Most recent items from Ubuntu feeds:
Daniel Pocock: Google, Money and Censorship in Free Software communities from Planet Ubuntu

On 30 June 2019, I sent the email below to the debian-project mailing list.

It never appeared.

Alexander Wirt (formorer) has tried to justify censoring the mailing list in various ways. Wirt has multiple roles, as both Debian mailing list admin and also one of Debian's GSoC administrators and mentors. Google money pays for interns to do work for him. It appears he has a massive conflict of interest when using the former role to censor posts about Google, which relates to the latter role and its benefits.

Wirt has also made public threats to censor other discussions, for example, the DebConf Israel debate. In that case he has wrongly accused people of antisemitism, leaving people afraid to speak up again. The challenges of holding a successful event in that particular region require a far more mature approach, not a monoculture.

Why are these donations and conflicts of interest hidden from the free software community who rely on, interact with and contribute to Debian in so many ways? Why doesn't Debian provide a level playing field, why does money from Google get this veil of secrecy?

Is it just coincidence that a number of Google employees who spoke up about harassment are forced to resign and simultaneously, Debian Developers who spoke up about abusive leadership are obstructed from competing in elections? Are these symptoms of corporate influence?

Is it coincidence that the three free software communities censoring my recent blog about human rights from their Planet sites (FSFE, Debian and Mozilla, evidence of censorship) are also the communities where Google money is a disproportionate part of the budget?

Could the reason for secrecy about certain types of donation be motivated by the knowledge that unpleasant parts of the donor's culture also come along for the ride?

The email the cabal didn't want you to see

Subject: Re: Realizing Good Ideas with Debian Money
Date: Sun, 30 Jun 2019 23:24:06 +0200
From: Daniel Pocock <>

On 29/05/2019 13:49, Sam Hartman wrote:
> [moving a discussion from -devel to -project where it belongs]
>>>>>> "Mo" == Mo Zhou <> writes:
> Mo> Hi,
> Mo> On 2019-05-29 08:38, Raphael Hertzog wrote:
> >> Use the $300,000 on our bank accounts?
> So, there were two $300k donations in the last year.
> One of these was earmarked for a DSA equipment upgrade.

When you write that it was earmarked for a DSA equipment upgrade, do you
mean that was a condition imposed by the donor or it was the intention
of those on the Debian side of the transaction? I don't see an issue
either way but the comment is ambiguous as it stands.

Debian announced[1] a $300k donation from Handshake foundation.

I couldn't find any public disclosure about other large donations and
the source of the other $300k.

In Bits from the DPL (December 2018), former Debian Project Leader (DPL)
Chris Lamb opaquely refers[2] to a discussion with Cat Allman about a
"significant donation". Although there is a link to Google later in
Lamb's email, Lamb fails to disclose the following facts:

- Cat Allman is a Google employee (some people would already know that,
others wouldn't)

- the size of the donation

- any conditions attached to the donation

- private emails from Chris Lamb indicated he felt some pressure,
influence or threat from Google shortly before accepting their money

The Debian Social Contract[3] states that Debian does not hide our
problems. Corporate influence is one of the most serious problems most
people can imagine, why has nothing been disclosed?

Therefore, please tell us,

1. who did the other $300k come from?
2. if it was not Google, then what is the significant donation from Cat
Allman / Google referred[2] to in Bits from the DPL (December 2018)?
3. if it was from Google, why was that hidden?
4. please disclose all conditions, pressure and influence relating to
any of these donations and any other payments received




Censorship on the Google Summer of Code Mentor's mailing list

Google also operates a mailing list for mentors in Google Summer of Code. It looks a lot like any other free software community mailing list except for one thing: censorship.

Look through the "Received" headers of messages on the mailing list and you can find examples of messages that were delayed for some hours waiting for approval. It is not clear how many messages were silently censored, never appearing at all.

Recent attempts to discuss the issue on Google's own mailing list produced an unsurprising result: more censorship.

However, a number of people have since contacted me personally about their negative experiences with Google Summer of Code. I'm publishing below the message that Google didn't want you to see.

Subject: [GSoC Mentors] discussions about GSoC interns/students medical status
Date: Sat, 6 Jul 2019 10:56:31 +0200
From: Daniel Pocock <>
To: Google Summer of Code Mentors List <>

Hi all,

Just a few months ago, I wrote a blog lamenting the way some mentors
have disclosed details of their interns' medical situations on mailing
lists like this one. I asked[1] the question: "Regardless of what
support the student received, would Google allow their own employees'
medical histories to be debated by 1,000 random strangers like this?"

Yet it has happened again. If only my blog hadn't been censored.

If our interns have trusted us with this sensitive information,
especially when it concerns something that may lead to discrimination or
embarrassment, like mental health, then it highlights the enormous trust
and respect they have for us.

