Weekly Status Report: 2019-08-25

Hello all!

This week’s lead story is of course going to be our release of Adélie Linux 1.0-BETA4. However, we have even more exciting things in the pipeline: the Horizon project is beginning in earnest! We are looking forward to providing a great, easy-to-use installation environment that follows our project’s goals of ease of use, minimal hardware requirements, and reliability.

Web Site

Top 5 referring sites to the Web site:

  • 202: This very blog
  • 146: catfox.life
  • 73: Google searches
  • 52: Reddit
  • 46: DuckDuckGo searches

Top 5 pages accessed:

  • 1816: /
  • 611: /about.html
  • 165: /about-qa.html
  • 51: /team.html
  • 43: /contribute.html

Packaging

A. Wilcox (awilfox@):

  • Moved /sbin/ip to /bin/ip and /usr/sbin/lspci to /usr/bin/lspci, so that non-administrators can use these utilities.
  • Removed /sbin and /usr/sbin from user $PATH by default.

Max Rees (sroracle@):

  • Fixed regressions in the kbd package that caused some issues with setting console font and keyboard layouts.

Adélie Linux 1.0-BETA4 Released

TULSA, OKLAHOMA (22 August 2019) — The Adélie Linux Release Engineering Team is pleased to announce the immediate release of Adélie Linux 1.0-BETA4 for all supported platforms. Learn more about Adélie Linux on our Web site.

Please note: This is a test release of Adélie Linux. While every care has been taken to ensure the stability of the system, features and packages may be missing or may not function correctly. You should always back up your computer’s data before you install a new Linux distribution. This release is being actively tested on multiple platforms. It is highly recommended that you use a dedicated computer or virtual machine to learn the environment until you are comfortable with using the Adélie Linux system and its package manager (apk).

Tier 1 platforms supported for this release: 32-bit PowerPC, 64-bit PowerPC, 32-bit Intel x86, 64-bit Intel x86, 64-bit ARM (AArch64).

Tier 2 platforms supported for this release: ARMv7.

We are happy to announce that after months of diligent and tireless effort across multiple communities, we have officially landed Firefox “Quantum” 68 on four of our five Tier 1 architectures. We are also the first Linux distribution to ship Thunderbird 68, and the first OS of any kind to ship Thunderbird 68 for 64-bit PowerPC.

We are also pleased to announce that Max Rees (sroracle@) has removed Bashisms from the entire operating system. This means that Adélie is now bootable — and buildable — using dash as /bin/sh. The default login shell for all normal users is now Zsh, as noted in the 1.0 roadmap. The default root login shell is /bin/sh, which is by default now provided by dash. This will allow computers to boot much faster (over 15% in our testing), and ensures that our scripts are conforming to the POSIX shell standard.

Samuel Holland (smaeul@) has done significant work on our ARMv7 port, and we expect to be able to make a release of Adélie Linux 1.0-BETA4 for ARMv7 in the coming days after this release.

The xfsprogs package has been split into xfsprogs-base, which contains most utilities, and xfsprogs, which contains the xfs_scrub command. This resulted in a reduction in almost 30 MiB for the size of the Live CDs, because xfs_scrub was the only Live CD command present that used the ICU Unicode library. Installations using XFS should not be affected, because the ‘xfsprogs’ package automatically installs xfsprogs-base.

Release Notes

All architectures

  • Split /usr support has been fully tested and is now supported on all Tier 1 architectures.
  • Support for Ada, COBOL, Erlang, and Rust 1.35.0 is now available on all Tier 1 architectures.
  • APK Tools has been updated to 2.10.4; multiple functional and security issues have been fixed; output of –help has been slightly improved.
  • The console-setup package has been fixed to allow non-US keyboard layouts to be utilised properly on the command line and in X11.
  • Firefox “Quantum” 68 and Thunderbird 68 are now available on all Tier 1 architectures except 32-bit PowerPC.
  • GTK+ has been reconfigured to allow use of languages other than English in software that supports multilingual user interfaces.
  • The iptables firewalling system is now available on all Tier 1 architectures.
  • Fixed display and networking issues in the Java runtime. Additionally, the Ant build system is now available.
  • KDE Applications have been updated to 19.08.0, and KDE Plasma has been updated to 5.12.8.
  • easy-kernel has been updated to 4.14.138-mc15, and its configuration has been overhauled, including:
    • Removal of the MuQSS scheduler.
    • Better networking configuration for all platforms.
    • More cryptography support, including more algorithms available for LUKS.
    • Wider device support, including addition of drivers on all platforms for Wi-Fi, graphics, and more.
  • LLVM has been updated to 8.0.1, and more targets have been added for cross-compilation.
  • The MariaDB database system is now available on all Tier 1 architectures.
  • The MPlayer media player is now available on all Tier 1 architectures.
  • The musl-locales package has been added, which provides the locale(1) command and translations for on-screen dates and times for four languages.
  • OpenRC service files have been added for SDDM. This allows you to boot directly to graphics mode.
  • PostScript support is now available in most document viewers, including Evince and Okular.
  • Rust utilities, including ripgrep, xsv, and zola, are now available on all Tier 1 architectures.
  • The s6-linux-init system is now available on all Tier 1 architectures, as an alternative to sysvinit.
  • WeeChat now correctly loads Python scripts.
  • X11 drivers for more GPUs are now available, including AMDGPU, VirtualBox, VMware, and more.
  • XFCE has been updated to 4.14, and multiple issues with starting XFCE sessions have been fixed.
  • …and over a thousand other enhancements, updates, and fixes!

