Tasker: Total Automation for Android

The Register

WTF? Microsoft makes fixing deadly OMIGOD flaws on Azure <i>your</i> job

2 hours 44 minutes ago
Clouds usually fix this sort of thing before bugs go public. This time it's best to assume you need to do this yourself

Microsoft Azure users running Linux VMs in the IT giant's Azure cloud need to take action to protect themselves against the four "OMIGOD" bugs in the Open Management Infrastructure (OMI) framework, because Microsoft hasn't raced to do it for them.…

South Korea surfs silicon shortage to record tech exports

5 hours 45 minutes ago
42.4 per cent increase in chip sales, and smartphone shipments did even better

Exports of South Korean ICT products reached an all-time high in August, thanks to global demand for silicon chips, reported the country's Ministry of Science and ICT on Tuesday.…

Bepanted shovel-toting farmer wins privacy payout from France TV

14 hours 32 minutes ago
Unwitting star of #Slipgate viral images awarded reduced damages, tempts Streisand effect

A French farmer who was filmed setting about bird conservationists with a shovel while in his underpants has won damages from a TV company that filmed the incident for violating his privacy.…

Planet Ubuntu

Podcast Ubuntu Portugal: Ep 160 – Vai e Volla

10 hours 12 minutes ago

O Diogo foi às compras! Fazia tempo que o nosso comprador compulsivo não se auto presenteava com aquisições tecnológicas, desta vez foi um Volla phone… O Carrondo andou a instalar o exbin e a ampliar redes Devolo.

Já sabem: oiçam, subscrevam e partilhem!

  • https://bin.carrondo.pt/
  • https://www.humblebundle.com/books/unix-linux-books?partner=PUP
  • https://www.humblebundle.com/books/machine-learning-bookshelf-no-starch-press-books?partner=PUP
  • https://keychronwireless.referralcandy.com/3P2MKM7
  • https://shop.nitrokey.com/shop/product/nk-pro-2-nitrokey-pro-2-3?aff_ref=3
  • https://shop.nitrokey.com/shop?aff_ref=3
  • https://youtube.com/PodcastUbuntuPortugal
Apoios

Podem apoiar o podcast usando os links de afiliados do Humble Bundle, porque ao usarem esses links para fazer uma compra, uma parte do valor que pagam reverte a favor do Podcast Ubuntu Portugal.
E podem obter tudo isso com 15 dólares ou diferentes partes dependendo de pagarem 1, ou 8.
Achamos que isto vale bem mais do que 15 dólares, pelo que se puderem paguem mais um pouco mais visto que têm a opção de pagar o quanto quiserem.

Se estiverem interessados em outros bundles não listados nas notas usem o link https://www.humblebundle.com/?partner=PUP e vão estar também a apoiar-nos.

Atribuição e licenças

Este episódio foi produzido por Diogo Constantino e Tiago Carrondo e editado por Alexandre Carrapiço, o Senhor Podcast.

A música do genérico é: “Won’t see it comin’ (Feat Aequality & N’sorte d’autruche)”, por Alpha Hydrae e está licenciada nos termos da [CC0 1.0 Universal License](https://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/).

Este episódio e a imagem utilizada estão licenciados nos termos da licença: Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0), cujo texto integral pode ser lido aqui. Estamos abertos a licenciar para permitir outros tipos de utilização, contactem-nos para validação e autorização.

Ubuntu Blog: Snap Performance Skunk Works – Ensuring speed and consistency for snaps

16 hours 4 minutes ago

Snaps are used on desktop machines, servers and IoT devices. However, it’s the first group that draws the most attention and scrutiny. Due to the graphic nature of desktop applications, users are often more attuned to potential problems and issues that may arise in the desktop space than with command-line tools or software running in the background.

Application startup time is one of the common topics of discussion in the Snapcraft forums, as well as the wider Web. The standalone, confined nature of snaps means that their startup procedure differs from the classic Linux programs (like those installed via Deb or RPM files). Often, this can translate into longer startup times, which are perceived negatively. Over the years, we have talked about the various mechanisms and methods introduced into the snaps ecosystem, designed to provide performance benefits: font cache improvements, compression algorithm change, and others. Now, we want to give you a glimpse of a Skunk Works* operation inside Canonical, with focus on snaps and startup performance.

Checkbox

While speed improvements are always useful and warmly received by the users, consistency of results is equally (if not more) important. A gain of a second is often less beneficial than the loss of that same second later on in the software’s lifecycle. An application whose startup time has improved is expected to remain that way, and users will typically respond with greater negativity to any new time delay than they had to the original manifestation of the issue.

Performance-related regressions present a difficult challenge, and they tie into two main aspects of software development: actual, tangible changes in the code, and the overall understanding and control of the system.

To address these, Canonical’s Certification team uses the Checkbox test automation software suite to perform a range of hands-off regression and performance tests for different Canonical products. The tool offers a great deal of flexibility, including custom tasks and reporting. Snap testing is also available through the checkbox-desktop-snaps utility (also distributed as a snap).

