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Posts tagged with 'linux'

Prakash Advani

Ubuntu 32-Bit or 64-Bit ?

I often get asked this question 32 or 64-Bit? In the past I have told people to stick to 32-Bit because of compatibility issues but things have changed now. Quoting for Phoronix which recently did a benchmark test between 32-Bit and 64-Bit.

Going back years we have run 32-bit vs. 64-bit Linux benchmarks. While the results seldom change, we keep running them as the question of choosing between a 32-bit and 64-bit Linux distribution image is still a popular question… These tests drive in a surprising amount of traffic and I continue to be flabbergasted by the number of people still asking this question when nearly all modern x86 Intel/AMD hardware fully supports x86_64 and it generally means much better performance. Usually the only caveat in not using a 64-bit Linux image is if running a system with less than 2GB of RAM.

In the past there were issues surrounding the Java and Flash support for 64-bit Linux along with an assortment of other possible problems (e.g. with Wine), but all those major issues are a matter of the past. 64-bit Linux is in great shape and as long as you have a decent amount of RAM you really should be running 64-bit Linux.

If you are still in doubt, read the full article for the benchmark results.

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Prakash Advani

The Short answer is No. Ubuntu was patched on 7th April 2014 and the bug was widely reported on 8th April, 2014. If you are using other operating systems,  you need to worry. Especially if its non-Linux based.

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The Heartbleed vulnerability that was discovered just last week took the world by surprise, but most of the affected services and operating systems have been patched. Unfortunately, some of the Ubuntu users haven’t understood how the patching process works and have started to flood the forums and other social media with the message that Ubuntu is vulnerable.

Before the OpenSSL issues has become known to the general public, most of the Linux distributions affected by the issue were patched. Most of the media reported on the problem on April 8, but the patch for the Heartbleed vulnerability was already in place on April 7. This is how the security notification looks like in Ubuntu.

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Prakash Advani

Tesla running Ubuntu ?

There aren’t that many Tesla Model S owners around, but those who are do seem to comprise of people who have a different way of seeing things. Apparently, some Tesla Model S owners have already tried to hack their ride by wiring into the Model S’ communications system. A forum user who goes by the moniker of “nlc” managed to locate a number of ports and tap into the data which flows straight to the center console and navigation screens. It seems that these “hackers” found out that the sub-system actually ran on a version of the Ubuntu operating system, which so happens to be a variant of Linux.
Heck, there was even someone who managed to circumvent this discovery in order to have Firefox up and running on the center console touchscreen, although it does not seem as though there are other more invasive efforts to be made via the Ethernet entry point.

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Prakash Advani

The Communications-Electronics Security Group (CESG), the group within the UK Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) that assesses operating systems and software for security issues, has found that while no end-user operating system is as secure as they’d like it to be, Ubuntu 12.04 is the best of the lot.

In late 2013, the CESG looked at the security of the most popular end-user operating systems for desktops, smartphones, and tablets [PDF Link]. This included: Android 4.2, Android 4.2 on Samsung devices; iOS 6, Blackberry 10.1, Google’s Chrome OS 26, Ubuntu 12.04, Windows 7 and 8; Windows 8 RT, and Windows Phone 8. These were judged for their security suitability for OFFICIAL level use according to the UK Government Security Classifications (PDF Link). This is the UK’s government lowest security level.


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Prakash Advani

Ubuntu 14.04 LTS is here.  Torrent is the preferred method for me.

Ubuntu 14.04
Torrent Links Direct Downloads
Ubuntu Desktop 14.04 64-Bit Torrent Main Server
Ubuntu Desktop 14.04 32-Bit Torrent Main Server
Ubuntu Server 14.04 64-Bit Torrent Main Server
Ubuntu Server 14.04 32-Bit Torrent Main Server

Other releases. (Ubuntu Desktop and Server) (Ubuntu Cloud Server) (Ubuntu Netboot) (Edubuntu)

As always Have fun :)

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Prakash Advani

If you are still on XP, whats your plans ?

11% of the (admittedly small) 641 companies queried stated they intend to switch to Linux. The low-cost, robust security and growing reputation in enterprise use are likely key factors informing such plans.

Perhaps more shockingly is that 37% of those asked intend to stick with Windows XP past the expiry date. Of those, 40% reason that as ‘it works’ there’s little need to change, while 39% claim software they rely on depends on XP.

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Prakash Advani

Many schools in Romania today are using proprietary software like Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Office — most of which are either unlicenced copies or old unsupported versions, for which the schools may face legal issues, according to the Education Ministry of Romania. To tackle this problem, the Ministry recommends the schools to either purchase newer, licenced copies of these software, or switch to open source solutions like GNU/Linux, particularly Ubuntu and Edubuntu.