Many of us are great at what we do as engineers, in many cases we are
the experts on our subject area in the free software community. But we
are not doctors.

If an intern goes to work at Google's nearby office in Zurich, then they
are automatically protected by income protection insurance (UVG, KTG and
BVG, available from all major Swiss insurers). If the intern sends a
doctor's note to the line manager, the manager doesn't have to spend one
second contemplating its legitimacy. They certainly don't put details
on a public email list. They simply forward it to HR and the insurance
company steps in to cover the intern's salary.

The cost? Approximately 1.5% of the payroll.

Listening to what is said in these discussions, many mentors are
obviously uncomfortable with the fact that "failing" an intern means
they will not even be paid for hours worked prior to a genuine accident
or illness. For 1.5% of the program budget, why doesn't Google simply
take that burden off the mentors and give the interns peace of mind?

On numerous occasions Stephanie Taylor has tried to gloss over this
injustice with her rhetoric about how we have to punish people to make
them try harder next year. Many of our interns are from developing
countries where they already suffer injustice and discrimination. You
would have to be pretty heartless to leave these people without pay.
Could that be why Googlespeak clings to words like "fail" and "student"
instead of "not pay" and "employee"?

Many students from disadvantaged backgrounds, including women, have told
me they don't apply at all because of the uncertainty about doing work
that might never be paid. This is an even bigger tragedy than the time
mentors lose on these situations.




Former Debian GSoC administrator

about 17 hours ago

Ubucon Europe 2019: Our Diamond Sponsor – Ubuntu! from Planet Ubuntu

Our Diamond Sponsor of this event is Ubuntu, an open source software operating system that runs from the desktop, to the cloud, to all your internet connected things.

Linux was already established in 2004, but it was fragmented into proprietary and unsupported community editions, and free software was not a part of everyday life for most computer users. That’s when Mark Shuttleworth gathered a small team of Debian developers who together founded Canonical and set out to create an easy-to-use Linux desktop called Ubuntu.However, the governance of Ubuntu is somewhat independent of Canonical, with volunteer leaders from around the world taking responsibility for many critical elements of the project. Mark Shuttleworth, as project founder, short-lists public nominees as candidates for the Community Council and Technical Board, and they in turn screen and nominate candidates for a wide range of boards, councils and teams that take responsibility for aspects of the project.

Thanks to them, we have received a significant support to sustain our event and our journey to give you one of the best open source experiences in Sintra.

What to jump onboard as well?Visit our Call for Sponsor post for more information.

about 23 hours ago

Ubucon Europe 2019: Call for Sponsors from Planet Ubuntu

Corporate sponsorships

This event can only be possible thanks to our sponsors. Your investment helps us create a greater experience for the open source community, while you still benefit from a considerable amount of exposure.

If you are interested in sponsoring the event, please view the packages offered below and get in touch with us (the document describes how to do so).


Individual sponsorships

Individual sponsorships are donations made by individuals help this Ubucon happen as well. Individual sponsors will not be provided with free tickets but will be highlighted on the website and during the event. Donate by clicking here

1 day ago

Balint Reczey: Introducing ubuntu-wsl, the package making Ubuntu better and better on WSL from Planet Ubuntu

The Ubuntu apps for the Windows Subsystem for Linux provide the very same packages you can find on Ubuntu servers, desktops, cloud instances and containers, and this ensures maximal compatibility with other Ubuntu installations. Until recently there was little work done to integrate Ubuntu with the Windows system running the WSL environment, but now this is changing.

In Ubuntu metapackages collect packages useful for a common purpose by depending on them and ubuntu-wsl is the new metapackage to collect integration packages to be installed on every Ubuntu WSL system. It pulls in wslu, “A collection of utilities for WSL” to let you create shortcuts on the Windows desktop with wslusc, start the default Windows browser with wslview, and do a few other things:


With updates to the ubuntu-wsl metapackage we will add new features to Ubuntu WSL installations to make them even more comfortable to use, thus if you have an older installation please install the package manually:

sudo apt update
sudo apt install ubuntu-wsl

Oh, and one more thing, you can even set up sound and run graphical apps if you make a few manual steps. For details check out!

1 day ago

The Fridge: Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 587 from Planet Ubuntu

<figure class="wp-block-image"></figure>

Welcome to the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter, Issue 587 for the week of July 7 – 13, 2019. The full version of this issue is available here.

In this issue we cover:

Ubuntu StatsHot in SupportUbucon Europe 2019: 1st batch of talks approved!Arrival at CommCon 2019LoCo EventsSettings: new Search panelCanonical NewsIn the PressIn the BlogosphereIn Other NewsOther Articles of InterestFeatured Audio and VideoMeeting ReportsUpcoming Meetings and EventsUpdates and Security for 16.04, 18.04, 18.10, and 19.04And much more!

The Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter is brought to you by:

Krytarik RaidoBashing-omChris GuiverWild ManAnd many others

If you have a story idea for the Weekly Newsletter, join the Ubuntu News Team mailing list and submit it. Ideas can also be added to the wiki!

<figure class="alignleft"></figure>

Except where otherwise noted, this issue of the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0 License

1 day ago

Full Circle Magazine: Full Circle Weekly News #139 from Planet Ubuntu

System 76’s Linux-powered Thelio desktop now available with 3rd gen AMD Ryzen Processors

PyOxidizer Can Turn Python Code Into Apps for Windows, MacOS, Linux
Thousands of Android Apps Can Track Your Phone — Even if You Deny Permissions
Anubis Android Banking Malware Returns with Extensive Financial App Hit List
Mozilla Firefox and the Nomination for Internet Villain Award
Ubuntu LTS Will Now Get the Latest Nvidia Driver Updates


Ubuntu “Complete” sound: Canonical

Theme Music: From The Dust – Stardust

2 days ago

Thierry Carrez: Open source in 2019, Part 3/3 from Planet Ubuntu

21 years in, the landscape around open source evolved a lot. In
part 1 and
part 2 of this 3-part series,
I explained why today, while open source is more necessary than ever, it
appears to no longer be sufficient. In this part, I'll discuss what we, open
source enthusiasts and advocates, can do about that.
This is not a call to change open source
First, let me clarify what we should not do.
As mentioned in part 2, since
open source was coined in 1998, software companies have evolved ways to
retain control while producing open source software, and in that process
stripped users of some of the traditional benefits associated with F/OSS.
But those companies were still abiding to the terms of the open
source licenses, giving users a clear base set of freedoms and rights.
Over the past year, a number of those companies have decided that they
wanted even more control, in particular control of any revenue associated
with the open source software. They proposed new licenses, removing
established freedoms and rights in order to be able to assert that level of
control. The open source definition defines
those minimal freedoms and rights that any open source software should
have, so the Open Source Initiative (OSI),
as steadfast guardians of that definition, rightfully resisted those attempts.
Those companies quickly switched to attacking OSI's legitimacy, pitching "Open
Source" more as a broad category than a clear set of freedoms and rights.
And they created new licenses, with deceptive naming ("community", "commons",
"public"...) in an effort to blur the lines and retain some of
the open source definition aura for their now-proprietary software.
The solution is not in redefining open source, or claiming it's no longer
relevant. Open source is not a business model, or a constantly evolving way
to produce software. It is a base set of user freedoms and rights expressed
in the license the software is published under. Like all standards, its value
resides in its permanence.
Yes, I'm of the opinion that today, "open source" is not enough.
Yes, we need to go beyond open source. But in order to do that, we need to
base that additional layer on a solid foundation: the
open source definition.
That makes the work of the OSI more important
than ever. Open source used to be attacked from the outside, proprietary
software companies claiming open source software was inferior or dangerous.
Those were clear attacks that were relatively easy to resist: it was mostly
education and advocacy, and ultimately the quality of open source software
could be used to prove our point. Now it's attacked from the inside, by
companies traditionally producing open source software, claiming that it
should change to better fit their business models. We need to go back to
the basics and explain why those rights and freedoms matter, and why
blurring the lines ultimately weakens everyone. We need a strong OSI
to lead that new fight, because it is far from over.
A taxonomy of open source production models
As I argued in previous parts, how open source is built ultimately impacts
the benefits users get. A lot of us know that, and we all came up with our
own vocabulary to describe those various ways open source is produced today.
Even within a given model (say open collaboration between equals on a level
playing field), we use different sets of principles: the OpenStack
Foundation has the 4 Opens
(open source, open development, open design, open community), the Eclipse
Foundation has the Open Source Rules of Engagement (open, transparent,
meritocracy), the Apache Foundation has the Apache Way... We all advocate
for our own variant, focusing on differences rather than what we have in
common: the key benefits those variants all enable.
This abundance of slightly-different vocabulary makes it difficult to rally
around and communicate efficiently. If we have no clear way to differentiate
good all-benefits-included open source from twisted some-benefits-withheld
open source, the confusion (where all open source is considered equal)
benefits the twisted production models. I think it is time for us to
regroup, and converge around a clear, common classification of open source
production models.
We need to classify those models based on which benefits they guarantee
to the users of the produced software. Open-core does not guarantee
availability, single-vendor does not provide sustainability nor does
it allow to efficiently engage and influence the direction of the
software, while open-collaboration gives you all three.
Once we have this classification, we'll need to heavily communicate around
it, with a single voice. As long as we use slightly different terms (or
mean slightly different things when using common terms), we maintain
confusion which ultimately benefits the most restrictive models.
Get together
Beyond that, I think we need to talk more. Open source conferences used to
be all about education and advocacy: what is this weird way of producing
software, and why you should probably be interested in it. Once open source
became ubiquitous, those style of horizontal open source conferences became
less relevant, and were soon replaced by more vertical conferences around a
specific stack or a specific use case.
This is a good evolution: this is what winning looks like. The issue is:
the future of open source is not discussed anymore. We rest on our
laurels, while the world continually evolves and adapts. Some open source
conference islands may still exist, with high-level keynotes still raising
the issues, but those are generally one-way conversations.
To do this important work of converging vocabulary and defining common
standards on how open source is produced, Twitter won't cut it. To
bootstrap the effort we'll need to meet, get around a table and take the
time to discuss specific issues together. Ideally that would be done around
some other event(s) to avoid extra travel.
And we need to do that soon. This work is becoming urgent. "Open source" as
a standard has lots of value because of all the user benefits traditionally
associated with free and open source software. That created an aura that
all open source software still benefits from today. But that aura is
weakening over time, thanks to twisted production models. How much more
single-vendor open source can we afford until "open source" no longer means
you can engage with the community and influence the direction of the
software ?
So here is my call to action, which concludes this series.
In 2019, open source is more important than ever. Open source has not "won",
this is a continuous effort, and we are today at a critical junction.
I think open source advocates and enthusiasts need to get together, defining
clear, standard terminology on how open source software is built, and start
communicate heavily around it with a single voice. And beyond that, we need
to create forums where those questions on the future of open source are
discussed. Because whatever battles you win today, the world does not stop
evolving and adapting.
Obviously I don't have all the answers. And there are lots of interesting
questions. It's just time we have a place to ask those questions and
discuss the answers. If you are interested and want to get involved, feel
free to contact me.

