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Marcin Juszkiewicz: New AArch64 hardware — AMD this time

Planet Ubuntu - Wed, 2014-01-29 11:32

AMD announced their new SoC: Opteron A1100. But instead of yet another x86-64 chip it is AArch64 one.

It is visible that they made Server-on-Chip but give me one and I will make a desktop computer from it. All it takes is USB 3.0 controller and graphics card with HDMI audio.

I wonder will it boot UEFI or U-Boot…

More information and slides are in Anandtech article.

All rights reserved © Marcin Juszkiewicz
New AArch64 hardware — AMD this time was originally posted on Marcin Juszkiewicz website

Related posts:

  1. I got Efika MX Smartbook from Genesi
  2. ODROID-X developer board
  3. Started X11 on AArch64

Alan Pope: January 2014 Core Apps Hack Day Four – Clock and Doc Viewer

Planet Ubuntu - Wed, 2014-01-29 10:35

See also Hack Day One – Reminders and Music, Day Two – Calendar and RSS Reader and Hack Day Three – File Manager and Calculator.

Day Four of the January 2014 Core Apps Hack Days brings focus to Clock and Doc Viewer but as I keep saying we welcome contributions to any app on any day of the week!

The Doc Viewer app is currently not in the image, so no screenshots there.

In order to get started we’ve come up with some suggestions for new developers.

First off get your development environment setup as documented at which you can do either natively on Ubuntu 13.10 or 14.04 or in a Virtual Machine if you prefer.
If you have a Nexus device, you could either replace the legacy OS with Ubuntu using either of these guides – or

Next up take a look at some of these suggestions based on your area of interest and skill level.

We welcome translations for all our Core Apps. If that’s if interest you can find everything you need at and

If you find bugs in the apps you can look for existing bugs to confirm or fix at and, or file new bugs at and

You may find some bugs which have yet to be confirmed or triaged, we’d love your help there too.

You’ll find out-standing merge proposals on launchpad at and

If you’d like to take on a task then we have some work items in the blueprints which you can assign to yourself and get cracking on at and

You can find out more about the Core Apps Hack Days at the links at the top, and you’ll find all of us hanging out on #ubuntu-app-devel on freenode.

We’ll be providing updates via a hangout on the Ubuntu On Air website today and Friday.

Ubuntu Server blog: 2013-01-28 Ubuntu Server Team Meeting

Planet Ubuntu - Wed, 2014-01-29 09:13
 Meeting information #ubuntu-meeting: ubuntu-server-team, 28 Jan at 16:03 — 16:37 UTC Full logs at [[]

