eRacks Systems Tech Blog

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Worried about your choice of surveillance system for your premises, not sure what system is more suitable to your needs? Confused where to invest your hard-earned money for your security apparatus? We at eRacks got you covered!

Our top of the line products and their tech are briefly described for you because we at eRacks believe a market educated consumer is a happy and long-term customer. Besides, not one shoe fits all, so why should one system be used for all your needs?.

eRacks has always emphasized on its diversity in its products.

A diverse security apparatus is a strong security apparatus
-Joseph Wolff, CTO, eRacks

Hence, we are offering three variants of surveillance systems

  1. eRacks/HVR (Hybrid Video Recorder)
  2. eRacks/NVR (Network Video Recorder)
  3. eRacks/DVR (Digital Video Recorder)

Each of the technology we are offering to our valuable clients are discussed in detail below

 

  1. eRacks/HVR (Hybrid Video Recorder)

eRacks/HVR (Hybrid Video Recorder) is quickly growing in popularity because of its versatility. Hybrid video recorders (eRacks/HVR) are compatible with both standard analog signal and IP network cameras, allowing the users to continue using their current installed analog security system while gradually shifting to the latest network IP technology. It grants the flexibility to upgrade the existing surveillance system to IP equipment according to the user’s budget and specifications.

A hybrid system integrates existing analog cameras into an IP network, providing the user with all the advantages of an IP system excluding the HD resolution of IP cameras. In a hybrid CCTV system, footage is recorded in analogue quality however the IP network features of indexing, bookmarking, and retrieval are made available through the Hybrid eRacks/DVR.

eRacks/HVR (Hybrid Video Recorder) is best suited to record video footage in a digital format to storage array. It accommodates both IP and analog cameras and captures video/images through an Ethernet network via Cat5 / Cat6 cables from IP cameras as well as coaxial cables from analog cameras. It is mostly used for physical security applications. This option is a good choice when planning for future expansion into an IP video surveillance system as the existing analog cameras can be reused and incorporated into the system without any drop in coverage.

eRacks/HVR comes with a variety of channel counts, and storage capacities to ideally suit many applications. It also supports smart features, including event search, event log, and email notification; a free mobile app that allows users to watch live or playback video from their smartphone. Multi-site video management from anywhere in the world can be done using eRacks/HVR as well.

 

 

  1. eRacks/NVR (Network Video Recorder)

eRacks/NVR stands for Network Video Recorder which is a specialized hardware and software solution used in the IP video surveillance systems. This system records and store video footage directly from the network it lives on for the purpose of their storage and subsequent playback. They work with an advanced type of camera, called IP cameras. IP cameras can actually capture and process video and audio data themselves by using either an Ethernet cable or wirelessly via an existing Wi-Fi network. The eRacks/NVR does not contain any special equipment for capturing video because it receives the video streams already encoded by the IP cameras in a digital format. To support the expanded set of features and user-friendliness, the eRacks/NVR uses standard computers with standard operating systems.

eRacks/NVR systems process the video data on the camera rather than on the recorder by using IP cameras which are standalone image capturing devices. IP cameras have a chipset which processes the video data which is then transmitted to a recorder. It is capable of recording and sending audio as well as video. The more powerful hardware on IP cameras also enables improved smart functionality and video analytics, such as facial recognition. eRacks/NVR systems connect the camera to the recorder, but this is done using standard Ethernet cables, such as cat5e and cat6, to transmit data. eRacks/NVR recorders are only used for storing and viewing the footage.

eRacks/NVR systems are inherently more flexible because security cameras don’t necessarily have to be physically connected directly to the recorder. Instead, IP cameras only have to be on the same network. The video quality is also better as eRacks/NVR recorders receive a pure digital signal from the cameras. All cameras with microphones can record audio to the eRacks/NVR because Ethernet cables carry audio. eRacks/NVR systems tend to have better picture quality, as well as easier installation, are reliable, stable, provide increased flexibility, have a user-friendly interface for day-to-day use, and native support for audio on every camera that has a microphone. However, eRacks/NVR systems also tend to be quite a bit more expensive which is a huge constraint for budget conscious people.

 

 

  1. eRacks/DVR (Digital Video Recorder)

eRacks/DVR (Digital Video Recorder) has been updated for a better performance than ever. It is mostly used for physical security applications. These eRacks/DVR solutions are highly scalable and can be tailored according to the client’s needs.  They can also be configured for home to enterprise class support. eRacks/DVR is a little lower priced than other available systems which makes it more attractive.

The eRacks/DVR (Digital Video Recorder) is a specialized computer system that records video in a digital format and stores it in disk drives or other mass storage devices. This updated version provides 432 TB of Surveillance Storage Drives along with optimized Digital Video recording and viewing. It normally uses analog cameras that are also called CCTV cameras, for recording. The cameras and eRacks/DVR are connected using a coaxial cable which are not very costly. Coaxial cables that were previously installed for other security systems can also be used for eRacks/DVR. This combination is more cost-effective and easier to set up; however, the resolution is usually limited to D1 (720×480). Proximity is a limitation as the analog cameras cannot be more than 700-1000 feet away from the eRacks/DVR without visible degradation in video quality.