2 days ago

Canonical Design Team: 在边缘端部署Kubernetes第一部分——模块搭建 from Planet Ubuntu


<figure class="wp-block-image"></figure>

在此图中���你可以看到边缘云位于现场设备旁边。事实上���有一个极端边缘计算的概念���它将计算资源放在现场设备上——即最左边的圆圈。连接你办公室���家电和 所有传感器网关设备就是一个极端边缘计算的例子。









第一步是考虑物理基础设施���什么技术可以更有效地管理基础设施���将原始的硬件转换到你的IaaS层。在这方面���Metal-as-a-Service (MAAS)���裸机即为服务已经被证明了其具有的高效性。MAAS提供可用于硬件发现的底层系统���使你可以灵活地分配计算资源并动态重新利用它们。这些底层系统通过开放API将裸机服务器暴露给更高级别的业务流程���就像你使用OpenStack和公共云一样。

<figure class="wp-block-image"></figure>

随着最新版MAAS发布���你可以基于KVM pod自动创建边缘云���从而有效地使操作者能够创建具有预定义资源集���内存���处理器���存储和超额预订比���的虚拟机。你可以通过命令行和浏览器界面以及MAAS API来完成上面操作。你也可以是用Canonical的高级编排解决方案Juju来构建自己的自动化框架。


<figure class="wp-block-image"></figure>


一旦边缘云的物理基础架构的发现和配置完成���第二步就是选择一个业务流程工具���以便在边缘基础架构上轻松安装Kubernetes或其他软件。你可以通过Juju简单安装一个完全兼容上游Kubernetes的Charmed Kubernetes。使用Kubernetes时���你可以安装容器化工作负载���为其提供最高性能。 在电信领域���容器网络功能���CNFs���等工作负载非常适合这种架构。

Charmed Kubernetes还有其他的优点。能够在虚拟化环境中运行或直接在裸机上运行���全自动Charmed Kubernetes部署内置高可用性设计���允许就地���零停机升级。这些都是经过验证的���真正具有弹性的边缘基础架构和解决方案。Charmed Kubernetes的另一个好处是能够自动检测和配置GPGPU资源���以加速AI模型论证和容器化转码工作负载。


The post 在边缘端部署Kubernetes第一部分——模块搭建 appeared first on Ubuntu Blog.

2 days ago

Canonical Design Team: Octave turns to snaps to reduce dependency on Linux distribution maintainers from Planet Ubuntu

<figure class="wp-block-image"></figure>

Octave is a numerical computing environment largely compatible with MATLAB. As free software, Octave runs on GNU/Linux, macOS, BSD, and Windows. At the 2019 Snapcraft Summit, Mike Miller and Jordi Gutiérrez Hermoso of the Octave team worked on creating an Octave snap in stable and beta versions for the Snap Store. 

