Archive | April 2017

Ubuntu secure-boot support is broken

If you install Ubuntu on a computer with secure-boot enabled, then it will probably boot.  And maybe that’s all you want.

If so, you probably won’t be concerned about what I am describing here.

However, secure-boot is supposed to verify many of the steps in the boot path.  And that’s where I see Ubuntu as broken.

I’m basing this on tests that I have done on Ubuntu-17.04 and Ubuntu-gnome-17.04.

Quick summary

First a brief summary of the problems that I am seeing:

  1. Ubuntu will boot without checking a signature on the kernel.
  2. Under some circumstances, Ubuntu will complain about a bad signature, and refuse to boot, even though secure-boot has been disabled.

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Ubuntu-gnome 17.04

I have already reviewed Ubuntu-17.04.  However, the Ubuntu folk (i.e. Canonical) had already announced that, starting with 18.04, they would switch their mainline version from the Unity desktop to the Gnome desktop.  So I decided to also test out the 17.04 version of Ubuntu with Gnome desktop.

I installed Ubuntu-gnome in an already existing encrypted LVM.  The machine that I used actually has two hard drives, with an encrypted LVM on each drive.  So this was a different LVM from the one that I used for the mainline Ubuntu (with unity).  Currently, both versions of Ubuntu are installed on that machine.

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Ubuntu 17.04 – a review

Ubuntu 17.04 was announced a few days ago.  I had already decided that I would install it, and do a little testing.  So, once I saw the announcement, I started a download.

Downloading

To download, I followed the links from the announcement to the download page.  From there, I selected the torrent download.  I was using the “vivaldi” browser, and it gave me several options with the torrent link.  I chose the option to open the file.  And that started the download with “ktorrent”.

I also downloaded “SHA256SUMS.desktop” and “SHA256SUMS.desktop.gpg”.  Next, I checked the gpg signature with

gpg --verify SHA256SUMS.desktop.gpg SHA256SUMS.desktop

which showed that I had a good download of the checksum file.  After the torrent download had completed, I checked its validity with

sha256sum -c SHA256SUMS.desktop

That reported that the downloaded iso file was ok.  It also reported that some files did not exist.  I ignored that.  It was just that the checksum file had checksums for other isos that I had not downloaded.

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Tumbleweed, Gnome and Wayland

Recently, openSUSE Tumbleweed updated Gnome to version 3.24.  So I decided to give it a test.  And I ran into some “problems”.  This post will discuss those problems.

Gnome under Wayland

My oldest Tumbleweed system was installed in November 2014.  And that’s where I first tested Gnome.  At the time, I was using “sddm” for logins.  Selecting “Gnome” on the login menu gave me a Gnome session running under X11.  This was as expected.  There was also a menu item for “Gnome-Wayland”.  Selecting that gave me Gnome running under Wayland for managing the graphics.

I later switched to using “gdm” as login manager.  And, with “gdm”, selecting “Gnome” gave me a Wayland session.

Next, I tried on my laptop.  Tumbleweed was installed there on March 14 this year.  I was already configured to use “gdm” for logins there.  But, try as I did, I was unable to get a Wayland session for Gnome.

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What’s up with Solus?

[Update: See update notes at the end of this post]

I still have Solus installed, although it is not something that I regularly use.  Check HERE for my report on installing.

Today, I booted into Solus.  And then I did a check for updates.  It showed several.  And one indicated a kernel update, but that was attached to a strange package name.

I applied the updates.  And then I checked to see what kernel version had been installed.  And there was no kernel there at all.  The kernel had  been deleted.  Fortunately, I had a backup copy of the kernel, so I copied that into place.  And then I rebooted.  And the system froze on the login window.  Perhaps all of the kernel modules had also been deleted, leaving a crippled system.

So it looks as if my Solus installation is now broken beyond repair.

I’m now wondering if this was a bad April fools joke.  Or was this an intrusion into the Solus site to generate a faulty update?

At this stage, I am puzzled and looking for more information.

UPDATE

It looks as if I misunderstood the situation.

Apparently Solus had changed its naming convention for kernels.  So I simply did not recognize that there was a kernel, since the new name was not even close to what I was looking for.