The eRacks/DVR recorder relies on a chipset that is called AD Encoder for processing the raw data streaming from the camera into legible video recordings. eRacks/DVR systems also have different requirements when it comes to the recorder i.e., the user must connect every camera directly to the recorder. Moreover, the recorder is not responsible for providing power to the cameras. Each camera connection needs a splitter that supplies power which in turn enable cameras to function. eRacks/DVR systems can only use wired security cameras. eRacks/DVR systems also have less flexible mounting solutions because routing coaxial cable can be more difficult in tight situations and a power outlet is required for each camera. Coaxial cables don’t natively transmit an audio signal, and eRacks/DVR recorders usually have a limited number of audio input ports. eRacks/DVR Home surveillance systems are easy to set up and can be accessed through a web browser. The user is notified by email if an alarm is triggered. eRacks/DVR Server offers standard 1year full / 3year limited warranty and come with pre-configured latest Open-Source software based on the user’s specifications.

 

April 16th, 2021

Posted In: Products, security, servers, Storage, Technology

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The Ubuntu 20.10 code name Groovy Gorilla, Yes, “Groovy Gorilla” is the development code name chosen for the next stable Ubuntu release, which is currently earmarked for general availability on October 26, 2020.

Now, I probably don’t need to tell you what a gorilla is — and if you don’t know, I don’t believe you !!, and the term groovy is… Well, the dictionary definition of “Groovy” describes it as an informal adjective meaning ‘fashionable and exciting’, e.g., “That’s a groovy new wallpaper!” or generally ‘excellent, e.g., “A groovy release filled with greatness”.

Ubuntu 20.10 establishes another milestone in Canonical’s long-term commitment to delivering a carrier-grade private cloud with “Groovy Gorilla”. The 33rd release of the most popular Linux distribution in the data center space, Groovy Gorilla, brings various improvements that enable easier consumption of the fast-networking stack across both VMs and containers, straightforward compliance with common security benchmarks and a reference telco cloud implementation.

Ubuntu 20.10 “Groovy Gorilla” is a short-term release supported for 9 months until July 2021. So, with its imminent release on 22nd Oct 2020, Ubuntu 20.10 will be getting support from Canonical till July 2021. This includes access to new app releases, bug-fixes, and security patches. This release mostly the testbed for the latest application, Kernel stack to provide users stable packages back to Ubuntu 20.04 LTS.

I personally have been using it for the past couple of days, and it’s reasonably stable. It also feels snappier compared to its predecessor, which isn’t a surprise considering it was primarily focusing on performance enhancements.

That being said, I won’t keep you waiting with the formalities. I know you came here to get a tour of what’s new with Ubuntu 20.10, and I have put together a few new changes in Ubuntu 20.10. Only you can feel the exact changes when you start using it.

let’s what’s new in latest Ubuntu 20.10 “Groovy Gorilla”;

 

Ubuntu 20.10 “Groovy Gorilla” Some Major Features:

Linux Kernel 5.8

When development for Ubuntu 20.10 started, it was based on Ubuntu 20.04 and used the same kernel base – Linux kernel 5.4 LTS. But then, Linus Torvalds released Linux kernel 5.8 in May, and everyone in the Linux community was suspecting that “Groovy Gorilla” will ship with it.

Now, after a long wait, the Linux 5.8 kernel has popped up in the Ubuntu 20.10 archives, and that too only a month ago. This means that the new iteration of the popular Linux distro will benefit from the sweep of features that comes with the new kernel.

Some notable examples include:

  • Airtime Queue limits for better WiFi connection quality
  • Btrfs RAID1 with 3 and 4 copies and more checksum alternatives
  • USB 4 (Thunderbolt 3 protocol) support added
  • X86 Enable 5-level paging support by default
  • Intel Gen11 (Ice Lake) and Gen12 (Tiger Lake) graphics support
  • Initial support for AMD Family 19h (Zen 3)
  • Thermal pressure tracking for systems for better task placement wrt CPU core
  • XFS online repair
  • OverlayFS pairing with VirtIO-FS
  • General Notification Queue for key/keyring notification, mount changes, etc.
  • Active State Power Management (ASPM) for improved power savings of PCIe-to-PCI devices
  • Initial support for POWER10

 

Easy Wi-Fi Hotspot Configuration

The Wi-Fi tab in “Settings” allows you to use your laptop as a Wi-Fi hotspot. If you scan the QR code with a mobile device, like your smartphone or tablet, it will connect to your hotspot.

 

Security Improvements

  • nftables is now the default backend for the firewall.

 

Ubuntu 20.10 Desktop

  • Ubuntu 20.10 is the first Ubuntu release to feature desktop images for the Raspberry Pi 4.

 

GNOME 3.38

Ubuntu 20.10 is shipping with GNOME 3.38 out of the box, released on 16th Sept 2020. It is a welcome upgrade over GNOME 3.34, which is being used in Ubuntu 20.04 by default.

 

GNOME 3.38 brings many excellent features and functionalities to the table. Here is a list going over the most notable ones:

  • Better Fingerprint Support
  • Intelligent Web Tracking Prevention
  • Updated GNOME Maps with Performance and UI Improvements
  • A Redesigned Sound Recorder and Screenshot App
  • Support for QR Code WiFi Hotspot
  • Tons of New Default Wallpaper
  • Folder Support in Application Grid
  • Restart Button Added to System Tray
  • New Icons for Various Apps
  • New Parental Controls Under Settings

Apart from this, you will get to see many more bells and whistles. We have a detailed article covering the best features in GNOME 3.38 if you are looking for more information.

