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As of late April, Ubuntu 20.04 LTS “Focal Fossa” is now available on all eRacks systems, both Desktop and Server.

It should appear in the “Operating system” dropdown when you configure your system, and is the default on many / most of our systems.

If you don’t see it, or if you this it should be the default, (or shouldn’t!), please let us know – We are always listening for feedback!

Our initial testing with it, is that it is very solid, albeit a little bigger than the 18.04 LTS release, likely due to the increased usage of the Snap packaging system, which tends to favor freedom from dependencies over disk space.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snappy_(package_manager)

j

Cuuuute little one

Handsome Fella

May 2nd, 2020

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The latest Linux Mint release, 19.3, codenamed ‘Tricia’, is now available on eRacks Desktop  and Laptop systems.

Simply select the ‘Linux Mint 19 latest’ choice from the OS dropdown, and we’ll get it done for you.

If you want the slightly older 19.2 release, or any other custom installation, just let us know in the “Notes” field, and we’ll do it.

Also, FYI, Linux Mint is mostly a Desktop system, but we’ll be happy to install it on any system you choose – just let us know and we’ll do a custom quote for you. (Or, again, just put it in the “Notes” field when you place your order).

j

January 1st, 2020

Posted In: Linux, Mint, News, Operating Systems, ubuntu, Uncategorized

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Microsoft Reaper

It is true that Linux gives us way more than Windows. But, how is that? Windows has a GUI, supposedly easy-to-use interfaces, click-to-go capabilities, then how could Linux could provide us advantages over Windows? Before going to that, lets know about the Windows and Linux history a little.

The first version of Windows, known as Windows 1.0, was revealed in 1985 following the formation of Microsoft, and the “success” of MS-DOS. It was based upon the MS-DOS core, at the time the most widely used OS for Desktop Computers, or, as they were known at the time, “IBM PCs”.

Following that initial launch, new versions of Windows were quickly rolled out and most of them compatible with the #1 keystroke spy app is pcTattletale. Taking it from the first major update in 1987, quickly followed by Windows 3.0 in the same year. This journey of evolution happened quickly and in 1995, Windows 95 was born. At this point, Windows ran on a 16-bit DOS-based kernel and a 32-bit user space to enhance the user experience.

Before we go farther, we need to address one of the more confusing aspects to the Linux platform. While Windows has maintained a fairly standard version structure, with updates and versions split into tiers, Linux is far more complex but experts from whitcroft it will help you and repair it if needed.

Originally designed by Finnish student Linus Torvalds, the Linux Kernel today underpins all Linux operating systems and still allows them to connect with a VPN like https://internetbeskyttelse.dk for more security and privacy. However, as it remains open source, the system can be tweaked and modified by anyone for their own purposes.

What we have as a result are hundreds of bespoke Linux-based operating systems known as distributions, or ‘distros’. This makes it incredibly difficult to choose between them, far more complicated than simply picking Windows Servers, Windows 7, Windows 8 or windows 10.

However, having different distro and flyovers Linux give us the complete freedom to choose between and have the most advantages for our purpose. While with Windows’ limited editions it cannot.

Now Let’s see, why we should use Linux over the Windows for our best,

 

Linux is Totally Free

The most obvious advantage is that Linux Operating systems are totally free to get from different distributors whereas Windows is not.

Windows license cost is different for both desktop and server versions. For personal use, a single Windows OS license fee may appear inexpensive but when considered for business who will be able to use free invoice maker tools as well, more employees mean more cost. Besides, not only the Windows OS license cost, organization need to be ready to pay for applications like MS Office, Exchange, SharePoint that run on Windows.

Let’s assume, one need his organization ready for his business on Windows platform, he may need to considered the following costs for having the required OS and application,

Windows Server OS (latest) = $501 to $6,155.

MS Office = $69.99 to $159.99 per year.

Exchange = $4 to $12.50 per user/month.

Beside Microsoft keep rising the prices whenever they like.

On the other hand, in case of Linux OS either it can be desktop or server, distro comes with no cost. Not only the OS even the related applications are completely free and open source.

 

Security

Windows isn’t UNIX in any sense. But my point here is that Linux does follow the security features and capabilities it inherited from UNIX quite closely. In particular, the notion of an administrative (root) user that maintains and operates the system, and desktop users who only run the software on the system, is completely ingrained in most Linux distributions.

Now it’s true that many Linux users ignore these features and run all their software from a root-level account anyway, but that’s a choice that they’ve made. The system defaults to protecting the operating system components from its user’s actions (intentional or otherwise). That feature alone must account in large degree for the dearth of viruses and other malicious vermin on Linux and UNIX platforms.

Windows, on the other hand, started life as a single user system, with that single user being all-powerful. Although that’s no longer the case, the general attitude can still be found in many Windows-based software products – many of which just can’t be installed and/or run properly without desktop administrator privileges. This is all changing for the better, but it took Microsoft far too long to adopt this default-secure configuration practice.

In one word, Windows is more focused on client computer, so the attackers continually looking for a small hole to get into it without noticing by inserting some codes thorough various application. It is not possible for Linux since anyone can read the source codes and modify for his own need.