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Prakash Advani

Demand for people with Linux skills is increasing, a trend that appears to follow a shift in server sales.

Cloud infrastructure, including Amazon Web Service, is largely Linux based, and cloud services’ overall growth is increasing Linux server deployments. As many as 30% of all servers shipped this year will be cloud services providers, according to research firm IDC.

This shift may be contributing to Linux hiring trends reported by the Linux Foundation and IT careers website Dice, in a report released Wednesday. The report states that 77% of hiring managers have put hiring Linux talent on their list of priorities, up from 70% a year ago.

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Intel’s solution for next generation wearable technology is Intel’s Edison. SD card size computer is launched at CES.


  • Dual-core low-power 22nm 400MHz Intel Quark processor.
  • Integrated Wi-Fi
  • Bluetooth
  • Runs Linux


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In this Ubuntu release cycle I worked, among other things, on improving user experience with hybrid systems and proprietary graphics drivers. The aim was to make it easier to enable the discrete card when in need of better performance i.e. when the integrated card wouldn’t be enough.

In 13.10 I focused mainly on enablement, making sure that by installing one extra package together with the driver, users would end up with a fully working system with no additional configuration required on their end.

As for 12.04.3, I backported my work from 13.10 and I also made sure that Jockey (the restricted drivers manager in Precise) detects systems with hybrid graphics, recommends the correct driver – hiding any drivers which may support the card but not in a hybrid graphics context – and installs the extra package when users decide to enable the discrete card. The installation process is very straightforward, however, if you’re still using the old kernel/X stack, Jockey won’t show any drivers. The backported stack from Raring (which comes by default with 12.04.3) is required.

There are some known issues, which will be fixed in a near future.

If you would like to try this work on your system, you can find the instructions here.


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This machine isn’t your standard corporate-issue device, but a machine that from top to bottom is open in its design.

Every component in Huang’s laptop, known as the Novena, is open. Datasheets describing the design and workings of each component – from the motherboard, through to the ports and various processors – is documented and freely available online. Anyone with the expertise can build a complete firmware for each component from source.

The question is why did Huang, former hardware lead on the open source Chumby internet appliance, decide to do it?

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Intel has shipped its first “open source PC,” a bare-bones computer aimed at software developers building x86 applications and hobbyists looking to construct their own computer.
The PC, called the MinnowBoard, is basically a motherboard with no casing around it. It was codeveloped by Intel and CircuitCo Electronics, a company that specializes in open-source motherboards, and went on sale this month for US$199 from a handful of retailers.
It’s the first open-source PC to be offered with an Intel x86 processor, and the board’s schematics and design files are published and can be replicated under a Creative Commons license.

MinnowBoard includes 1GB of DDR2 memory, an HDMI port, Gigabit Ethernet, USB ports, and a micro-SD slot for expandable storage. The board’s open-source UEFI firmware allows for the development of custom secure boot environments.

The board comes pre-loaded with the Angstrom Linux distribution and is compatible with Yocto Project, which enables the creation of hardware agnostic Linux-based systems.

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Rockchip’s RK3188 processor is one of the fastest ARM Cortex-A9 chips around. The 28nm quad-core processor outperforms the chips found in the Samsung Galaxy S III and Google Nexus 7, for instance. And it’s a relatively inexpensive chip, which explains why it’s proven popular with Chinese tablet and TV box makers.

Most devices featuring the RK3188 processor ship with Android 4.1 or Android 4.2. But soon you may be able to run Ubuntu, Fedora, or other desktop Linux operating systems on an RK3188 device.

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John Pugh

Oh boy. June stormed in and the May installment is late! Not much changed at the top. The Northern Hemisphere spring storms keep Stormcloud at the top with Fluendo DVD staying put at the number two spot. Steam continues its top of the chart spree on the Free Top 10.

Want to develop for the new Phone and Tablet OS, Ubuntu Touch? Be sure to check out the “Go Mobile” site for details.

Top 10 paid apps

  1. Stormcloud
  2. Fluendo DVD Player
  3. Filebot
  4. Quick ‘n Easy Web Builder
  5. MC-Launcher
  6. Mini Minecraft Launcher
  7. Braid
  8. UberWriter
  9. Drawers
  10. Bastion

Top 10 free apps

  1. Steam
  2. Motorbike
  3. Master PDF Editor
  4. Youtube to MP3
  5. Screencloud
  6. Nitro
  7. Splashtop Remote Desktop App for Linux
  8. CrossOver (Trial)
  9. Plex Media Server
  10. IntelliJ IDEA 12 Community Edition

Would you like to see your app featured in this list and on millions of user’s computers? It’s a lot easier than you think:


  • The lists of top 10 app downloads includes only those applications submitted through My Apps on the Ubuntu App Developer Site. For more information about of usage of other applications in the Ubuntu archive, check out the Ubuntu Popularity Contest statistics.
  • The top 10 free apps list contains gratis applications that are distributed under different types of licenses, some of which may not be open source. For detailed license information, please check each application’s description in the Ubuntu Software Center.