Now, as you know, Ubuntu is not known for shipping with vanilla GNOME. As such, you won’t get the authentic experience that was intended by the GNOME developers. We will talk more about the new interface and overall end-user experience in a later section.

 

ZFS Becomes Less Experimental

The Ubuntu Unity installer hasn’t changed significantly. The installation process is almost the same as it was on Ubuntu 20.04, and the black disk checking screen is the same.

 

One notable change is tucked away in the “Advanced Features” dialog box. The ZFS file system installation option no longer has the word “Experimental” in capital letters beside it. Confidence must be building within Canonical about the durability and readiness of its ZFS implementation as a daily driver file system.

After you install Ubuntu 20.10 and sign in, you’ll see the Groovy Gorilla, positioned prominently amidst the familiar purple hues of the Ubuntu color palette.

He looks like an ape that’s got it together, but let’s see if that’s true.

Updated Applications:

  • Firefox version 81
  • LibreOffice version 7.0.2
  • Thunderbird version 78.3.2

Updated Subsystems:

  • BlueZ 5.55
  • NetworkManager 1.26.2

Noteworthy changes Ubuntu 20.10 Server:

  • squid: the NIS basic authentication helper was removed (LP: #1895694 34)
  • adcli and realmd: many upstream fixes were applied to these packages, improving on the compatibility with current Active Directory changes
  • samba 4.12 40 has switched to GnuTLS for most of its cryptographic operations and that has a huge performance improvement in SMB3 encryption
  • QEMU was updated to the 5.0 release. See the upstream changes 40 for an overview of the many improvements.
  • One noteworthy new feature is virtiofs 42 which allows better sharing of host file systems to the guest compared to the older 9p fs 4 based approach.
  • Libvirt has been updated to version 6.6. See the upstream Changelogs 34 for the many improvements and fixes since version 6.0 that was in Focal.
  • Libvirt 6.6 also supports the new virtiofs that was mentioned in the QEMU section above.

 

System Requirements for Ubuntu 20.04:

  • 2 GHz dual-core processor
  • 4 GiB RAM (but 1 GiB can work)
  • 25 GB of hard-drive space
  • VGA capable of 1024×768 screen resolution
  • Either of the two: a CD/DVD drive or a USB port for the installer media

Note: Optionally, Internet access is helpful.

 

Download Ubuntu 20.10

You can download Ubuntu 20.10 for 64-bit computers using the link below:

As the Ubuntu 20.10 desktop image is 2.9GB in size do make sure you’re on a decent internet connection before you hit the download button!

When the download completes you need write the Ubuntu 20.10 ISO image to a USB stick using a tool like Etcher. Then pop the USB in an empty port, reboot your computer, and choose to boot from the USB.

You can also upgrade to Ubuntu 20.10 from an earlier version.

 

November 2nd, 2020

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

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Linux Mint is undoubtedly one of the best beginner-friendly and tough competitors of the most famous Ubuntu Linux. One of the reasons can be credited to its upstream codebase. Since Linux Mint is an Ubuntu-based distro, it uses the codebase of the latest Ubuntu long term support version.

Linux Mint 20

Linux Mint 20

After ending 2019 with the release of Linux Mint 19.3, the Linux Mint team is ready to roll out its first version with long-term support in 2020. As already revealed in their monthly blog, the upcoming Linux Mint 20 will be based on the next Ubuntu 20.4 LTS. So, in this article, I’m going to discuss everything about the new changes and release date of Mint 20.

 

Interesting Fact About Linux Mint Codename

Most of the Linux distros follow a particular pattern to give a codename for each version — for instance, Ubuntu uses a two-word adjective and animal name. Likewise, Linux Mint titles every release a female codename alphabetically. Therefore, starting with the Mint 1 “Ada” and the latest Mint 19.3 “Tricia,” and this is Linux Mint 20, codename Ulyana.

 

New features in Linux Mint 20 Cinnamon

Linux Mint 20 is a long-term support release which will be supported until 2025. It comes with updated software and brings refinements and many new features to make your desktop on a gaming desk be more comfortable experience.

 

Monitor frequency adjustment

Frequency modification of monitors is a long-sought demand by the Mint community. Consequently, Mint 20 now includes monitor frequency adjustment. This means you will be able to choose the frequency in the Cinnamon 4.6 display settings.

Linux-Mint-20-—-Monitor-display-setting

Linux-Mint-20-—-Monitor-display-setting

 

Fractional Scaling

Linux Mint 20 ships the Cinnamon 4.6 desktop environment that introduces fractional scaling. Hence, instead of either 100% (normal mode) or 200% (HiDPI mode) scaling for all monitors, you can now configure the scale value between 100% and 200% for each monitor independently. If you use high-resolution displays, it’ll be a big relief for you to have a better scaling option.

 

NVIDIA Optimus

Linux Mint 20 features improved support for NVIDIA Optimus.

The NVIDIA Prime applet now shows your GPU renderer and you can select which card to switch to straight from its menu.

nvidia

nvidia

The NVIDIA “On-Demand” profile is also now fully supported. When you run in that mode, it is your Intel card which renders the session and a menu option is available to let you offload a particular application to your NVIDIA card.

nvidia-cinnamon

nvidia-cinnamon

Select an application in the menu, right-click and select “Run with NVIDIA GPU”. It’s that simple.

