Ubuntu LTS Updated While Tumbleweed Stalls

by Ostatic Staff - Feb. 19, 2016

The Ubuntu folks released an update to their 14.04 long term supported release bringing a new kernel and some updated packages. Speaking of Ubuntu, Matthew Garrett, software developer and social activist, today blogged about Canonical's IP policy and redistribution restrictions. Elsewhere, Bruce Byfield enumerated the advantages of Open Source Software and Douglas DeMaio announced a delay in Tumbleweed development.

Ubuntu 14.04.4 was announced today by Elizabeth Krumbach Joseph. This point release updates the current long term supported version, supported until Spring 2019. All flavors and products are updated as of today as well. New images are available for fresh installs at Ubuntu.com, current users should upgrade through their update manager. This release includes new underpinning in the form of a new kernel and updated X, but these are optional. To enable these updates see the instructions in the release notes. Other packages updated include AppArmor, Oxide, Upstart, and Python 3.

Speaking of Ubuntu, Matthew Garrett got some things off his chest again today saying, "Free software doesn't mean that the software is entirely free of restrictions. While a core aspect is the right to distribute modified versions of code, it has never been fundamental to free software that you be able to do so while still claiming that the code is the original version." Garrett said that while Mozilla and Red Hat make it easy to remove their branding for redistribution, Canonical does not. In fact, they won't even tell you want needs to be removed. Developers wishing to use some of Ubuntu's code must go through all of it to find the Ubuntu branding and manually remove it one by one. Sounds a lot like a bit ole pain in the butt. This was part of Jonathan Riddell's problems with Canonical's IP policy before he left Kubuntu. "Nobody else responds to offers to make it easier for users to produce non-infringing derivatives with a flat refusal," Garrett added. He finished by saying he only brings this up again because he hopes Ubuntu will stop "restricting the rights of their users and alienating the free software community."

Douglas DeMaio blogged yesterday that Tumbleweed is on hiatus due to a lack of "workers." DeMaio wrote, "The automated testing of openQA is currently running with only two workers left instead of the usual 10. The remaining workers are largely overloaded and can't cope with the workload to produce new snapshots. Various solutions are being evaluated to get new workers for openQA, which includes borrowing machines from other SUSE owned instances." He indicated normal development would be resuming soon, but users should expect delays. The last snapshot, 20160212, was released the same day as the announcement.

In other news:

* 7 Reasons Why Open Source Code is Better Than Proprietary

* LinuxQuestions.org: Not Your Average Linux Forum

* Linux distros aren't updating WebKit, making web browsers vulnerable