Security

Over 200 security issues have been fixed in this version of Adélie Linux, including two identified by our own research: CVE-2019-12875 and CVE-2019-14697.

64-bit ARM (aarch64)

  • Fixed a deadlock in Gamin which caused issues with lighttpd on 64-bit ARM computers.

32-bit PowerPC (ppc)

  • More disk drivers have been enabled in easy-kernel, allowing boot on Power Macintosh G3 and G4.
  • Fixed an issue in the parted utility that caused a crash while manipulating BSD disklabels on big endian systems.
  • Fixed an issue with using a mouse scroll-wheel in Qt 5 on big endian computers.
  • vde2 has been fixed to work on 32-bit systems.

64-bit PowerPC (ppc64)

  • Clang now correctly builds for ELFv2.
  • All issues surrounding booting 64-bit PowerPC computers with GRUB have been fixed.
  • ABI issues have been fixed in the libffi package.
  • The opal-utils package has been added for maintenance of 64-bit PowerPC computers.
  • Fixed an issue in the parted utility that caused a crash while manipulating BSD disklabels on big endian systems.
  • The PCRE 2 library has been updated with JIT support for 64-bit PowerPC.
  • Fixed an issue with using a mouse scroll-wheel in Qt 5 on big endian computers.

32-bit x86 (pmmx)

  • Clang now correctly links for 32-bit x86 computers.
  • More AGP support has been enabled in easy-kernel, and verbose bootup has been disabled allowing faster boot.
  • Fixed an issue in the ICU Unicode library that caused issues with formatting dates on 32-bit x86 computers.
  • The musl C library has been patched for a security issue (CVE-2019-14697) on 32-bit x86 computers involving math functions.
  • Qt 5 QML has been modified to add support for the AMD K6/Athlon and Pentium MMX/2/3 CPUs. This allows KDE Plasma 5 and other Qt 5 software to run on non-Pentium 4 pmmx machines.
  • vde2 has been fixed to work on 32-bit systems.
  • WINE has been updated to version 4.0.1, with much wider compatibility for Windows® applications and games.

64-bit x86 (x86_64)

  • Multiple issues with (U)EFI support have been fixed in GRUB.
  • WINE has been updated to version 4.0.1, with much wider compatibility for Windows® applications and games.

Statistics

Adélie Packages

There were 1,000 commits to packages.git between 1.0-BETA3 and 1.0-BETA4, by thirteen developers:

  • A. Wilcox (625)
  • Max Rees (158)
  • Kiyoshi Aman (97)
  • Samuel Holland (30)
  • Luis Ressel (29)
  • Dan Theisen (28)
  • Alyx Wolcott (14)
  • Laurent Bercot (6)
  • multiplexd (5)
  • Molly Miller (4)
  • Gavin Howard (2)
  • Seamus Caveney (1)
  • zlg (1)

Team

  • zlg, maintainer of Python packages and Certbot, has decided to take their leave of the Adélie project. We wish them the very best in their new endeavours.
  • We have welcomed a new committer, Alyx Wolcott (alyx@).

Weekly Status Report: 2019-08-18

Hello all!

We are excited to announce that we are in the testing phase of the 1.0-BETA4 release. Currently, we have verified correct operation on two of our Tier 1 architectures: ppc, and pmmx. We hope to finish testing on the other Tier 1 architectures today, and then 1.0-BETA4 will be ready for release!

We are also the first Linux distribution to ship Thunderbird 68, and the first OS of any kind to ship Thunderbird 68 for 64-bit PowerPC.