Meeting summary
  1. Review ACTION points from previous meeting (yolanda_, 16:03)
  2. Trusty Development (yolanda_, 16:06)
    1. (yolanda_, 16:06:25)
    2. SUBTOPIC: Release Bugs (yolanda_, 16:09)
    3. (yolanda_, 16:09:35)
    4. (yolanda_, 16:09:52)
    5. (yolanda_, 16:12:47)
    6. (yolanda_, 16:15:15)
    7. (yolanda_, 16:16:03)
    8. (yolanda_, 16:17:15)
    9. SUBTOPIC: Blueprints (yolanda_, 16:19)
    10. (yolanda_, 16:19:10)
    11. (yolanda_, 16:19:45)
    12. (yolanda_, 16:20:18)
    13. (yolanda_, 16:24:14)
    14. (yolanda_, 16:25:10)
    15. (yolanda_, 16:26:05)
    16. (yolanda_, 16:27:42)
    17. (yolanda_, 16:28:15)
  3. Server & Cloud Bugs (caribou) (yolanda_, 16:29)
  4. Weekly Updates & Questions for the QA Team (psivaa) (yolanda_, 16:29)
  5. Weekly Updates & Questions for the Kernel Team (smb) (yolanda_, 16:31)
  6. Weekly Updates & Questions regarding Ubuntu ARM Server (rbasak) (yolanda_, 16:33)
  7. Ubuntu Server Team Events (yolanda_, 16:33)
  8. Open Discussion (yolanda_, 16:34)
  9. Announce next meeting date and time (yolanda_, 16:35)
Action items  People present (lines said)
  • yolanda_ (83)
  • jamespage (20)
  • smoser (17)
  • ubottu (7)
  • rbasak (6)
  • meetingology (3)
  • gaughen (3)
  • zul (3)
  • psivaa (2)
  • rharper (2)
  • arosales (1)
  • caribou (1)
  • smb (1)
Full Log 16:03 <yolanda_> #startmeeting ubuntu-server-team 16:03 <meetingology> Meeting started Tue Jan 28 16:03:33 2014 UTC. The chair is yolanda_. Information about MeetBot at 16:03 <meetingology> 16:03 <meetingology> Available commands: #accept #accepted #action #agree #agreed #chair #commands #endmeeting #endvote #halp #help #idea #info #link #lurk #meetingname #meetingtopic #nick #progress #rejected #replay #restrictlogs #save #startmeeting #subtopic #topic #unchair #undo #unlurk #vote #voters #votesrequired 16:03 <rharper> o/ 16:03 <yolanda_> #topic Review ACTION points from previous meeting 16:03 <yolanda_> so... agenda doesn't seem to be updated, any pending topics? 16:03 <arosales> o/ 16:04 <yolanda_> anything to comment there? 16:05 <smoser> o/ 16:06 <yolanda_> nothing? i will be moving to next point 16:06 <yolanda_> #topic Trusty Development 16:06 <yolanda_> #link 16:07 <yolanda_> how is that progressing? 16:07 <yolanda_> any comments about it? 16:08 <yolanda_> jamespage, smoser ^ 16:08 <jamespage> yolanda_, sorry - binging not on 16:08 <smoser> feature freeze is coming. 16:08 <smoser> be aware of that. 16:08 <jamespage> yolanda_, indeed 16:08 <yolanda_> feature freeze on february 16:09 <yolanda_> so, let's look at bugs 16:09 <yolanda_> #subtopic Release Bugs 16:09 <yolanda_> #link 16:09 <yolanda_> 16:09 <ubottu> Ubuntu bug 1243076 in mod-auth-mysql (Ubuntu Trusty) "libapache2-mod-auth-mysql is missing in 13.10 amd64" [High,Confirmed] 16:10 <yolanda_> any progress on that? 16:11 <yolanda_> next one ... 16:11 <ubottu> Ubuntu bug 1062336 in nova (Ubuntu Trusty) "nova-compute expects libvirtd group" [High,Triaged] 16:11 <yolanda_> jamesepage, i see this is a won't fix ? 16:11 <jamespage> I think its done 16:11 <jamespage> yes 16:12 <jamespage> marked as so 16:12 <jamespage> forgot to reference the bug btlot 16:12 <yolanda_> bug report isn't refreshing properly then? 16:12 <yolanda_> 16:12 <ubottu> Ubuntu bug 1248283 in juju-core (Ubuntu Trusty) "Juju deploy of Charm in MAAS fails because dbus fails" [High,Triaged] 16:13 <yolanda_> anything about that? 16:14 <yolanda_> next one ... 16:14 <ubottu> Ubuntu bug 1259166 in horizon (Ubuntu Trusty) "Fix lintian error" [High,Triaged] 16:14 <yolanda_> zul ^ 16:14 <zul> nope 16:15 <yolanda_> 16:15 <ubottu> Ubuntu bug 1263738 in lxc (Ubuntu Trusty) "login console 0 in user namespace container is not configured right" [High,Triaged] 16:16 <yolanda_> 16:16 <ubottu> Ubuntu bug 1198021 in horizon (Ubuntu Trusty) "/static apache2 alias should probably be /horizon/static" [Medium,Triaged] 16:16 <yolanda_> jamespage, this is a won't fix? 16:16 <jamespage> no 16:16 <jamespage> we should probably fix that 16:16 <yolanda_> we should update bug comments then 16:17 <yolanda_> 16:17 <ubottu> Ubuntu bug 1231970 in websockify (Ubuntu Trusty) "[FFe] nova-novncproxy requires websockify > 0.5 - please sync from unstable" [Medium,Triaged] 16:17 <yolanda_> jamespage, that's done? 16:18 <jamespage> yes 16:18 <jamespage> marked as fix released 16:18 <yolanda_> ok, let's continue 16:19 <yolanda_> #subtopic Blueprints 16:19 <yolanda_> #link 16:19 <yolanda_> how are blueprints progressing? 16:19 <yolanda_> 16:19 <yolanda_> smoser ^ 16:19 <smoser> :) 16:19 <smoser> yeah. so that one needs some work. 16:20 <yolanda_> 16:20 <smoser> it is siltl planned for 14.04 16:20 <yolanda_> smoser, are you postponing it? 16:20 <yolanda_> the curtin one 16:21 <smoser> no. 16:21 <smoser> it is still planned for 14.04 16:21 <gaughen> yolanda_, smoser needs some prodding to update his blueprints ;-) 16:21 <smoser> well, he also has to do some work. 16:21 <gaughen> :-) 16:21 <yolanda_> :) 16:21 <smoser> i can update the progress, but unfortunately it wont get the code written. 16:21 <yolanda_> next one 16:21 <zul> time to crack the whip 16:21 <rharper> +1 16:21 <yolanda_> i'm currently working on rabbit active/active, lot of work to be done 16:22 <yolanda_> jamespage, do you think we are ok with time? 16:22 <gaughen> o/ 16:22 <jamespage> yea 16:22 <jamespage> beta-1 is ok 16:23 <yolanda_> next one ... 16:23 <yolanda_> jamespage ^ 16:23 <jamespage> all ok 16:23 <jamespage> just waiting for firefly to release upstream now 16:24 <yolanda_> 16:24 <jamespage> the fastcgi items will likely disappear at that point as radosgw is going through a re-design to not be mod_fastcgi 16:24 <yolanda_> hallyn is not present, so i'll skip this 16:25 <yolanda_> 16:25 <yolanda_> jamespage ^ 16:25 <yolanda_> i see a blocked work item there? 16:25 <jamespage> oh - going OK - but some delay on pxc due to licensing issues 16:26 <yolanda_> 16:26 <yolanda_> smoser ^ 16:27 <yolanda_> next one .. 16:27 <yolanda_> zul ^ 16:27 <zul> its fine 16:27 <smoser> i'll look at the cloud-init bluerpint now. utlemming an d i have made some progress t 16:27 <yolanda_> 16:27 <yolanda_> smoser again 16:27 <smoser> same. will take al ook now 16:28 <yolanda_> last one 16:28 <yolanda_> 16:28 <yolanda_> jamespage ^ 16:28 <yolanda_> seems mostly done? 16:28 <jamespage> ish - we have it building across most archs yet 16:29 <jamespage> but I suspect some work todo to support anything other than arm + x86 16:29 <yolanda_> ok 16:29 <yolanda_> let's change topic 16:29 <yolanda_> #topic Server & Cloud Bugs (caribou) 16:29 <caribou> yolanda_: nothing on my radar today 16:29 <yolanda_> #topic Weekly Updates & Questions for the QA Team (psivaa) 16:30 <yolanda_> nothing there? 16:30 <psivaa> im in a sprint this week and nothing much to report except: 16:30 <psivaa> lamp smoke has one failure and the tomcat server has the same failure in the smoke tests 16:31 <yolanda_> ok 16:31 <yolanda_> #topic Weekly Updates & Questions for the Kernel Team (smb) 16:31 <smb> Not much. Has there been any progress on the sru reviews for iscsitarget and drbd8 for P (or questions I missed). sforshee and me sprinting, too, this week. 16:32 <yolanda_> any feedback for smb? 16:33 <yolanda_> mm, let's move then 16:33 <yolanda_> #topic Weekly Updates & Questions regarding Ubuntu ARM Server (rbasak) 16:33 <rbasak> No updates from me this week. Any questions? 16:33 <yolanda_> so.. 16:33 <yolanda_> #topic Ubuntu Server Team Events 16:34 <yolanda_> Cape Town sprint of course 16:34 <yolanda_> anything else? 16:34 <rbasak> FOSDEM this weekend 16:34 <rbasak> I'll be there, along with marcoceppi. 16:34 <yolanda_> nice 16:34 <yolanda_> #topic Open Discussion 16:35 <rbasak> Marco is doing a talk on service orchestration, I believe, in the configuration management room. 16:35 <yolanda_> anything to comment? 16:35 <yolanda_> ok, so let's finishg 16:35 <yolanda_> #topic Announce next meeting date and time 16:36 <yolanda_> should we have meeting next week? smoser, jamespage, gaughen, are in Cape Town 16:36 <rbasak> I'd say skip it, unless anyone objects. 16:36 <smoser> i think i agree with rbasak 16:36 <rbasak> It'll be quite quiet if we do. 16:36 <smoser> there is a first time for everything 16:37 <smoser> :) 16:37 <yolanda_> then, next meeting will be on Tuesday 11th of February 16:37 <smoser> yeah, lets re-convene in 14 days. 16:37 <smoser> thanks yolanda_ 16:37 <jamespage> ok 16:37 <jamespage> thanks yolanda_ 16:37 <yolanda_> np 16:37 <yolanda_> so let's end here 16:37 <yolanda_> #endmeeting


