Welcome to the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter, Issue 91 for the week May 11 - May 17, 2008. In this issue we cover: OpenSSL/OpenSSH vulnerability, FOSSCamp 2008 Prague, The Art of Release(Mark Shuttleworth), 5-a-day and Loco teams, Linux distro Smack Down(Podcast), Metalinks, what are those?, Ubuntu on Berlin metro system, Ubuntu featured in Vermist(Movie), and much, much more!

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In This Issue

  • OpenSSL/OpenSSH vulnerability
  • FOSSCamp 2008 Prague
  • The Art of Release(Mark Shuttleworth)
  • Making 5-a-day happen in "Your Loco team"
  • Ubuntu Stats
  • Launchpad News
  • Ubuntu Forums News
  • In the Press & Blogosphere

  • In Other News
  • Upcoming Meetings & Events

  • Updates & Security

General Community News

OpenSSL/OpenSSH vulnerability

All Ubuntu users need to regenerate the ssl and ssh keys because of a security vulnerability found in the upstream Debian packages. The security hole created predictable keys which can be used to attack remote hosts. The Ubuntu fix checks for the the predictable keys generated by the default options of ssl and ssh and blacklists them. All Ubuntu and derivative users should regenerate keys immediately.

If keys generated on Ubuntu have been copied to a computer using any other distribution, those keys are still vulnerable and should be immediately regenerated.

ISOs available already on, mirrors, and shipit will not be updated with the new packages, but using the Update Manager to get security updates and will replace the impacted packages. Users should then regenerate new keys.

The 8.04.1 point release, expected in July, will include the updates packages.

FOSSCamp 2008 Prague

FOSSCamp was again a resounding success, as sessions concentrated on working with various distributions and projects. Some sessions covered the Ubuntu and Debian relationship and how to improve communication between the distributions.

Members of the GNOME and KDE came together to discuss if there were ways to share code, data, or APIs. Dan Shearer provided an overview of the upcoming Samba 4 release. Samba is working on the Open Change project, which will be implement Microsoft Exchange server features and protocol. Open Change is expected to be feature complete by the next Samba XP conference.

Other sessions included Sun showing their stack of Net Beans, Glass Fish, and OpenJDK. A session was held on how Brain Storm can be improved. A packaging jam was held to introduce the work that MOTU do.

Other links to FOSSCamp articles that include some pictures:

The Art of Release(Mark Shuttleworth)

Hardy Heron 8.04 LTS represented a very significant step forward in our release management thinking. Not only did it prove that we could execute an LTS release in the standard 6-month timeframe, but it showed that we could commit to such an LTS the cycle beforehand. As a result, we can commit that the next LTS release of Ubuntu will be 10.04 LTS, in April 2010. We also committed, for the first time, to a regular set of point releases for 8.04 LTS. These will start three months after the LTS, and be repeated every six months until the next LTS is out. These point releases will include support for new hardware as well as rolling up all the updates published in that series to date.

There’s one thing that could convince me to change the date of the next Ubuntu LTS: the opportunity to collaborate with the other, large distributions on a coordinated major / minor release cycle. If two out of three of Red Hat (RHEL), Novell (SLES) and Debian are willing to agree in advance on a date to the nearest month, and thereby on a combination of kernel, compiler toolchain, GNOME/KDE, X and OpenOffice versions, and agree to a six-month and 2-3 year long term cycle, then I would happily realign Ubuntu’s short and long-term cycles around that. I think the benefits of this sort of alignment to users, upstreams and the distributions themselves would be enormous.

Making 5-a-day happen in "Your Loco team"!

The idea behind it is simple one: everybody does 5 bugs a day. Every day. Everybody participates according to their abilities and interests. explains how to set it up for your Loco Team and as you can see at: there are a number of teams that have already accepted the challenge. Get involved and help wipe out those pesky bugs. Everyone will benefit from your help.

Ubuntu Stats

Bug Stats

  • Open (46290) +918 # over last week
  • Critical (32) +1 # over last week
  • Unconfirmed (22858) +583 # over last week
  • Unassigned (36724) +819 # over last week
  • All bugs ever reported (183688) +2177 # over last week

As always, the Bug Squad needs more help. If you want to get started, please see

Translation Stats Hardy

This is the top 5, not specific languages, so the languages might change week to week.