 

Mint-Y Theme

“Themes” applet is one of the unique features of Linux Mint that allows you to choose or install new themes and icons. In addition to that, Linux Mint 20 introduced two new colors, Pink and Aqua, in the default Mint-Y theme.

Furthermore, the Mint-Y theme now has a brighter color than before. Here’s a comparison of some of the old colors (on the left) with some of the new ones (on the right):

Linux-Mint-20-—-New-color-In-Mint-Y-theme

Linux-Mint-20-—-New-color-In-Mint-Y-theme

From the command-line, two new commands are available to offload to GLX or to Vulkan:

  • nvidia-optimus-offload-glx
  • nvidia-optimus-offload-vulkan

To boost compatibility and make it easier to boot Linux Mint 20 in live mode without NVIDIA drivers, “nomodeset” was also added to the “Compatibility Mode”.

 

Warpinator

The star of the show in Linux Mint 20 is a new application called Warpinator.

10 years ago, Linux Mint 6 featured a tool called “Giver” which could share files across the local network. Without any server or configuration, computers would automatically see each other’s and you could simply drag and drop files from one to another. When the Giver project was discontinued it had to be removed from Linux Mint and we’ve been missing that functionality ever since.

warpinator1

warpinator1

Warpinator is a reimplementation of Giver. Server configuration (FTP, NFS, Samba) is overkill for casual file transfers between two computers, and it’s a real pity to use external media (Internet services, USB sticks, external HDDs) just to share files when there’s a local network which could do just that.

With Warpinator, Linux Mint 20 brings back easy file sharing across the local network.

The main window shows you the computers on the local network which are also running Warpinator:

warpinator

warpinator

By clicking on a computer, you can see more information about it and exchange files with it:

No more USB sticks or external drive are needed just to send a file.

 

Other Enhancements In Linux Mint 20

  • Smooth Multi-monitor support
  • Use of middle-click button in Cinnamon’s keyboard applet
  • Better looking system tray
  • A new user interface for Gdebi tool

 

Linux Mint 20 Release Date And ISO Download

The Mint team has now officially released a new long-term Linux Mint 20 that will be supported until 2025. ISO images of any of the three Cinnamon, MATE, and Xfce edition are available to download from the official download page.

For further details, see Mint’s Snap documentation. You can read more on Mint’s arguments against Snap, and Ubuntu’s attempt to make peace with Mint and decide for yourself if you want to use Snap on Mint.

Of course, the usual selection of Linux desktop programs come ready to run. These include Firefox 77 for web browsing; LibreOffice 6.4.2 for your office needs; and Thunderbird 68.7 for email.

Overall, Mint remains a pleasure to use. I really wish Mint included Snap. Most desktop program developers agree that it, and its rival Flatpak, are the future for Linux desktop apps.

Looking ahead, Linux Mint 20 will receive security updates until 2025. Until 2022, future versions of Linux Mint will use the same package base. This means it will be trivial to upgrade to the next few versions.

If you’re new to Mint and want to give it a try, check out my How to install Linux Mint on your Windows PC article. It’s easy to do whether you want to wipe out Windows, run it with Windows, or just give it a trial run using a USB stick with persistent storage.

Beside all, get the Linux Mint 20 pre-installed and ready to run with eracks systems.

July 2nd, 2020

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

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Ubuntu follows the release cycle of the new version twice a year, with one released in April and the other released in October, accompanied by many important improvements. The 2020 version will be Ubuntu 20.04 with the Focal Fossa identifier, which is expected to be released to global users starting April 23 next year.The codename of the official Ubuntu updates is chosen in alphabetical order, and is made up of 2 words, the first word is adjective and the second word will be noun, which is specific here as a certain animal is in danger of extinction, or sometimes mythical creatures such as Unicorns or Werewolfs (Wolves).

focalfossa

focalfossa

We have the Focala version of April 2020 with the word ‘Focal’ meaning ‘necessary’ and the Fossa is a carnivore that looks like a lynx, which can only be seen now. in Madagascar.

This is an interesting and unique code naming that only Ubuntu applies, giving users a sense of both curiosity and memorable.

However, the code names of Ubuntu releases sometimes reveal some of the characteristics of the releases. Ubuntu 20.04 will not only be an important release (with long term service), but also contain the strengths commonly found in Fossa species such as flexibility, agility and dominance.

In short, Ubuntu 20.04 is the LTS version, so the main focus of this release will be to bring stability and reliability to users. Focal Fossa came with lots of improvements, bug fixes, and especially new features. Let’s see some of them!

 

New Features in 20.04 LTS

 

Installer

The live server installer is now the preferred media to install Ubuntu Server on all architectures.

Besides architecture support, the main user visible new features are support for automated installs and being able to install the bootloader to multiple disks (for a more resilient system).

Installer

Installer

There have been many other fixes under the hood to make using encryption easier, better support installing to multipath disks, more reliable installation onto disks that have been used in various ways and allowing failures to be reported more usefully.