<noscript> <img alt="" src="https://res.cloudinary.com/canonical/image/fetch/f_auto,q_auto,fl_sanitize,c_fill,w_720/https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/iRSFqOOtLcsglCp_wkV9lzaMjEUn_SW52mYtSAQ0c_Q3XN3HCtqc_QVr54iI4zDL6ZzoBq6WOtD7ZPrNcW_kDenwRhrkzTShQhbAmXMrrDGDEBdPf4-t2PKaWBS6yrPomJAltviI=s0" width="720" /> </noscript> <noscript> <img alt="" src="https://res.cloudinary.com/canonical/image/fetch/f_auto,q_auto,fl_sanitize,c_fill,w_720/https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/g2tO1VUzgHS-NaWw1htWa9PfiXPdwfFq4sl5J6g6EhG99pudz-ZcaXfmWWQV4TaIsiRc7skH-eVCJBtsIwvbKVs8Ve6EY3VOEzfXAVXscPLUY9HHQ7cSVzX2Krf-HGv6MtKaFFaH=s0" width="720" /> </noscript>

By default, Checkbox will measure the cold (no cached data) and hot (cached data) startup times of 10 prominent desktop snaps on multiple hardware platforms, and report the results. But things really get interesting when we look at the environment setup.

Interaction between system and snap

Regardless of the technology and tooling used, measuring execution times in software can be tricky, because it is difficult to separate (or sanitize) the application in question from the overall system. A program that has network connectivity may report inconsistent results depending on the traffic throughput and latency. Different disk types and I/O activity will also affect the timing. There may be significant background activity on the machine, which can also introduce noise, and skew the results. The list of possible obstacles goes on and on.

In situations like these, which are designed to simulate real-life usage conditions, the idea is not to ignore or remove the common phenomena, but to normalize them in a way that will offer reliable results. For example, repeated testing during different times of the day can remove some of the variation in results related to network or disk activity.

With Checkbox and snaps, we decided to go one step further, and that is to also directly examine the impact both the operating systems and the snaps themselves have on the startup measurement results!

One change at a time

Before we can claim full understanding of the system, we need to understand how different components interact. With snaps, there are many variables that come into play. For instance, if a snap refreshes and receives an update, can we treat the new startup results as part of the same set as earlier data, or a brand new set? If there is a kernel update, can we or should we expect snap startup times not to change?

Isolating the different permutations of a typical Linux machine is not trivial. To that end, we decided to create two distinct sets of tests:

  • Immutable systems that do not have any updates, and only the installed snaps change through periodic refreshes. Whenever there is a snap update, the Checkbox testing starts, and new data is collected. This way, it is possible to determine whether any change in the startup times, for better or worse, stems from the actual changes in the snap applications.
  • Immutable snaps tested on systems that receive updates. Here, we keep snaps pegged to a specific version (e.g.: Firefox 89, VLC 3.0.8), and then trigger testing whenever there is a system change in one of the five critical components: kernel, glibc, graphics drivers, apparmor, and snapd. This way, we can correlate any changes in the startup behavior of one or more snaps to the system updates.
<noscript> <img alt="" src="https://res.cloudinary.com/canonical/image/fetch/f_auto,q_auto,fl_sanitize,c_fill,w_720/https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/VVcwrGRaUfRfkiaJW5JQ1mx9JyiDy940TJNzAQW-pFmZ5hThciRt_JsZES63z2fM9u25CbI_UFhQQ8BktPzDkFFbYA54yYygEyl84f3EB8oBIxaJN202f4T2bwvk4ZGzbE30EXzJ=s0" width="720" /> </noscript> Example of the Firefox startup time testing on an immutable system on a sample hardware platform. The blue lines indicate any Firefox refresh in the beta channel. The testing covers multiple OS releases (20.04 shown). The significant improvement in the cold start seen on the right side of the graph can now be traced to the specific changes introduced in the particular build of the snap.

We run the tests with multiple configurations in place:

  • Hardware with both different graphics cards.
  • Hardware with mechanical disks and SSD.
  • Supported LTS releases and the latest development image.

The extensible nature of the Checkbox tool allows the inclusion of any snaps, any number of snaps, and custom tests can also be added, if needed. For instance, on top of the startup times, the tool can collect screenshots, which then also allow for visual comparison of the results, like possible inconsistencies in theming among different snaps, desktop environments, and different versions of desktop environments.

From data to control

When we first started collecting the numbers on startup times, we focused on the actual figures. However, in the larger scheme of things, these values are less important than the relative differences of the collected results under different conditions for the same snaps, on the same hardware configuration. For instance, how does a snap startup time change when moving from one LTS image to another? Do kernel updates affect the results?

Once we can establish how snaps behave under various operational conditions, we can then create a baseline. Minimum and maximum values, average times, and other parameters, for which we can create alerts. This will allow us to identify any potentially bad results in a snap behavior, as part of our testing, and immediately flag system changes (or snap refreshes) that may lead to a degraded user experience.

Summary

Snap startup time data collection and analysis goes beyond just making sure the snaps launch quickly, and that users have a good experience. The mechanism also allows us to much better understand the complex interaction between hardware and software, and different operating system components. As we expand our work with the Checkbox tool, we will be able to create complex formulas that tell us how kernel updates, system patches, or perhaps snap refreshes affect the startup performance. We already know that using the LZO compression for snap packaging can lead to 50-60% improvements. Perhaps adding a new library into a snap can make a big difference? Or maybe certain distro releases are faster than others?

At the moment, Checkbox is designed to work under the GNOME desktop environment, but we also have test builds that can collect data on KDE and Xfce, too. We’re constantly improving the framework, and we’re looking for ways to improve its usability – easier sideloading of tests, test customization, configuration, data export, etc. If you have any comments or ideas, please join our forum, and let us know.

Article written by Igor Ljubuncic and Sylvain Pineau.

* Skunk Works is an official pseudonym for Lockheed Martin’s Advanced Development Programs (ADP), formerly called Lockheed Advanced Development Projects, coined in the 1940s, and since widely adopted by business and companies for their cool, out-of-band, secretive, or state-of-art projects.

