Debian 9.1 Stretch released with various bug fixes

The Universal Operating System development team has announced availability of Debian 9.1, first updated snapshot in Debian 9.x Strech series. This point release brings numerous bug fixes and security updates for issues reported in current Debian series.

Debian 9.1 being a point release in Debian 9.x series, existing users can directly update their system using regular apt update command. New comers can directly install Debian 9.1 snapshot to ensure that, they get most of the updated packages on first install itself.

Following are some issues addressed in Debian 9.1 point release:
3dchess Reduce wasteful CPU consumption
adwaita-icon-theme Fix malformed send-to-symbolic icon
anope Fix incorrect mail-transport-agent relationship
apt Reset failure reason when connection was successful, so later errors are reported as such and not as connection failure warnings; http: A response with Content-Length: 0 has no content, so don't try to read it; use port from SRV record instead of initial port
avogadro Update eigen3 patches
base-files Update for the 9.1 point release
c-ares Security fix [CVE-2017-1000381]
debian-edu-doc Update Debian Edu Stretch manual from the wiki; update translations
debsecan Add support for stretch and buster; Python needs https_proxy for proxy configuration with https:// URLs
devscripts debchange: target stretch-backports with --bpo; support $codename{,-{proposed-updates,security}}; bts: add support for the new a11y tag
dgit Multiple bugfixes
dovecot Fix syntax errors when sending Solr queries
dwarfutils Security fixes [CVE-2017-9052 CVE-2017-9053 CVE-2017-9054 CVE-2017-9055 CVE-2017-9998]
fpc Fix conversion from local time to UTC
galternatives Fix blank window when displaying properties
geolinks Fix python3 dependencies
gnats gnats-user: do not fail to purge if /var/lib/gnats/gnats-db is not empty
gnome-settings-daemon Do not add the US keyboard layout by default for new users, for some reason, this layout was preferred over the system configured one on the first login; preserve NumLock state between sessions by default
gnuplot Fix memory corruption vulnerability
gnutls28 Fix breakage with AES-GCM in-place encryption and decryption on aarch64
grub-installer Fix support for systems with a large number of disks
intel-microcode Update included microcode
libclamunrar Fix arbitrary memory write [CVE-2012-6706]
libopenmpt Security fixes: out-of-bounds read while loading a malfomed PLM file; arbitrary code execution by a crafted PSM file [CVE-2017-11311]; various security fixes
libquicktime Security fixes [CVE-2017-9122 CVE-2017-9123 CVE-2017-9124 CVE-2017-9125 CVE-2017-9126 CVE-2017-9127 CVE-2017-9128]
linux-latest Revert changes to debug symbol meta-packages
nagios-nrpe Restore previous SSL defaults
nvidia-graphics-drivers Bump Pre-Depends: nvidia-installer-cleanup to (>= 20151021) for smoother upgrades from jessie
octave-ocs Fix loading package functions
open-iscsi Speed up Debian Installer when iSCSI is not used
openssh Fix incoming compression statistics
openstack-debian-images Also add security updates for non wheezy/jessie
os-prober EFI - look for dos instead of msdos
osinfo-db Improve support for Stretch and Jessie
partman-base Protect the firmware area on all mmcblk devices (and not only on mmcblk0) from being clobbered during guided partitioning
pdns-recursor Add 2017 DNSSEC root key
perl Backport various Getopt-Long fixes from upstream 2.49..2.51; backport upstream patch fixing regexp Malformed UTF-8 character; apply upstream no-dot-in-inc fix
phpunit Security fix: arbitrary PHP code execution via HTTP POST
protozero Fix data_view equality operator
pulseaudio Fix copyright file
pykde4 Drop bindings for plasma webview bindings; they're obsolete and non-functional
python-colorlog Fix python3 dependencies
python-imaplib2 Fix python3 dependencies
python-plumbum Fix python3 dependencies
qgis Fix missing Breaks/Replaces against python-qgis-common
request-tracker4 Handle configuration permissions correctly following RT_SiteConfig.d changes
retext Backport upstream fix for crash in XSettings code; fix syntax in appdata XML file
rkhunter Disable remote updates [CVE-2017-7480]
socat Fix signals leading to possible 100% CPU usage
squashfs-tools Fix corruption of large files; fix rare race condition
systemd Fix out-of-bounds write in systemd-resolved [CVE-2017-9445]; be truly quiet in systemctl -q is-enabled; improve RLIMIT_NOFILE handling; debian/extra/rules: Use updated U2F ruleset
thermald Add Broadwell-GT3E and Kabylake support
unrar-nonfree Add bound checks for VMSF_DELTA, VMSF_RGB and VMSF_AUDIO paramters [CVE-2012-6706]
win32-loader Replace all mirror urls with; drop bz2 compression for source
For more details and download links, see original release announcement in Debian website.