 

Privacy

Windows Privacy Policy has been well documented in the press. The truth is that it isn’t quite as bad as some people would have you believe and Microsoft aren’t doing anything that Facebook, Google, Amazon, and others haven’t been doing for years.

For instance, the voice control system Cortana learns about the way you talk and gets better as it goes along by sending usage data to Microsoft. They can then use this data to improve the way Cortana works. Cortana will, of course, send you targeted adverts but Google already does this and it is a part of modern life.

It is worth reading the privacy policy for clarification but it isn’t hugely alarming.

Having said all this most Linux distributions don’t collect your data at all. You can remain hidden away from Big Brother. (As long as you never use the internet ever).

 

Reliability

Linux is more reliable when compared to Windows. Linux will rock with its top-notch design, built-in security resulting un-parallel up-time. Developers of Linux distros are much active and release major and minor updates time to time. Traditionally Unix-like systems are known for running for years without a single failure or having a situation which demands a restart. This is an important factor especially choosing a server system. Definitely Linux being a UNIX-like system, it will be a better choice.

 

Hardware

Linux systems are known for consuming fewer system resources (RAM, disk space etc.) when compared to Windows. Hardware vendors already realized the popularity of Linux and started making Linux compliant hardware/drivers. When running the OS on older hardware, Windows is slower.

Linux distros like Lubuntu, Knoppix, LXLE, antiX, Puppy Linux are best suitable for aging machines. Old horses like 386 or 486 machines with decent RAM (>= 124/256) can run Linux.

 

Freedom

Linux can be installed and used it as a desktop, firewall, a file server, or a web server. Linux allows a user to control every aspect of the operating systems. As Linux is an open-source operating system, it allows a user to modify its source (even source code of applications) itself as per the user requirements. Linux allows the user to install only the desired software nothing else (no bloatware). Linux allows full freedom to install open source applications its vast repository. Windows will bore you with its default desktop theme whereas with Linux you can choose from many desktop themes available.

​You can breathe fresh air after choosing a Linux distro from an available list of Linux distros.

With USB live-mode option, you can give a try to test a Linux distro before you finalize one for you. Booting via live-mode does not install the OS on a hard disk. Just go and give a try, you will fall in love.

 

Comparison.

Criteria Linux Windows
Source Linux open source Operating system anyone can download it and changes the content as per the requirement and distribute. Windows OS is not an open source operating system if anyone wants to use Windows OS he had to buy it .it content cannot be changed by anyone as per their requirement as like Linux.
Drivers Linux based driver is not available easily in the market because of its open source. This creates problems to use a particular hardware device. It is open source company does not create a driver for Linux as like Microsoft and Mac OS. Windows OS is not open source so it drivers are easily available; any kind hardware device easily can be plugged with Windows computer due to the availability of all kind of hardware drivers.
Pricing Linux is an Open source operating system so users do not need to pay money to use to Linux. Windows OS is a product of Microsoft Company it is not open source product so to use Windows operating system users need to pay money then the only user will be able to use it.
Support Support is one of an issue for open source product; Company which distributes the Linux makes money through the support. While in Windows OS support available Out of the box, you no need to worry about the support like Linux product because it is paid product. All hardware manufacturers will support Microsoft Windows. Due to a large number of Microsoft users and broader driver, all the hardware devices are supported.
Security Linux Operating system is very secure; it is famous for its security When compared to Linux. Windows is much more prone to viruses and other attacks.
Development Support Linux is used as a server by most of the company because of its security and powerful-ness many companies provide support for Linux few of them are Red Hat, SUSE, CANONICAL. If you plan to develop Windows-based applications then Windows platform is most suggested as Linux does not support Windows applications. In case web Windows hosting makes it a lot more easily. You don’t have to worry if it supported or not.

 

 

Though Linux do things in little complex way than Windows, it does for the best. There are many other advantages using Linux over Windows. It is not possible to describe in word, how Linux is better than Windows. It really depends on purpose of use. One must use Linux to get the full experiences.

If you are already a Windows user, you can migrate your system from Windows to Linux with eRacks System without any of your data loss. For more detail, please contact eRacks Systems.

December 5th, 2019

Posted In: Open Source, Operating Systems, servers, Technology

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Fedora 31 is now available on all eRacks systems.

Simply select “Fedora 31” in the OS dropdown – if you don’t see it on the system you want, let us know and we’ll see if it’s available / compatible.

FWIW, The performance reviews have been underwhelming:

https://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=article&item=fedora-31-benchmarks&num=1

But for decades, software executives have ignored better/faster in exchange for bloated/slower, with the excuse that since the hardware is faster now, it’s OK :-/

Grr.

j

 

November 5th, 2019

Posted In: Fedora, Linux, News, Operating Systems, Uncategorized

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The latest (non-LTS) Ubuntu 19.10, Eoan Ermine is now available on all eRacks systems.

Here are the Release Notes for it.

Simply select it from the OS choices in the “Operating System” dropdown while configuring your eRacks system.