Scott Ritchie: I Missed Programming

Planet Ubuntu - Wed, 2014-01-29 02:46

A few months ago I left a busy startup job I’d had for over a year. The work was engrossing: I stopped blogging, but I was programming every day. I learned a completely new language, but got plenty of chances to use my existing knowledge. That is, after all, why they hired me.

I especially liked something that might seem boring: combing through logs of occasional server errors and modifying our code to avoid them. Maybe it was because I had setup the monitoring system. Or because I was manually deleting servers that had broken in new ways. The economist in me especially liked putting a dollar value on bugs of this nature: 20 useless servers cost an extra 500 dollars a week on AWS.

But, there’s only so much waste like this to clean up. I’d automated most of the manual work I was doing and taught a few interns how to do the rest. I spent two weeks openly wondering what I’d do after finishing my current project, even questioning whether I’d still be useful with the company’s new direction.

Career Tip: don’t do this.

That’s when we agreed to part ways. So, there I was, no “official” job but still a ton of things to keep me busy. I’d help run a chain of Hacker Hostels in Silicon Valley, I was still maintaining Wine as an Ubuntu developer, and I was still a “politician” on Ubuntu’s Community Council having weekly meetings with Mark Shuttleworth.

Politiking, business management, and even Ubuntu packaging, however, aren’t programming. I just wasn’t doing it anymore, until last week. I got curious about counting my users on Launchpad. Download counts are exposed by an API, but not viewable on any webpage. No one else had written a proper script to harvest that data. It was time to program.

And man, I went a little nuts. It was utterly engrossing, in the way that writing and video games used to be. I found myself up past 3am before I even noticed the time; I’d spent a whole day just testing and coding before finally putting it on github. I rationalized my need to make it good as a service to others who’d use it. But in truth I just liked doing it.

It didn’t stop there. I started looking around for programming puzzles. I wrote 4 lines of python that I thought were so neat they needed to be posted as a self-answered question on stack overflow. I literally thought they were beautiful, and using the new yield from feature in Python3 was making me inordinately happy.

And now, I’m writing again. And making terrible cartoons on my penboard. I missed this shit. It’s fucking awesome.

Jono Bacon: On Planet Ubuntu

Planet Ubuntu - Wed, 2014-01-29 01:56

Recently Randall did some research into what people want to see on Planet Ubuntu. This has been followed up by Stuart with a set of concerns.

I agree with both of them.

I think the gist of Randall’s view is that he would like to encourage more fun, interesting, and diverse Ubuntu-related content. I think Randall wants to see fun stories of LoCo events, interesting Ubuntu work going on, cool Ubuntu apps, details of new features, and more. I agree with Randall here, and would love to see the same.

I think the gist of Stuart’s view is that the personal stories on Planet Ubuntu is a wonderful part of being in a community. Ubuntu is not just about Ubuntu, it is about the stories and the lives of the people who contribute to our community. I agree with Stuart here too.

I think we need a mix. Ideally we want to see interesting posts about people’s contributions to Ubuntu, but also about their non-Ubuntu lives too.

I would like to see Planet Ubuntu stick to its core goal: to be a place where you can look into the lives of Ubuntu members and explore their Ubuntu work as well as their non-Ubuntu thoughts and views.