Linux Kernel

Ubuntu 20.04 LTS is based on the long-term supported Linux release series 5.4. Notable features and enhancements in 5.4 since 5.3 include:

  • Support for new hardware including Intel Comet Lake CPUs and initial Tiger Lake platforms, AMD Navi 12 and 14 GPUs, Arcturus and Renoir APUs along with Navi 12 + Arcturus power features.
  • Support has been added for the exFAT filesystem, virtio-fs for sharing filesystems with virtualized guests and fs-verity for detecting file modifications.
  • Built in support for the WireGuard VPN.
  • Enablement of lockdown in integrity mode.

Other notable kernel updates to 5.4 since version 4.15 released in 18.04 LTS includes support for AMD Rome CPUs, Radeon RX Vega M and Navi GPUs, Intel Cannon Lake platforms. support for raspberry pi (Pi 2B, Pi 3B, Pi 3A+, Pi 3B+, CM3, CM3+, Pi 4B), Significant power-saving improvements. Boot speed improvements through changing the default kernel compression algorithm to lz4 (in Ubuntu 19.10) on most architectures, and changing the default initramfs compression algorithm to lz4 on all architectures.

Toolchain Upgrades 🛠

Ubuntu 20.04 LTS comes with refreshed state-of-the-art toolchain including new upstream releases of glibc 2.31, ☕ OpenJDK 11, rustc 1.41, GCC 9.3, 🐍 Python 3.8.2, 💎 ruby 2.7.0, php 7.4, 🐪 perl 5.30, golang 1.13.

GNOME and visual improvements

Ubuntu 20.04 Focal Fossa comes with installed. It’s chock-full of visual improvements, resulting in better performance and a more aesthetically pleasing graphical experience. There’s also a new lock screen design and support for fractional scaling under X11.

GNOME 3.36

GNOME 3.36

A sleeker theme

GNOME’s new default theme is called “Yaru.” Even upon first loading into Focal Fossa, the desktop gives off a much more modern and sleeker vibe. This is mostly thanks to some color tweaks in the default theme and a darker wallpaper. The updated GNOME also allows you to choose between three different color themes: light, standard, or dark.

Network configuration

With this Ubuntu release, netplan.io has grown multiple new features as well, some of are as below:

  • Basic support for configuring SR-IOV network devices. Starting with netplan.io 0.99, users can declare Virtual Functions for every SR-IOV Physical Function, configure those as any other networking device and set hardware VLAN VF filtering on them.
  • Support for GSM modems via the NetworkManager backend via the modems section.
  • Adding WiFi flags for bssid/band/channel settings.
  • Adding ability to set ipv6-address-generation for the NetworkManager backend and emit-lldp for networkd.

ZFS support

Ubuntu introduced native support of ZFS in the 2019 interim release of Eoan Ermine. In Ubuntu 20.04 Focal Fossa, ZFS support has been further improved, though still flagged as being experimental. When installing Focal Fossa, you have the option to use ZFS if you click “advanced features” when asked about how you’d like to format your hard drive.

The newest version of Ubuntu features performance enhancements for ZFS and support for encryption. Ubuntu has a ZFS system tool called Zsys, which provides automated system and user state saving. It also integrates better with GRUB so a user can revert to an earlier system state before booting into the desktop.

Acceptance of ZFS in the enterprise world is still shaky, but it doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. Seeing support for it on a really popular distribution like Ubuntu is pretty neat.

 

Python3 by default

In 20.04 LTS, the python included in the base system is Python 3.8. Python 2.7 has been moved to universe and is not included by default in any new installs.

Remaining packages in Ubuntu which require Python 2.7 have been updated to use /usr/bin/python2 as their interpreter, and /usr/bin/python is not present by default on any new installs. On systems upgraded from previous releases, /usr/bin/python will continue to point to python2 for compatibility.

Snap Store

The Snap Store (snap-store) replaces ubuntu-software as the default tool for finding and installing packages and snaps.

QEMU

QEMU was updated to 4.2 release. There is so much that it is hard to select individual improvements to highlight, here just a few:

  • free page hinting through virtio-balloon to avoid migrating unused pages which can speed up migrations
  • PPC: NVIDIA V100 GPU/NVLink2 passthrough for spapr using VFIO PCI
  • Many speed improvements for LUKS backend
  • pmem/nvdimm support

For trimmed down container like isolation use-cases the new qemu has the microvm machine type which can be combined with the qboot ROM (available as bios-microvm.bin) to provide a reduced feature set at a much faster startup time. To further emphasize that you can use the package qemu-system-x86-microvm which provides an alternative QEMU binary stripped of all features not needed these use cases as sugegsted by the qboot ROM.

libvirt

libvirt was updated to version 6.0. See the upstream change log for details since version 5.6 that was in Ubuntu 19.04 or further back since verison 4.0 that was in Ubuntu 18.04.

Chrony

Chrony been updated to version 3.5 which provides plenty of improvements in accuracy and controls. Furthermore, it also adds additional isolation for non-x86 by enabling syscall filters on those architectures as well.

To further allow feeding Hardware time into Chrony the package GPSD is now also fully supported.

But still 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.

Ubuntu 20.04 LTS “Focal Fossa”

Ubuntu 20.04 LTS “Focal Fossa”

There are a lot of other changes as well. To experience all the changes and improvements it is recommended to use and experiences this version of your own.

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!