Photo by lalo Hernandez on Unsplash.

Ubuntu Podcast from the UK LoCo: S14E28 – Tanks Rewarding Gender

17 hours 42 minutes ago

This week we’ve been playing with Steam and the Windows Terminal. We look back at how Ubuntu and evolved over the years, bring you some command line love and go over all your feedback.

It’s Season 14 Episode 28 of the Ubuntu Podcast! Alan Pope, Mark Johnson and Martin Wimpress are connected and speaking to your brain.

In this week’s show:

  • We discuss what we’ve been up to recently:
  • We have a little Ubuntu retrospective.
  • We share a Command Line Lurve:
    • Bash web server – serve bash command output as a web page
pip install ansi2html while true; do echo -e "HTTP/1.1 200 OK\n\n$(top -n 1 | ansi2html)" | nc -l -k -p 8080 -q 1; done

That’s all for this week! 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 show@ubuntupodcast.org or Tweet us or Toot us or Comment on our Facebook page or comment on our sub-Reddit.

Ubuntu Blog: The State of Robotics – August 2021

1 day 14 hours ago
<noscript> <img alt="" src="https://res.cloudinary.com/canonical/image/fetch/f_auto,q_auto,fl_sanitize,c_fill,w_720/https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/upD3Vm3Ui1Xu70KKQ56mqysbD2NRij1MDqvFd7-O-T_xNX0M2iafbfSKFjtT0glxS_ceBdcoEykdii15KOtyhW8aqi7OeyyX-5tQ9ZKwG85PQhNqE-VbUQCletb3u91tl54L5hHI=s0" width="720" /> </noscript>

Robotics is everywhere. Researchers and companies are all working on groundbreaking developments, either improving robotics to be state of the art or pursuing innovative applications. That is the main aim of this monthly blog; to show you what we are capable of doing today and to inspire you to think about the bigger picture. For the benefit of your current or future robotics project!   

Open source robotics events – ROS Con to ROS World 

Yes, unfortunately we will not be travelling to New Orleans. Luckily we are still going to have the option of sharing and networking in a virtual event that will be packed with great presentations and roundtables. So as the biggest ROS conference is going virtual we are putting together an agenda that you will love!

Get ready to learn more about our ROS open source tools to deploy and maintain robots in the field. 

You still have time to register right here!

Jumping their way out 

Atlas robots have finally all the skills they need to run away from Boston Dynamic labs. You have probably seen the videos already, so I won’t jump into much details. But did you spot our OS in their computers? We just wanted to take the opportunity to say that we are really grateful to the robotics community and we will keep working to improve your development experience with our OS!

If you want to learn more about how Boston Dynamics taught their robots to do parkour, I recommend this great article from Evan Ackerman

Helping us explore the universe

It’s not the first time and it certainly won’t be the last that NASA explores the use of robots inside their space shuttle for long missions. Astrobee, NASA’s new free-flying robotic system, will help astronauts reduce the time they spend on routine duties, leaving them to focus more on the things that only humans can do. 

Working autonomously or via remote control by astronauts, flight controllers or researchers on the ground, the robots are designed to complete tasks such as taking inventory, documenting experiments conducted by astronauts with their built-in cameras or working together to move cargo throughout the station. 

Check out this latest test of Astrobee, as it navigates the station to find the location designated as a “vent” used for cabin air circulation. The system uses computer vision to automatically detect the foreign object blocking the vent, represented by a printed image of a sock. 

And it’s using ROS Kinetic! (Which is great, but remember that is EOL so rather update or get ROS ESM to keep getting security maintenance)

Robotics implants save lives.  

One of the biggest challenges for people with type 1 diabetes, especially those who must inject insulin into their bodies multiple times a day, is the medicine delivery system. Insulin pumps are available commercially, but they require external hardware that delivers the drug through a tube or needle that penetrates the body. Implantable insulin pumps are also available, but those devices have to be refilled by a tube that protrudes from the body, inviting bacterial infections. That’s why such systems have not proven to be popular.

Researchers at the BioRobotics Institute in Italy published a project that could solve these issues. A robot that replaces or restores physiological processes, and functions entirely inside the gut. The PILLSID (PILl-refiLled implanted System for Intraperitoneal Delivery), is a fully implantable robotic device refillable through ingestible magnetic pills carrying drugs (incredible right? check the diagram). Once refilled, the device acts as a programmable microinfusion system for precise intraperitoneal delivery. The device weighs 165 grams and is 78 millimetres by 63 millimetres by 35 millimetres.

The robotic device is grounded on a combination of magnetic switchable components, miniaturized mechatronic elements, a wireless powering system, and a control unit to implement the refilling and control the infusion processes. 

Here’s how the refill procedure works in humans: 

  • You swallow the capsule just like a pill, and it moves through the digestive system until it reaches the implant. 
  • Using magnetic fields, the implant draws the capsule toward it, rotates it, and docks it in the correct position. 
  • The implant then punches the capsule with a retractable needle and pumps the insulin into its reservoir. 
  • After the insulin is delivered, the implant releases the capsule, allowing it to continue naturally through the digestive tract to be excreted from the body. 
<noscript> <img alt="" src="https://res.cloudinary.com/canonical/image/fetch/f_auto,q_auto,fl_sanitize,c_fill,w_720/https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/A85iBDMhJnenImsvoDbDVfe6PESj3QYkGKlB1KrFvSyEHwKpeoPNpMAujlHrzUzcA6TPZ1hwri-t1YHFvP3U_2HXtdC1Ag91bP9I3-v8JkGovhjxP9GWOxaYYS3-BcDwmWdYq0rT=s0" width="720" /> </noscript>

The magnetic fields that control docking and release of the capsule are controlled wirelessly by an external programming device and can be turned on or off. The implant’s battery is wirelessly charged by an external device.