The problem here is really with Ubuntu membership. Some people are still Ubuntu members who haven’t contributed to Ubuntu for a long time and thus we see lots of non-Ubuntu content, but rarely hear about their contributions. I would recommend we deactivate membership for those who are not actively contributing (active being significant and sustained contributions, as per our charter); this will then tighten up which feeds appear on planet and we will get a nice mix of both Ubuntu and person content.

Stuart Langridge: Thoughts on Planet Ubuntu

Planet Ubuntu - Wed, 2014-01-29 00:43

Recently, Randall Ross has been laying out thoughts on Planet Ubuntu after analysing a survey he did. His conclusions are strong and wide-ranging: that Planet Ubuntu should be the place for authoritative goings-on from those who are passionate about making Ubuntu; that it’s currently full of random titbits of unrelated content; that staying “on topic” should be baked into the system.

I really, really do not agree.

You see, the thing that Ubuntu has that everything else does not is our community. I read Planet Ubuntu because I care about us, the people who make this thing. Years ago, back when Planet Gnome was the place where all the innovation relevant to Ubuntu was happening, they used to have this argument: that Planet Gnome should only be about Gnome, not about Gnome people. To their credit, they always resisted this push.

The thing that Ubuntu has that everything else does not is our community. I care about the people more than I care about the technology. I care that Tony from the Ubuntu UK podcast worked for someone who raised funds for the Philippines. I care that Sam took a break from the Moka icon project to make cheesecake from tofu. I care that Mako rides pink bikes and that Elizabeth likes pink keyboards as well as marketing Xubuntu. Because we’re a community. Because we’re more than just what we do for Ubuntu.

Your Ubuntu news does not come solely from Planet Ubuntu. If I want to see every detail of how the sausage is made, every aspect of how Ubuntu comes from the minds of our people to the disk on my laptop, I’ll read the ubuntu-phone and ubuntu-devel mailing lists. Mostly, I want curated news. I want someone else to choose what’s worthy of my attention and highlight it for me. And Joey does a fantastic job of that at OMG Ubuntu, followed up by ILU or Web Upd8 or Softpedia. I love reading the in-depth writeups that appear on Planet Ubuntu, whether it’s popey summarising the Ubuntu core apps hack days or Kees going into deep detail on gcc security, but there’s more to life, there’s more to our community, than just the techie details. When Ubuntu gets something large and new from Canonical it’ll be on The Verge and Engadget and Forbes; when there are important announcements they’ll be on the Fridge; when there’s a cool hack it’ll be on the mailing lists and IRC. What I want is a place where we are one. Where the Ubuntu community can come together to be one family. I am what I am because of what we all are. Not because of what we all do. Because of what we all are. That means that Lyz is more than just PLUG, that Sam is more than just an icon designer, that Joey is more than just a reporter. We’re together. Don’t let that go. Don’t let Planet Ubuntu, don’t let our thing, be changed to be a place where you have to be “authoritative”, where “random titbits” are forbidden, where being “on-topic” is more important than being friends. Let’s let other places do press releases, let other places enforce rules about being technical, let other places insist that you mustn’t talk “off-topic”. And keep Planet Ubuntu being a place where our community comes together.

Xubuntu: Xubuntu community wallpaper contest winners

Planet Ubuntu - Wed, 2014-01-29 00:24

First of all, we’d like to thank everyone who contributed to our contest! Thanks for giving us a choice and for making it a really difficult process to distill all submissions down to a set of 6 amazing looking wallpapers.

As announced at the outset, three members of the Xubuntu development team, namely Pasi Lallinaho (Project Lead), Elizabeth Krumbach (Marketing Lead) and Simon Steinbeiss (Artwork Lead) reviewed the lot of 81 submissions to the contest. In a discussion lasting over two hours, we looked at and discussed all wallpapers in question. It has to be mentioned that one of our criteria was to end up with a diverse set of wallpapers, as in: Xubuntu isn’t only “all blue”.

Today, we would like to present the winners and outline quickly what we like about them or why they were chosen. Without further ado, here’s the winning wallpapers, in alphabetical order:

Balance by Gavin Ash
This is one of the more colorful submissions that made it to the group of winners. We’re sure there are many users out there who will appreciate giving their desktop a very relaxed – and balanced – mood, while at the same time having vivid colors. It is also the definite wallpaper for breaks, when you want to dream about the forthcoming summer.

Bubbles by Francisco Villarroel
The combination of simplicity and retro-colors caught our eye in this submission. The different ways the light enters the composition and adds various effects and colors makes it pleasant to look at and keeps it interesting, even after having it on your desktop for weeks.

Cloudbreaker by Kayden D’Mello
This beautiful mountain-top composition exhibits a very particular color-range, favoring cyan. We fell in love with the texture of the rock and the great composition of the clouds. Finally, we think that this wallpaper makes you feel like you’re at the top of the world – hopefully this can inspire you to reach your goals and more.

Just Rocks by Simon Steinbeiss
While Simon, the author and the Artwork Lead, disqualified himself on voting for this photo, we definitely wanted to include it in the package. The photo has a lot of small details to look at, but will efficiently keep out of the way and in the background when you need to focus on other tasks at hand.

Solitude by Gavin Ash
This stunning view into a forest contrasts the technology you’re using to get your stuff done with the beautiful experience of nature. While we hope that you will enjoy your time using Xubuntu, maybe this will also inspire you to step out and take a breath of fresh air – something we think this photograph nicely conveys.

