martes, 27 de octubre de 2009

Ubuntu Karmic en la BBC

What do French gendarmes, Andalucian school children, Wikipedia and San Francisco International airport have in common?

It is not the set up for a tortuous pun. Instead all of them are big users of the free Ubuntu operating system.

The French national police force runs its operations on the open source OS; computer systems supporting Spanish schools have their own version; the online encyclopaedia runs its hundreds of servers on Ubuntu and SFIA's internal computer system is based around it.

Ubuntu is based on Linux - the open source operating system that is maintained, expanded and extended by legions of fans and professional programmers around the world. Thanks to their efforts Ubuntu has become the most popular of all the Linux distributions.

On 29 October, version 9.10 of Ubuntu is released. All versions of the operating system have an alternative alliterative appellation. Ubuntu 9.10 is known as Karmic Koala.

The launch comes in the wake of Microsoft's fanfare around Windows 7 - the latest incarnation of its flagship operating system.


jueves, 22 de octubre de 2009

Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic RC


Get it while it's hot. ISOs and torrents are available at:

Local mirrors are also available:

Europe North America Oceania/Australia

New features since Ubuntu 9.04


As part of our boot performance work, we have now transitioned to Upstart native jobs, to let users get to their desktop faster after boot. Upstart is written by Scott James Remnant.

Software Center

Ubuntu 9.10 RC includes the Ubuntu Software Center, developed by Michael Vogt, replacing 'Add/Remove' in the Applications menu.


Ubuntu 9.10 RC includes the latest GNOME 2.28 desktop environment with a number of great new features:

  • Empathy has replaced Pidgin as the default instant messaging client, introducing the Telepathy framework.

  • The gdm 2.28 login manager by William Jon McCann is a complete rewrite compared to the version in earlier Ubuntu releases, permitting a more integrated login experience.

  • Evince, the GNOME document viewer, now ships with an enforcing AppArmor profile. This greatly increases security by protecting you against flaws in the historically problematic PDF and image libraries. Users who use a non-standard location for their home directory will need to adjust the home tunable in /etc/apparmor.d/tunables/home. This profile has been developed by Jamie Strandboge.

Application development with Quickly

Quickly, by Rick Spencer and Didier Roche, makes it easy for developers to make new applications for Ubuntu, and to share those application with other Ubuntu users via .deb packages or personal package archives.


Kubuntu 9.10 includes the first Kubuntu Netbook release, Social from the Start and the latest KDE packages. See the Kubuntu technical overview.

Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud Images

Ubuntu 9.10 RC includes images for common use on Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud (UEC) and Amazon's EC2. You can try out the latest Ubuntu 9.10 server image instantly on EC2 using a preconfigured AMI, or download an image and put it into your own Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud. For information on using UEC images on Amazon EC2, see the EC2 Starter's Guide.

Ubuntu One

Ubuntu 9.10 RC ships with Ubuntu One by default. Ubuntu One is your personal cloud. You can use it to back up, store, sync and share your data with other Ubuntu One users.

Ubuntu One gives all features and 2 GB of essential storage to everyone. Synchronize files, contacts, and Tomboy notes across all of your Ubuntu computers and to the cloud. More space is available with a monthly subscription.

Ubuntu One project information is available on Launchpad.

Linux kernel 2.6.31

Ubuntu 9.10 RC includes the 2.6.31-14.48 kernel based on The kernel ships with Kernel Mode Setting enabled for Intel graphics (see below). linux-restricted-modules is deprecated in favour of DKMS packages.

hal deprecation

Ubuntu 9.10 RC's underlying technology for power management, laptop hotkeys, and handling of storage devices and cameras maps has moved from "hal" (which is in the process of being deprecated) to "DeviceKit-power", "DeviceKit-disks" and "udev".