May 15th, 2020

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

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Fedora 32 is now available on eRacks Systems! Check Out The New Features of Fedora 32.
fedora32

fedora32

Fedora has done it again. The fruit of their labor is now ready for the masses to enjoy. Fedora 32 will definitely strike the chord for most of its users and the ones who have a keen eye on joining in. Released on April 28th 2020 after a patient wait from the fans and enthusiasts, there are no more barriers to getting it on your hands because it is now officially out.

Outstanding New Features in Fedora 32

There are a lot of changes and new features abound in Fedora 32.  Let’s review some of them.

  • Binutils upgraded to Binutils 2.3
  • DNF (Dandified yum) improved (for better, more accurate counting of Fedora users)
  • GCC 10 compiler upgraded
  • Glibc upgraded to Glibc 2.31
  • Python upgraded to Python 3.8
  • Python 2 removed/retired
  • Ruby upgraded to Ruby 2.7
  • PHP upgraded to PHP 7.4
  • MariaDB upgraded to MariaDB 10.4
  • GNOME upgraded to GNOME 3.36(Fedora Workstation 32)
  • And many more

For a list of all changes introduced in Fedora 32 Core, refer to the official Fedora 32 Changeset.

 

GNOME 3.36

Fedora 32 Workstation includes the latest release of GNOME Desktop Environment for users of all types. GNOME 3.36 in Fedora 32 Workstation includes many updates and improvements, including:

Redesigned Lock Screen

The lock screen in Fedora 32 is a totally new experience. The new design removes the “window shade” metaphor used in previous releases, and focuses on ease and speed of use.

unlock-screen-fedora

unlock-screen-fedora

Better Applications Search

Powered by the talent and the evident hard-work invested in this new release, it is amazing now that you can now search applications like lock screen, power off, log out and many more in a beautiful layout. It integrates well with screens that can be oriented vertically or horizontally which makes it sweet to interact with.

New design on the settings App

Renamed to settings, the GNOME Control Center now has an easy to use side bar which embraces the user with an intuitive and fluid navigation through the settings arena. Additionally, the About category now has a more information about your system, including which windowing system you are running (e.g. Wayland)

Supports The New Extensions App

You no longer need to utilize the GNOME Tweaks tool to separately install/manage extensions. Fedora 32 features the new extension app which lets you manage GNOME extensions directly.

fedora-extensions-app

fedora-extensions-app

However, you won’t find it pre-installed. You will have to look through the software center to get it installed or simply type in the following command:

sudo dnf install gnome-extensions-app

Revamped Settings Menu

As part of the new GNOME 3.36, you will find the Settings app to be re-organized and more useful than ever before. You can get more information about your system and access the options easily.

fedora-32-settings

fedora-32-settings

Notifications Area Redesign With Do Not Disturb Toggle

The best thing about GNOME 3.36 is the notification area or the calendar pop-over redesign. And, Fedora 32 has it nicely set up as well in addition to the Do Not Disturb mode toggle if needed.

notification-area-design-fedora-32

notification-area-design-fedora-32

Redesigned Clocks Application

The Clocks application is totally redesigned in Fedora 32. It features a design that works better on smaller windows.

clock-app-fedora-32

clock-app-fedora-32

GNOME 3.36 also provides many additional features and enhancements. Check out the GNOME 3.36 Release Notes for further information

Improved Out of Memory handling

Previously, if a system encountered a low-memory situation, it may have encountered heavy swap usage (aka swap thrashing)– sometimes resulting in the Workstation UI slowing down, or becoming unresponsive for periods of time. Fedora 32 Workstation now ships and enables EarlyOOM by default. EarlyOOM enables users to more quickly recover and regain control over their system in low-memory situations with heavy swap usage.

For more details please visit the official Fedora Releases/32/ChangeSet.

 

To upgrade your existing Fedora 31 installation to Fedora 32, 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 32 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 5th, 2020

Posted In: Fedora, Linux, New products, Open Source, Operating Systems, 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 that can also be used for email security SaaS also, since there is threat of data loss in every digital medium as the technology progresses to a new level everyday. The OT cybersecurity solutions is the one companies are opting for these days to protect data.

  • 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 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

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    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.

Artful Aardvark

‘Artful Aardvark’ (Ubuntu 17.10)

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.

Ubuntu 17.10 Debuts with An All-New Desktop

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.

Ubuntu 17.10 Desktop

Ubuntu 17.10 Desktop

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.

Ubuntu Dock

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.

Ubuntu Dock

Ubuntu Dock

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.

Activities & Workspaces

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

Activities & Workspaces

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.

Applications Overview

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.

Applications Overview

Applications Overview

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.

  • On supported systems, Wayland is now the default display server. The older display server is still available: just choose Ubuntu on Xorg from the cog on the log in screen.
  • GDM has replaced LightDM as the default display manager. The login screen now uses virtual terminal 1 instead of virtual terminal 7.
  • Printer configuration is now done in the Settings app: Choose Devices and then Printers. The tool uses the same algorithms for identifying printers and choosing drivers as the formerly used system-config-printer, and makes full use of driverless printing to support as many printers as possible.
  • The default on screen keyboard is GNOME’s Caribou instead of Onboard.
  • Calendar now supports recurring events.
  • LibreOffice has been updated to 5.4.
  • Python 2 is no longer installed by default. Python 3 has been updated to 3.6.
  • The ‘Rhythm box’ music player now uses the alternate user interface created by Ubuntu Budgie developer David Mohamed.
  • The Ubuntu GNOME flavor has been discontinued. If a user is using Ubuntu GNOME, he will be upgraded to Ubuntu.