BackBox Linux 5 released by replacing outdated tools

The BackBox Linux community has proudly announced availability of BackBox Linux 5, latest major release of community driven GNU/Linux operating system that strives to promote culture of security in IT environments. It brings various tools and applications required for penetration testing and other security evaluations.

The BackBox Linux 5 development was a long activity due to various process changes. But the team has successfully gone through it. During the development process, various outdated packages has been removed from base operating system and several new tools has been added to make sure that everything works smoothly for security evaluations.

Following information is shared by BackBox team in original announcement:
The BackBox Team proudly announces the major release of BackBox v5. It took long due to several development processes, but we worked hard and got through it.

In this major release we made some structural changes, we removed outdated tools and added new ones.
What's new
  • New logo and identity
  • Updated Linux Kernel 4.8
  • Updated all hacking tools
You can download BackBox Linux 5 images from project's download section. It will be removed from download sections once it goes out of support period.

deepin 15.4.1 unveiled with launcher mini mode, window preview and other visual improvements

The deepin team has unveiled deepin 15.4.1, latest stable and optimized snapshot of Debian based GNU/Linux distribution featuring stunning deepin desktop environment.

deepin 15.4.1 is a revised edition of recently released deepin 15.4. Usually minor releases or revisions comes with a few set bug fixes only. But deepin 15.4.1 comes with various visual improvements, bug fixes and updated packages. So it is almost equivalent to a major release.

A preview of application launcher in deepin 15.4.1 (Credit : deepin blog)
There has been multiple visual improvements in deepin desktop since release of deepin 15.4. These improvements includes a mini mode for launcher application, window preview when mouse pointer os hovered over applications on task bar, application starting animation and optimized 2d rendering of window manager. In addition to these, deepin 15.4.1 also ships fixes for various bugs reported in previous release:
As a revised edition, deepin 15.4.1 added Launcher mini mode, application start animation and window preview effect, optimized 2D mode of window manager, fixed bugs that forum users submitted and updated Deepin applications to the newest version. Launcher mini mode is added, back to the classic operating way. Two modes are provided for user to switch freely. Well-designed application start animation increased the interest to run application. It’s more efficient to drag and drop file to the application on Dock for opening. Window preview effect is back to make your dektop more vivid.
For more information and features previews, read original release announcement published by deepin team.

Elive 2.9.5 beta released with various visual improvments

The Elive Linux team has announced availability of Elive 2.9.5 for testing. This release comes with various design improvements and visual effects planned for next stable release.

