Skaggs: A new test runner approaches

Planet Ubuntu - Wed, 2014-07-16 22:10
The problem
How acceptance tests are packaged and run has morphed over time. When autopilot was originally conceived the largest user was the unity project and debian packaging was the norm. Now that autopilot has moved well beyond that simple view to support many types of applications running across different form factors, it was time to address the issue of how to run and package these high-level tests.

While helping develop testsuites for the core apps targeting ubuntu touch, it became increasingly difficult for developers to run their application's testsuites. This gave rise to further integration points inside qtcreator, enhancements to click and its manifest files, and tools like the phablet-tools suite and click-buddy. All of these tools operate well within the confines they are intended, but none truly meets the needs for test provisioning and execution.

A solution?
With these thoughts in mind I opened the floor for discussion a couple months ago detailing the need for a proper tool that could meet all of my needs, as well as those of the application developer, test author and CI folks. In a nutshell, a workflow to setup a device as well as properly manage dependencies and resolve them was needed.

Autopkg tests all the things
I'm happy to report that as of a couple weeks ago such a tool now exists in autopkgtest. If the name sounds familar, that's because it is. Autopkgtest already runs all of our automated testing at the archive level. New package uploads are tested utilizing its toolset.

So what does this mean? Utilizing the format laid out by autopkgtest, you can now run your autopilot testsuite on a phablet device in a sane manner. If you have test dependencies, they can be defined and added to the click manifest as specified. If you don't have any test dependencies, then you can run your testsuite today without any modifications to the click manifest.

Yes, but what does this really mean?
This means you can now run a testsuite with adt-run in a similar manner to how debian packages are tested. The runner will setup the device, copy the tests, resolve any dependencies, run them, and report the results back to you.

Some disclaimers
Support for running tests this way is still new. If you do find a bug, please file it!

To use the tool first install autopkgtest. If you are running trusty, the version in the archive is old. For now download the utopic deb file and install it manually. A proper backport still needs to be done.

Also as of this writing, I must caution you that you may run into this bug. If the application fails to download dependencies (you see 404 errors during setup), update your device to the latest image and try again. Note, the latest devel image might be too old if a new image hasn't been promoted in a long time.

I want to see it!
Go ahead, give it a whirl with the calendar application (or your favorite core app). Plug in a device, then run the following on your pc.

bzr branch lp:ubuntu-calendar-app
adt-run ubuntu-calendar-app --click=com.ubuntu.calendar --- ssh -s /usr/share/autopkgtest/ssh-setup/adb

Autopkgtest will give you some output along the way about what is happening. The tests will be copied, and since --click= was specified, the runner will use the click from the device, install the click in our temporary environment, and read the click manifest file for dependencies and install those too. Finally, the tests will be executed with the results returned to you.

Feedback please!
Please try running your autopilot testsuites this way and give feedback! Feel free to contact myself, the upstream authors (thanks Martin Pitt for adding support for this!), or simply file a bug. If you run into trouble, utilize the -d and the --shell switches to get more insight into what is happening while running.

Kubuntu Wire: Plasma 5 in the News

Planet Ubuntu - Wed, 2014-07-16 15:14

Plasma 5 was released yesterday and the internet is ablaze with praise and delight at the results.

Slashdot just posted their story KDE Releases Plasma 5 and the first comment is “Thank our KDE developers for their hard work. I’m really impressed by KDE and have used it a lot over the years.“  You’re welcome Slashdot reader.

They point to themukt’s Details Review of Plasma 5 which rightly says “Don’t be fooled, a lot of work goes down there“.

The science fictional name reflects the futuristic technology which is already ahead of its time (companies like Apple, Microsoft, Google and Canonical are using ideas conceptualized or developed by the KDE community).

With the release of Plasma 5, the community has once again shown that free software code developed without any dictator or president or prime-minister or chancellor can be one of the best software code.

LWN has a short story on KDE Plasma 5.0 which is as usual the place to go for detailed comments including several from KDE developers.