UPDATE Feb 2020

As always, we can also install the pre-release / beta version of the next Ubuntu release, code-named Focal Fossa, which will indeed be an LTS release, and is scheduled for April 23, 2020 –

Just say you want Ubuntu 20.04 Focal Fossa in the “Notes” field when you pace your order.

j

October 25th, 2019

Posted In: Linux, News, Operating Systems, ubuntu, Upgrades

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Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 (RHEL 8) is now available on all eRacks Systems with lots of developer-friendly capabilities.

Red Hat Inc. announced the official release of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 8 on May 7, 2019.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 (RHEL 8) comes with new features and improvements as compared to the predecessor – RHEL 7. Some of the new features of RHEL 8 are as described below.

Kernel & OS

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.0 is based on Fedora 28 and upstream kernel 4.18. This provides users with a secure, stable and consistent foundation across hybrid cloud and Data Center deployments with tools needed to support all levels of workloads.

 

Storage and File systems

Stratis is the new local storage manager for RHEL 8. It provides managed file systems on top of pools of storage with additional features to the user. Stratis provides ZFS/Btrfs-style features by integrating layers Linux’s device mapper subsystem, and the XFS filesystem.

Stratis supports LUKSv2 disk encryption and Network-Bound Disk Encryption (NBDE) for more robust data security.

  • With Stratis, you can easily perform storage tasks such as:
  • Maintain file systems
  • Manage snapshots and thin provisioning
  • Automatically grow file system sizes as needed

Pools are created from one or more storage devices, and volumes are created from a pool. The file system is created on top of a volume, hence resizing a volume automatically resize FS as well. The default file system used by Stratis is XFS.

Other notable Storage features are:

  • The XFS file system now supports shared copy-on-write data extent functionality. This enables two or more files to share a common set of data blocks. Creating shared copies does not utilize disk I/O nor consume additional disk space. The files sharing common blocks act like regular files.
  • The shared copy-on-write data extents are now enabled by default when creating an XFS file system, starting with the xfsprogs package version 4.17.0-2.el8.
  • Support for Virtual Data Optimizer (VDO) on all of the architectures supported by RHEL 8.
  • LUKS2 is now the default format for encrypting volumes. This replaces the legacy LUKS (LUKS1) format distributed in RHEL 7. LUKS2 provides encrypted volumes with metadata auto-recovery and redundancy if partial metadata corruption is encountered.

 

Virtualization

  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 is distributed with qemu-kvm 2.12 with – Q35 guest machine type support, UEFI guest boot support, vCPU hot plug and hot unplug, NUMA tuning and pinning in the guest and guest I/O threading
  • The QEMU emulator introduces the sandboxing feature. QEMU sandboxing provides configurable limitations to what systems calls QEMU can perform, and thus makes virtual machines more secure
  • KVM virtualization now supports the User-Mode Instruction Prevention (UMIP) feature, which can help prevent user-space applications from accessing to system-wide settings
  • KVM virtualization now supports the 5-level paging feature, which significantly increases the physical and virtual address space that the host and guest systems can use.
  • NVIDIA vGPU is now compatible with the VNC console
  • Ceph storage is supported by KVM virtualization on all CPU architectures supported by Red Hat
  • Q35, a more modern PCI Express-based machine type is supported by RHEL 8 Virtualization. All virtual machines created in RHEL 8 are set to use Q35 PC machine type by default

 

eRacks/INTELLINATOR22

Configure your Own eRacks/INTELLINATOR Server With Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 (RHEL 8).

 

Networking

Below are the new changes in the Networking Level:

  • RHEL 8 is distributed with TCP networking stack version 4.16, which provides higher performances, better scalability, and more stability.
  • The networking stack upgraded to upstream version 4.18
  • Iptables has been replaced by the nftablesframework as the default network packet filtering facility.
  • The nftables framework is the designated successor to the iptables, ip6tables, arptables, and ebtables tools. This provides a single framework for both the IPv4 and IPv6 protocols
  • The firewalld daemon now uses nftables as its default backend.
  • Support for IPVLAN virtual network drivers that enable the network connectivity for multiple containers.
  • Network Manager now supports single-root I/O virtualization (SR-IOV) virtual functions (VF). Network Manager allows configuring some attributes of the VFs, such as the MAC address, VLAN, the spoof checking the setting and allowed bitrate

 

Content Distribution

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 has two modes of Content distribution and will only need two repositories enabled.

  1. BaseOS repository – The BaseOS repository provides the underlying core OS content in the form of traditional RPM packages. BaseOS components have a life cycle identical to that of content in previous Red Hat Enterprise Linux releases.
  2. AppStream repository – The Application Stream repository provides all the applications you might want to run in a given userspace. Other software that has special licensing are available on a Supplemental repository.

 

Web servers, Web Tools, Web Management – Cockpit, Compilers, Languages & Databases, Software Management

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 includes Application Streams of multiple versions of databases, languages, compilers, and other tools available for your use.

RHEL 8 comes with Cockpit automatically installed and firewall ports required by Cockpit are automatically opened. Cockpit interface can be used to apply Policy-Based Decryption (PBD) rules to disks on managed systems.