Follow Ubuntu App Development on:

Social Media Icons by Paul Robert Lloyd

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In my daily work at Canonical I use VM's quite often to test Ubuntu Web Apps and new browser releases in different environments. I use a MacBook Pro 15" (mid 2012) as the main computer, currently running Ubuntu 13.04. This computer had rEFIt to boot and the default OSX system. Of the 500 GB, just 75 were dedicated to Linux, so I was forced to delete VM's or backup them in an external hard disk to re-use them. Finally, I decided to buy a SSD, which are quite cheap nowadays.

The SSD I bought was a Samsung 840 250 GB (not Pro version, which has some additional features). It costs 179 €.

This are the steps I followed to move my Ubuntu setup from a HD to a SSD.

  1. Burn a DVD with Ubuntu. I reused an old 12.04 disk, the -mac version.
  2. Boot Ubuntu from the DVD.
  3. Attach an external USB drive. This is used to (backup and) copy the partition from the HD to the SSD.
  4. Run gparted as root to copy the Linux partition (in my case, an ext4).

To copy the partition, I resized the USB drive partitions to live room to the HD's Linux partition, which is 75 GB. Then, in gparted I selected the partition from the HD, selected "Copy" from the partition menu and then "Paste" it in the spare space in the USB drive. This step took +40 minutes. At this point, the Linux partition is available in the external disk.

After that, I switched off the computer and replaced the HD with the SSD. Follow the link to see how. Now, the second part: to move and setup the system to the solid state disk. The SSD disk was blank, so it needed proper configuration.

  1. Boot Ubuntu from the DVD.
  2. Attach the external USB drive.
  3. Run gparted.
  4. Create a partition table in the SSD. I used GUID Partition Table (gpt) format, the one the original HD uses.
  5. Partition the SDD.
    • Create an EFI partition. The first partition has FAT32 format, 200 MB in size, "EFI" as label and "grub_boot" flag. 
    • Create the swap partition. At the end of the disk, I created a 10 GB "linux-swap" partition.
    • The rest of the disk will be available for the main Linux partition.
  6. Copy the Linux partition to the SSD. In gparted, select the Linux partition in the USB drive, copy and paste it in the SSD. This takes +45 minutes.
  7. Resize the Linux partition to fill the entire disk and flag it as "boot".

Congratulations! The Linux partition is now copied bit-by-bit in the SSD. However, it cannot boot. The reasons are: rEFIt (the bootloader) is not installed; the Linux partitions  are not properly configured. To do that, we need to modify the file /etc/fstab in the Linux partition (SSD).

And this is the final third step: setup the system to properly boot. In my SSD, /dev/sda1 is the EFI partition, /dev/sda2 the Linux partition and /dev/sda3 the swap partition. You may have different setup. /etc/fstab must be changed to reflect this addresses. From a terminal:

$ sudo mkdir /media/root 

$ sudo mount /dev/sda2 /media/root

The Linux partition is accesible in the directory /media/root/. The file /etc/fstab/ of the Linux partition can be edited now at /media/root/etc/fstab/

$ gksu gedit /media/root/etc/fstab

This is the original content:

# /etc/fstab: static file system information.
# Use 'blkid' to print the universally unique identifier for a
# device; this may be used with UUID= as a more robust way to name devices
# that works even if disks are added and removed. See fstab(5).
# <file system> <mount point> <type> <options> <dump> <pass>
proc /proc proc nodev,noexec,nosuid 0 0
# / was on /dev/sda5 during installation
UUID=24acabd4-2fcb-49aa-9fb3-ce9e657d4465 / ext4 errors=remount-ro,user_xattr 0 1
# swap was on /dev/sda7 during installation
UUID=c40532ab-5716-47bc-9b95-3672b834c6a2 none swap sw 0 0

Here, the modifications:

# / was on /dev/sda5 during installation
/dev/sda2 / ext4 discard,errors=remount-ro,user_xattr 0 1
# swap was on /dev/sda7 during installation
/dev/sda3 none swap sw 0 0

The blkid command can be run as root to find out the UUID strings of the devices and use them instead.