New Intel video driver architecture

The Intel video driver has switched from the "EXA" acceleration method to the new "UXA", solving major performance problems of Ubuntu 9.04. Ubuntu 9.10 RC also features kernel mode setting by default on Intel hardware, which reduces boot-time flickering and dramatically speeds up suspend/resume.

ext4 by default

The new "ext4" filesystem is used by default for new installations with Ubuntu 9.10 RC; of course, other filesystems are still available via the manual partitioner. Existing filesystems will not be upgraded.

If you have full backups and are confident, you can upgrade an existing ext3 filesystem to ext4 by following directions in the Ext4 Howto. (Note that the comments on that page at the time of writing about Ubuntu's use of vol_id vs. blkid are out of date and are not applicable to Ubuntu 9.10 RC.) Maximum performance will typically only be achieved on new filesystems, not on filesystems that have been upgraded from ext3.

GRUB 2 by default

GRUB 2 is the default boot loader for new installations with Ubuntu 9.10 RC, replacing the previous GRUB "Legacy" boot loader. Existing systems will not be upgraded to GRUB 2 at this time, as automatically reinstalling the boot loader is an inherently risky operation.

If you wish to upgrade your system to GRUB 2, then see the GRUB 2 testing page for instructions. See also the upstream draft manual.

Some features are still missing relative to GRUB Legacy. Notable among these are lock/password support, an equivalent of grub-reboot, and Xen handling.

iSCSI installation

The iSCSI installation process has been improved, and no longer requires iscsi=true as a boot parameter; the installer will offer you the option of logging into iSCSI targets if there are no local disks, or you can select "Configure iSCSI" in the manual partitioner.

Putting the root filesystem on iSCSI is now supported.


AppArmor in Ubuntu 9.10 RC features an improved parser that uses cache files, greatly speeding up AppArmor initialisation on boot. AppArmor also now supports 'pux' which, when specified, means a process can transition to an existing profile if one exists or simply run unconfined if one does not.

Please see the AppArmor documentation for information on using AppArmor in Ubuntu.

New profiles

In addition to the above changes to AppArmor itself, several profiles were added. Enforcing profiles for ntpd, evince, and libvirt are enabled by default. Complain mode profiles for Dovecot are now available in the apparmor-profiles package.

A new profile is provided for Firefox as well, though it is disabled by default. Users can enable AppArmor sandboxing of their browser by running:

$ sudo aa-enforce /etc/apparmor.d/usr.bin.firefox-3.5

This profile can be disabled again by performing:

$ sudo apparmor_parser -R /etc/apparmor.d/usr.bin.firefox-3.5
$ sudo ln -s /etc/apparmor.d/usr.bin.firefox-3.5 /etc/apparmor.d/disable/usr.bin.firefox-3.5

An AppArmor profile is now available for Apache in the libapache2-mod-apparmor package. When used in combination with the mod_apparmor Apache module, web applications can now be protected and isolated from each other. Instructions for enabling the profile are in the /etc/apparmor.d/usr.lib.apache2.mpm-prefork.apache2 file.

Please see the SecurityTeam/KnowledgeBase for a full listing of readily available profiles in Ubuntu.


Libvirt now contains AppArmor integration when using KVM or QEMU. Libvirtd is configured to launch virtual machines that are confined by uniquely restrictive AppArmor profiles. This feature significantly improves virtualisation in Ubuntu by providing user-space host protection as well as guest isolation.

Uncomplicated Firewall

The Uncomplicated Firewall now has support for filtering by interface and egress filtering when using the ufw command. Documentation for ufw is also improved to help users better utilise the ufw framework and take full advantage of Linux netfilter's power and flexibility. See UbuntuFirewall#Features for a full list of features.

Non-eXecutable Emulation

Non-eXecutable (NX) memory protection, also known as eXecute-Disable (XD), has always been available in Ubuntu for any systems that had the hardware to support it and ran the 64-bit kernel or the 32-bit server kernel. The 32-bit PAE desktop kernel (linux-image-generic-pae) now also provides the PAE mode needed for hardware with the NX CPU feature.

For systems that lack NX hardware, the 32-bit kernels now provide an approximation of the NX CPU feature via software emulation that can help block many exploits an attacker might run from stack or heap memory.