As Mike and Jordi explained, “Octave is currently packaged for most of the major distributions, but sometimes it’s older than we would like.” The goal of the Octave snap was to allow users to easily access the current stable release of the software, independently of Linux distribution release cycles. A snap would also let them release Octave on distributions not covered so far.

Before starting with snaps, Octave depended on distribution maintainers, including those of CentOS, Debian, Fedora, and Ubuntu, for its binary packaging. With snaps, the situation has improved. The Octave team can now push out a release as soon as it ready for users eager to get it now, while other more conservative users wait for more traditional packages from their distribution. Mike and Jordi envisioned this to be the biggest benefit of coming to the Summit and creating an Octave snap.

They also foresee a reduction in the amount of maintenance needed, using one package across many Linux distributions. The Snap Store will help users discover Octave easier while the Octave homepage will also feature snaps as a download option.

Nevertheless, there was a learning curve: “We’re more used to Debian packaging, and snap packaging has different quirks that we’re not used to,” comments Jordi. In the first day of their snap creation, it took time to set up the environment and getting an initial build to work. “Time was needed for recompiling Octave each time with fixes for re-testing, as the application is large and has many dependencies, all of which must be compiled,” explains Mike. 

The Octave team used Multipass on Linux to help build their snap and found that they “didn’t even notice it was there” for the most part. As Mike explains, “I had no issues other than a couple of teething problems due to the large build that Octave requires. However, after a little bit of digging in the documentation and asking the right people this was soon solved.”  

Advice that they would pass on to others about using snaps is to avoid thinking that they are the same as containers. Mike and Jordi speak from experience because they started with this preconception as they explain, “this made it difficult because everything we did in the build environment had to be readjusted once we wanted to go into the runtime environment. We had to change the paths of everything.” Some functions that happened automatically in other packaging methods, like including libraries according to dependencies, must also be done manually for snaps.

Coming to an event like the Summit is another tip that they would give to would-be snap developers. As Mike and Jordi put it, “reading the documentation and doing this ourselves would have taken longer than having everyone here. The fact we can just walk around and say hey, how do we do this and get that help.”

Install Octave as a snap here.
The post Octave turns to snaps to reduce dependency on Linux distribution maintainers appeared first on Ubuntu Blog.

2 days ago

Stephen Michael Kellat: Maintaining Independent Infrastructure from Planet Ubuntu

One thing I end up embarassing myself about sometimes in the
Ubuntu Podcast
telegram chatter is that I end up buying and selling tiny
amounts of shares on the US stock markets. All I can say is that I
got spooked by the 35 day "government shutdown" at the start of the
calendar year when I was stuck working without pay as a federal
civil servant. Granted I did get back pay but the Human Capital
Office at work is still fiddling with things even now in
terms of getting payroll records and other matters fixed. I
generally buy shares in companies that pay dividends and then I
take the dividends as cash. At work we refer to that as "unearned
income" especially as it is taxed at a rate different from the one
applied to my wages.
My portfolio is somewhat weird. I am rather heavily invested in
shipping whether it happens to be oil tankers or dry bulk cargo
ships. In contrast I have almost nothing invested in technology
companies. There aren't many "open source" companies available on
the open stock market and the ones out there either I can't afford
to buy a single share of or they violate my portfolio rule that
stocks held must pay a divided of some sort. Too many
companies in the computer tech world appear to make money but don't
send any profits back to shareholders as their dividends are stuck
at USD$0.00.
All that being said, I found a very important post on Mastodon
to be of interest. The post, located at,
stated: is looking for a new maintainer!
If nobody comes forward by 2020, it'll be forced to shut
down. Please boost to spread the word.
Note that this is the podcast-sharing website: I'm not sure
about the status of the app, but I think that's still doing
#gPodder #podcasts #python #webdev #helpwanted