Then, I downloaded the compiled version of rEFInd, which is a fork of the rEFIt bootloader and able to run from Linux, Mac and Windows.

$ cd /media/root/root/

$ sudo wget

This is almost done. We now "log" into the Linux partition (SSD) to apply the changes and setup the bootloaders. In order to do that successfully, the /proc and /dev from the live DVD are mounted to the Linux partition and the EFI partition (this is needed by rEFInd).

$ sudo mkdir /media/root/boot/efi

$ sudo mount -B /proc /media/root/proc

$ sudo mount -B /dev /media/root/dev

$ sudo mount /dev/sda1 /media/root/boot/efi

$ sudo chroot /media/root/

Now we're "logged" in the Linux partition as the root user. This is when GRUB and rEFInd are installed in the SSD to be able to boot Linux from the Mac.

# mount -t sysfs sysfs /sys

# cd /root/

# unzip

# cd refind-bin-0.6.11

# ./ --esp --alldrivers

# grub-install /dev/sda

# update-grub

# exit

And that's all. The system should be able to boot the Linux partition from the SSD.

Some caveats and open questions:

  • I installed rEFInd first, without GRUB. rEFInd and the system wasn't able to boot.
  • For some reasons, rEFInd in my system is much slower than rEFIt. It takes around 40 seconds to show up.
  • After installing GRUB, I'm not able to mount the EFI partition. Now has an unkown partition format.
  • Does GRUB really needs rEFInd?


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While it is not certain if Google is going to offer Android or ChromeOS for PCs, but Intel is already working on making the $200 Android PC to boost the sagging PC sales.

So far, the notebook market is dominated by two players, Windows and OS X, but there’s an operating system that could drop into this mix and be highly disruptive — Android.

There’s been a lot of discussion bouncing around the tech blogosphere about Intel’s plans to get all disruptive and start supporting Android on devices that will cost in the region of $200.

While Microsoft might not be happy about being sidelined by a company that was once one of its biggest supporters, this is exactly what the PC industry needs.

Think this is a huge leap? It isn’t. Some of Intel’s Atom processors are already compatible with Android 4.2 Jelly Bean.

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Ubuntu 13.04.10 is here.  Torrent is the preferred method for me.

Ubuntu 13.04
Torrent Links Direct Downloads
Ubuntu Desktop 13.04 64-Bit Torrent Main Server
Ubuntu Desktop 13.04 32-Bit Torrent Main Server
Ubuntu Server 13.04 64-Bit Torrent Main Server
Ubuntu Server 13.0432-Bit Torrent Main Server

Other releases. (Ubuntu Desktop and Server) (Ubuntu Cloud Server) (Ubuntu Netboot) (Ubuntu Core) (Edubuntu DVD) (Kubuntu) (Lubuntu) (Ubuntu Studio) (Ubuntu-GNOME) (UbuntuKylin) (Xubuntu)

As always Have fun :)

Ubuntu Unleashed 2012 Edition: Covering 11.10 and 12.04 (7th Edition) (7th Edition)

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Black Duck and North Bridge announce the results of the seventh annual Future of Open Source Survey. The 2013 survey represents the insights of more than 800 respondents – the largest in the survey’s history – from both non-vendor and vendor communities.

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Netflix, the popular video-streaming service that takes up a third of all internet traffic during peak traffic hours isn’t just the single largest internet traffic service. Netflix, without doubt, is also the largest pure cloud service.

Netflix, with more than a billion video delivery instances per month, is the largest cloud application in the world.

At the Linux Foundation’s Linux Collaboration Summit in San Francisco, California, Adrian Cockcroft, director of architecture for Netflix’s cloud systems team, after first thanking everyone “for building the internet so we can fill it with movies”, said that Netflix’s Linux, FreeBSD, and open-source based services are “cloud native”.

By this, Cockcroft meant that even with more than a billion video instances delivered every month over the internet, “there is no datacenter behind Netflix”. Instead, Netflix, which has been using Amazon Web Services since 2009 for some of its services, moved its entire technology infrastructure to AWS in November 2012.

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Linux Containers

A nivel de máquinas virtuales de uso genérico (por lo tanto descartando ScummVM o cosas similares) siempre me manejé con VirtualBox. Aunque ahora es de Oracle y no lo miro con buenos ojos, siempre funcionó bastante bien (sin pedirles cosas demasiado locas) y es una buena manera de tener un Windor corriendo aunque uno esté todo el día en Linux (por ejemplo, para poder hacer facturas en la AFIP, la puta que los parió).

