Shortly after the first news appeared, that Microsoft was in the process of buying Github, a new Github repo appeared –
This repo quickly soared to the #1 spot in the “Trending” area on Github, and as this was politically inconvenient, it was removed by Github without notice or reason given.
Sadly, I expect this to be the future of Github, now, no more transparent bastion of Open Source and code.
Wired Magazine has an article saying as much, and laments that it’s inevitable that Github will be come more restrictive, take down controversial repos, and stop hosting projects which are not in Microsoft’s interest.
When I saw the photo at the right, my first reaction, was “Yes! But why only Skype and Mojang?!” – So, this prompted me to write, on the spur of the moment, the following letter as a comment on the Github issue:
The row of doors isn’t nearly long enough. This has been going on for 4 decades.
A few notable examples from memory, without having to research or refer to the many books about Microsoft and/or Bill Gates:
Quarterdeck systems – QEMM – (Quarterdeck Extended Memory Manager) a utility which made better / efficient use of DOS “High” memory above 640K. Microsoft cloned a vastly inferior version of the product, and bundled it for free with a newer version of DOS, thus killing the market for the product.
Digital Research – DR Dos – a superior DOS clone. Microsoft introduced a vaguely-worded dialog box, in it’s apps (eg, early MS Word [UPDATE: Windows 3.1]) which it displayed when it figured out it was running on top of DR dos, which used simple FUD (without any actual faults) to scare people away from DR DOS.
The code to detect DR DOS, was encrypted and hidden, and was obviously written to do nothing but target a competitor – this was discovered and dubbed the infamous AARD code, written about by Andrew Shulman and covered in countless publications including Dr Dobbs, etc
Yet no DOJ inquiry or any other action was taken, despite obviously breaking several laws against anticompetitive behavior, and then hiding it (shows intent).
Novell, Word Perfect (Maybe MS was just after Provo, UTAH? JK) – Both these stories are more well known –
WordPerfect was the only real competitor to the mediocre-at-best MS line of productivity apps (no incentive not to be mediocre, that way they can sell you a new copy every year or two of the product you already bought, and call it an “Upgrade”) – and MS killed the superior WordPerfect Write and Quattro Spreadsheet products with a weak “Look-and-feel” lawsuit – which they LOST, but not until the parent company was destroyed and unable to recover.
Novell is a more involved story, but suffice it to say that they again, like QEMM, built a successful product on DOS’s shortcomings – which then simply acted like product feature vetting for MS, so they could build / buy or copy the solutions that Novell introduced, thus rendering Novell redundant (in the British sense).
Borland – Despite a vastly superior suite of developer products, MS poached it’s head developer and architect, Anders Heijlsberg, to be their head architect for .NET. His first task was to specifically copy several key innovations from Borland, which supposedly (according to MS) didn’t violate any copyright or IP agreements from the departing Borland – although this was controversial, again, lawsuits or the threat thereof were used effectively by MS to prevail.
Sorry, I got carried away – 🙂
This was written on impulse, as a reaction to the door photo, completely off the top of my head in about 20 minutes, without so much as a quick Google to check dates, so forgive me if the above has minor issues to correct – I will update if I need to make corrections, but I do know from memory, that it’s essentially correct.
I remember these events over 3-4 decades, because of the MS’s consistently appalling and astounding behavior, that has continued unchecked, and remains to this day still unpunished and unaddressed, despite a slap on the wrist from our country’s DOJ, and from Europe, who’s various efforts to stop MS’s anticompetitive behavior were ineffective at best, and simply encouraged them to play brinkmanship at worst and improve their knowledge of the line, so they could push it.
I write this because MS’s behavior, as I slowly learned by experience of living though the above events, and the light slowly dawning on me that this was a pattern, and not just one or two coincidental events, is what motivated me to start my company, and try and have a higher bar for ethics and how to treat one’s competitors – and to encourage, foster, and sponsor more egalitarian software products and superior technical solutions in the process.
Feel free to republish this, along with the reaper image (it doesn’t make sense without it), wherever you see fit.
Founder and CEO
eRacks Open Source Systems
We have our code on Github too. We’re looking for where we’re going to move.
Maybe we’ll self-host, or use our colo and hosting resources to host a new Git-like startup for Open Source?