Traslasierra by Adrian Felipe Pera
This wallpaper features a very balanced sky against a very defined mountain chain glowing in the red light of dawn or dusk (which ever mental image you like better!). What we liked very much about this wallpaper is the vision of looking into the distance, into the great wide open. In addition to all the things mentioned before, this mountainous range works very nicely in a multi-monitor setup.

These wallpapers will be shipped with Xubuntu 14.04. They will also available in the package xubuntu-community-wallpapers in the Ubuntu software repository for those who use other desktops.

The full resolution wallpapers are available for testing already in the Winners for 14.04 wallpaper contest page in the Xubuntu wiki.

Again, congratulations to the winners and thanks for your numerous submissions!

Joe Barker: A Fresh Start

Planet Ubuntu - Tue, 2014-01-28 21:46

It’s be a long time since I’ve blogged about anything, and one or two times I’ve thought about actually posting something, and then changed my mind because I didn’t think it would “fit” with the content of the blog as it was. That’s wrong. I should be able to blog about what I want, when I want; the logical conclusion was to wipe the slate clean and start afresh.

Today, following in the footsteps of Matt Helmke (unintentionally, I might add), I’ve changed the aggregate feed for Planet Ubuntu, so that only posts with Ubuntu related content (and this one) will be displayed there. I don’t expect there to be many, as I’ll explain shortly. I do want to touch on something I read on the planet yesterday though, and that’s Randall Ross’s post on changes he feels should be made to the planet. I agree with most of them, the theme used today looks quite tired, and I do think the planet could be a better source of Ubuntu information.

So why do I not expect there to be many Ubuntu related topics? Since I stepped down as a forum administrator almost 2 years ago, and then from the forum staff team entirely only a few months later, I’ve drifted away from the Ubuntu community a little. I’m slowly getting back into things, now that I’ve setup my server again, and I’m occasionally on the forum to see what’s going on. It’s a slow process, and I’ll never be as active as I once was, because life changes; I’m in full-time work, which takes up a lot (sometimes too much) of my time, I’m getting married in April, and my interest in ‘tinkering’ with my OS all the while has waned.

I still believe wholeheartedly in the Ubuntu project, and despite (still) owning an iPhone, I really, really have to resist buying a phone just to try the Ubuntu phone OS on a weekly basis. I’ll still be around, and I suspect there’ll be stuff I post from time to time related to Ubuntu, but the majority of my posts will now be things that interest me, or that occurred in my life.

So here’s to a new start, and to seeing whether I actually stick with blogging this time around!

Benjamin Kerensa: Happy International Privacy Day!

Planet Ubuntu - Tue, 2014-01-28 20:00

Who sees what you search for?

Privacy is an important issue that every user should strive to protect and while privacy means many different things to different people, the fact is that privacy is about real choices being given to a user in regards to how their information (searches, personal information etc) is shared and handled.

I would like to highlight two important things I believe I have contributed to in regards to privacy. Those being advocating for Firefox to remain the default web browser on Ubuntu and also alerting the FSF and EFF about privacy issues in the new Unity Lenses & Scopes. Both organizations were unaware of the new feature but agreed with the privacy concerns I had and helped campaign for changes.

Sadly, in the case of the Unity Lenses & Scopes the privacy issues remain because users are not being given choice or control as a default but instead the decision is made for them by default. I still hope that Canonical (which last year won a Anti-Privacy Award for this privacy fail) will make the right decision for its users.

I think it is important for contributors and users in any open source project to always stand up for values like privacy. I hope more will do this whenever the occasion presents itself in any open source project. Privacy and User Choice are pillars of the open source culture and we should always strive to do our best in respecting both.

Be sure to find and share excellent posts on privacy and share them on Social Media today using hashtag #PrivacyDay


The Fridge: Ubuntu 13.04 (Raring Ringtail) End of Life reached on January 27 2014

Planet Ubuntu - Tue, 2014-01-28 17:33

This is a follow-up to the End of Life warning sent last month to confirm that as of today (Jan 27, 2014), Ubuntu 13.04 is no longer supported. No more package updates will be accepted to 13.04, and it will be archived to in the coming weeks.

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

Ubuntu announced its 13.04 (Raring Ringtail) release almost 9 months ago, on April 25, 2013. This was the first release with our new 9 month support cycle and, as such, the support period is now nearing its end and Ubuntu 13.04 will reach end of life on Monday, January 27th. At that time, Ubuntu Security Notices will no longer include information or updated packages for Ubuntu 13.04.

The supported upgrade path from Ubuntu 13.04 is via Ubuntu 13.10. Instructions and caveats for the upgrade may be found at:

Ubuntu 13.10 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:

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 Tue Jan 28 09:27:47 UTC 2014 by Adam Conrad

Matthew Helmke: Ubuntu Planet Feed Changed

Planet Ubuntu - Tue, 2014-01-28 14:26

For years the main feed for my blog has been posted to Ubuntu Planet. Early on, most of my posts were strictly Ubuntu-related. That hasn’t been true for a long time. I changed my feed today in the Ubuntu Planet configuration and starting from whenever the cron job on that server reads the new config file, only posts with a specific tag should appear on the feed.

Everything that has appeared on Planet Ubuntu is also tagged, so I can keep track. I hope this doesn’t cause a huge posting flood when the new config is read…if so, apologies in advance.

Let me know in the comments if you are interested in things like my computer book reviews continuing to appear in the feed.

Alan Pope: January 2014 Core Apps Hack Day Three – File Manager and Calculator

Planet Ubuntu - Tue, 2014-01-28 09:50

See also January 2014 Core Apps Hack Day One – Reminders and Music and January 2014 Core Apps Hack Day Two – Calendar and RSS Reader

Day three of the January 2014 Core Apps Hack Days brings focus to File Manager and Calculator but as I keep saying we welcome contributions to any app on any day of the week!