ZDNet’s article KDE Plasma 5 Linux desktop arrives says “I found this new KDE Plasma 5 to be a good, solid desktop” and concludes “I expect most, if not all, KDE users to really enjoy this new release. Have fun!” And indeed we do have lots of fun.

And Techage gets nonenculture wrong in KDE 5 is Here: Introducing a Cleaner Frontend & An Overhauled Backend and says “On behalf of KDE fans everywhere, thank you, KDE dev team” aah, it’s nice to be thanked

Web UPD8 has How To Install KDE Plasma 5 In Kubuntu 14.10 Or 14.04 a useful guide to setting it up which even covers removing it when you want to go back to the old stuff.  Give it a try!

 

Jorge Castro: Brightbox now offering official Ubuntu images

Planet Ubuntu - Wed, 2014-07-16 14:57

Today we announced that Brightbox has joined the Ubuntu Certified Cloud programme, and is our first European Cloud Partner.

If you’re wondering where have you heard the name Brightbox before, it might be because they contribute updated Ruby packages for all Ubuntu users.

Official images that stay up to day, updated Ruby stacks for developers, it’s pretty much win-win for Ubuntu users!

Raphaël Hertzog: Spotify migrate 5000 servers from Debian to Ubuntu

Planet Ubuntu - Wed, 2014-07-16 08:07

Or yet another reason why it’s really important that we succeed with Debian LTS. Last year we heard of Dreamhost switching to Ubuntu because they can maintain a stable Ubuntu release for longer than a Debian stable release (and this despite the fact that Ubuntu only supports software in its main section, which misses a lot of popular software).

A few days ago, we just learned that Spotify took a similar decision:

A while back we decided to move onto Ubuntu for our backend server deployment. The main reasons for this was a predictable release cycle and long term support by upstream (this decision was made before the announcement that the Debian project commits to long term support as well.) With the release of the Ubuntu 14.04 LTS we are now in the process of migrating our ~5000 servers to that distribution.

This is just a supplementary proof that we have to provide long term support for Debian releases if we want to stay relevant in big deployments.

But the task is daunting and it’s difficult to find volunteers to do the job. That’s why I believe that our best answer is to get companies to contribute financially to Debian LTS.

We managed to convince a handful of companies already and July is the first month where paid contributors have joined the effort for a modest participation of 21 work hours (watch out for Thorsten Alteholz and Holger Levsen on debian-lts and debian-lts-announce). But we need to multiply this figure by 5 or 6 at least to make a correct work of maintaining Debian 6.

So grab the subscription form and have a chat with your management. It’s time to convince your company to join the initiative. Don’t hesitate to get in touch if you have questions or if you prefer that I contact a representative of your company. Thank you!

No comment | Liked this article? Click here. | My blog is Flattr-enabled.

Jonathan Riddell: Plasma 5 is Here! All Ready to Eat Your Babies

Planet Ubuntu - Tue, 2014-07-15 20:32
KDE Project:

A year and a half ago Qt 5 was released giving KDE the opportunity and excuse to do the sort of tidying up that software always needs every few years. We decided that, like Qt, we weren't going for major rewrites of the world as we did for KDE 4. Rather we'd modularise, update and simplify. Last week I clicked the publish button on the story for KDE Frameworks 5, the refresh of kdelibs. Interesting for developers. Today I clicked the publish button on the story of the first major piece of software to use KDE Frameworks, Plasma 5.

Plasma is KDE's desktop. It's also the tablet interface and media centre but those ports are still a work in progress. The basic layout of the desktop hasn't changed, we know you don't want to switch to a new workflow for no good reason. But it is cleaner and more slick. It's also got plenty of bugs in it, this release won't be the default in Kubuntu, but we will make a separate image for you to try it out. We're not putting it in the Ubuntu archive yet for the same reason but you can try it out if you are brave.