  • Spanish (14769)
  • French (44748)
  • English (United Kingdom) (55067)
  • Swedish (58340)
  • Brazilian Portuguese (68176)

Remaining strings to translate in Ubuntu 8.04 "Hardy Heron," see more at:

Launchpad News

Launchpad Logo Contest Winner Announced

Launchpad is delighted to announce that the winner is Eugene Tretyak! You can view his design here: The center of the design represents how Launchpad makes it easy for people to collaborate and connect with one another, while the surrounding facets represent the different services that Launchpad provides. Above all, it shows that all projects are themselves a gem and, when combined with other gems, can turn into something brilliant.

Ubuntu Forums News

Ubuntu Forums Interview

p_quarles got in the UF Staff team last time we were looking for new moderators. He has a Literature background (completing his PhD.) and like many others who accepted to be interviewed, his journey with computers started with the Commodore 64 when he was a kid. Please read the whole interview here:

Tutorial of the Week

This week, we highlight a contribution by one of the biggest proponents of 64-bit Ubuntu on the forums: Kilz, who wrote the impressive "Howto Install 32 bit Firefox with Flash w/sound and Java for AMD64."

It's a thread that began almost two years ago, has received updates through four releases and has even been recently adjusted. It's unusual to see a tutorial receive so much attention, but when you read through it, it's clear that this is a labor of love. If you use 64-bit Ubuntu and want to get a fully functional Firefox, Kilz has made it easy for you.

See you in a week!

In The Press

  • Click explains the latest developments in the world of technology. The team review the latest gadgets and major tech news. Included in the listing are "Why pay? - We look at free software, from office suites to operating systems" and Top 5 Free Web Apps - Marc Cieslak pick the best free software going".
  • Why we love Ubuntu Linux (or maybe we don't) - David M Williams of itwire did a lot of research and posed the question to readers and LUG members. Predictably, he got pros and cons on both sides of the kernel. In a nutshell: Ubuntu is loved because it works out of the box on a wide range of hardware, because Canonical has been smart and push out regular updates on a reliable fixed schedule. The community support is considered a major draw card, it's both friendly and helpful. The fact it comes from Debian is also good sign. Yet, we don’t love Ubuntu because it doesn’t work with all hardware, because it doesn’t default to the KDE window system and because it comes from Debian but is published under its own name.

  • Ubuntu Linux 8.10 - While Hardy Heron was designed to be stable enough to be a long-term support release, Intrepid Ibex promises to be packed with more exciting features. Among those changes are likely to be a number of mobility improvements as well as more flexible Internet connectivity. On the desktop there is also likely to be a refreshed desktop theme which has been in the pipeline for the past two releases.

  • Running a business on desktop Linux - Small business owner are on their own, and without IT support. They depend on computers, and just want to be able to do their jobs without computer headaches. What do the self-employed require of their computers? The list varies by the person and the kind of work they do. Here are the essentials: ease of use, readily available help, reliability, office application compatibility, financial management, low cost, and performance. How does Linux rate? According to Howard Fosdick of desktoplinux: "Linux empowers you to run your business on low-cost computers that are deemed worthless within the distorted perspective of the Windows world."

  • From newbie to 100 with Ubuntu Linux 8.04 - Your friends want you to try out Ubuntu; forget the Microsoft and liberate your computer. Yet, it's not such smooth sailing. Sure, you can download the Ubuntu CD, but once you're sitting at a login prompt, what then? What can you actually do with this thing? Actually lots, but unless a newcomer to Linux can begin achieving some of the things they use a computer for – surfing the internet, checking e-mail, viewing photographs – it will be a disappointing experience. If there’s no incentive to persevere – like a knowledgeable friend hanging around giving encouragement and advice – it’s possible the user will simply return to that which they know already and not come back.

  • Ubuntu 8.04 KVM Benchmarks - the Kernel-based Virtual Machine premiered with the Linux 2.6.20 kernel, and it has matured quite a bit over the past year and a half since its christening. With that said, phoronix is in the process of conducting new Linux virtualization benchmarks to see how these various implementations compare today. While the full comparison isn't yet ready, due to much interest surrounding Linux virtualization on desktops and servers, they are publishing some initial benchmarks from the Phoronix Test Suite when running Ubuntu 8.04 LTS as the host OS, and then running it as the guest operating system with hardware-based acceleration through KVM.

  • 'Major' Flash Player beta released - The "first major" Flash Player update since Adobe Systems completed its 2005 acquisition of Macromedia is due to be made available today as a beta. The Flash Player 10 beta features a brand-new Just In Time (JIT) engine to load pixel bytecode into the Flash Player engine.