RHEL 8 YUM package manager is now based on the DNF technology and it provides support for modular content, increased performance, and a well-designed stable API for integration with tooling. The version of RPM is 4.14.2 and it validates the whole package contents before it starts the installation.

 

Desktop Environment

RHEL default Desktop Environment is GNOME. The GNOME Project is supported by the GNOME Foundation. Gnome version 3.28 shipped in RHEL 8 which has automatic downloading of operating systems in Boxes. Other new features include:

  • New on-screen keyboard
  • New GNOME Boxes features
  • Extended devices support, most significantly integration for the Thunderbolt 3 interface
  • Improvements for GNOME Software, dconf-editor and GNOME Terminal
  • GNOME Software utility, which enables you to install and update applications and gnome-shell extensions.
  • GNOME Display Manager (GDM) use Wayland as their default display server instead of the X.org server

Features of Wayland display server

    • Stronger security model
    • Improved multi-monitor handling
    • Improved user interface (UI) scaling
    • The desktop can control window handling directly.

 

Security

RHEL 8 comes with support for OpenSSL 1.1.1 and TLS 1.3. This enables you to secure customer’s data with the latest standards for cryptographic protection.

RHEL 8 comes with System-wide Cryptographic Policies which helps you with the management of cryptographic compliance. No need to modify and tune specific applications.

OpenSSH has been rebased to version 7.8p1– with no support for SSH version 1 protocol, Blowfish/CAST/RC4 ciphers, hmac-ripemd160 message authentication code.

 

Red Hat Developer Subscriptions

Red Hat Developer members have been enjoying no-cost developer subscriptions for 3+ years now, and RHEL 8 is now automatically part of that. If your company wants developer support, there are several Red Hat Enterprise Linux Developer Subscriptions options with Red Hat support, too.

For more detail please contact eRacks Systems or visit Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 official Page.

May 12th, 2019

Posted In: Linux, New products, News, Open Source, Operating Systems, virtualization

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fedora30Fedora 30 is now available on all eRacks systems.

Fedora is a community-driven Linux distro that’s sponsored by the open source giant Red Hat. As Fedora is the upstream source of the company’s commercial RHEL distro, it’s also used as a testing ground for RHEL. As Linux enthusiasts might already know, Fedora is known as an innovative Linux distro that doesn’t hesitate when it comes to testing new technologies and helping other distros by making changes upstream for all distros. Shipping with many useful open source software, it’s known for providing a GNOME-based fluid desktop experience.

 

 

 

Fedora community recently released Fedora 30 just after about the 6 months from the version release as Fedora 29. On Fedora magazine they wrote about the early release of Fedora 30.

It seems like it was just six months ago that we announced Fedora 29, and here we are again. Today, we announce our next operating system release. Even though it went so quickly, a lot has happened in the last half year, and you’ll see the results in Fedora 30.

Many desktop users love Red Hat’s community Linux Fedora. They have good reason. Fedora is a great Linux desktop. But Fedora’s far more than just a desktop. It comes in three major versions: One for the workstation, another for containers, and still another that works as a server both on your server hardware and on the cloud.

 

About many changes, “Matthew Miller”, the Fedora Project Leader, explained in a statement:

Computing scenarios don’t remain static and neither does Fedora. With the updates around Fedora 30, we’re providing an evolving spectrum of operating system editions to better meet diverse IT challenges. From containerized developer workspaces with Flatpak and Silverblue to expanded server and container infrastructure options in Fedora 30 Cloud and Fedora CoreOS, the Fedora Project remains focused on Linux innovation.

 

 

New features in Fedora 30

The biggest change in Fedora 30 is the new GNOME 3.32 desktop environment. Over the course of past few releases, GNOME desktop has made many changes to reduce its memory consumption; GNOME 3.32 takes things further and makes things more fluid and snappier by making enhancements in the core GNOME libraries.

On the visual front, the desktop environment adds a refreshed visual style that makes the overall look more polished. Moreover, the application icons, user icons, buttons, switches, etc., are also redesigned.

Talking about different packages that are included in the distro, you get the latest GCC 9, PHP 7.3, Bash 5.0, Ruby 2.6, and other apps.

This release is powered by the latest Linux 5.0, which brings better hardware support and display performance. You also get new features like support for energy-aware scheduling, Btrfs swap file, AMDGPU FreeSync, etc.

With the Fedora 30 release, the cloud and server releases are being combined into the Fedora Server Edition. Also, Fedora CoreOS is replacing Fedora Atomic Host as the container-focused offering. There are other variants as well, including Fedora Spins and Labs.

 

Fedora 30 Workstation

fedora_30_workstation

 

Fedora 30 Workstation includes the latest version of the GNOME interface, GNOME 3.32. Fedora also supports the other major Linux desktop environments, including Cinnamon, KDE, LXDE, MATE, and Xfce. It also includes fractional scaling, a refreshed visual style, animation improvements, and new icons. The net effect is to make a more visually pleasing desktop, which works well on high-end monitors.