If you want to learn more about this study, please read their amazing paper

Products accelerating autonomous mobile robots adoption  

Robotics will change everything, and there isn’t an industry that will not benefit from the advancement of robotics.  However, robotics is not only about automation, it is also about safety. Emesent is a good example of this

Emesent is a company working on drone autonomy, LiDAR mapping, and data analytics. Their flagship product, Hovermap, is a smart mobile scanning unit that combines collision avoidance and autonomous flight technologies to map hazardous and GPS-denied environments. 

Hovermap can be mounted to a drone to provide autonomous mapping in challenging, inaccessible areas. As part of the start-up sequence, the scanner sends out 300,000 laser points per second to get an idea of the environment. It means if the drone loses contact with the driver, it goes back to a waypoint to find its way home. 

Hovermap weighs only 1.8kg (4 lb), it is easily portable and compatible with smaller drones such as the DJI M210.

Autonomous mobile robots, Unity and ROS 

The leading platform for creating and operating real-time 3D content, Unity, announced support for ROS 2. To showcase this, they launched a demo of a warehouse environment and a Turtlebot 3 mobile robot with simulated LIDAR and motor controllers. Robotics-Nav2-SLAM demonstrates how to get started with simulating simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM) and navigation for autonomous mobile robots with Unity and ROS 2.

Unity aims to give developers access to the interfaces built to make communicating with ROS or ROS 2 easy. This will allow you to import existing robot configurations directly from URDF files with a URDF Importer, and start exercising your robot against Unity’s rendering pipeline and physics simulation. 

<noscript> <img alt="" src="https://res.cloudinary.com/canonical/image/fetch/f_auto,q_auto,fl_sanitize,c_fill,w_720/https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/ThZsIEoOPrLuJvBvpqppLAjmPsvcOdbj4ilqtunYzJmSjucMloZ6CUinjF2hoaLPstV3aKCckGB915kKwP5R04XuMJdRZuVd_BcBV4K0zLWG2JIWIYU7r2KAMFEtWXudh7hCREUt=s0" width="720" /> </noscript> Intel RealSense camera – alternatives for open source robotics 

In mid-August, Intel told CRN that it is ‘winding down’ the company’s portfolio of high-tech cameras and sensors that were built for computer vision applications like robotics and digital signage to focus on its core business. And the community was shocked by this. Intel’s RealSense camera is a great piece for stereo depth sensing. Intel has the resources to make sensors with excellent performance and sell them relatively cost-effectively, and they’ve done exactly that. For applications in direct sunlight or multiple camera sensing in a single computer, it was the best option. 

A later report by IEEE Spectrum, put things in a better light. They report that Intel will continue to provide RealSense stereo cameras to people who want them for now, although long term, things don’t look good.  

For the moment, they are going to keep supporting series D410, 415, 430, 450, modules

D415, 435, 435i integrated product lines and the Open Source SDK. But those reaching their end of life are LiDAR (L515), Facial Authentication (F450) and Tracking (T265) product lines this month. D455 will be EOL’ed but not the module. For more information please read the official announcement here

Looking for alternatives? Well, this is the best place to start. The community has been talking about the Orbecc depth cameras, Luxonis OAK-D, Structure Core by Occipital, among others. Ultimately, while your price range and technical requirements will be your main criteria, having the feedback of the community is the best decision tool. 

<noscript> <img alt="" src="https://res.cloudinary.com/canonical/image/fetch/f_auto,q_auto,fl_sanitize,c_fill,w_720/https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/9kdcErG7l7hCGS1ndS_iK2fyAxRaD2yp5XIsDhNl0xPCs3SrfdEcbP_eTOo6rE3d4qKmLbxkzp_wSLHIqU_aXVynyeWcZpaV4q2ZLRhMJWU_vtS_JkXqg1ObOe6fZhSEb-vMkFf_=s0" width="720" /> </noscript> Open source robotics – tutorial

Looking to start learning about micro-ROS? Sony announced that the SPRESENSE 10 22 works with micro-ROS, and the Renesas RA6M5 MCU, now officially supports micro-ROS. So if you want to learn how to use an ESP32, NuttX, and microROS together, this is the best place to start. 

And if you haven’t seen our blog about getting started with micro-ROS on the Raspberry Pi Pico, we recommend you to check that out as well. 

Stay tuned for more robotics news

August was a month with good news, amazing use cases, and another step forward in our constant improvement of robotics and autonomous systems. 

As always, we would love to learn from you. So send us a summary of your robotics innovation and project to robotics.community@canonical.com and we will share it in our next robotics newsletter. Thanks for reading! 

Ubuntu Blog: Canonical’s managed services achieve MSP Cloud Verify Certification

1 day 16 hours ago

London, UK –  Canonical, the publisher of Ubuntu, today announced the completion of the MSP Cloud Verify Certification (MSPCV) for its support and managed services. The MSPCV certification, further strengthens Canonical’s industry-leading open source offering, reassuring customers in all industries that they can securely consume open source in a regulated fashion that complies with all the industry standards and best practices. 

Organisations have a constant demand to simplify the way they consume open source solutions, and with over 85% of enterprises having an open-source mandate to increase agility and reduce costs, managing the technical complexity has become the main source of friction.  