Three options to try it out:

1) On Kubuntu, Project Neon is available as PPAs which offers frequently updated development snapshots of KDE Frameworks. Packages will be installed to /opt/project-neon5 and will co-install with your normal environment and installs to 14.04.

sudo apt-add-repository ppa:neon/kf5 apt update apt install project-neon5-session project-neon5-utils project-neon5-konsole

Log out and in again
2) Releases of KDE Frameworks 5 and Plasma 5 are being packaged in the next PPA. These will replace your Plasma 4 install and installs to Utopic development version.

sudo apt-add-repository ppa:kubuntu-ppa/next sudo apt-add-repository ppa:ci-train-ppa-service/landing-005 apt update apt install kubuntu-plasma5-desktop apt full-upgrade

Log out and in again
3) Finally the Neon 5 Live image, updated every Friday with latest source from Git to run a full system from a USB disk.

Good luck! let us know how you get on using #PlasmaByKDE on Twitter or posting to Kubuntu's G+ or Facebook pages.

Sebastian K&uuml;gler: Plasma 5 Ingredients

Planet Ubuntu - Tue, 2014-07-15 12:54

Plasma 5.0 is out. I’ve compiled a (non-exhaustive) list of ingredients and that have been put into this release to give the reader an estimate of the dimensions of the project and the achievement of this milestone:

  • 46 kilo of espresso (pure arabica)
  • The milk of 3 cows
  • a Swiss mountain of chocolate
  • 140 sleepless nights mulling over code
  • 354 liters of pressurized air breathed during scuba dives
  • One encounter with a Mantis shrimp
  • The total length of 43 bathtubs full of tiger tails fixed in pixel-alignment problems
  • 817 hours spent in front of webcams
  • 189MB of irc lines written (compressed)
  • 80.000 automated builds to keep us in check
  • 2403 bugs in the code that had to die
  • A swimming-pool full of tears cried over graphics driver problems and crashers buried deep down in scripting engines, scenegraphs and (the pool allegedly was previously used for skateboarding by Greg KH)
  • 5 magic wands
  • 800 million pixels
  • 37843200000 frames rendered
  • Too many puppies
  • 7 virtual goats sacrificed during a total of 28 full moon ceremonies
  • 450 ml of holy water
  • 76 rock bands
  • 119 beats per minute
  • 8 bits alpha channels
  • 52 WTFs
  • The equivalent of 3 dead trees in recycled paper
  • 2 small branches of cederwood for pencils
  • 1 box of crayons

Nothing like entirely made-up statistics.

tl;dr:

Plasma == ♥

… but also some really hard work, made possible by the sacrifices (see above) of many great people.

Lubuntu Blog: Box support for MATE

Planet Ubuntu - Mon, 2014-07-14 23:47
The Box theme support continues growing, covering more and more environments. Now we're celebrating that the MATE desktop environment, a GTK3 fork of the traditional Gnome2, will have its own Ubuntu flavour, named Ubuntu MATE Remix. Once tested, I noticed I missed something familiar, our beloved Lubuntu spirit on it. So here begins the (experimental) theme support. It'll be available to download

Nicholas Skaggs: Utopic Test Writing Hackfest

Planet Ubuntu - Mon, 2014-07-14 18:09
We're having our first hackfest of the utopic cycle this week on Tuesday, July 15th. You can catch us live in a hangout on ubuntuonair.com starting at 1900 UTC. Everything you need to know can be found on the wiki page for the event.

During the hangout, we'll be demonstrating writing a new manual testcase, as well as reviewing writing automated testcases. We'll be answering any questions you have as well about contributing a testcase.

We need your help to write some new testcases! We're targeting both manual and automated testcase, so everyone is welcome to pitch in.

We are looking at writing and finishing some testcases for ubuntu studio and some other flavors. All you need is some basic tester knowledge and the ability to write in English.