Blocking Module Loading

To block the loading of any further modules after boot (generally for servers with unchanging hardware), the /proc/sys/kernel/modules_disabled one-way sysctl flag now exists to add another layer of protections against attackers loading kernel rootkits.

Position-Independent Executables

Building on the work done in Ubuntu 8.10 and 9.04 to proactively protect Ubuntu from unknown threats by using strict compiler flags, more applications have been built as Position-Independent Executables (PIE) to take advantage of the Address Space Layout Randomisation (ASLR) available in the Ubuntu kernel.

In addition to the growing program list, PIE programs are now also built with the BIND_NOW linker flag to take full advantage of the existing RELRO linker flag. This results in PIE programs having fewer places in their memory that can be controlled to redirect program flow when an attacker attempts memory-corruption exploits.

Known issues

There are a small number of known bugs that users may run into with Ubuntu 9.10 RC which will be fixed before the final release. We have documented them here for your convenience along with any known workarounds.

For a full list of errata for Ubuntu 9.10, please see the Ubuntu 9.10 release notes.

  • When creating LUKS encrypted partitions, some earlier versions of cryptsetup did not wipe out any pre-existing filesystem metadata on the partition. The current version of blkid used in the Ubuntu 9.10 RC will refuse to export a UUID for a partition containing more than one type of metadata signature. This means that encrypted disks may fail to be decrypted at boot time, possibly preventing the system from booting at all. Users of LUKS system-level disk encryption are advised to wait until the Ubuntu 9.10 final release before upgrading. (428435)

  • Empathy's MSN messaging support is provided by telepathy-butterfly, the version included in karmic advertises it supports Audio/Video chat however for stability reasons it has been disabled in Karmic. If you wish to test MSN AV support in Empathy, please install telepathy-butterfly from and report bugs so we can make it as solid as possible in Lucid. (437828)

  • Installing on Marvell Dove boards requires a network connection. This will be fixed immediately after RC. (457536)

viernes, 16 de octubre de 2009

martes, 6 de octubre de 2009

Debian-like Linux Boot-Up Manager

Boot-Up Manager is a Perl-Gtk2 application to handle runlevels configuration of any debian derivative system. With this program the user will easily start and stop boot-up scripts, without the necessity to handle thru complex links and permissions.

Boot-Up Manager has been developed and tested on Ubuntu, but as it only relies on Perl-Gtk2 libraries, it can be run on any Debian-like system.

The scripts located in /etc/init.d are part of the bootup sequence of every Debian-like distro. Very often Ubuntu's documentation and guides have suggested - in order to deactivate init scripts - to change the permissions of the scripts in /etc/init.d, making them non-executable. This will have the following consequences:

  • You'll get an error message at boot time (to avoid it you need to patch all the scripts);
  • You are breaking the logical chain stated in debian-policy concerning runlevel configuration.

If the logic of a debian-like system boot up sequence is not very clear and familiar to you, you should not play with symlinks, permissions, etc. In order to avoid messing up your system, Boot-Up Manager will automate all of your configuration in a nice and clean graphical interface.

Home Page


jueves, 1 de octubre de 2009

Ubuntu 9.10 (Karmic Koala) Beta

Todos estamos ansiosos por al llegada del tan esperado Karmic y disfrutar de todo lo nuevo que nos trae. Esto será el 29 de este mes (Calendario).

En lo personal me ha ido muy bien con ubuntu, tanto en asuntos personales y de ocio como administrativos y de servicios. Aunque realmente recomiendo otras distros que vienen orientadas a servicios para cosas de trabajo como lo es la version server de Ubuntu, asi como tambien CentOS o Fedora.

En lo que llega el 29, y es que faltan unas cuantas semanas, los enfiebrados pueden ir probando la Beta que ya esta disponible para descarga. Esto es posible hacerlo en maquina de pruebas que no estemos utilizando o en una máquina virtual (ej. VirtualBox, VMWare, XEN, Quemu, etc.).