A preview of Elive Linux
In addition to visual improvements made on top of enlightenment desktop, there has been multiple usability improvements and bug fixes to make it more reliable and robust for day to day use. In official release announcement, Elive team has summarized these changes.
  • Designs: Great improvements in the designs for the stable release! Overall cleanup, lots of transparent elements, logo animated at start, shadows 3d effect, clock design
  • Unique Features: The borders has now 4 buttons instead of 3, and there’s a hidden one that appears if a window cannot be closed
  • Effects: The visual effects stability is improved specially in the Live mode and there’s a fix for the locked desktop when using it
  • Eltrans: Our translator tool has the counter for translated sentences fixed and there’s a fix in the grammar checker. Please be a translator before the stable release!
  • Extra: you can use ctrl+s in vim to save files now, tagbar feature also recognizes EDC source files which makes them very handy to browse elements!
Original release announcement can be read in Elive Linux website.

Download Elive 2.9.5 beta

GNOME Control Center gets a redesigned WiFi settings

GNOME developers are always looking for modern and efficient designs. Since the first release of GNOME 3.x, there were numerous design changes in GNOME shell. One of the recent design to join this list is an updated WiFi settings window.

There is an ongoing discussion on a revamped control center. This discussion are inspired by mockups made by Allan Day, one of the blessed GNOME designer. These mockups are modern looking and preserves most the existing functionality. In this design, all options in control center will be listed on left side of the window and details will be available on right side. Adhering to this new convention, Mr Feaneron, has implemented a WiFi settings window.

Redesigned Wifi Settings
Current Network Settings in GNOME (It was redesigned as the network settings left panel is not looking with control center left panel)
For more details on updated WiFi settings, you can read developer diary written by Feaneron.

Netrunner Rolling 2017.07 snapshot is available now

The Netrunner community has announced availability of an update snapshot for Netrunner Rolling edition. Indicating the year and month of release, this snapshot will be identified by the version number 2017.07.

Netrunner Rolling Edition is based on Arch/Manjaro and features a simplified Plasma Desktop environment. It has been almost 18 months since release of previous Netrunner Rolling Edition. For a rolling operating system, it is not necessary to publish snapshots in every while. However, it will help the new comers to get a recent set of applications without spending a lot of bandwidth for system update.

SMPlayer in Netrunner Rolling 2017.07 (Credit : Netrunner blog)
The major differences in Netrunner 2017.07 comparing to previous rolling snapshot, ie, Netrunner 2016.01 can be summarized as:
  • KDE Plasma 5.10.3, KDE Frameworks 5.35, KDE Applications 17.04.2, and Qt5.9.0
  • Linux Kernel 4.11.8
  • Firefox 54.0.1
  • Thunderbird 52.2.1
  • LibreOffice 5.2.7
  • Just like Debian based release, rolling release also features SMPlayer
  • SUSE Image Writer is replaced by KDE Neon's image writer.
Despite of being a rolling release, Netrunner team recommends to install a fresh copy of OS rather than updating existing system, which is not what we expect from a rolling release.

For more information and screenshots of Netrunner 2017.07, see release announcement prepared by Netrunner team.

Download Netrunner 2017.07 (2.3 GB | 64 BIT)

Mageia 6 released with Plasma 5, DNF, ARM Integration and tons of other features

The Mageia community has proudly announced release of Mageia 6, latest stable release of community driven GNU/Linux distribution which was initially started as a fork of Mandriva Linux. This release of Mageia brings tons of new features and updates.

The Mageia community has taken a longer period to prepare final release of Mageia 6, though the developers are confident enough to claim that, this period was spent wisely to polish the operating system and to make it more robust and usable.

Default wallpaper in Mageia 6
There has been a lot of changes in Mageia 6. These changes includes replacement of KDE 4 desktop with Plasma 5 desktop, availability of DNF as an alternative to URPMI package manager, availability of Xfce live image to test the robustness of Mageia on a lighter environment ..etc. Among hundreds of highlights and changes in Mageia 6, the team has picked a few to put in official release announcement.
  • KDE Plasma 5 replaces the previous KDE SC 4 desktop environment
  • The new package manager DNF is provided as an alternative to urpmi, enabling a great packaging ecosystem:
    • Support for AppStream and thus GNOME Software and Plasma Discover
    • Support for Fedora COPR and openSUSE Build Service to provide third party packages for Mageia 6 and later
    • dnfdragora, a new GUI tool for package management inspired from rpmdrake
  • Brand new icon theme for all Mageia tools, notably the Mageia Control Center
  • Successful integration of the ARM port (ARMv5 and ARMv7) in the buildsystem, allowing to setup ARM chroots. Installation images are not available yet but will come in the future.
  • GRUB2 as the default bootloader
  • New Xfce Live images to test Mageia with a lighter weight environment
  • While not a new feature, Mageia 6 supports over 25 desktop environments and window managers
For more information, see release announcement and release notes published by Mageia team.