Canonical has created an alternative approach providing managed services from within the same organisation where the technology itself is being developed to simplify the way open source is being consumed. By ensuring managed services teams are working side by side with the engineers that develop products such as OpenStack and Kubernetes, Canonical has created an efficient operational model providing production-level SLAs at the minimum time required to resolve any issue. 

<noscript> <img alt="" src="https://res.cloudinary.com/canonical/image/fetch/f_auto,q_auto,fl_sanitize,c_fill,w_720/https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/6eSmZWOoQgo2NM-lrhFUTzzlCl0_Ac7h-PWFHoSOqmZxwXc9rsDVxuFRIsjZTh5mPMfF-FKpnxM1tUY-uyj0Bmm4ND9lI1ZDq3enUkWgIfiKSqT2orOJauG5sr942SA_vGE65aed=s0" width="720" /> </noscript>

The MSPCV Certification is well recognised by thousands of organisations worldwide across many industries including insurance, financial, legal and medical. It has been reviewed by governmental agencies and regulatory bodies across the globe and is used and accepted in 5 continents around the world. The certification comes with a written report with the entire process documented, validated and signed by a 3rd party accounting firm. Achieving this certification ensures that Canonical is under constant external review from MSPAlliance and the IT profession to continually maintain and improve security standards and the quality of its managed services. 

“The MSPCV examination is a rigorous certification process that benchmarks and verifies the quality of the company providing cloud and/or managed services,” said Charles Weaver, MSPAlliance CEO. “We are very proud to have Canonical as a member of this elite community of cloud and MSPs.”

The purpose of this certification is to provide assurance that Canonical has met and exceeded the well-established standards of security, data confidentiality, risk management and quality of service. This enables organisations to not only offload the deployment and management of their open source solutions, but also to rest assured they are maintained according to the industry’s best security and compliance practices. By providing the best in class managed services, Canonical has helped simplify open source consumption for many enterprises in different sectors, and have accelerated their journeys towards building a vendor agnostic cloud.

According to the recent Cloud-Native Operations Report, the number one challenge facing organisations is the ‘lack of in-house skills’, a gap that is noted to be increasing further. The survey found 77.8% of respondents were operating hybrid or multi-cloud solutions, most on a combination of kubernetes, bare metal, and VMs. 

Canonical helps enterprises minimise skill gaps, cut operational costs and simplify their cloud adoption journeys by providing comprehensive managed services for open-source cloud solutions like OpenStack, Kubernetes, Ceph, databases and applications. “By achieving the MSP Cloud Verify Certification, we continue to ensure security, quality and reliability for our customers” said David Booth, VP of Cloud Native Applications at Canonical. “In the very competitive world we’re living in today, you want to be focused on strategy and driving your business forward rather than keeping the lights on.”

How to learn more?

Register for the upcoming Canonical and MSPAlliance webinar, “How to manage risks with the top 1% managed services providers” or visit https://ubuntu.com/managed 

About Canonical

Canonical is the company behind Ubuntu, the leading OS for container, cloud, and hyperscale computing. Most public cloud workloads use Ubuntu, as do most new smart gateways, switches, self-driving cars and advanced robots. Canonical provides enterprise support and services for commercial users of Ubuntu. Established in 2004, Canonical is a privately held company.

About MSPAlliance
Since 2000, the MSPAlliance has been the only unified voice for the Managed Services Industry, and the only organization that promotes the highest level of professionalism, reliability and integrity. As the world’s largest Professional Association and Certification Body for the managed services industry, the MSPAlliance was created to meet the needs of the managed services professionals and to educate and protect the consumers of managed services and cloud.

Ubuntu Blog: Ubuntu Livepatch on-prem reduces downtime and unplanned work on enterprise environments!

2 days 18 hours ago

London, United Kingdom – Canonical announces Ubuntu Livepatch on-prem, an enhancement to its Ubuntu Livepatch service enabling organisations to take control of their kernel livepatching policy. Designed for complex enterprise environments that follow their own patch rollout policy, Ubuntu Livepatch on-prem provides the basis for an efficient but fine-tuned continuous vulnerability management on private, hybrid, or public clouds. It provides a functional and productive experience to system administrators, or IT operations teams. The announcement represents the next phase in the Ubuntu Livepatch service targeting enterprise environments as organisations around the world adopt cybersecurity frameworks and requirements to tackle a constantly changing threat landscape.

With Ubuntu Livepatch on-prem, we are demonstrating our commitment to improve workflows on enterprise environments,” said Nikos Mavrogiannopoulos, Product Manager at Canonical.  

A new operational paradigm with less downtime

Downtime is one of the major pains of every service provider. That is however unavoidable when deploying vulnerability fixes on the Linux kernel the traditional way. That’s because the updated system needs to be rebooted to apply the changes irrespective of your deployment strategy (Kubernetes, OpenStack or bare-metal). Industry leaders achieve high uptime by applying kernel livepatches without rebooting and scheduled maintenance. With regular server maintenance, Ubuntu Livepatch on-prem can eliminate the need for unscheduled reboots to enterprises while enabling them to closely follow their software updates.

New opportunities for high-security enterprise environments

Complex and high security and availability enterprise environments often follow policies that require a gradual roll-out of updates to reduce risk or have high-security isolated environments that need to be updated. These environments, until now, could not take advantage of the Ubuntu Livepatch service to improve their uptime. Ubuntu Livepatch on-prem brings improved uptime on these environments, by enabling an organisation to access livepatches in isolated environments, as well as define its rollout policy and remain in full control of which machines will get updated and when.