Update 6/7/18: corrected software that raised DR DOS dialog box (Windows 3.1), added references to AARD and FUD.
joe June 7th, 2018
Posted In: Open Source
Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (Bionic Beaver) has been released on 26th April 2018 following its planned release schedule. Canonical named this Long Term Support version with codename “Bionic Beaver”, where ‘Bionic‘ is an adjective meaning to have or use an artificial, typically electromechanical, body part. And a ‘Beaver‘ is large nocturnal rodent able to swim in water. Beavers are famous for building dams, canals, and homes along river banks.
On 26 January 2018, Will Cooke (Desktop Engineering Manager) wrote in an Ubuntu’s Blog post about Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (Bionic Beaver) as, “Bionic Beaver, the codename for the next Ubuntu LTS release, is due in April 2018 and will ship with both the traditional Xorg graphics stack as well as the newer Wayland based stack, but Xorg will be the default.”
Ubuntu 18.04 is an LTS version, which means that the ‘main’ archive of Ubuntu 18.04 LTS will be supported for 5 years until April 2023 from its release date April 2018. Ubuntu 18.04 LTS will be supported for 5 years for Ubuntu Desktop, Ubuntu Server, and Ubuntu Core. Ubuntu Studio 18.04 will be supported for 9 months. All other flavors will be supported for 3 years.
Compared with the previous Ubuntu LTS edition (Ubuntu 16.04.4 LTS Xenial Xerus), there are a lot of changes in the new Ubuntu LTS release (Ubuntu 18.04 LTS Bionic Beaver).
Let’s see what’s new in Ubuntu 18.04 LTS Bionic Beaver release:
Ubuntu 17.10 used the Wayland graphics server by default. With Ubuntu 18.04, the default graphics server will change to Xorg. Wayland will still be available as an option, but Xorg will be the default, out-of-the-box one. The Ubuntu Desktop team decided to go with Xorg for its compatibility with services like Skype, Google Hangouts, WebRTC services, VNC and RDP, and more.
Ubuntu 18.04 will use Ubiquity, the Ubuntu installer you’re probably already familiar with. Though the developers plan on implementing Subiquity, 18.04 will use Ubiquity, which will have a new “minimal install” option that you can choose during setup. Minimal install basically means the same Ubuntu, but without most of the pre-installed software. The minimal install option saves about 500 MB, and is only 28MB in size when it is compressed.
The most notable improvement will be in CPU usage. The Ubuntu Desktop team has greatly improved and reduced the CPU usage caused by Ubuntu 18.04. They’ve also fixed hundreds of bugs and made hundreds of other small improvements.
If you missed the Ubuntu Welcome tool you can still enable LivePatch via Software & Updates. Open Activities and search for Software & Updates.
From the Updates tab you can enable and disable Live Patch:
There are some other useful settings in GNOME Control Center which you might like to toggle:
By enabling Location Services your clock can automatically switch to the correct time zone for where you are which is useful for frequent travelers. By enabling automatic error reporting crash reports will be automatically generated and uploaded. By collecting these error reports, Canonical can easily spot trends in common problems and make sure they work on getting the most common bugs fixed first.
Ubuntu 18.04 will ship with Ambience and it won’t use a new theme by default. The new Communitheme won’t even be installed. The Desktop team has decided to do this for various reasons, including bugs and lack of testing.
Luckily, you can still use the Communitheme, but you’ll have to install it yourself. The Communitheme can be installed easily via a snap, but you can always install it manually.
Ubuntu started using the GNOME desktop environment with Ubuntu 17.10 instead of the default Unity environment. Ubuntu 18.04 will continue using GNOME. This is not a major change to Ubuntu, but GNOME has also done a lot of changes to their desktop environment, as well as new features. An improved dock, an on-screen keyboard, and more.
The new LTS desktop release will ship with a new app pre-installed by default. The app is GNOME To Do and it’s a very useful app for organizing lists, tasks, and more. You can prioritize them. color them, set due dates, and a number of other features.
They been planning on using snaps for a while, and they finally shipped GNOME Calculator as a snap instead of a deb. This is a test to help the Desktop team find and fix any bugs. They’ll later on move more applications to snap in the final release. Using snaps will make the process of installing and updating apps much easier. You can even install snaps on any distro and device.