If you know python, we are also going to be hacking on the toolkit helper for autopilot for the ubuntu sdk. That's a mouthful! Specifically it's the helpers that we use for writing autopilot tests against ubuntu-sdk applications. All app developers make use of these helpers, and we need more of them to ensure we have good coverage for all components developers use. 

Don't worry about getting stuck, we'll be around to help, and there's guides to well, guide you!

Hope to see everyone there!

Ubuntu App Developer Blog: Content Hub to replace Friends API

Planet Ubuntu - Mon, 2014-07-14 16:52

As part of the continued development of the Ubuntu platform, the Content Hub has gained the ability to share links (and soon text) as a content type, just as it has been able to share images and other file-based content in the past. This allows applications to more easily, and more consistently, share things to a user’s social media accounts.

Consolidating APIs


Thanks to the collaborative work going on between the Content Hub and the Ubuntu Webapps developers, it is now possible for remote websites to be packaged with local user scripts that provide deep integration with our platform services. One of the first to take advantage of this is the Facebook webapp, which while displaying remote content via a web browser wrapper, is also a Content Hub importer. This means that when you go to share an image from the Gallery app, the Facebook webapp is displayed as an optional sharing target for that image. If you select it, it will use the Facebook web interface to upload that image to your timeline, without having to go through the separate Friends API.

This work not only brings the social sharing user experience inline with the rest of the system’s content sharing experience, it also provide a much simpler API for application developers to use for accomplishing the same thing. As a result, the Friends API is being deprecated in favor of the new Content Hub functionality.

What it means for App Devs

Because this is an API change, there are things that you as an app developer need to be aware of. First, though the API is being deprecated immediately, it is not being removed from the device images until after the release of 14.10, which will continue to support the ubuntu-sdk-14.04 framework which included the Friends API. The API will not be included in the final ubuntu-sdk-14.10 framework, or any new 14.10-dev frameworks after -dev2.

After the 14.10 release in October, when device images start to build for utopic+1, the ubuntu-sdk-14.04 framework will no longer be on the images. So if you haven’t updated your Click package by then to use the ubuntu-sdk-14.10 framework, it won’t be available to install on devices with the new image. If you are not using the Friends API, this would simply be a matter of changing your package metadata to the new framework version.  For new apps, it will default to the newer version to begin with, so you shouldn’t have to do anything.

David Tomaschik: Passing Android Traffic through Burp

Planet Ubuntu - Sun, 2014-07-13 20:57

I wanted to take a look at all HTTP(S) traffic coming from an Android device, even if applications made direct connections without a proxy, so I set up a transparent Burp proxy. I decided to put the Proxy on my Kali VM on my laptop, but didn't want to run an AP on there, so I needed to get the traffic to there.

Network Setup

The diagram shows that my wireless lab is on a separate subnet from the rest of my network, including my laptop. The lab network is a NAT run by IPTables on the Virtual Router. While I certainly could've ARP poisoned the connection between the Internet Router and the Virtual Router, or even added a static route, I wanted a cleaner solution that would be easier to enable/disable.

Setting up the Redirect

I decided to use IPTables on the virtual router to redirect the traffic to my Kali Laptop. Furthermore, I decided to enable/disable the redirect based on logging in/out via SSH, but I needed to make sure the redirect would get torn down even if there's not a clean logout: i.e., the VM crashes, the SSH connection gets interrupted, etc. Enter pam_exec. By using the pam_exec module, we can have an arbitrary command run on log in/out, which can setup and reset the IPTables REDIRECT via an SSH tunnel to my Burp Proxy.