Sparky Linux 5.0 released based on Debian testing

The Sparky Linux project has announced availability Sparky Linux 5.0, updated live and installation images for project's Debian based GNU/Linux distribution. This release of Sparky Linux code named Nibiru is based on Debian testing branch Buster. It will be following a rolling release model and users can avail latest updates from Debian testing branch.

This release includes Sparky Home, Sparky Minimal GUI and Sparky CLI editions. The Sparky Home edition is a full featured operating system that comes with lightweight desktop environments such as LXQt, MATE and LXDE. While Sparky Minimal GUI comes with Openbox and Sparky CLI lets you to install minimal set of applications using advanced installer. All these images can be downloaded from Sparky rolling release section.

Sparky Linux provides a direct upgrade path from version 4.5 to 5.0 using regular system upgrade commands.
$ sudo apt update
$ sudo apt dist-upgrade
In original release announcement, Sparky Linux team has listed the major differences between version 4.5 and 5.0.
  • full system upgraded from Debian testing repos as of July 14, 2017
  • Linux kernel 4.11.6 as default (4.12.x is available in Sparky ‘unstable’ repo)
  • new theme “Sparky5”
  • new theme of LXQt edition
  • new default wallpaper created by our community member “barti”
  • new set of wallpapers of the Nature category, with a few nice landscapes from Poland
  • Calamares 3.1.1 as the default system installer
  • new tool for checking and displaying notification on your desktop about available updates
  • added new repos (not active):
  • email client Icedove replaced by Thunderbird
  • changed http to https protocol of all Sparky services, including repository; updating the ‘sparky-apt’ package fixes it automatically
For more information and download links, see release announcement published by Sparky Linux team.

Finally Ubuntu completes migration from LightDM to GDM

As a part of moving away from Unity stack, Ubuntu team has completed migration from LightDM to GDM (GNOME Display Manager). GDM will be used as default display manager in upcoming versions of Ubuntu as it will be more compatible with GNOME shell. The completion was announced in Ubuntu Weekly Updates of 14th July 2017, published in Ubuntu Insights.

It was a few months back Ubuntu announced their plan to drop Unity shell and the idea of convergence in favor of other emerging and market driven areas like cloud computing and internet of things. This implied, Ubuntu won't focus on creating it's own desktop environment and it will be using GNOME shell instead. The LightDM to GDM migration was completed as part of this desktop stack transition. Ubuntu 17.10 will be the first release of Ubuntu featuring GNOME shell instead of Unity.

GDM has now replaced LightDM. We’re working on the transition between display managers to make sure that users are seamlessly transitioned to the new stack. We’re doing regular automated upgrade tests to make sure everything keeps working, but we’re keen to get your bug reports.

We’ve spent time cleaning up the desktop seeds and demoted 70+ packages. This has freed up a little space on the ISO and makes things generally easier to manage.

Good news: transparent terminals under Wayland now work properly, thanks to a patch from Owen Taylor at Fedora. SRUs for previous releases are underway.
For more information and other weekly updates from Ubuntu, see original article published in Ubuntu Insights.