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,

Ubuntu 17.10 Server

Ubuntu 17.10 Server

Qemu 2.10

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 3.6

Libvirt has been updated to version 3.6.

LXD 2.18

LXD was updated to version 2.18. Some of the top new features of LXD 2.18 are:

  • Native Ceph RBD support.
  • Support for cloud instance types.
  • Pre-seeding of the “lxd init” questions through yaml.
  • New client library.
  • Improved storage handling (volume resize, auto re-mapping on attach, …).
  • A lot of small improvements to the client tool.

DPDK 17.05.2

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 2.8

Open vSwitch has been updated to 2.8. Though user need to specify dpdk devices via dpdk-devargs.

New BIND9 KSK

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.

Cloud-Init

The cloud-init version was updated to 17.1. Notable new features for cloud-init are as follows,

  • Python 3.6 support.
  • Ec2 support for IPv6 instance configuration.
  • Expedited boot time through cloud-id optimization.
  • Support for netplan yaml in cloud-init.
  • Add cloud-init subcommands collect-logs, analyze and schema for developers.
  • Apport integration from cloud-init via ‘ubuntu-bug cloud-init’.
  • Significant unit test and integration test coverage improvements.

Curtin

The Curtin version is updated to ‘0.1.0~bzr519-0ubuntu1’. New features are:

  • Network configuration passthrough for ubuntu and centos.
  • More resilient UEFI/grub interaction.
  • Better support for mdadm arrays.
  • Ubuntu Core 16 Support.
  • Improved bcache support.

Samba

Samba is updated to version 4.6.7. Important changes in the 4.6.x series are:

  • Multi-process Net logon support.
  • New options for controlling TCP ports used for RPC services.
  • AD LDAP and replication performance improvements.
  • DNS improvements.

    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.

October 25th, 2017

Posted In: Debian, Linux, Open Source, servers, ubuntu

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David Fubini has never been a CEO of a major corporation, but during his 34-year career as a senior director at consulting firm McKinsey, he had ample opportunity to work closely with and observe CEOs and leaders of all types in action—and to analyze why they succeeded or failed.

Fubini, a senior lecturer in the Organizational Behavior Unit at Harvard Business School, poured that knowledge, along with a list of lessons learned from researching leaders past and present into the book Hidden Truths: What Leaders Need to Hear But Are Rarely Told, published in December. The book is a leadership guide to navigating a role that Fubini says is unlike any other, which leaves many new CEOs and leaders struggling to find their footing.

“People strive for a long time to develop functional skills and operational knowledge and a track record of success, to reach a point where they can be the leader of an organization,” Fubini explains. “What’s shocking for most is that the skills and track record that delivered them to this role aren’t helpful once they get there.”

“WHAT’S SHOCKING FOR MOST IS THAT THE SKILLS AND TRACK RECORD THAT DELIVERED THEM TO THIS ROLE AREN’T HELPFUL ONCE THEY GET THERE.”

Not only do CEOs struggle to learn how to run a company from a lonely role at the top, but they often quickly find that the network of coworkers they relied on for years are no longer faithful allies. “They don’t realize that leaders have a different relationship with their subordinates, just by virtue of the hierarchy of organizations,” says Fubini, who led McKinsey’s Boston office for 10 years and also co-founded a global unit within the firm that aided mergers of some of the world’s top companies.

To help demystify the position, Fubini asked CEOs both past and present what they most wished they’d known before taking the top job—and what they learned that they least expected once they got there. “The things that came out were very heartfelt,” he says. “Some talked about how they failed at the challenge; others, how it was a crucible of learning that they ultimately worked their way through.”

Fubini distilled their insights into 15 chapters, each containing a lesson that could apply to leaders of any organization. Ultimately, he hopes the book will help current and prospective CEOs become better leaders. “If you peel back the curtain on leaders, here’s what it looks like,” he says.

Here, Fubini explains five key pieces of advice for business leaders.

1. Avoid half-truths and misperceptions

“When you are an advisor to an organization, as I was for three decades,” he says, “this is one that always seems to be relevant. In the book, I quote a former admiral who said he knew two things with certainty when he came onto a battleship: He was never going to get handed a cold cup of coffee, and he was never going to hear the whole truth.

“YOU HAVE TO BE OPEN AND CANDID AND SAY, ‘LOOK, TELL ME WHAT YOU ARE NOT TELLING ME.'”

“People coming into a new role will struggle because they get told only a portion of what they need to know. Once you recognize that it’s not human nature to tell you everything, you have to be open and candid and say, ‘Look, tell me what you are not telling me.’

“Some CEOs also perform a double-check by not relying only on what they’re told by one group, but also going back and having confirmative conversations with others. Others will go a few layers below the senior management team and engage middle-management, who are often willing to be absolutely candid and have a deeper understanding of what is really going on.”

2. Start change management by changing the management

“There is enormous value to changing out management because it unleashes frozen organizations and brings a change of perspective,” Fubini says. “And frankly, the broader body of the organization often welcomes the change. There are lots of examples where people come in and get told: We can’t do this. Let me tell you why this didn’t work. Because they are stuck in a status quo mindset.