New snaps are being added to the store all the time, and you can already download essentials like Spotify, Skype and Slack. You can browse the full range of applications via GNOME Software (click the Open “Software” now button) or access the highlights directly by clicking on their icon.
Open source icon project Suru has been incorporated into Ubuntu 18.04. These icons were originally seen in the abandoned Ubuntu Touch mobile operating system. Despite hopes to the contrary and a dedicated community project, Ubuntu 18.04 will not boast a fresh new look. However, while the Ambiance theme is hanging around, new icons are expected in Ubuntu.
Some tweaks will give you color emojis on versions of Ubuntu prior to 18.04 LTS, this is the first time they’ve been included by default. The emojis you’ll find in Ubuntu 18.04 LTS are the same open source emojis as found on Android. For many users, these will be familiar.
Ubuntu 18.04 will collect data like the Ubuntu flavor you’re using, hardware stats, your country etc. Anyone can opt-out of this, but it’s enabled by default. What’s interesting about this is that the data they collect will be public, and no sensitive data will be collected. so most of the Ubuntu community supports this decision.
However, there is a potential security concern that you should be aware of. With Ubuntu 18.04 LTS, Canonical intends to collect data from your computer. Though there is nothing personally identifiable in this data. Instead, it is to establish your computer’s hardware components, what version of Ubuntu you’re running, your location (based on your choice when setting up Ubuntu) and a few other things.
This marks a change from Canonical’s previous attitude to this sort of data collection, but is understandable given how flakey figures are for Linux usage around the world. Crucially, this data collection can be opted out of; if you’re upgrading from a previous version of Ubuntu, meanwhile, you can also opt in.
Alongside these changes Canonical has made some noticeable upgrade on packages for Ubuntu 18.04 Bionic Beaver too. Some of them are as follows,
Ubuntu 18.04 ships with a v4.15 based Linux kernel, enabling the latest hardware and peripherals available. The 18.04 kernel delivers new features inherited from upstream, including:
As of 18.04 release, OpenJDK 10 is the default JRE/JDK. Once OpenJDK 11 reaches GA in September 2018, it will become the default in 18.04.
OpenJDK 8 has moved to universe and will remain available there for the life of 18.04, to provide migration time for packages, custom applications, or scripts that can’t be built with OpenJDK 10 or 11. OpenJDK 8 will be updated in 18.04 after Ubuntu 16.04 LTS reaches EOL in April 2021.
In Ubuntu 18.04 LTS, gcc is now set by default to compile applications as position independent executables (PIE) as well as with immediate binding, to make more effective use of Address Space Layout Randomization (ASLR). All packages in main have been rebuilt to take advantage of this, with a few exceptions. Also, bolt and thunderbolt-tools have been promoted to main to provide security controls for Thunderbolt devices.
Since 17.10, the default SMB protocol used when mounting remote CIFS file systems via “mount.cifs” is changed to 2.1 or higher, depending on what is negotiated with the server.
Comparing with Ubuntu 17.10 (Artful Aardvark) & Ubuntu 16.04.4 LTS (Xenial Xerus) the latest Ubuntu 18.04 Bionic Beaver Server edition’s packages are upgraded as well. Some of them are as follows,
The next generation Subiquity server installer, brings the comfortable live session and speedy install of Ubuntu Desktop to server users at last.
ifupdown has been deprecated in favor of netplan.io and is no longer present on new installs. Backend configuration on Ubuntu Server by default is provided by systemd-networkd.
LXD is the system container manager that ships with all Ubuntu servers. Ubuntu 18.04 includes the all new LXD 3.0 release, some of the highlights include:
A new external tool called lxd-p2c is also available to turn existing systems into LXD containers.
QEMU has been updated to the 2.11.1 release.
Among many other changes, fixes around Meltdown/Spectre are included. Since fully utilizing these mitigations needs more than just an upgrade, it is recommended to read details at the qemu.org blog post.
QEMU in Ubuntu 18.04 now has rdma support enabled as over the past year much unification in the rdma-core project has occurred.
Migrations from former versions are supported just as usual. When upgrading it is always recommended to upgrade the machine types allowing guests to fully benefit from all the improvements and fixes of the most recent version.
libvirt has been updated to version 4.0.
