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The Long-Term Support release of Ubuntu, Ubuntu 22.04 LTS “Jammy Jellyfish” is now available as the Ubuntu default on all eRacks configurations. We also offer custom configurations of Ubuntu, including de-snapify 🙂

Note that one of our favorite Open Source protagonists, Martin Wimpress (Wimpy’s World), published these nifty AI-generated images of what a “Jammy Jellyfish” should look like, and we’ve used one of them here 🙂

eRacks Admin

April 29th, 2022

Posted In: Debian, Linux, News, Open Source, Operating Systems, ubuntu, Upgrades

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    Ubuntu 17.10, code named Artful Aardvark; I guess you already know that Artful means full of art or skill. And Aardvark is a medium-sized, burrowing, nocturnal mammal native to Africa. Colloquially, it is called African Ant Eater.

Nowadays Ubuntu become the world’s most popular desktop Linux operating system, and with its latest short-term support release, it’s clear Canonical want to keep a firm grip on the title.

Artful Aardvark

‘Artful Aardvark’ (Ubuntu 17.10)

As release with Artful Aardvark (Ubuntu 17.10) in October 19, 2017 Canonical continues Ubuntu’s proud tradition of integrating the latest and greatest open source technology into a high-quality, easy-to-use Linux distribution. Ubuntu 17.10 Artful Aardvark marks an all-new chapter in Ubuntu’s already rich history. As always, the team has been hard at work through this cycle, introducing new features and fixing bugs.

Ubuntu 17.10 Debuts with An All-New Desktop

This is the first version of Ubuntu to use GNOME Shell as the default desktop. ‘The HUD, global menu, and other Unity features are no longer included’. By choosing to drop Unity most of Ubuntu’s home-grown usability efforts also fall by the wayside.

Ubuntu 17.10 Desktop

Ubuntu 17.10 Desktop

In Unity’s place comes a bespoke version of GNOME Shell that is ‘customized’ to resemble something that’s superficially close to the Unity desktop layout. The Ubuntu 17.10 desktop uses a two-panel layout: a full-height vertical dock sits on the left-hand side of the screen, while a ‘top bar’ is stripped across the top.

The top bar plays host a new type of app menu, a calendar applet/message tray, app indicators, and a unified status menu for managing network, volume, Bluetooth and user sessions.

Ubuntu Dock

The new Ubuntu Dock is both a task manager and an application launcher. It shows icons for open and running software windows as well as ‘pinned’ launchers for user’s favorite apps.

Ubuntu Dock

Ubuntu Dock

The dock is also global; it displays icons/applications from all workspaces regardless of which one user is actually viewing.

Both the Ubuntu Dock and the top bar are semi-transparent, which adds nice visual presence. When a window touches either element the “dynamic transparency” feature kicks in to render both dock and top bar darker, making panel label contents more legible in the foreground.

Activities & Workspaces

The main “desktop” area remains a usable space on which user can place icons, folders and files.

Though there’s no longer a true global app menu, but the majority of apps place a small menu in the top bar bearing the name of the app in focus. These app menus contain a solitary ‘quit’ button at the least, or a full complement of options at most.


Activities & Workspaces

Workspaces are a common feature found on most modern desktop operating systems including Windows 10, so it’s a good thing that Ubuntu hasn’t ditched them. User can easily move windows between workspaces by clicking on a window and moving it on over the workspace.

Applications Overview

In Ubuntu 17.10 Applications are listed alphabetically, ordered into scrollable pages. User can launch an application by clicking on it, selecting it with keyboard arrow keys and pressing enter, or by touching it.

Applications Overview

Applications Overview

After years of ‘footnote’ releases that brought only minor tweaks, the ‘Artful Aardvark’ brings all-out with change, ready to usher in the new era. Under the hood, there have been updates to many core packages, including a new 4.13-based kernel, glibc 2.26, gcc 7.2, and much more in Ubuntu Desktop. Let’s have a brief list view on some of those updates.