In order to get started we’ve come up with some suggestions for new developers.

First off get your development environment setup as documented at which you can do either natively on Ubuntu 13.10 or 14.04 or in a Virtual Machine if you prefer.
If you have a Nexus device, you could either replace the legacy OS with Ubuntu using either of these guides – or

Next up take a look at some of these suggestions based on your area of interest and skill level.

We welcome translations for all our Core Apps. If that’s if interest you can find everything you need at and

If you find bugs in the apps you can look for existing bugs to confirm or fix at and, or file new bugs at and

You may find some bugs which have yet to be confirmed or triaged, we’d love your help there too.

You’ll find out-standing merge proposals on launchpad at and

If you’d like to take on a task then we have some work items in the blueprints which you can assign to yourself and get cracking on at and

You can find out more about the Core Apps Hack Days at the links at the top, and you’ll find all of us hanging out on #ubuntu-app-devel on freenode.

Andrea Colangelo: The (brand new) Debian 3D-Printing Team is hiring!

Planet Ubuntu - Tue, 2014-01-28 09:03

The 3D-printing technology has gained quite a big momentum in recent times. Its use is spreading widely even among hobbyists and many sources report daily several (sometimes weird) examples of its usage. The thing I like most, as a Free Software activist, is that several 3D-printing-related free and open source software are already available and quite good, and some printers are even released as free hardware.

Unfortunately, Debian is quite lagged behind with regard to the availability of such software in our archive, especially compared to other distributions who already ship much of it. Hopefully this situation will change drastically thanks to the brand new Debian 3D-Printing team, whose purpose is to make Debian a rocking platform to do some serious 3D-printing.

The team is bootstrapping right now, and we are looking for volunteers who are willing to help us. Packagers are greatly welcomed, but also triagers, users and passionate people with some experience in the field are extremely valuable.

People willing to join the team can take a look at our (in-progress) wiki page and apply on the team page on Alioth. As with any good packaging team, a mailing list is available to share ideas, feel free to subscribe it, and feel free to join #debian-3dprinting on OFTC if you want to hang out with other team members.

Kees Cook: -fstack-protector-strong

Planet Ubuntu - Mon, 2014-01-27 22:28

There will be a new option in gcc 4.9 named “-fstack-protector-strong“, which offers an improved version of “-fstack-protector” without going all the way to “-fstack-protector-all“. The stack protector feature itself adds a known canary to the stack during function preamble, and checks it when the function returns. If it changed, there was a stack overflow, and the program aborts. This is fine, but figuring out when to include it is the reason behind the various options.

Since traditionally stack overflows happen with string-based manipulations, the default (-fstack-protector), only includes the canary code when a function defines an 8 (--param=ssp-buffer-size=N, N=8 by default) or more byte local character array. This means just a few functions get the checking, but they’re probably the most likely to need it, so it’s an okay balance. Various distributions ended up lowering their default --param=ssp-buffer-size option down to 4, since there were still cases of functions that should have been protected but the conservative gcc upstream default of 8 wasn’t covering them.

However, even with the increased function coverage, there are rare cases when a stack overflow happens on other kinds of stack variables. To handle this more paranoid concern, -fstack-protector-all was defined to add the canary to all functions. This results in substantial use of stack space for saving the canary on deep stack users, and measurable (though surprisingly still relatively low) performance hit due to all the saving/checking. For a long time, Chrome OS used this, since we’re paranoid. :)

In the interest of gaining back some of the lost performance and not hitting our Chrome OS build images with such a giant stack-protector hammer, Han Shen from the Chrome OS compiler team created the new option -fstack-protector-strong, which enables the canary in many more conditions:

  • local variable’s address used as part of the right hand side of an assignment or function argument
  • local variable is an array (or union containing an array), regardless of array type or length
  • uses register local variables

This meant we were covering all the more paranoid conditions that might lead to a stack overflow. Chrome OS has been using this option instead of -fstack-protector-all for about 10 months now.

As a quick demonstration of the options, you can see this example program under various conditions. It tries to show off an example of shoving serialized data into a non-character variable, like might happen in some network address manipulations or streaming data parsing. Since I’m using memcpy here for clarity, the builds will need to turn off FORTIFY_SOURCE, which would also notice the overflow.

#include <stdio.h> #include <stdlib.h> #include <string.h> struct no_chars { unsigned int len; unsigned int data; }; int main(int argc, char * argv[]) { struct no_chars info = { }; if (argc < 3) { fprintf(stderr, "Usage: %s LENGTH DATA...\n", argv[0]); return 1; } info.len = atoi(argv[1]); memcpy(&, argv[2], info.len); return 0; }

Built with everything disabled, this faults trying to return to an invalid VMA:

    $ gcc -Wall -O2 -U_FORTIFY_SOURCE -fno-stack-protector /tmp/boom.c -o /tmp/boom $ /tmp/boom 64 AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA Segmentation fault (core dumped)

Built with FORTIFY_SOURCE enabled, we see the expected catch of the overflow in memcpy:

    $ gcc -Wall -O2 -D_FORTIFY_SOURCE=2 -fno-stack-protector /tmp/boom.c -o /tmp/boom $ /tmp/boom 64 AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA *** buffer overflow detected ***: /tmp/boom terminated ...