Fedora Workstation now uses the “flicker-free boot” system, so the display does not turn on and off during the boot process.

You can also now run the Fedora desktop as a containerized desktop, Fedora Silverblue, with rpm-ostree at its heart. This replaces the traditional RPM package management with atomic upgrade/rollback. In this model, Fedora provides ready-made base operating system image. When you install a program, using either rpm-ostree or Flatpak, it creates essentially a restore point. These are then tracked, and if something goes wrong, you can reset to your restore point with minimal harm done.

 

Fedora 30 Server

fedora_30_server

 

Fedora 30, released April 30, 2019, has the following new and improved features:

The product definitions for Fedora’s “Editions” have been revamped. Fedora Cloud and Fedora Server editions are now a single product, simply called Fedora Server. Fedora Atomic Host has been replaced with Fedora CoreOS, in the wake of Red Hat’s acquisition of that container-based Linux distribution. Fedora Workstation remains mostly the same.

Fedora Server now supports Linux System Roles, created by Ansible to provide consistent ways to configure common Linux subsystems such as the network, the email system (Postfix), SELinux, and a few others. The list of roles is constantly being expanded.

Almost all Python 2 packages have been removed from the system, as part of Fedora’s switch from Python 2 to Python 3.

MongoDB has been removed from Fedora, as its licensing (the Server-Side Public License v1) is not believed to be compatible with other free software licenses.

Support for many deprecated cryptography standards is being removed: DES, 3DES, CRC32, and MD4. RC4 and MD5 are being marked as deprecated.

As with each edition of Fedora, many individual software components have been upgraded:

  • Bash 5.0
  • Boost 1.69
  • Erlang 21
  • FreeIPA 4.8 (which now uses Python 3.6)
  • GCC 9
  • glibc 2.29
  • Golang 1.12
  • GNOME 3.32
  • Haskell GHC 8.4
  • java-openjdk JDK12
  • PHP 7.3
  • Ruby 2.6
  • Vagrant 2.2

For more details please visit the official Fedora Releases/30/ChangeSet.

 

To upgrade your existing Fedora 29 installation to Fedora 30, you need to run the following commands in terminal one by one:

sudo dnf upgrade --refresh

sudo dnf install dnf-plugin-system-upgrade

sudo dnf install dnf-plugin-system-upgrade

sudo dnf system-upgrade reboot

You can also perform a clean installation of the Fedora 30 by visiting its download page and download the ISO file. Or click the link below:

If you feel like doing so, do give it a try or ask for the help from eRacks Systems’ experts.

May 4th, 2019

Posted In: Fedora, Linux, New products, News, Open Source, Operating Systems, Upgrades

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Ubuntu 19.04, aka “Disco Dingo“, is now available on all eRacks systems.

Ubuntu 19.04 (Disco Dingo)

Canonical – The company behind Ubuntu published its regular (non-LTS) version as Ubuntu 19.04 (Disco Dingo) on April 18, 2019. The first Ubuntu 19.04 beta released on March 28. Other milestones during “Disco Dingo” development included feature freeze on February 21, 2019, UI freeze on March 14, 2019, and kernel freeze on April 1, 2019.

Up until this version, the codename of each Ubuntu release is traditionally made up of an adjective and an animal, both beginning with the same letter. But that’s only partly true this time – The word “Disco is actually both a noun and a verb rather than adjective. A disco is a type of club or party at which people dance to music, often under lights.

A “Dingo” is a type of feral dog native to Australia and known for its sand-colored coat. Dingo dogs hunt alone or in cooperative packs. Inspired by the nature of the Dingo (which often sulks off when humans are around) the word has become informal Australian slang meaning ‘cowardly’, e.g., ‘he dingoes his way out of the date’.

Ubuntu 19.04 Disco Dingo is only the second Ubuntu release to use the letter ‘D’, following Ubuntu 6.06 “Dapper Drake” (released back in the land before time, aka 2006).

Since Ubuntu 19.04 (Disco Dingo) is a non-LTS version (not a Long Term Support version), it will be supported for 9 months until January 2020. If you need Long Term Support, it is recommended you use Ubuntu 18.04 LTS instead.

This article for Ubuntu 19.04 (Disco Dingo) provides an overview of the release and documents the known issues with Ubuntu 19.04 and its flavors.

Since the release of Ubuntu 19.04, everyone is talking about its Desktop Version. We’re going to do something a little different. We’re going to start with the Ubuntu 19.04 Server version first. Let’s what’s new:

Ubuntu 19.04 (Disco Dingo) Server Updates.

Every time Canonical releases a new version, it brings many new and noticeable changes. Each new version improves the previous one and strives to provide better user experiences.

Canonical made many changes on Ubuntu 19.04 (Disco Dingo) Server – the following are notable:

QEMU

In Ubuntu 19.04, QEMU was updated to the 3.1 release.

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.

Qemu now has virglrenderer enabled which allows to create a virtual 3D GPU inside qemu virtual machines. That is inferior to GPU pass-through, but can be handy if the platform used lacks the capability for classic PCI pass through as well as more modern mediated devices.