Packaging

A. Wilcox (awilfox@):

  • Updated 220 packages to their latest versions, including Firefox, KDE Applications to 19.08.0, Node.js, the Thunderbird email client, and various XFCE applications.
  • Amended the configuration of easy-kernel to support all available wireless LAN chipsets. Additionally, enabled more AGP options for pmmx.
  • Fixed the final issue preventing some 64-bit PowerPCs from booting when using the GRUB 2 bootloader.
  • Split xfsprogs into xfsprogs-base, which contains most utilities, and xfsprogs, which contains the xfs_scrub command. This resulted in a reduction in almost 30 MiB for the size of the Live CDs, because xfs_scrub was the only Live CD command present that used the ICU Unicode library.
  • Added support for the AMD K6/Athlon and Pentium MMX/2/3 CPUs to Qt 5 QML. This allows KDE Plasma 5 to run on non-Pentium 4 pmmx machines.

Luis Ressel (aranea@):

  • Fixed an issue in skalibs that could cause incorrect configuration in the s6-linux-init early-boot environment.

Max Rees (sroracle@):

  • Fixed security issues in the Apache Web server and the PostgreSQL database system.
  • Updated Netsurf, Vala, VIM, XRandR, and XTerm to their latest versions.
  • Fixed a regression in XTerm that caused display issues with tmux.

Samuel Holland (smaeul@):

  • Updated the ripgrep utility to its latest version.

Weekly Status Report: 2019-08-11

Hello all!

We are elated to announce that after months of diligent and tireless effort across multiple teams, including the Adélie Linux team, the Mozilla JavaScript and Graphics teams, and the Raptor Workstation comunity, we have managed to land Firefox “Quantum” 68 on four of our five Tier 1 architectures!

This week has also seen a flurry of work in preparation for the imminent release of Adélie Linux 1.0-BETA4, including many exciting updates and fixes. This also marks the last release of easy-kernel with the MuQSS scheduler. Read on…

Web Site

Top 5 referring sites to the Web site:

  • 70: DistroWatch
  • 49: Google
  • 24: DuckDuckGo
  • 20: Repology
  • 19: ungleich.ch

Top 5 pages accessed (and homepage):

  • 986: /
  • 237: /about.html
  • 157: /announcements/
  • 42: /about-qa.html
  • 29: /team.html
  • 19: /contribute.html

Packaging

A. Wilcox (awilfox@):

  • Fixed an issue in the parted utility that caused a crash while manipulating BSD disklabels on big endian systems, including 32-bit and 64-bit PowerPC and S390x mainframes.
  • Fixed a packaging issue that resulted in grep failing to start on systems with a split /usr partition.
  • Fixed an issue with Dracut that caused some computers to fail to boot properly with a split /usr partition.
  • Fixed a security issue in the musl C library on 32-bit x86 computers.
  • Updated 94 packages to their current versions, including the Claws email client, Erlang, the FFmpeg media player, the Krita drawing system, LLVM and Clang, NetworkManager, Node.js, OpenTTD, Qt Creator, the SANE scanning library, and the Shadow login management system. With sysvinit@, aranea@, and others, also updated Firefox to the very latest stable release, 68.0.1.
  • Updated the KDE Plasma desktop environment to its latest stable release, 5.12.8.
  • Fixed an issue in the c-ares package that could cause a crash when trying to resolve an .onion domain.
  • Fixed an issue in Gwenview that caused a crash when trying to load a thumbnail for certain Canon RAW images.
  • Fixed an issue in Firefox “Quantum” related to video playback on big endian systems, including 32-bit and 64-bit PowerPC computers.

Alyx Wolcott (alyx@):

  • Updated the Redis key-store database to its current version.

Luis Ressel (aranea@):

  • Fixed an issue in the cmus media player with playing Audio CDs.

Max Rees (sroracle@):

  • Fixed security issues in the exiv2 graphics library, PHP, and Python 3.
  • Updated many packages to their current versions, including CUPS filters, the feh graphics software, i3lock, the mutt email client, NextCloud, the qpdfview document viewer, youtube-dl, and 15 Python modules.
  • Added new packages, including the Python psycopg2 module for PostgreSQL databases.
  • Fixed a packaging issue in argp-standalone and obstack.

Molly Miller (sysvinit@):

  • Forward-ported many Firefox patches to the 68 ESR branch, fixed AV1 support, and identified build issues with Firefox “Quantum”.

Samuel Holland (smaeul@):

  • Fixed packaging issues in Cyrus SASL, gtk-doc, and Nettle.
  • Updated the easy-kernel package to 4.14.136, and update the mc15 patchset. This includes the removal of MuQSS, and the addition of more security and reliability fixes.