Where can I find more information?

Visit https://ubuntu.com/security/livepatch

About Canonical
Canonical is the company behind Ubuntu, the leading OS for container, cloud, and hyperscale computing. Most public cloud workloads use Ubuntu, as do most new smart gateways, switches, self-driving cars, and advanced robots. Canonical provides enterprise support and services for commercial users of Ubuntu. Established in 2004, Canonical is a privately held company.

The Fridge: Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 700

3 days 9 hours ago

Welcome to the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter, Issue 700 for the week of September 5 – 11, 2021. The full version of this issue is available here.

In this issue we cover:

The Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter is brought to you by:

  • Krytarik Raido
  • Bashing-om
  • Chris Guiver
  • Wild Man
  • And 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!

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

Ubuntu Blog: Operator Day returns for KubeCon NA 2021

3 days 20 hours ago
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What is Operator Day?

Operators simplify everyday application management on Kubernetes. Learn how to use them, how to create them in Python, and how to evolve from configuration management to application management. We’re working to create a community-driven collection of operators for everything that’s integrated and tested everywhere.

As the community gets together to share knowledge and push forward ideas and tech around K8s, we’ve been taking the past few KubeCon events as an opportunity to host workshops, community brainstorms, and industry leader presentations through a live, interactive virtual event – Operator Day. Operator Day KubeCon NA 2021 will be the third of its kind, with its predecessors gathering thousands of attendees and multiple Canonical speakers and guests.

What’s new in Operator Day KubeCon NA 2021?

So, Operator day is back with fresh content, focusing on the various use cases of Kubernetes operators. From MLOps and Data Ops, to enterprise Observability and even vertical-specific workshops. The sessions will repeat in 2 time zone friendly blocks, for EMEA and Americas. Each block starts with a keynote introduction with Mark Shuttleworth, then leads attendees through a series of technical demos from the Canonical team, customers and partners.

At the end of each block, there will be time allocated for the community to jump onto randomised or scheduled 1-2-1 virtual meet-and-greets with each other, or host their own group chats to discuss topics they’re keen on.

Bonus feature: 5 industry thought leaders from the CNCF, AWS, Google and more, will join a one-off panel discussion on the state and future of cloud native and Kubernetes.

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KubeCon NA 2021 Operator Day session times

You can join at any time, but we recommend you pick the most convenient slot and follow it from start to finish so that you make the most out of each session.

  • EMEA: 13:00-17:30 BST (14:00 – 18:00 PST)
  • Americas: 11:00-15:00 PST (20:00 – 00:00 CEST)
Operator Day KubeCon NA agenda Time (PST)DurationSpeakerTitle5:00 / 11:3020′Mark Shuttleworth, David BoothKubeCon NA 2021 Operator Day keynote with Mark Shuttleworth5:20 /11:5045′Ryan Barry, Omar Amin EmamZero to hero: Enterprise multi-cloud application management from Day 0 to Day 2, on any substrate06:05 / 12:3540′Michele MancioppiWorking with LMA bundles: building the modern observability stack06:45 /13:1515′Pete Vander GiessenRemoving Toil: Improvements in the Charmed Operator ecosystem07:00 / 13:3030′Maciej MazurCase study: Automating MLOps with Charmed Operators07:30 /14:0020′Rob GibbonKeep the data flowing with Model-driven Operations07:50 / 14:2030′Kris SharmaFinancial Services Case Study: Charming Legend – Automating application deployment and management08:20 / 14:5030′Wajeeha HamidIntegrations and network function management in open-source telco08:50 / 15:2030′Alex ChalkiasK8s is tough, right? Who’s doing it well? How are they measuring results?09:30 ONLY90′Mark Shuttleworth, Micahel Hausenblas, Alexis Richardson, Tim Hockin, Karthin Shanmugan, Ken SipeLive Panel Discussion: The future of Kubernetes and cloud native operations

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KubeCon NA 2021 Operator Day keynote with Mark Shuttleworth

Operators, Models, Kubernetes, Hybrid Clouds, massive scale and bootstrapping quickly – Kubernetes is taking the the world by storm. So what’s next? Mark Shuttleworth (one time astronaut, founder of Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu) talks with David Booth (VP Cloud Native Applications at Canonical) about the past and lays down a vision for the future.

Zero to hero: Enterprise multi-cloud application management from Day 0 to Day 2, on any substrate

Kubernetes and Operators have stormed the IT industry, but the enterprise landscape is still a mix of bare metal, virtual machines and Kubernetes, on-prem and on public clouds, all running different workloads. How can we manage the lifecycle of all those applications across all these environments, whithout having to learn new tools and frameworks as the industry is already moving to serverless? In this fast-flowing demo we will show you how the Charmed Operator Framework brings a unified approach for application management across clouds and infrastructure generations.

Working with LMA bundles: building the modern observability stack

In the Juju world, the Logging, Monitoring and Alerting (LMA) stack provides Juju-native observability capabilities for charms. We have been working on the next iteration of LMA that builds on the new capabilities of Juju, it is designed to run on Kubernetes, and leverages the declarative nature of the Juju model to its fullest. Join us to learn how to build the modern observability stack, using model-driven observability, the virtues of Juju topology, and a running commentary on writing a system of charms that work well on their own, and better together.

Removing Toil: Improvements in the Charmed Operator ecosystem

The Charmed Operator Framework is undergoing constant development. What are the key goals of the charmed operator framework? What’s happened since the last Operator Day? What’s coming up in the next few months? Join this session to learn more about Juju, Pebble, Charmcraft, Charmed Operators and more.