The packaging now builds libvirt storage drivers as pluggable libraries. This slims down the installation requirements but some drivers of less general interest will now be found in universe. On the other hand, that means that a few formerly integrated features like rbd or zfs now might require you to install the package after upgrade.
Ubuntu includes 17.11.x the latest stable release branch of DPDK.
By the new Stable Release exception for DPDK future stable updates to 17.11.x will be made available to Ubuntu 18.04 LTS.
Open vSwitch has been updated to 2.9.
In Ubuntu 18.04 LTS chrony will replace ntpd as the recommended server for the NTP protocol. The comparison among ntp servers by the chrony maintainers may interest some users looking to see a high-level reason why this change was made. It does lack the rather new and not yet completely ready ntpsec, but otherwise is a fair analysis.
For simple time sync needs the base system already comes with systemd-timesyncd. Chrony is only needed to act as a time server or if you want the advertised more accurate and efficient syncing.
Going along with this change, ntpd has been demoted from main to universe. ntpd will continue to work but will only receive best-effort security maintenance. When upgrading to Ubuntu 18.04 LTS it is highly recommended to migrate to chrony if you had set up ntpd before.
The version was updated to 18.2. Notable new features include:
The version was updated to 18.1. Notable features include:
The version was updated to 2.4b2. Notable features include:
SSSD was updated to version 1.16.x and its secrets service is now enabled. Previously it was disabled because it required the http-parser library which lived in Universe, but a successful MIR brought it to main so SSSD could link with it.
nginx was updated to version 1.14.0. New features include the mirror module, HTTP/2 push, and the gRPC proxy module.
PHP is updated to version 7.2.x.
Apache was updated to version 2.4.29. Additionally, HTTP/2 support is now enabled in 18.04 LTS.
landscape-client has been ported to Python 3 and is now available to install on the default image.
Ubuntu 18.04 includes the latest OpenStack release. OpenStack Queens is also provided via the Ubuntu Cloud Archive for OpenStack Queens for Ubuntu 16.04 LTS users.
Note: Upgrading an OpenStack deployment is a non-trivial process and care should be taken to plan and test upgrade procedures which will be specific to each OpenStack deployment.
To make things easier, eRacks Systems offers Custom Enterprise Cloud Server with OpenStack Queens (or another cloud software according to custom request) and Ubuntu 18.04 LTS OS.
To download Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (Bionic Beaver) select the desire install image or visit Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (Bionic Beaver) official download page.
As with release of latest version of Ubuntu 18.04 LTS Bionic Beaver, we, the eRacks Systems (Open Source experts since 1999) offer latest Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (Bionic Beaver) both Desktop or Server edition with our systems as pre-configured according to your custom quote…
Asif Raihan May 18th, 2018
Posted In: ubuntu
Ubuntu 17.10, code named Artful Aardvark; I guess you already know that Artful means full of art or skill. And Aardvark is a medium-sized, burrowing, nocturnal mammal native to Africa. Colloquially, it is called African Ant Eater.
Nowadays Ubuntu become the world’s most popular desktop Linux operating system, and with its latest short-term support release, it’s clear Canonical want to keep a firm grip on the title.
As release with Artful Aardvark (Ubuntu 17.10) in October 19, 2017 Canonical continues Ubuntu’s proud tradition of integrating the latest and greatest open source technology into a high-quality, easy-to-use Linux distribution. Ubuntu 17.10 Artful Aardvark marks an all-new chapter in Ubuntu’s already rich history. As always, the team has been hard at work through this cycle, introducing new features and fixing bugs.
This is the first version of Ubuntu to use GNOME Shell as the default desktop. ‘The HUD, global menu, and other Unity features are no longer included’. By choosing to drop Unity most of Ubuntu’s home-grown usability efforts also fall by the wayside.
In Unity’s place comes a bespoke version of GNOME Shell that is ‘customized’ to resemble something that’s superficially close to the Unity desktop layout. The Ubuntu 17.10 desktop uses a two-panel layout: a full-height vertical dock sits on the left-hand side of the screen, while a ‘top bar’ is stripped across the top.
The top bar plays host a new type of app menu, a calendar applet/message tray, app indicators, and a unified status menu for managing network, volume, Bluetooth and user sessions.