“But you don’t have time for that—change is often a matter of speed. There’s also sometimes a belief that you don’t want to change out management because you will lose the institutional knowledge that exists there, and that will set you back. But the truth is, that institutional knowledge doesn’t rest with people who are directly reporting in the senior management team. It rests with the people below it.”

3. Use psychic rewards, not just monetary ones

“Money is critically important only up to a point [to employees], but the real motivation comes from an emotional connection that you feel—either that you are more highly valued than someone else because of the natural competitiveness of human nature, or the ego enhancement of being told how great a performer you are,” Fubini contends.

“If I tell you that you are highly respected and that your partners appreciate what you’re doing, you’ll break down walls to be successful. That could be a formal recognition that can take the form of giving you an opportunity to work on a committee of note, or tapping you as a speaker representing the company, or helping you find an advisory or board position.

“Or it could be more informal, by giving you recognition in a speech in front of your peers, or in an all-staff email. Those are the little things that leaders should do, but don’t do enough.”

4. Know when to leave

“People always feel like they have one more act,” Fubini says. “It’s a bit like when you are a skier traversing a field of moguls, and you keep saying: I’ll turn at the next one, or the next one, or the next one, and before you know it, you’re in the woods.

“YOUR LEGACY IS ENHANCED BY LEAVING WHEN PEOPLE ARE WANTING MORE.”

“In reality, very, very few people are wildly successful for an extended length of time. So you want to find an inflection point, where you can leave while you are at the apex, not past it—and most people miss that. Your legacy is enhanced by leaving when people are wanting more.

“One way of finding that moment is by talking to your kitchen cabinet or your life partner who is going to tell you the truth. The other clue is if you’re starting to have trouble retaining your really high-performing people, who are your natural successors, because they feel their way is blocked by you hanging around. That’s a true warning sign that maybe it’s time for you to move on and do something new.”

5. Strive for authenticity

“A lot of CEOs think they have to play a role, like an actor, and I really think that’s a failure signal,” Fubini says. “I’m a huge believer that you have to have some core beliefs that are true about yourself and hold onto them. And it comes from a centerpiece of being rooted in your values.

“It’s when you deviate from that and pretend to be something else that you fall apart. My terrific colleague Scott Snook always talks about the old scratch-and-sniff test, where you used to scratch and smell something from a magazine insert. When you are a leader, people are doing that with you all the time, assessing how credible you are. If you are faking it, people sense it very quickly—so you better live your values and be unapologetic about it.”

About the Author

Michael Blanding is a writer based in Boston.
[Image: iStockphoto/LL28]

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Book Excerpt

Five Ways To Keep Connected

By David Fubini

Hidden Truths: What Leaders Need to Hear But Are Rarely Told

CEOs can slip into an isolated default mode without realizing it. Because they’re so busy and often surrounded by people, it feels as if they’re engaged and involved. Similarly, CEOs receive a stream of communication from a variety of sources, so they may not realize that they’re filtering out information they don’t want to hear by intimidating or ignoring people. And they may not admit to themselves or others how lonely or mentally exhausting the job is and try to “tough it out,” refusing to seek help from people they trust. Visit https://www.alamy.com/stock-photo/harold-matzner.html.

As the previous section suggested, finding a confidante and making the company’s general counsel your best friend are two ways to counteract the isolating effects of the job. Here are five other steps you can take:

1. Fight your denial reflex. This is especially difficult if you’re a strong, authoritative leader who is reluctant to show weakness. It’s easier to soldier on and pretend you’re feeling no pain. Over time, though, CEOs pay a price for denial. They become more and more isolated, and eventually it takes a toll. Better to admit that you’re feeling drained and lonely and finding a way to manage these feelings.

2. Get off the pedestal. As CEO, people treat you differently than others; they are more reluctant to speak their minds, to tell you bad news, to disagree with your ideas. Communicate by word and deed that you’re open to all input. It’s not enough to say you want to hear bad news or that your door is always open. You really have to mean it and behave in a way that is consistent with these messages.

3. Communicate the importance of connectivity to your team. Make it clear to everyone in the C-suite that you expect openness, honesty, and trusting relationships not only of yourself but also of them—that these are shared requirements. Your people will mirror your behaviors, so recognize the value of modeling connective attitudes and actions.

4. Avoid recidivism. I’ve watched CEOs make efforts to connect for periods of time, but they then slip back into old, isolationist patterns. They don’t do this consciously, but if they’ve been traditional command-and-control leaders for many years and have been practicing connective behaviors for only a short time, they can become recidivists because of that long history. Be vigilant against returning to old habits.

5. Have the “best ears in the company.” Here’s a story that explains this last piece of advice. Bill Russell was one of the greatest players in NBA history when he played for the Boston Celtics, and his coach was the legendary Red Auerbach. In an interview with Russell, he talked about his coach and how he never really “played” for Red, since they “worked together” as a team. Russell recalled that Red would have conversations with each player, but that he tailored his style of communication to the needs of each. Despite the variation in styles, his goal was to hear what each player needed and adjust his coaching accordingly. Russell said that Red had “the best ears in the NBA.”

July 15th, 2017

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