Manjaro 17.0.2 MATE & LXQt community editions released

Manjaro community developers has announced release of Manjaro 17.0.2 MATE & LXQt editions. The MATE edition of Manjaro provides a traditional looking, yet elegant and modern desktop experience. While Manjaro LXQt edition, features lightweight, yet fully functional LXQt desktop environment which is a good choice for netbooks and old computers.

Manjaro 17.0.2 MATE Desktop
Manjaro 17.0.2 MATE edition ships with MATE Desktop 1.18.x with full GTK3 support. It also includes updated version of Brisk Menu, a modern application menu developed by Solus project in collaboration with other mate communities. Another highlight in this release is adoption of slick greeter as default lightdm greeter. It will provide more compact, slick look for the lightdm greeter.

Netinstalelr on Manjaro LXQt 17.0.2
Manjaro 17.0.2 LXQt edition has a wider user base comparing to MATE edition (statement based on download/day from sourceforge website). This release makes use of Netinstall to provide users with the option to choose the required packages while installation.

For more information on these releases, see original release announcement and separate forum threads for MATE & LXQt editions.

ExTiX 17.7 released with Budgie Desktop, Linux Kernel 4.11.0 & Refracta tools

The ExTiX GNU/Linux developer has announced release of ExTiX 17.7, latest stable release of Ubuntu/Debian based GNU/Linux distribution trying to deliver ultimate operating system experience.

ExTiX 17.7 release comes with Budgie Desktop developed by Solus project. Instead of bloating with a lot of tools and packages, ExTix 17.7 ships a minimal set of packages and nd it leaves users with the privilege to decide which software to install and use.

Another highlight of ExTiX 17.7 is Refracta tools, a set of tools for building your own custom GNU/Linux distribution based on Ubuntu. Also it offers Linux Kernel 4.11.0-10-Etix prepared by project. Using a newer version of Kernel will help project to provide more hardware compatibility.
I’ve made a new extra version of ExTiX with Budgie Desktop. Only a minimum of packages are installed in ExTiX Budgie. You can of course install all packages you want. Even while running ExTiX Budgie live. I.e. from a DVD or USB stick. While running ExTiX Budgie 17.7 live or from hard drive you can use Refracta Tools (pre-installed) to create your own live installable Ubuntu system. My special kernel 4.11.0-10-exton corresponding’s kernel 4.11.8. It’s really very simple to install a printer in ExTiX/Ubuntu. Cups (Common UNIX Printing System) is already installed.
Further details on ExTiX 17.7 can be found in original release announcement. receives a perfect score from EFF for protecting Digital Privacy Rights

In modern age, it is very critical to protect your data from various intruders and state departments. As a citizen of internet, your data may be collected by different groups and organizations to monitor your tastes, behaviors or attitudes. In fact it is an attack on your Digital Privacy Rights.

EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation) is an organization that study about the digital privacy rights of users and how different organizations are dealing with it. Based on the studies, EFF release one annual report named Who has your back.

Most of the organization tends to compromise with state agencies and investigative departments when it is about protecting data of users., one of the open source CMS system is doing excellent work here. Considering their effort to protect Digital Privacy Rights of end users, EFF has awarded them perfect score in latest Who has your back report. This is the 3rd time wordpress receiving perfect score in DFF annual report.

Following are the main points that made wordpress eligible for acquiring perfect score in EFF annual report.
  • Following industry-wide best practices.
  • Promising to notify users about law enforcement requests before turning over data.
  • Refusing to voluntarily provide government with access to any data about users for law enforcement, intelligence gathering, or other surveillance purposes.
  • Fighting for user privacy in Congress by taking a public position against the re-authorization of Section 702.
  • Standing up to National Security Letter (NSL) gag orders.
This last criterion is especially important in this day and age. NSLs are a legal tool that give the FBI power to demand data about ordinary American citizens without judicial review, while also prohibiting service providers like Automattic from informing the public or the users affected by the requests. The potentially indefinite gag orders associated with NSLs worry us, and many others.
For original story and information see a blog post published by