The new Ubuntu Dock is both a task manager and an application launcher. It shows icons for open and running software windows as well as ‘pinned’ launchers for user’s favorite apps.
The dock is also global; it displays icons/applications from all workspaces regardless of which one user is actually viewing.
Both the Ubuntu Dock and the top bar are semi-transparent, which adds nice visual presence. When a window touches either element the “dynamic transparency” feature kicks in to render both dock and top bar darker, making panel label contents more legible in the foreground.
The main “desktop” area remains a usable space on which user can place icons, folders and files.
Though there’s no longer a true global app menu, but the majority of apps place a small menu in the top bar bearing the name of the app in focus. These app menus contain a solitary ‘quit’ button at the least, or a full complement of options at most.
Workspaces are a common feature found on most modern desktop operating systems including Windows 10, so it’s a good thing that Ubuntu hasn’t ditched them. User can easily move windows between workspaces by clicking on a window and moving it on over the workspace.
In Ubuntu 17.10 Applications are listed alphabetically, ordered into scrollable pages. User can launch an application by clicking on it, selecting it with keyboard arrow keys and pressing enter, or by touching it.
After years of ‘footnote’ releases that brought only minor tweaks, the ‘Artful Aardvark’ brings all-out with change, ready to usher in the new era. Under the hood, there have been updates to many core packages, including a new 4.13-based kernel, glibc 2.26, gcc 7.2, and much more in Ubuntu Desktop. Let’s have a brief list view on some of those updates.
Note: Install gnome-session and choose GNOME from the cog on the login screen if user would like to try a more upstream version of GNOME. If any user’ d like to also install more core apps, he’d install the vanilla-gnome-desktop met package.
Not only the Ubuntu 17.10 Desktop but also, there are significant changes into the Ubuntu 17.10 Server version too. For the Ubuntu Server 17.10, the OS Version for the printing server has been increased to announce Windows Server 2003 R2 SP2 ID mapping checks added to the testparm(1) tool. There are some ID mapping backends too, which are not allowed to be used for the default backend. Winbind will no longer start if an invalid backend is configured as the default backend. The others are as follows,
Qemu has been updated to the 2.10 release. Since the last version was 2.8.
Among many other changes there is one that might need follow on activity by the user/admin: Image locking is added and enabled by default. This generally makes execution much safer, but can break some old use cases that now explicitly have to opt-in to ignore/share the locks by tools and subcommands using the –force-share option or the share-rw dqev property.
Libvirt has been updated to version 3.6.
LXD was updated to version 2.18. Some of the top new features of LXD 2.18 are:
Ubuntu 17.10 includes the latest release of DPDK that has stable updates: 17.05.2. This made it possible to integrate Open vSwitch 2.8.
Open vSwitch has been updated to 2.8. Though user need to specify dpdk devices via dpdk-devargs.
The DNS server BIND9 was updated to include the new Key Signing Key (KSK) that was published on July 11, 2017. Starting on October 11, 2017, that key will sign the root zone key, which in turn is used to sign the actual root zones.
The cloud-init version was updated to 17.1. Notable new features for cloud-init are as follows,
The Curtin version is updated to ‘0.1.0~bzr519-0ubuntu1’. New features are:
Samba is updated to version 4.6.7. Important changes in the 4.6.x series are:
There are many other changes too. We recommend that all users read the release notes, which document caveats, workarounds for known issues, as well as more in-depth Release Notes.
Users of Ubuntu 17.04 will be offered an automatic upgrade to 17.10. As always, upgrades to the latest version of Ubuntu are entirely free of charge.
Remember, here at eRacks, we offer pre-installed Ubuntu 17.10 Artful Aardvark with our new systems either directly from the OS dropdown, or by custom quote.
Asif Raihan October 25th, 2017
Posted In: ubuntu
Fedora (formerly Fedora Core) is a Unix-like operating system based on the Linux kernel and GNU programs (a Linux distribution), developed by the community-supported Fedora Project and sponsored by the Red Hat company. Fedora contains software distributed under various free and open-source licenses and aims to be on the leading edge of such technologies. Fedora is the upstream source of the commercial Red Hat Enterprise Linux distribution.
Since the release of Fedora 21, three different editions are available: Workstation, focused on the personal computer, Server and Cloud for servers, and Atomic being the edition meant for cloud computing. As released on July, 11, 2017 they introduced Fedora 26!