Now, you might wonder what this little piece of infrastructure
happens to be. It is actually somewhat critical to have a free and
open culture. The
site is a critically important site for podcast discovery.
Unlike Apple Podcasts, is integrated
into many podcast applications across many platforms.
As a shareholder in multiple media companies (especially Scripps
E W Co, Salem Media Group, iHeartMedia, Entravision Communications,
Townsquare Media, Beasley Broadcast Group Inc, and Entercom
Communications Corp) I have seen the answer the old media has made
to the more free-wheeling world of podcasting and "new media" that
I previously did quite a bit in. Scripps, a broadcast conglomerate,
owns and operates Stitcher in addition to its broadcast television
holdings as well as the Newsy cable television channel and website.
iHeartMedia, the massive radio conglomerate that just emerged from
bankruptcy reorganization, now boasts that its rather closed garden
of an app is number one for podcasts in the United States and is
the easiest way to listen. I previously held shares in satellite
radio service SiriusXM and, would you imagine, they also happen to
own Pandora which now also provides some listings of podcasts in
its walled garden. Spotify remains an independent company for the
moment but you can listen to the Ubuntu
Podcast within its walled garden too.
If I ever get back into the swing of podcast, I have a daunting
task that is growing of just trying to submit feeds to each
individual walled garden. The number of them is growing. You don't
have to be a doctrinaire freedom by any means necessary
person to see that that paradigm might be a bit stifling. I should
caution that it isn't confined to the USA as the British
Broadcasting Corporation is still fiddling with its BBC Sounds and
iPlayer applications.
I know I flat out do not have the programming skills to help. I
do have the skill to explain why it is a social good to keep alive, though. Our
world of podcasts should not be homogenized and formatted like
radio stations have become in the United States. Nobody needs to
Ira Glass to be authentic.
A more freeform cultural world is possible if we keep up the
architecture to make it happen. Right now is all we
have and it would be a shame if it closed down. Now is a great time
to lend a hand to keep a great piece of infrastructure alive to
preserve free culture. Fullest details as to what this involves

were posted to GitHub.

2 days ago

Benjamin Mako Hill: Hairdressers with Supposedly Funny Pun Names I’ve Visited Recently from Planet Ubuntu

Mika and I recently spent two weeks biking home to Seattle from our year in Palo Alto. The route was ~1400 kilometers and took us past 10 volcanoes and 4 hot springs.

<figure class="aligncenter">Route of our bike trip from Davis, CA to Oregon City, OR. An elevation profile is also shown.</figure>

To my delight, the route also took us past at least 8 hairdressers with supposedly funny pun names! Plus two in Oakland on our way out.

<figure>UpperKutz (Oakland, CA)</figure><figure>The Cutaway (Oakland, CA)</figure><figure>Doree’s One Cut Above (Corning, CA)</figure><figure>Mane Attraction Beauty Salon (Corning, CA)</figure><figure>Kandy’s Korner Kut (Corning, CA)</figure><figure>Hair It Is (Yreka, CA)</figure><figure>Sparkle and Shine Mane Attraction (Yreka, CA)</figure><figure>Cutting Edge (Yreka, CA)</figure><figure>Hair Razors (Yreka, CA)</figure><figure>Cut N’ Up (La Pine, OR)</figure>

As a result of this trip, I’ve now made 24 contributions to the Hairdressers with Supposedly Funny Pun Names Flickr group photo pool.

3 days ago

Jonathan Carter: My Debian 10 (buster) Report from Planet Ubuntu

<figure class="aligncenter"></figure>

In the early hours of Sunday morning (my time), Debian 10 (buster) was released. It’s amazing to be a part of an organisation where so many people work so hard to pull together and make something like this happen. Creating and supporting a stable release can be tedious work, but it’s essential for any kind of large-scale or long-term deployments. I feel honored to have had a small part in this release

Debian Live

My primary focus area for this release was to get Debian live images in a good shape. It’s not perfect yet, but I think we made some headway. The out of box experiences for the desktop environments on live images are better, and we added a new graphical installer that makes Debian easier to install for the average laptop/desktop user. For the bullseye release I intend to ramp up quality efforts and have a bunch of ideas to make that happen, but more on that another time.

<figure class="aligncenter is-resized">Calamares installer on Cinnamon live image.</figure>

Other new stuff I’ve been working on in the Buster cycle


Gamemode is a library and tool that changes your computer’s settings for maximum performance when you launch a game. Some new games automatically invoke Gamemode when they’re launched, but for most games you have to do it manually, check their GitHub page for documentation.

Innocent de Marchi Packages

I was sad to learn about the passing of Innocent de Marchi, a math teacher who was also a Debian contributor for whom I’ve sponsored a few packages before. I didn’t know him personally but learned that he was really loved in his community, I’m continuing to maintain some of his packages that I also had an interest in:

calcoo – generic lightweight graphical calculator app that can be useful on desktop environments that doesn’t have oneconnectagram – a word unscrambling game that gets its words from wiktionaryfracplanet – fractal planet generatorfractalnow – fast, advanced fractal generatorgnubik – 3D Rubik’s cube gametanglet – single player word finding game based on Boggletetzle – jigsaw puzzle game (was also Debian package of the Day #44)xabacus – simulation of the ancient calculator

Powerline Goodies

tmux-themepack-jimeh – powerline theme pack for tmuxvim-airline – powerline status/tabline for vimzsh-theme-powerlevel9k – powerline theme pack for zsh

I wrote a blog post on vim-airline and powerlevel9k shortly after packaging those: New powerline goodies in Debian.