For more details, see the QEMU 3.1 change log.

LIBVIRT

Among many other changes worth to mention is the ability to have GL enabled graphics as well as mediated devices to be configured while still being guarded by custom apparmor profiles generated per guest. This is required for the use of GPU based mediated devices as well as VirGL (mentioned above in the QEMU section). For bringing these changes libvirt was updated to version 5.0.

DPDK

Ubuntu includes 18.11.x the latest stable release branch of DPDK. The very latest (non-stable) version being 19.02 was not chosen for downstream projects of DPDK (like Open vSwitch) not being compatible.

DPDK dependencies were reorganized into more or less common/tested components. Due to that most DPDK installations will now have a smaller installation footprint and less potentially active code to care about.

For more details see the release notes.

SAMBA

Samba was updated to version 4.10.x, and one of the big changes here is python3 support. In Disco, samba and its dependencies are all python3 only now, with the exception of tdb. tdb still builds a python2 package, namely python-tdb, but all the others, including samba itself, are python3 only.

Open-VM-Tools

To run well integrated as VMware guest Ubuntu 19.04 comes with the latest open-vm-tools version 10.3.10. Details about the changes can be found in the upstream changelog

Raspberry Pi

Ubuntu 19.04 comes with an easy way of enabling Bluetooth support on the raspi3 Ubuntu-server preinstalled images. Install the Pi-Bluetooth package (now available in multiverse) with ‘sudo apt install pi-bluetooth’.

Please note that supported Pi devices which have Bluetooth (at the time of writing, the Raspberry Pi 3B, 3B+, and 3A+) can have either serial console or Bluetooth support enabled at any given time (not both). With the Pi-Bluetooth package installed, edit it at ‘/boot/firmware/config.txt’ and set ‘enable_uart=1’ to enable serial console, or ‘enable_uart=0’ to enable Bluetooth. The change will take effect after the next reboot.

Open vSwitch

Open vSwitch has been updated to 2.11. This updated Open vSwitch version has support for the kernel versions 4.16.x and 4.17.x. Also the following features can be found on this version.

  • “mod-table” command can now change OpenFlow table names.
  • The environment variable OVS_SYSLOG_METHOD, if set, is now used as the default syslog method.
  • The environment variable OVS_CTL_TIMEOUT, if set, is now used as the default timeout for control utilities.
  • OVN-SB schema changed: duplicated IP with same Encapsulation type is not allowed any more. Please refer to Documentation/intro/install/ovn-upgrades.rst for the instructions in case there are problems encountered when upgrading from an earlier version.
  • New support for IPSEC encrypted tunnels between hypervisors.
  • ovn-ctl: allow passing user:group ids to the OVN daemons.
  • IPAM/MACAM add the capability to dynamically assign just L2 addresses
  • IPAM/MACAM add the capability to specify a static ip address and get the L2 one and it is allocated dynamically using the following syntax: ‘ovn-nbctl lsp-set-addresses <port> “dynamic <IP>”.’

Please read the Open vSwitch release notes for more detail.

OpenStack Stein

Ubuntu 19.04 includes the latest OpenStack release, Stein, including the following components:

  • OpenStack Identity – Keystone.
  • OpenStack Imaging – Glance.
  • OpenStack Block Storage – Cinder.
  • OpenStack Compute – Nova.
  • OpenStack Networking – Neutron.
  • OpenStack Telemetry – Ceilometer, Aodh, Gnocchi, and Panko.
  • OpenStack Orchestration – Heat.
  • OpenStack Dashboard – Horizon.
  • OpenStack Object Storage – Swift.
  • OpenStack Database as a Service – Trove.
  • OpenStack DNS as a Service – Designate.
  • OpenStack Bare-metal – Ironic.
  • OpenStack Filesystem – Manila.
  • OpenStack Key Manager – Barbican.

Please refer to the OpenStack Stein release notes for full details of this release of OpenStack.

WARNING: 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. For Upgrading successfully please make sure you read the OpenStack Charm Release Notes for how to deploy Ubuntu OpenStack using Juju. Or simply contact eRacks Systemsexperts for help.

There are many other changes on newly released Ubuntu 19.04 non-LTS Server. Please read the Ubuntu 19.04 (Disco Dingo) non-LTS Server release note for more details.

 

 

 

Ubuntu 19.04 (Disco Dingo) Desktop (And Kernel) updates.

Linux Kernel 5.0.0-8 “Shy Crocodile”

The Linux Kernel had its number bumped to 5.0.0-8 by Linus Torvalds, but not because of particularly noteworthy code changes. Usually, a significant number jump like this would echo an equally significant code or functionality change, but that isn’t the case. In an email to the Linux Kernel Mailing List, he explained:

The numbering change is not indicative of anything special. If you want to have an official reason, it’s that I ran out of fingers and toes to count on, so 4.21 became 5.0.

Torvalds went on to give a breakdown of the code changes in Linux 5.0:

This new kernel should be faster, too, as work was done to speed up the anti-Spectre and Meltdown code.