Case study: Automating MLOps with Charmed Operators

If you’re into automating your operations, this case study in MLOps is for you. MLOps solutions are composed of multiple technologies (open source, startups, and industry leaders). For users the biggest challenge is often integrating pieces of a software puzzle in a maintainable way. Model-driven operators promise a solution by connecting the ops of a single application with declarative integration in a standard that empowers providers.

Keep the data flowing with Model-driven Operations

In this session we’ll examine Model-driven Operations and apply it to DataOps to understand how teams can deliver more, spend more time in flow state, and just have more fun.

Financial Services Case Study: Charming Legend – Automating application deployment and management

This session explores how charmed operators help streamline the deployment and Day-2 ops of Legend platform. Goldman Sachs had open sourced its internally developed Legend data management platform into FINOS. Legend is an end-to-end data platform that handles the full data lifecycle used across pricing, risk and reporting business function for FS organisations. It allows companies to build data-driven applications and insightful business intelligence dashboards.

Integrations and network function management in open-source telco

How the OSM open source communities use Juju’s Charmed Operators and what benefits they delivered over helm charts

K8s is tough, right? Who’s doing it well? How are they measuring results?

Alex Chalkias (product manager Kubernetes) walks through some Kubernetes success stories to highlight wins, challenges, and how they got there.

Live Panel Discussion: The future of Kubernetes and cloud native operations

Industry thought leaders come together in a panel discussion covering the State of Kubernetes, the goals of real users, the challenges they face, and possible futures of cloud native technologies. Including Mark Shuttleworth (CEO Canonical), Tim Hockin (Kubernetes, Google), Alexis Richardson (CEO Weaveworks), Ken Sipe (Co-Chair Operator Framework, CNCF), Michael Hausenblas (Observability @ Amazon Web Services), and Karthikeyan Shanmugam (HCL Technologies).

Make sure to RSVP to secure your spot!

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Ubuntu Blog: Enterprise Open Source Summit: A Business Perspective on Open Source

3 days 23 hours ago
November 10, 2021 <noscript> <img alt="" src="https://res.cloudinary.com/canonical/image/fetch/f_auto,q_auto,fl_sanitize,c_fill,w_720/https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/dRBP3smn1bNS3sIyx64K9KGYtfRRoPyIOSOPvoPwzV1sTb5FNyEqwc7z-kT0oc24Dfw6ldRLoZaEXr2syFvD10gcVRAlQO3HZ0CExK5O5dPKGMVZLwFFHbcfvKHU5KVg7GpDC1g=s0" width="720" /> </noscript>

Canonical, Nextcloud, Collabora, Linbit, OpenNebula and Factor Group will present business perspectives on the use of open source in enterprise environments at the Enterprise Open Source Summit event scheduled for November 10, 2021.

Open source solutions are becoming increasingly popular in all areas of business as an important part of a digital strategy to build an open and secure info-communication environment in today’s organizations.

However, the successful use of open source solutions in organizations is subject to certain conditions. Solutions must meet the requirements for use in large organizations, integrate with existing info-communication infrastructure and provide continuity of business processes in organizations.

We are pleased to invite everyone to participate in the Enterprise Open Source Summit, a virtual event focused on transition strategies and the subsequent successful use of Open Source solutions in the corporate environment.

The summit will be held on November 10th, under the aegis of Canonical, creator of the most popular among developers of Open Source operating system Ubuntu and environments OpenStack and Kubernetes. The event will feature presentations by industry leaders in Open Source solutions – Canonical, Nextcloud, Collabora, Linbit, OpenNebula and Factor Group.

The organizers of this virtual event have many years of experience with open source projects in different business areas – finance, retail, energy, manufacturing, telecom, public sector and others. In their speeches, speakers from managing companies- organizers will talk about the strategy of developing the projects they lead in the global OpenSource industry, talk about the importance of working with upstream projects, the community of developers behind them, organizing full-fledged support for solutions, as well as the risks of unofficial branches (fork-versions) of projects. At the event several customers and integrator partners will speak, who are already using these solutions in their organizations and projects, and who will share their accumulated experience, and participants will be able to get answers to their questions firsthand from industry leaders. The following questions and strategies will be discussed at the event:

  • Migration from deployed commercial products to open source solutions
  • Commercial support for Open Source solutions and related concerns (stability of OpenSource solutions, timing and
  • process of solutions integration with existing infrastructure, vendor lock-in avoidance, customization of solutions, etc.)
  • Security and creation of fault-tolerant solutions

and many more.

Victor Larin, COO of Factor Group (Distributor, Competence Center and Technical Support for Open Source solutions in Russia and CIS countries) and one of Summit’s initiator commented:

“We are glad to organize this event, which will demonstrate how the needs of different business spheres in solutions of appropriate level can be satisfied using open source code. There are common myths in corporate industry about the complexity and unpredictability of working with Open Source, which we plan to dispel. We will explain how Open Source solutions can prove useful and efficient for organizations of all sizes”.

A balanced program including analytical reports, presentations, case studies, and solution demonstrations will be offered to attendees.