So, we’ll leave FORTIFY_SOURCE disabled for our comparisons. With pre-4.9 gcc, we can see that -fstack-protector does not get triggered to protect this function:

    $ gcc -Wall -O2 -U_FORTIFY_SOURCE -fstack-protector /tmp/boom.c -o /tmp/boom $ /tmp/boom 64 AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA Segmentation fault (core dumped)

However, using -fstack-protector-all does trigger the protection, as expected:

    $ gcc -Wall -O2 -U_FORTIFY_SOURCE -fstack-protector-all /tmp/boom.c -o /tmp/boom $ /tmp/boom 64 AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA *** stack smashing detected ***: /tmp/boom terminated Aborted (core dumped)

And finally, using the gcc snapshot of 4.9, here is -fstack-protector-strong doing its job:

    $ /usr/lib/gcc-snapshot/bin/gcc -Wall -O2 -U_FORTIFY_SOURCE -fstack-protector-strong /tmp/boom.c -o /tmp/boom $ /tmp/boom 64 AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA *** stack smashing detected ***: /tmp/boom terminated Aborted (core dumped)

For Linux 3.14, I’ve added support for -fstack-protector-strong via the new CONFIG_CC_STACKPROTECTOR_STRONG option. The old CONFIG_CC_STACKPROTECTOR will be available as CONFIG_CC_STACKPROTECTOR_REGULAR. When comparing the results on builds via size and objdump -d analysis, here’s what I found with gcc 4.9:

A normal x86_64 “defconfig” build, without stack protector had a kernel text size of 11430641 bytes with 36110 function bodies. Adding CONFIG_CC_STACKPROTECTOR_REGULAR increased the kernel text size to 11468490 (a +0.33% change), with 1015 of 36110 functions stack-protected (2.81%). Using CONFIG_CC_STACKPROTECTOR_STRONG increased the kernel text size to 11692790 (+2.24%), with 7401 of 36110 functions stack-protected (20.5%). And 20% is a far-cry from 100% if support for -fstack-protector-all was added back to the kernel.

The next bit of work will be figuring out the best way to detect the version of gcc in use when doing Debian package builds, and using -fstack-protector-strong instead of -fstack-protector. For Ubuntu, it’s much simpler because it’ll just be the compiler default.

© 2014, Kees Cook. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License.

Randall Ross: Planet Ubuntu Needs More Awesome - Conclusion

Planet Ubuntu - Mon, 2014-01-27 21:18

Could Planet Ubuntu be made more awesome? Definitely. Planet Ubuntu is not as useful as it could be and we are aiming too low. Let's reboot it.

In conclusion (and interpreting that I collected and summarized here and here):

Readers of Planet Ubuntu are loyal. They say that they derive value from the site but they want more. Planet Ubuntu is an important part of the Ubuntu information landscape. Let's admit that and let's give it the attention and maintenance it deserves.

Planet Ubuntu is nearly as important to Ubuntu as as it represents the real pulse of the Ubuntu project as seen through the eyes of its contributors, potentially *all* of them. It does not have a commercial angle, nor does it present Ubuntu in the uni-dimensional "software-y" way that most privately run Ubuntu news sites do. In fact, Planet Ubuntu reminds us that *"Ubuntu is not just software"*. No other site has the potential to send that message as loudly and clearly. Name a proprietary platform that is anything except software for the extraction of profit for a select few at the expense of everyone else. See why the "Ubuntu is not just software" message is important?

I recommend that we work hard to measure our audience size, publish it, then set goals to expand our readership *well* beyond the current echo chamber that consists mainly of Ubuntu Members (and "free software enthusiasts/contributors"). We cannot improve what we cannot measure.

Let's re-frame Planet Ubuntu as *the* place for authoritative goings-on in the Ubuntu project as written by those who are passionate about making Ubuntu. Let's ditch the current tagline "Planet Ubuntu is a window into the world, work and lives of Ubuntu developers and contributors." This tagline opens the door to ambiguity and confusion of our readers. I can imagine someone new to Ubuntu coming to Planet Ubuntu and seeing that most of the posts have nothing to do with Ubuntu. The signal that sends is "Ubuntu is not important enough for even its contributors to write about." Perception becomes reality.

Let's not water down the site with random tidbits of unrelated content. This infuriates (yes, that strong a word) people who come to the site looking for a pulse on the Ubuntu project. I personally feel that it is disrespectful (or at least in bad taste) to use the popularity of Planet Ubuntu as a springboard for one's personal projects and topics completely unrelated to Ubuntu. I'm not saying that's always the motivation of those who post unrelated content, but I *am* saying that it happens. Plus, everyone who posts to Planet Ubuntu has their own personal blog anyways. What's the point of shipping irrelevant information to the eyeballs of people who crave Ubuntu information?

If we cannot enforce a "stay on topic" rule, then I recommend that we consider moderation and/or emphasis/de-emphasis of submitted articles based on the relevance to Ubuntu. This moderation could be crowd-sourced or automated.

I recommend that we adopt a zero tolerance rule for Ubuntu CoC violations, deleting posts that do not comply in no longer than 5 minutes or 500 page views, whichever occurs first. Authors that violate the Ubuntu CoC should be removed using a "three-strikes and you're out" rule. I recommend that we remove authors that have not posted Ubuntu content during a span of one year.

I recommend that we extend Planet Ubuntu authorship well beyond Ubuntu Members. Let's identify people who are truly passionate about Ubuntu and who live and breathe it. Let's get past the notion that blogging about Ubuntu requires membership in an exclusive club. Let's encourage and people who do a lot for Ubuntu but who never get a voice to step forward and help write the content of the site. Let's embrace our community members inside Canonical and respect them for what they are: passionate and dedicated Ubuntu contributors.