Debian Desktop

I helped co-ordinate the artwork for the Buster release, although Laura Arjona did most of the heavy lifting on that. I updated some of the artwork in the desktop-base package and in debian-installer. Working on the artwork packages exposed me to some of their bugs but not in time to fix them for buster, so that will be a goal for bullseye. I also packaged the font that’s widely used in the buster artwork called quicksand (Debian package: fonts-quicksand). This allows SVG versions of the artwork in the system to display with the correct font.


Bundlewrap is a configuration management system written in Python. If you’re familiar with bcfg2 and Ansible, the concepts in Bundlewrap will look very familiar to you. It’s not as featureful as either of those systems, but what it lacks in advanced features it more than makes up for in ease of use and how easy it is to learn. It’s immediately useful for the large amount of cases where you want to install some packages and manage some config files based on conditions with templates. For anything else you might need you can write small Python modules.


catimg is a tool that converts jpeg, png, ico and gif files to terminal output. This was also Debian Package of the day #26.

Gnome Shell Extensions

gnome-shell-extension-dash-to-panel: dash-to-panel is an essential shell extension for me, and does more for me to make Gnome 3 feel like Gnome 2.x for me than the classic mode does. It’s the easiest way to get a nice single panel on the top of the screen that contains everything that’s useful.gnome-shell-extension-hide-veth: If you use LXC or Docker (or similar), you’ll probably be somewhat annoyed at all the ‘veth’ interfaces you see in network manager. This extension will hide those from the GUI.gnome-shell-extension-no-annoyance: No annoyance fixes something that should really be configurable in Gnome by default. It removes all those nasty “Window is ready” notifications that are intrusive and distracting.


s-tui: a text-based UI (TUI) front-end to stress (Debian Package of the Day #53).toot: text-based tool (and TUI reader interface with “toot curses”) that provides a command-line interface for a Mastodon microblogging service. (Debian Package of the Day #41)

That’s a wrap for my new Debian packages I maintain in Buster. There’s a lot more that I’d like to talk about that happened during this cycle, like that crazy month when I ran for DPL! And also about DebConf stuff, but I’m all out of time and on that note, I’m heading to DebCamp/DebConf in around 12 hours and look forward to seeing many of my Debian colleagues there :-)

<figure class="aligncenter is-resized"></figure>

5 days ago

Ubuntu Podcast from the UK LoCo: S12E14 – Sega Rally Championship from Planet Ubuntu

This week we’ve been installing macOS and Windows on a Macbook Pro and a Dell XPS 15. We discuss Running Challenges, bring you some command line love and go over all your feedback.

It’s Season 12 Episode 14 of the Ubuntu Podcast! Mark Johnson, Martin Wimpress and Laura Cowen are connected and speaking to your brain.
In this week’s show:

We discuss what we’ve been up to recently:

Martin has been using macOS Mojave and Windows 10.

We discuss Running Challenges, a browser extension that allows you to play games with your parkrun results.

We share a Command line lurve:

fatsort – Sorts the file allocation table of your FAT formatted storage

sudo fatsort -n /dev/sdb1

And we go over all your amazing feedback – thanks for sending it – please keep sending it!

Image taken from Sega Rally Championship arcade machine manufactured in 1994 by Sega.

That’s all for this week! You can listen to the Ubuntu Podcast back catalogue on YouTube. If there’s a topic you’d like us to discuss, or you have any feedback on previous shows, please send your comments and suggestions to or Tweet us or Toot us or Comment on our Facebook page or comment on our sub-Reddit.

Join us in the Ubuntu Podcast Telegram group.

6 days ago

The Fridge: Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 585 from Planet Ubuntu

<figure class="wp-block-image"></figure>

Welcome to the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter, Issue 585 for the week of June 23 – 29, 2019. The full version of this issue is available here.

In this issue we cover:

Welcome New Members and DevelopersUbuntu StatsHot in SupportLoCo EventsWork in progress: Developing Wayland extension protocols for Mir serversI am running Steam/Wine on Ubuntu 19.10 (no 32-bit on the host)Other Community NewsCanonical NewsIn the PressIn the BlogosphereFeatured Audio and VideoMeeting ReportsUpcoming Meetings and EventsUpdates and Security for 16.04, 18.04, 18.10, and 19.04And much more!

The Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter is brought to you by:

Krytarik RaidoBashing-omChris GuiverWild ManAnd many others

If you have a story idea for the Weekly Newsletter, join the Ubuntu News Team mailing list and submit it. Ideas can also be added to the wiki!