Incluso, cuando laburaba en Ericsson, que me obligaban a usar Windor, tenía un VMWare con un Ubuntu instalado (un Gutsy, o un Hardy, creo... cuanta agua bajo el puente!) que me servía para cuando tenía que hacer cosas serias a nivel de red, o para el caso cualquier cosa divertida.

Pero nunca había encontrado una forma piola de tener máquinas virtuales de Linux bajo Linux. Y con "piola" me refiero a que funcione bien y que sea relativamente fácil de armar.

Y acá entra LXC.

Linux container

Aunque LXC no es propiamente dicho una "máquina virtual" (es más bien un "entorno virtual"), igual permite la ejecución de un linux que no se mezcla a nivel de configuraciones ni de paquetes instalados ni de lo que uno puede romper del sistema con la máquina que uno tiene.

¿Para qué se puede usar? En mi caso lo uso mucho en el laburo, ya que mi máquina de desarrollo es un Ubuntu Quantal, pero los sistemas que corren en los servers son bajo Precise o Lucid (entonces tengo un container para cada uno). Y también los tengo pensado usar para probar instalaciones desde cero (por ejemplo, al armar un .deb por primera vez, probar de instalarlo en una máquina limpia).

¿Cómo se arma y usa un contenedor? Luego de instalar los paquetes necesarios (sudo apt-get install lxc libvirt-bin), la creación de un contenedor es bastaaaaante simple (de acá en adelante reemplazar en todos lados el "mi-lxc" por el nombre que ustedes quieran para el contenedor):

    sudo lxc-create -t ubuntu -n mi-lxc -- -r precise -a i386 -b $USER

Desmenucemos. El -t es el template a tomar, y el -n es para el nombre que le vamos a dar. A partir de ahí vemos un "--", lo que significa que el resto son opciones para el template propiamente dicho. En este caso, que use el release Precise, la arquitectura i386, y mi mismo usuario.

Lo maravilloso de esto es que el container, adentro, tiene mi usuario, porque el home es compartido! Y con esto todas las configuraciones de bash, vim, ssh, gnupg, etc, con lo cual "hacer cosas" adentro del lxc es directo, no hay que configurar todo (pero, al mismo tiempo, podemos "romper" el home desde adentro del container, ojo al piojo).

Para arrancar el container podemos hacer

    sudo lxc-start -n mi-lxc

Y esto nos va a dejar con el prompt listo para loguear, y acá alcanza con usar los propios usuario y password. Una vez adentro, usamos el container como si fuera una máquina nuevita.

Todo muy lindo, pero igual me gustan hacerle algunas configuraciones que hacen el uso aún más directo y sencillo. Y estas configuraciones, a nivel de sistema, son basicamente para que podamos entrar al container más fácil, y usar desde adentro aplicaciones gráficas.

Para entrar más fácil, tenemos que tener Avahi configurado. Más allá de instalarlo (sudo apt-get update; sudo apt-get install avahi-daemon), hay un detalle a toquetear.  Adentro del lxc, abrir el archivo /etc/avahi/avahi-daemon.conf y aumentar bastante el rlimit-nproc (por ejemplo, de 3 a 300).

Con esto ya estamos listos para entrar fácil al container. Lo podemos probar en otra terminal; hacer:

    ssh mi-lxc.local

Lindo, ¿no?. Pero también está bueno poder forwardear los eventos de X, así podemos levantar aplicaciones gráficas. Para eso tenemos que tocar lo siguiente en el host (o sea, no en el container sino en la máquina "real"): editar /var/lib/lxc/mi-lxc/fstab y agregarle la linea:

    /tmp/.X11-unix tmp/.X11-unix none bind

En el container, tenemos que estar seguros que /tmp/.X11-unix exista, y reiniciarlo luego de estas configuraciones.

También necesitamos setear DISPLAY. Esto yo lo mezclé en el .bashrc, poniendo algo también para que cuando entro por ssh me cambie el color del prompt (incluso, poniendo distintos colores a distintos containers). Lo que estoy usando es:

    if [ `hostname` = "mi-lxc" ]; then
        export PS1='\[\e[1;34m\]\u@\h:\w${text}$\[\e[m\] ';
        export DISPLAY=:0

Para terminar, entonces, les dejo los tres comandos que más uso en el día a día con los containers, más allá de la instalación en sí: levantar el container (fíjense el -d, que lo levanta como un demonio, total nos conectamos por ssh); conectarnos (fíjense el -A, para que forwardee la conexión del agente de autenticación); y finalmente apagar el container:

    sudo lxc-start -n mi-lxc -d
    ssh -A mi-lxc.local
    sudo lxc-stop -n mi-lxc

Que lo disfruten.

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