Event organizers:
Factor Group www.fgts.ru
Canonical www.canonical.com
Nextcloud www.nextcloud.com
Collabora www.collaboraoffice.com
Linbit www.linbit.com
OpenNebula www.opennebula.io

Key Contributors
MTS www.mts.ru
City of Geneva www.geneve.ch/en
NLMK www.nlmk.com/ru/
ROSATOM www.rosatom.ru
CROC www.croc.ru
SOFTLINE www.softline.ru
SYSTEMATICA www.gcs.ru

Target Audience:
CEO, CIO, CDTO, CTO, partners and customers interested in moving from commercial solutions (Microsoft, VmWare, etc.) to OpenSource solutions

Details of the event:
Form of the event: online
Dates: October 6, 2021
Language: English, Russian

Registration and Agenda:
Participants who would like to learn more about the benefits of moving to open source solutions can register at the following link, where they can also learn more about the program:
https://hopin.com/events/enterprise-open-source-event

After the event, all attendees will be given access to presentation materials and videos of the presentations.

Cost:
Early Bird offer is currently available for all the participants.

  • Till 30 September including, effective price will be 50USD.
  • From 1 to 24 October, effective price will be 100USD.
  • From 2 October, the final price will be 150USD.

Hurry up and reserve your place at our Summit!

Stephen Michael Kellat: Mid-September Seasonal Update

3 days 23 hours ago

Rather than a bullet point list I will just be brief. The ballots are posted for the November 2nd general election and I’m still trying to wrap my head around seeing my name appear on the ballot. The odds are not in my favor on this but I will do what I can to see this through.

I’ve been spending quite a bit of time away from computers. Why? Well, I’ve been in the woods looking for things throughout Indian Trails Park. The Ashtabula River gulf area has many mysteries within it that frankly cannot be explained.

The situation locally is starting to get a bit out of control. It is very hard to conduct a political campaign with the coronavirus situation in our local hospitals getting bad to the point that we are seeing overload intensive care units in one part of the state. The arguments over the use of the law to deal with the pandemic are simply overwhelming.

Things will eventually straighten out, I hope. Unfortunately that doesn’t appear to be in the immediate forecast. Rough waters remain ahead.

Tags: Life

Ubuntu Blog: Managing Livepatch on-prem

4 days ago

Ubuntu Livepatch is the service and the software that enables organizations to quickly patch vulnerabilities on the Linux kernel. It enables uninterrupted service while reducing fire drills during high and critical severity kernel vulnerabilities. With Ubuntu Livepatch on-prem we enhance our service to enable enterprises manage on private or public cloud their livepatched systems.

In this post, we will introduce Ubuntu Livepatch on-prem and look into how it can be deployed for your organization, as well as answer some of the most commonly asked questions.

On-prem kernel livepatching

Complex enterprise environments often follow policies that require a gradual roll-out of updates to reduce risk, or have high-security isolated environments that need to be updated. Livepatch on-prem allows an organization to define a roll-out policy and remain in full control of which machines will get updated and when. The Livepatch on-prem server is a middle-man service that regularly syncs with the Ubuntu Livepatch service to gather the latest kernel livepatches. It then deploys the patches gradually in as many stages as required, following the organizational policy.

How to deploy Livepatch on-prem

The service is easily deployable with juju on any environment from the public cloud of your choice to a private cloud using the model-driven juju framework. Once deployed it connects to the Ubuntu Livepatch service with an Ubuntu Advantage token, and can be configured to perform patch deployment according to a predefined set of policies.

How to manage livepatches

The deployment of the livepatches is performed in multiple tiers. The systems on the first tier receive the available patches unconditionally. The next tiers serve as promotion tiers where patches are promoted by the administrator. That approach allows for a risk-based deployment that keeps the most important systems as the last tier, as well as for cohort deployment where clusters of systems are patched gradually to keep the expected availability. The livepatch client systems are associated with a tier by assigning them the corresponding token for that tier, a token issued by the on-prem server.

Let’s take an example. An administrator can configure an incoming tier –let’s call it Tier 1– where livepatches get applied as they come from the Ubuntu Livepatch service, and a promotion tier –Tier 2– that the administrator can promote patches to once the criteria she set for promotion are met. That simple scenario is depicted graphically below.

<noscript> <img alt="" src="https://res.cloudinary.com/canonical/image/fetch/f_auto,q_auto,fl_sanitize,c_fill,w_720/https://ubuntu.com/wp-content/uploads/0f34/Livepatch-on-prem-overview-diagram-stg1.png" width="720" /> </noscript> Deployment on Tier 1 <noscript> <img alt="" src="https://res.cloudinary.com/canonical/image/fetch/f_auto,q_auto,fl_sanitize,c_fill,w_720/https://ubuntu.com/wp-content/uploads/9f7a/Livepatch-on-prem-overview-diagram-stg2.png" width="720" /> </noscript> Deployment on Tier 2

That simple association of a livepatch client to a tier allows for complex policy definitions and scenarios to deploy.

How many clients can an on-prem server handle?

The server can handle thousands of clients in a single CPU core system, and it requires access to storage space of a few gigabytes, to store the patches. There are multiple supported storage backends, such as the local filesystem, OpenStack Object Storage (Swift), S3, minio or postgresql. You can find more detailed instructions on deploying and configuring livepatch on-prem on our website.

How can I access Livepatch on-prem?

Livepatch on-prem is available with an Ubuntu Advantage subscription.

Get Ubuntu Advantage

Where can I find more information about livepatch on-prem?

The complete documentation of Livepatch on-prem service is available on Ubuntu Livepatch website.

Conclusion

Livepatch on-prem enables your organization to follow its own roll-out policies while taking advantage of Livepatching across their portfolio. Livepatching not only improves your infrastructure’s security posture but greatly reduces downtime and unplanned maintenance windows due to high and critical severity kernel vulnerabilities. If you would like to know more about Livepatch on-prem and how it could be implemented for you, get in touch!

Get in touch

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