Fedora 26 has arrived with thousands of improvements to development tools, partitioning tools, better caching of user and group information, better debugging, an improved DNF package manager, and so much more.
Let’s see some of many upgraded System Requirements & features, those are new Fedora 26 offering.
Fedora 26 provides software to suit a wide variety of applications. The storage, memory and processing requirements vary depending on usage. For example, a high traffic database server requires much more memory and storage than a business desktop, which in turn has higher requirements than a single-purpose virtual machine. Your requirements may differ, and most applications will benefit from more than the minimum resources.
Fedora 26 recommended minimum System Configuration for the default installation are as follows:
Fedora 26 can be installed and used on systems with limited resources. Text, VNC, or kickstart installations are advised over graphical installation for systems with very low memory. Larger package sets require more memory during installation, so users with less than 768MB of system memory may have better results preforming a minimal install and adding to it afterward.
For best results on systems with less than 1GB of memory, one should use the DVD installation image. Fedora also give us some guidelines for it’s best practices and performances.
Graphical installation of Fedora requires a minimum screen resolution of 800×600. Owners of devices with lower resolution, such as some netbooks, should use text or VNC installation. Once installed, Fedora will support these lower resolution devices. The minimum resolution requirement applies only to graphical installation.
Fedora 26 supports most display adapters. Modern, feature-rich desktop environments like GNOME3 and KDE Plasma Workspaces use video devices to provide 3D-accelerated desktops. Systems with older or no graphics acceleration devices can have accelerated desktop environments using LLVMpipe technology, which uses the CPU to render graphics. LLVMpipe requires a processor with SSE2.
Fedora 26 offers latest GNOME 3.24, LibreOffice 5.3, Fedora Media Writer, Improved Qt app compatibility & so on…
Newest version of the GNOME desktop now has a Natural Light Filter feature that changes display’s color temperature. It works based on the time of day and helps prevent sleeplessness and eye strain. Also, there are updates to the Settings panel for online accounts, printers, and users. The notifications area sports a cleaner, simpler layout, with integrated weather information.
For developers, Builder now features improved support for systems like Flatpak, CMake, Meson, and Rust. It also integrates Valgrind to help profile your project. There are numerous other improvements, which you can find in the GNOME 3.24 release notes.
The latest version of the popular office suite features many changes. It includes a preview of the experimental new NotebookBar UI. There’s also a new internal text layout engine to ensure consistent text layout on all platforms.
The new version of the Fedora Media Writer can create bootable SD cards with Fedora for ARM devices such as Raspberry Pi. It also features better support for Windows 7 and screenshot handling. The utility also notifies you when a new release of Fedora is available.
The Adwaita theme contains many improvements and looks closer to its GTK counterpart than ever. There are also two variants ported to Qt, dark and high contrast. If you switch to dark or high contrast Adwaita, your Qt apps will switch as well.
Matthew Miller, Fedora Project Leader, wrote in a Fedora Magazine post about Fedora 26. As he wrote “First, of course, we have thousands of improvements from the various upstream software we integrate, including new development tools like GCC 7, Golang 1.8, and Python 3.6. We’ve added a new partitioning tool to Anaconda (the Fedora installer) — the existing workflow is great for non-experts, but this option will be appreciated by enthusiasts and sysadmins who like to build up their storage scheme from basic building blocks. F26 also has many under-the-hood improvements, like better caching of user and group info and better handling of debug information. And the DNF package manager is at a new major version (2.5), bringing many new features. Really, there’s new stuff everywhere — read more in the release notes.”
Among the current Fedora users, most of may wish to go straight for the clean install—which makes perfect sense and always winds up with a reliable and stable instance.
As with release of latest version of Fedora, we offer latest Fedora 26 with our systems as pre-configured according to your custom quote…
Asif Raihan July 15th, 2017
Posted In: News
We now support the new Ubuntu operating system.
admin April 15th, 2017
Posted In: Uncategorized
The latest OpenMandriva is available from us! https://www.openmandriva.org/
admin March 1st, 2017
Posted In: Uncategorized
UPDATE 3/25/17 JJW:
The M.2 Optane won’t be readily available until later this year or likely 2018 – but it’s a good space to watch, as in our experience the internal interconnect technology and architecture will surely improve, to catch up with the underlying 3D X-Point silicon technology.
joe February 10th, 2017
Posted In: Uncategorized
It’s a sad day – the best of the federated Authentication Providers, without its own agenda or privacy issues, has shut down, due to the public’s apparent lack of interest and / or awareness.