In The Blogosphere

  • Ubuntu 8.04: Not quite there, yet - michuk decided to wait for the final Hardy Heron release this time. After installation, he reviews many of the new features of the release. His conclusion: "Ubuntu 8.04 shows progress in comparison to 7.10. Many errors have been fixed, and hardware is better supported. It is a pity that developers, instead of concentrating on fixing bugs and improving stability, decided to add many new features, introducing new bugs as a result. The most important question is — do I recommend Ubuntu 8.04? If I were to answer simply yes or no, the answer would be negative. If you need a good system that just works, wait a few months before installing Hardy Heron, until it becomes a really stable LTS."

  • Go green: go Ubuntu - reddragdiva's laptop(HP Compaq 6710b, 2.2GHz Core 2 Duo, 1GB memory), gets three hours in Ubuntu Hardy versus two hours in Windows XP, doing the same work. She believes this is mostly due to the Linux kernels "tickless idle", which has eliminated the periodic timer tick when the CPU is idle. She is also using "powertop", a Linux tool that finds the software component(s) that are making your laptop use more power than necessary while it is idle. It then makes suggestions on how to control these components to achieve longer battery life on your laptop.

  • How did Ubuntu end up so popular? - No one has hard numbers, of course, but based on how much it’s talked about on the web, Ubuntu appears to be the most popular Linux distribution for the home desktop market. Every tech news article about Linux mentions Ubuntu and often recommends Ubuntu for new users. The amazing thing is that even back when Ubuntu was barely functional (no easy-codec-installation or restricted-drivers-manager or Ubiquity installer) it was getting buzz. What got it off the ground? As far as Ubuntu Cat can tell, here is what Ubuntu had going for it: Canonical targets home users, Ubuntu had the backing of some serious money from Mark Shuttleworth, free CDs, the Ubuntu Forums, it's “Humanity Towards Others” philosophy, the lack of confusing options, and the Ubuntu documentation.

In Other News

Linux Distro Smack Down - the Podcast

Barton looks after Sun's relationships with the various GNU/Linux communities as well as their relationship with the FSF. Recently he managed to bring together the community leaders of three of the top GNU/Linux distros (Zonker Brockmeier, OpenSUSE; Jono Bacon, Ubuntu; Karsten Wade, Fedora), threw in Glynn Foster of Open Solaris, and moderated a no-holds-barred panel. The panel itself wasn't recorded, but immediately after it concluded, the five of them headed off to a make-shift podcast studio, and recorded this discussion. Their suggest: "Listen at your peril"

Metalinks, what are those?

The Ubuntu 8.04 release had official metalinks posted, and they are used by Wubi(Ubuntu installer for Windows). Elliot Murphy met Anthony Bryan of at Bar Camp Miami, and he taught Elliot about metalinks:

  • Metalinks were designed for describing the locations of large files that are multi-located (shared via many mirrors and with P2P) to increase usability, reliability, speed, and availability. If a server goes down during a download, download programs can automatically switch to another mirror. Or segments can be downloaded from different places at the same time, automatically, which can make downloads much faster. Besides location, it also describes content. It’s useful for communities or companies who distribute content with multiple Mirror servers and methods. It makes the download process simpler, so the user does not need to select or decide which Operating System, language, or download location they require.

Ubuntu landed on Berlin metro system

“Berliner Fenster”, the company responsible for the content of the television system installed inside underground vehicles, (more than 3.700 displays), were so kind, (thank you!), to provide a free spot for our release party. Timed with the release on April 24th, there were small spots viewable by an audience of about 1.5 million people per day, about the release party. This kind of advertising can't be bought and everyone should visit the link to see pics of the spots that were run. spotted the Ubuntu operating system in the Belgian movie "Vermist", where police detectives apparently use Ubuntu as their operating system of choice. Follow the link below and you can see a screenshot from the movie. His review of the movie: "it was pretty crap, so don’t bother with it."

Upcoming Meetings and Events

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Platform Team Meeting

  • Start: 06:00 UTC
  • End: 07:00 UTC
  • Location: IRC channel #ubuntu-meeting
  • Agenda: Not Listed as of Publication

LoCo Council Meeting

Server Team Meeting

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Desktop Team Meeting

Updates and Security for 6.06, 7.04, 7.10, and 8.04

Security Updates

Ubuntu 6.06 Updates

  • None Reported

Ubuntu 7.04 Updates

Ubuntu 7.10 Updates

Ubuntu 8.04 Updates

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Additional Ubuntu News

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Thank you for reading the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter.

See you next week!


The Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter is brought to you by:

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  • And many others

Glossary of Terms

  1. API - Application Programming Interface
  2. JDK - Java Development Kit
  3. LTS - Long Term Support
  4. LUG - Linux Users Group
  5. IT - Information Technology


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