Let's change the look of Planet Ubuntu. Let's make it more modern and more interactive. Let's make it work well on all the screen sizes (form factors) that Ubuntu supports. Let's choose a platform that we make and control, or at least one that does not use us. We are tired of being used.

In conclusion, Planet Ubuntu has the potential to be *much* more awesome, and we should seriously consider making it *the* place to visit for all things Ubuntu by rebooting it.

Thank you, and a call for assistance.
This concludes my series on making Planet Ubuntu awesome again. If you have additional thoughts and constructive suggestions kindly share your thoughts in the comments. If you would like to help champion a blueprint or work items to bring these improvements to fruition, please raise your hand.

Tony Whitmore: Helen Thompson

Planet Ubuntu - Mon, 2014-01-27 18:30

This isn’t my usual sort of blog post, so please bear with me.

Last summer I worked for Neil Thomas Douglas as second photographer at a wedding in Oxfordshire. James and Helen had put a lot of thought and effort into their day. From the outdoor ceremony where Helen’s pupils sang, through the meal cooked by family members and served to guests seated on hay bales, and onto the evening with live bands, swings and tug-of-war, the whole day was alive with their personalities. It was clear just how much Helen loved James. Her short, powerful speech sent shivers down my spine.

Helen died suddenly last month.

Even though I only knew her for a day, it was clear that Helen was a caring, lively and compassionate person. Someone who wanted to make the world a better place to live in. It was a privilege to be a part of Helen and James’ wedding day.

The fundraising campaign that Helen had set up to raise just £200 for voluntary aid workers in the Philippines has been flooded with donations and is currently at over 9000% of the target. This immense response shows just how loved and respected Helen was. If you can give anything in Helen’s memory, please do.

Thanks to James and Neil for letting me write this post.

Pin It

Alan Pope: January 2014 Core Apps Hack Day Two – Calendar and RSS Reader

Planet Ubuntu - Mon, 2014-01-27 10:19

See also January 2014 Core Apps Hack Day One – Reminders and Music.

Day two of the January 2014 Core Apps Hack Days brings focus to Calendar and RSS Reader (a.k.a. ‘Shorts’), but as always we welcome contributions to any app on any day of the week!

In order to get started we’ve come up with some suggestions for new developers.

First off get your development environment setup as documented at which you can do either natively on Ubuntu 13.10 or 14.04 or in a Virtual Machine if you prefer.
If you have a Nexus device, you could either replace the legacy OS with Ubuntu using either of these guides – or

Next up take a look at some of these suggestions based on your area of interest and skill level.

We welcome translations for all our Core Apps. If that’s if interest you can find everything you need at and

If you find bugs in the apps you can look for existing bugs to confirm or fix at and, or file new bugs at and

You may find some bugs which have yet to be confirmed or triaged, we’d love your help there too.

You’ll find out-standing merge proposals on launchpad at and

If you’d like to take on a task then we have some work items in the blueprints which you can assign to yourself and get cracking on at and

You can find out more about the Core Apps Hack Days at the links at the top, and you’ll find all of us hanging out on #ubuntu-app-devel on freenode.

Jo Shields: Dear Debian Developers, lrn2gpg

Planet Ubuntu - Mon, 2014-01-27 10:05

For some strange reason, I’ve been receiving a lot of GPG-signed mail from Debian Developers and Maintainers lately. In response to each of these mails, I need to send a GPG-encrypted reply. The rate at which I’m able to send replies has been significantly hampered by the poor state in which many DD/DM’s maintain their GPG keys. Here are a few common mistakes, so you can consider correcting them.

Ensure you have a UID for the email address(es) you use

When I send an encrypted mail, I need to be sure that the recipient is legit. This means any decent mail client should refuse to send an encrypted message to unless that email address is known somehow to GPG. In many cases, someone with a valid key for would send their signed mail from without that being a valid UID. In some cases, isn’t even a valid email address anymore (i.e. the mail server says no such mailbox).

You should have a UID for each address you use.

Signatures are per-UID

You may well have a valid UID for,, and – but the PGP trust model doesn’t automatically trust every UID as much as its peers. Each individual UID needs to be trusted (i.e. signed/uploaded) by others. What if you added as a UID – should that automatically be trusted? Clearly not. Just because you have doesn’t mean it’s trusted for encryption without some signatures.

Make sure you actually have an encrypting subkey

GPG sucks, and as a result, it reports “Skipping unusable pubkey” when the issue is a lack of valid encrypting subkeys. If you have revoked all encrypting subkeys, or allowed them to expire, then I cannot send you encrypted mail.

Exact naming matters

“Bob Bobbertson <>” and “Böb Böbbërtsön <>” are different people. Check your mail client’s “From:” setting, to ensure it matches your UID. If not, fix one of them.

Check your webmail plugin isn’t shit

Some people use third party plugins to integrate GPG into their webmail client (e.g. Hotmail or GMail). Make sure this actually works.

Don’t use Enigmail

Enigmail is a popular plugin to integrate GPG into Mozilla Thunderbird. It doesn’t work, in most cases. Almost every single BADSIG in my inbox is due to Enigmail. Thunderbird will insert spurious line wraps and escape characters into your mail after signing, resulting in invalid signatures.

It’s mostly okay if you never quote mail, and restrict messages to about 70 characters.

I know plenty of Debian Developers don’t care about GPG other than for package signing – but please, for the sanity of the rest of us, take an occasional moment to care a little.

I should note that the worst offenders for keys which don’t “just work” were Developers with 1024D keys – the best behaved were Maintainers of all stripes.


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