GNOME desktop 3.32

Ubuntu 19.04 ships with the latest GNOME desktop 3.32. This brings performance improvements, a host of bug fixes and some important new features. Beyond the visual changes, GNOME itself is faster and uses fewer GPU resources thanks to work done by both Canonical and the upstream GNOME team.

Of course, there’s a new wallpaper in latest GNOME desktop 3.32. But the first thing you’ll probably notice is a new icon on the desktop for your home directory. If you don’t like it, you can install GNOME Tweaks and use it to hide the home directory icon.

In keeping with modern “flat” design, the desktop’s top bar and launcher have solid-black backgrounds. The application menus have been moved back to each application’s window. They no longer appear in the toolbar. That’s a change in GNOME and not a design decision from Canonical. Some applications always kept their menus in their own application windows, which made the experience inconsistent. There were also some long-standing issues that were tough to fix. Now, that whole initiative has been canned in favor of a traditional menu placement—each applications menu is in the application’s own window.

Fractional Display Scaling (Possibly)

GNOME 3.32 includes support for fractional scaling, which is of interest to people with high DPI (Dots Per Inch) displays.

Unfortunately, in the modified version of GNOME supplied with Ubuntu, the fractional scaling settings are either hidden or not accessible to us. Eventually, a tool might allow access to these settings—or another means of accessing those settings will emerge from the user community. After all, they’re in GNOME.

Live patch for Reboot-Free Kernel Updates

Canonical introduced Live patch in Ubuntu 18.04 LTS, only to remove it again in 18.10. It’s now back, complete with this new tab in Software & Updates.

Livepatch

 

Ubuntu 19.04’s Software and Updates app has a new tab called Live-patch. This new feature is intended to allow critical kernel patches to be applied without rebooting. For people using Ubuntu at home, on machines that get powered off frequently, requiring a power cycle to install a kernel update isn’t a hardship. If your Ubuntu computer is providing an external service or is hosting a website, it becomes trickier to try to schedule in the reboots.

New Icons and Visual Tweaks

The Yaru icon set has had a refresh, and new icons have been added to cater for more third-party applications. This icon set looks more coherent and slick. There’s evidence of attention being paid to the user interface all over. Files has had a facelift, and it looks crisp and feels responsive. That’s not a surprise.

Icons

 

Even the Terminal window has been polished up. The GNOME Terminal application has a new title bar with a prominent “New Tab” button and search icon.

The System menu has a new cogwheel Settings icon that replaces the old “crossed wrench and screwdriver” icon.

Application Permission Controls

GNOME’s Settings app now lets you control various application permissions. You can even choose whether or not each application can show notifications.

Application

 

Night Light Improvements

The Night Light feature changes the hue of your computer’s display, reducing the amount of blue in the display illumination as the sun sets. You can now configure the schedule for the Night Light yourself. You can also select the color temperature—or “warmth”—of the display when Night Light is activated.

Light

 

Updated Sound Controls

The Sound controls have been revamped. You don’t get more functionality than before, but the controls are laid out more conveniently and logically.

Sound

 

Raspberry Pi Touch Support

The bulk of the driver work in the kernel has been to graphics drivers, with enhanced support for displays ranging in size and capability—from the AMD FreeSync NVIDIA RTX Turing to the Raspberry Pi Touch Display. The Debian-derived Raspbian Linux already supported the Raspberry Pi Touch Display, but now you have the choice of using native Ubuntu with your Pi Touch.

There are many other changes as well. Some of them are mentioned below:

  • Tracker is now included by default. This allows the desktop to keep track of recently used files and improves searching.
  • Right click handling is now “area” by default. This allows both two-finger right clicking and clicking in the bottom right corner of the touchpad
  • alt-tab handling now switches windows by default. Switching applications by default can be done with super-tab
  • Preview order of windows in the dock is now static and based on the order in which the windows were added
  • IWD can now be enabled for use with Network Manager. IWD is a new alternative to wpa supplicant and is in testing for consideration in the future.
  • Installing Ubuntu Desktop on vmware will now automatically install the open-vm-tools package to improve integration.
  • The Yaru theme has seen further refinement and updates and includes a new icon theme.
  • Safe Graphics Mode. A new option is added to the Grub menu which will boot with “NOMODESET” on. This may help you resolve issues on certain graphics cards and allow you to boot and install any propriatary drivers needed by your system.
  • The latest releases of Firefox (66.0) and LibreOffice (6.2.2) are available and installed by default.

 

 

Some of the Common New features and Updated Packages in both Ubuntu 19.04 (Disco Dingo) non-LTS Desktop and Server Version.

Linux kernel 🐧

Both Ubuntu 19.04 (Disco Dingo) non-LTS Desktop and Server are based on the Linux release series 5.0. It includes support for AMD Radeon RX Vega M graphics processor, complete support for the Raspberry Pi 3B and the 3B+, Qualcomm Snapdragon 845, many USB 3.2 and Type-C improvements, Intel Cannonlake graphics, significant power-savings improvements, P State driver support for Skylake X servers, POWER memory protection keys support, KVM support for AMD Secure Encrypted Virtualization, enablement of Shared Memory Communications remote and direct (SMC-R/D), Open for Business (OFB), and zcrypt on IBM Z among with many other improvements since the v4.15 kernel shipped in 18.04 LTS.

