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The Koala climbs

The Koala climbs

Canonical, and the Ubuntu developers, have now released the final version of Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala.

On a new installation of Ubuntu 9.10, the system uses the Ext4 file system, the GNOME 2.28 desktop environment and the GRUB 2 boot manager, by default. However, it should be noted that neither of these is implemented if you update from Ubuntu 9.04 (Jaunty Jackalope). The Kernel has been updated to kernel 2.6.31 and now offers kernel-based mode setting, which should make the graphics issues in Ubuntu 9.04 a thing of the past. DeviceKit and udev have replaced HAL as the system’s hardware interface. The boot system has largely been transitioned to Upstart. The AppArmor security extension offers protective profiles for a range of applications.

On the desktop, “Add/Remove” on the Ubuntu application menu has been replacing by the new Ubuntu Software Centre, designed to simplify adding applications with a friendlier interface for package management. Ubuntu One, the Cloud backup and sharing system, is also included which installs CouchDB in the background to synchronise local data with a server on the network. Empathy has replaced Pidgin as the default instant messaging client.

For servers, Ubuntu 9.10 has versions that are designed to run on the Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud (UEC) or on Amazon’s EC2 cloud. UEC is based on Eucalyptus, an API compatible, open source implementation, of Amazon’s EC2 cloud system.

As usual the various desktop/laptop, server edition and netbook remix versions are available to download from and for those that prefer the KDE desktop there is also Kubuntu 9.10.

I haven’t yet tried Ubuntu 9.10 as I am still running Ubuntu 9.04, but intend to do so soon and will write a post about my experiences when I have done so.

Thanks Microsfoft, that is another good reason to use Linux!

Thanks Microsfoft, that is another good reason to use Linux!

This morning I had one of those rare occasions when I needed to boot into Windows XP. Two and a half hours and three re-boots later, Windows had finally finished updating and was ready to let me do some work. I flashed up Firefox only to get the following warning:

firefox warning

I was a wee bit perplexed until discovered that one of the Microsoft updates, the “.NET Framework Assistant plugin” pokes a a “critical” hole in the browser’s security (effectively bringing Firefox down to IE’s level). Fortunately my copy of Firefox is suitably up to date and blocks this unwanted plugin.

Apparently thanks to Microsoft this vulnerability, which exists in all versions of Internet Explorer, lays Firefox open to infection by the Trojan.PWS.ChromeInject.A. According to BitDefender researchers, “the Trojan filters data sent by the victim to a large number of designated banking websites which are used everyday in the UK for online shopping and financial transactions. Harvested login credentials will be sent to a web address similar to [removed] Both the domain and the hosting server are located in Russia, which points to the origins of this latest e-threat.”

Just to add to the fun, last May, Microsoft released an update that made it almost possible to uninstall the .NET framework. Given that one of the reasons I originally choose to abandon IE in favour for Firefox was safer browsing, I have now had to editing the windows register (details given here).

This sort of thing really makes me feel like abandoning Microsoft completely and just sticking with Ubuntu, which I use 90% of the time anyway.

Dell preload Linux

Dell preload Linux

Full marks to Dell for offering Linux pre-installed as an alternative to Windows on their disk top and laptop machines. You can choose between Red Hat or Novell SUSE on selected machines, this should save you about £50 on the price. It will be even better when the Dell web site catches up. I hope the other computer manufactures will take note and follow suit. For those who want to stick with windows but try Linux there is always the dual boot option.

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!
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