In order to get the command executed on any login/logout, I added the following line to /etc/pam.d/common-session:

session optional pam_exec.so log=/var/log/burp.log /opt/burp.sh

This launches the following script, that checks if its being invoked for the right user, for SSH sessions, and then inserts or deletes the relevant IPTables rules.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32#!/bin/bash BURP_PORT=8080 BURP_USER=tap LAN_IF=eth1 set -o nounset function ipt_command { ACTION=$1 echo iptables -t nat $ACTION PREROUTING -i $LAN_IF -p tcp -m multiport --dports 80,443 -j REDIRECT --to-ports $BURP_PORT\; echo iptables $ACTION INPUT -i $LAN_IF -p tcp --dport $BURP_PORT -j ACCEPT\; } if [ $PAM_USER != $BURP_USER ] ; then exit 0 fi if [ $PAM_TTY != "ssh" ] ; then exit 0 fi if [ $PAM_TYPE == "open_session" ] ; then CMD=`ipt_command -I` elif [ $PAM_TYPE == "close_session" ] ; then CMD=`ipt_command -D` fi date echo $CMD eval $CMD

This redirects all traffic incoming from $LAN_IF destined for ports 80 and 443 to local port 8080. This does have the downside of missing traffic on other ports, but this will get nearly all HTTP(S) traffic.

Of course, since the IPTables REDIRECT target still maintains the same interface as the original incoming connection, we need to allow our SSH Port Forward to bind to all interfaces. Add this line to /etc/ssh/sshd_config and restart SSH:

GatewayPorts clientspecified Setting up Burp and SSH

Burp's setup is pretty straightforward, but since we're not configuring a proxy in our client application, we'll need to use invisible proxying mode. I actually put invisible proxying on a separate port (8081) so I have 8080 setup as a regular proxy. I also use the per-host certificate setting to get the "best" SSL experience.

It turns out that there's an issue with OpenJDK 6 and SSL certificates. Apparently it will advertise algorithms not actually available, and then libnss will throw an exception, causing the connection to fail, and the client will retry with SSLv3 without SNI, preventing Burp from creating proper certificates. It can be worked around by disabling NSS in Java. In /etc/java-6-openjdk/security/java.security, comment out the line with security.provider.9=sun.security.pkcs11.SunPKCS11 ${java.home}/lib/security/nss.cfg.

Forwarding the port over to the wifilab server is pretty straightforward. You can either use the -R command-line option, or better, set things up in ~/.ssh/config.

Host wifitap User tap Hostname wifilab RemoteForward *:8080 localhost:8081

This logs in as user tap on host wifilab, forwarding local port 8081 to port 8080 on the wifilab machine. The * for a hostname is to ensure it binds to all interfaces (0.0.0.0), not just localhost.

Setting up Android

At this point, you should have a good setup for intercepting traffic from any client of the WiFi lab, but since I started off wanting to intercept Android traffic, let's optimize for that by installing our certificate. You can install it as a user certificate, but I'd rather do it as a system cert, and my testing tablet is already rooted, so it's easy enough.

You'll want to start by exporting the certificate from Burp and saving it to a file, say burp.der.

Android's system certificate store is in /system/etc/security/cacerts, and expects OpenSSL-hashed naming, like a0b1c2d3.0 for the certificate names. Another complication is that it's looking for PEM-formatted certificates, and the export from Burp is DER-formatted. We'll fix all that up in one chain of OpenSSL commands:

(openssl x509 -inform DER -outform PEM -in burp.der; openssl x509 -inform DER -in burp.der -text -fingerprint -noout ) > /tmp/`openssl x509 -inform DER -in burp.der -subject_hash -noout`.0

Android before ICS (4.0) uses OpenSSL versions below 1.0.0, so you'll need to use -subject_hash_old if you're using an older version of Android. Installing is a pretty simple task (replace HASH.0 with the filename produced by the command above):

$ adb push HASH.0 /tmp/HASH.0 $ adb shell android$ su android# mount -o remount,rw /system android# cp /tmp/HASH.0 /system/etc/security/cacerts/ android# chmod 644 /system/etc/security/cacerts/HASH.0 android# reboot

Connect your Android device to your WiFi lab, ssh wifitap from your Kali install running Burp, and you should see your HTTP(S) traffic in Burp (excepting apps that use pinned certificates, that's another matter entirely). You can check your installed certificate from the Android Security Settings.

Good luck with your Android auditing!

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