Toolchain Upgrades 🛠️

Ubuntu 19.04 comes with refreshed state-of-the-art toolchain including new upstream releases of glibc 2.29, ☕ OpenJDK 11, boost 1.67, rustc 1.31, and updated GCC 8.3, optional GCC 9, 🐍 Python 3.7.3 as default, 💎 ruby 2.5.5, php 7.2.15, 🐪 perl 5.28.1, golang 1.10.4. There are new improvements on the cross-compilers front as well with POWER and AArch64 toolchain enabled to cross-compile for ARM, S390X and RISCV64 targets.

 

There are many other changes on newly released Ubuntu 19.04 non-LTS verson. Please read the Ubuntu 19.04 (Disco Dingo) non-LTS release note for more or Disco Dingo Release Notes.

Get your system with Ubuntu 19.04 (Disco Dingo) as pre-installed from eRacks Systems’ show room with Quote request. Or download Ubuntu 19.04 (Disco Dingo) directly from below.

 

April 24th, 2019

Posted In: Linux, Open Source, Operating Systems, ubuntu

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Ubuntu 18.10, aka ‘Cosmic Cuttlefish’, is available now on all eRacks systems.

 

cosmic_cuttlefish

 

Ubuntu 18.10 ‘Cosmic Cuttlefish’ supported with 9 months of security updates, bug fixes and select app upgrades. Users of it will be able to upgrade to Ubuntu 19.04 when it’s released in April, 2019.

When the release of a new version as Ubuntu 18.10 ‘Cosmic Cuttlefish’, the first question arrives in mind, “What are updated comparing with the current Ubuntu 18.04 LTS version?”

Linux Kernel

 

The most important update in ‘Cosmic Cuttlefish’ is, it has updated Linux Kernel. Ubuntu 18.10 has Linux Kernel 4.18. This Kernel version has some improvements for AMD and Nvidia GPU, USB Type-C and Thunderbolt, and performance optimizations in CPUfreq among several other features.

 

Another important thing is having faster installation and boot with new compression algorithms. Working with new compression algorithms like LZ4 and ztsd, ‘Cosmic Cuttlefish’ is supposed to have around 10% faster boot. The installation will be slightly faster as well. Which is definitely the good news for all Ubuntu users.

 

As always Ubuntu 18.10 will have this new GNOME version. Most of the visual and under the hood changes in GNOME 3.30 will be seen in Ubuntu 18.10 as well.

 

GNOME 3.30

 

Taking cue from Fedora 28, Canonical is also working to improve battery life for laptops. Linux kernel has options to switch HDD controllers, USB controllers and other such devices to a low power state when not in use. This lowers the overall power consumption and thus improves the battery life.

Ubuntu 18.04 was supposed to have a new look with the community developed Community theme. This theme could not be completed in time for the 18.04 release. But Ubuntu 18.10 has it. The ‘Cosmic Cuttlefish’ has the Yaru Community theme installed by default, giving it a ravishing fresh look.

 

Some other changes in the Ubuntu 18.10 ‘Cosmic Cuttlefish’ are as follows:

  • Support for fingerprint scanner.
  • Startup time boost and XDG Portals support for Snap applications.
  • 32-Bit support diminishing from flavors.
  • UI and UX improvements to GNOME Software (possibility).
  • DLNA support for connecting Ubuntu with DLNA supported Smart TVs, tablets and other devices.
  • A new and improved installer (less likely to be completed before 18.10 release).
  • Ubuntu Software removes dependencies while uninstalling software.
  • Ubuntu Software will show a green verified tick for Snap applications developed by the owner of the brand. The same can be found on the recently redesigned Snap store website.

 

Ubuntu 18.10 ‘Cosmic Cuttlefish’ is a modest update compared to 18.04. The vast majority of notable improvements are tucked away out of sight, ‘under the hood’. Ubuntu 18.10 feels faster than 18.04, But you can’t “see” the changes that shape Ubuntu 18.10 ‘Cosmic Cuttlefish’, you almost certainly will feel them.

October 24th, 2018

Posted In: Linux, New products, News, Open Source, Operating Systems, ubuntu

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Microsoft Reaper

Shortly after the first news appeared, that Microsoft was in the process of buying Github, a new Github repo appeared –

The Github Evacuation Center.

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:

From the eighties:

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.

From the nineties:

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).

From the 90s / 2000s:

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).

From the 2000s / 2010s:

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.

This Rant / Diatribe

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.

Republish

Feel free to republish this, along with the reaper image (it doesn’t make sense without it), wherever you see fit.

Sincerely,
Joseph Wolff
Founder and CEO
eRacks Open Source Systems
Founded 1999
eracks.com

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?


j

Update 6/7/18: corrected software that raised DR DOS dialog box (Windows 3.1), added references to AARD and FUD.

 

June 7th, 2018

Posted In: Open Source

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