Mozilla Persona, which started life several years ago as BrowserID, was the only one of the OpenAuth-based Authentication providers that didn’t insist on being logged in to a commercial site in order to be authenticated by proxy at the time – with all the privacy issues that entails.
Although it’s no secret that The Public is notorious for not caring about (or not even being aware of) privacy (or at least sacrificing it in favor of convenience), it’s unfortunate that the Mozilla Foundation has chosen not to spend the time, effort, and money to educate the public, as it has chosen to do with its other products.
Here are some relevant excerpts from the shutdown page:
You will need to contact the site owner and ask about their plans for migrating away from Persona.
Mozilla staff can find more information about the progress of migrating internal sites on this mana page.
Our metrics show that usage of persona.org is low, and has not grown over the last two years.
Hosting a service at the level of security and availability required for an authentication system is no small undertaking, and Mozilla can no longer justify dedicating limited resources to this project. We will do everything we can to shut it down in a graceful and responsible manner.
Between now and November 30th, 2016, Mozilla will continue to support the Persona service at a maintenance level: Security issues will be resolved in a timely manner and the services will be kept online, but we do not expect to develop or deploy any new features. Support will continue to be available on the dev-identity mailing list and in the #services-dev IRC channel.
All websites that rely on Persona will need to migrate to another means of authentication during this time.
Mozilla will retain control of the persona.org domain and will not transfer it to a third party. This is a security measure to protect websites that have not completed their migration away from the service.
All user data stored on the persona.org services will be destroyed, including registered email addresses and password hashes. Since the privacy of user data is of utmost importance to Mozilla, we will not transfer it to any third parties.
All of Persona’s code — core, bridges, shims, and more — is open source and remains available on github. Though this marks the end of Mozilla’s direct involvement in Persona, we encourage others to continue learning from and building upon our work.
The following alternative login options are available for sites migrating away from Persona. We will continue to update this page throughout the year.
We intentionally designed Persona to expose email addresses rather than opaque identifiers, which should ease the transition to other systems that provide verified email addresses.
Mozilla-hosted sites may find additional, staff-login-specific migration options on the internal mana page.
Many large email and service providers offer delegated login for third-party applications, including Google, Facebook and GitHub. Indeed, we have found that many sites currently using Persona also offer login via one or more of these services. While these services do not offer equivalently-strong privacy guarantees to Persona, they are a convenient and secure choice for users since they avoid the creation of a site-specific password.
We plan to offer delegated authentication with Firefox Accounts some time in 2016. If you’re interested in adding Firefox Accounts as a login option to your site, please reach out to us on the dev-fxacct mailing list.
Many web frameworks offer password-based user accounts functionality out-of-the-box. Although it requires users to create and remember yet another password, it can be a good choice for users who do not have (or do not wish to share) an account with a delegated authentication provider.
For existing users who previously authenticated with Persona, you could consider authenticating them through Persona again to confirm their email address, then prompting them to create a site-specific password.
As an alternative to setting a site-specific password, you can allow users to login directly via email link, as described in this article and implemented by libraries like passwordless. This can avoid the security implications of users having to create and manage another password, and may be a good fallback option when used in combination with delegated authentication providers.
Since the code for Persona is open-source, it would be possible for reliers to self-host an instance of the service that is dedicated to their own use.
This approach is not recommended most reliers. Persona has a large and complex codebase that has not seen significant development in several years, and Mozilla will not provide security or maintenance updates after 30th November 2016.
We encourage affected reliers to document any alternative solutions here and to discuss them on the dev-identity mailing list, so that others can benefit from their experience.
We at eRacks wil be looking into Portier for our own usage, as well.
joe January 9th, 2017
The newest Mageia is available from us! https://www.mageia.org/en/
admin December 30th, 2016
Posted In: Uncategorized
We now support Mint 18.1!
admin December 17th, 2016
Posted In: Uncategorized