<figure class="alignleft"></figure>

Except where otherwise noted, this issue of the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0 License

8 days ago

Serge Hallyn: Running your own mail server from Planet Ubuntu

Not too long ago there was some hubub around In brief, if you use google mail, it tracks your purchases through receipts received in email. Now, some people see this as no big deal or even a feature. Others see it as a privacy invasion, and are reminded that all their data can be mined by the email provider and possibly third parties. Of those, some advoate getting a paid email provider. Agreed, that provides less incentive to monetize your data… but only a bit. Eventually, any company, however good its initial intentions, goes through leadership changes, is bought out, or goes bankrupt. At that point, your data is one of the assets being bargained with.
The other alternative, of course, is to run your own mail server. I won’t lie – this is not for everyone. But it’s not as bad as some make out. I recently reinstalled mine, so I wrote down the steps I took, and will leave them here. I’ve been holding onto this for at least 6 months hoping to eventually run through them again to work out some of the finer details. That hasn’t happened yet, so I’ll just post what I have now as a start.
Running your own mail server is not free. In particular, you’ll need to pay for a domain name ($10-15/year), and some place to run the mail server. If you have an always-on machine at home, and stable IP address, then you can run it there. You can pay for a tiny cloud instance on amazon/rackspace/digitalocean/etc. There are cheaper options (including “one year free” amazon micro instances), but a small digitalocean instance will be $5/month. Personally, I keep a large server online for running many VMs and containers, and run the mail server there.
You will also need a certificate. That’s now easy and free with letsencrypt.
There are also some non-monetary costs. You may get a bit more spam. And once in awhile, you may run into a case where your mail server is being rejected by another.
On the other hand, the server is entirely yours. You can create as many accounts for individual purposes as you like. You can point multiple domain names at it, so that you don’t give away your primary one for every little purchase you make. Ten, twenty years from now, you can still have all your friends’ and family emails in the same place, in the same format. This last one is too often overlooked, yet one of the best advantages of open source for all applications.
I picked up a new hosted server, and installed Ubuntu 18.04 on it. First thing I did was go to my dns provider and register a name for it, and set up the new mx record to point to it. The details of this vary a bit depending on your dns provider, so I won’t go into detail here (I’ll do a post if people ask for clarification). If you’re looking for a provider, I do recommend zoneedit.
I installed lxc and created a new container in which to run my mailserver:
apt-get -y install lxc1
lxc-create -t download -n mail -- -d ubuntu -r bionic -a amd64

I gave it a static ip address through dnsmasq:
echo "dhcp-host=mail," >> /etc/lxc/dnsmasq.conf
echo "LXC_DHCP_CONFILE=/etc/lxc/dnsmasq.conf" >> /etc/default/lxc-net
sudo systemctl stop lxc-net
sudo systemctl start lxc-net

The point of the static ip address is to facilitate forwarding mail related ports into the container. I did this with a script started at boot by systemd:
cat > /usr/bin/container-ports-fwd << EOF
iptables -t nat -A PREROUTING -p tcp -i ${nic} --dport 25 -j DNAT --to-destination
iptables -t nat -A PREROUTING -p tcp -i ${nic} --dport 465 -j DNAT --to-destination
iptables -t nat -A PREROUTING -p tcp -i ${nic} --dport 993 -j DNAT --to-destination
iptables -t nat -A PREROUTING -p tcp -i ${nic} --dport 587 -j DNAT --to-destination
chmod 755 /usr/bin/container-ports-fwd
cat > /etc/systemd/system/container-ports-forward.service << EOF
Description=Bring up port forwards for lxc



systemctl daemon-reload
systemctl enable container-ports-fwd
systemctl start container-ports-fwd

I also installed and ran letsencrypt on the host:
sudo apt -y install letsencrypt
letsencrypt -d -m me@my.mail certonly

Next I started up the container and installed the basic mail tools:
sudo lxc-start -n mail
sudo lxc-attach -n mail apt -y install dovecot-imapd postfix mutt

New since my last mail server install is the removal of dovecot-postfix in favor of the mail-stack-delivery package:
sudo lxc-attach -n mail apt -y install mail-stack-delivery

After this I copied the letsencrypt keys into the container
lxc-attach -n mail -- mkdir -p /etc/letsencrypt/live/
cp /etc/letsencrypt/live/* /var/lib/lxc/mail/rootfs//etc/letsencrypt/live/

and edited
/etc/postfix/ and /etc/dovecot/conf.d/10-ssl.conf to point to those using these lines:
smtpd_tls_cert_file = /etc/letsencrypt/live/
smtpd_tls_key_file = /etc/letsencrypt/live/

This is enough to be able to send and receive mail. Personally, I want to run this server in a uid-mapped container and from a luks-encrypted device. While you can setup the whole container that way from the start, for simplicity of examples, you could at this point copy over and uid-shift the container contents to a new device, and update the container configuration accordingly.
Some notes which I should elaborate on later:

postscreen setup
/etc/postfix/, i.e. uncomment smtps
/etc/dovecot/conf.d details

9 days ago