  • On supported systems, Wayland is now the default display server. The older display server is still available: just choose Ubuntu on Xorg from the cog on the log in screen.
  • GDM has replaced LightDM as the default display manager. The login screen now uses virtual terminal 1 instead of virtual terminal 7.
  • Printer configuration is now done in the Settings app: Choose Devices and then Printers. The tool uses the same algorithms for identifying printers and choosing drivers as the formerly used system-config-printer, and makes full use of driverless printing to support as many printers as possible.
  • The default on screen keyboard is GNOME’s Caribou instead of Onboard.
  • Calendar now supports recurring events.
  • LibreOffice has been updated to 5.4.
  • Python 2 is no longer installed by default. Python 3 has been updated to 3.6.
  • The ‘Rhythm box’ music player now uses the alternate user interface created by Ubuntu Budgie developer David Mohamed.
  • The Ubuntu GNOME flavor has been discontinued. If a user is using Ubuntu GNOME, he will be upgraded to Ubuntu.

Note: Install gnome-session and choose GNOME from the cog on the login screen if user would like to try a more upstream version of GNOME. If any user’ d like to also install more core apps, he’d install the vanilla-gnome-desktop met package.


    Not only the Ubuntu 17.10 Desktop but also, there are significant changes into the Ubuntu 17.10 Server version too. For the Ubuntu Server 17.10, the OS Version for the printing server has been increased to announce Windows Server 2003 R2 SP2 ID mapping checks added to the testparm(1) tool. There are some ID mapping backends too, which are not allowed to be used for the default backend. Winbind will no longer start if an invalid backend is configured as the default backend. The others are as follows,

Ubuntu 17.10 Server

Ubuntu 17.10 Server

Qemu 2.10

Qemu has been updated to the 2.10 release. Since the last version was 2.8.

Among many other changes there is one that might need follow on activity by the user/admin: Image locking is added and enabled by default. This generally makes execution much safer, but can break some old use cases that now explicitly have to opt-in to ignore/share the locks by tools and subcommands using the –force-share option or the share-rw dqev property.

Libvirt 3.6

Libvirt has been updated to version 3.6.

LXD 2.18

LXD was updated to version 2.18. Some of the top new features of LXD 2.18 are:

  • Native Ceph RBD support.
  • Support for cloud instance types.
  • Pre-seeding of the “lxd init” questions through yaml.
  • New client library.
  • Improved storage handling (volume resize, auto re-mapping on attach, …).
  • A lot of small improvements to the client tool.

DPDK 17.05.2

Ubuntu 17.10 includes the latest release of DPDK that has stable updates: 17.05.2. This made it possible to integrate Open vSwitch 2.8.

Open vSwitch 2.8

Open vSwitch has been updated to 2.8. Though user need to specify dpdk devices via dpdk-devargs.


The DNS server BIND9 was updated to include the new Key Signing Key (KSK) that was published on July 11, 2017. Starting on October 11, 2017, that key will sign the root zone key, which in turn is used to sign the actual root zones.


The cloud-init version was updated to 17.1. Notable new features for cloud-init are as follows,

  • Python 3.6 support.
  • Ec2 support for IPv6 instance configuration.
  • Expedited boot time through cloud-id optimization.
  • Support for netplan yaml in cloud-init.
  • Add cloud-init subcommands collect-logs, analyze and schema for developers.
  • Apport integration from cloud-init via ‘ubuntu-bug cloud-init’.
  • Significant unit test and integration test coverage improvements.


The Curtin version is updated to ‘0.1.0~bzr519-0ubuntu1’. New features are:

  • Network configuration passthrough for ubuntu and centos.
  • More resilient UEFI/grub interaction.
  • Better support for mdadm arrays.
  • Ubuntu Core 16 Support.
  • Improved bcache support.


Samba is updated to version 4.6.7. Important changes in the 4.6.x series are:

  • Multi-process Net logon support.
  • New options for controlling TCP ports used for RPC services.
  • AD LDAP and replication performance improvements.
  • DNS improvements.

    There are many other changes too. We recommend that all users read the release notes, which document caveats, workarounds for known issues, as well as more in-depth Release Notes.

    Users of Ubuntu 17.04 will be offered an automatic upgrade to 17.10. As always, upgrades to the latest version of Ubuntu are entirely free of charge.

Remember, here at eRacks, we offer pre-installed Ubuntu 17.10 Artful Aardvark with our new systems either directly from the OS dropdown, or by custom quote.

October 25th, 2017

Posted In: Debian, Linux, Open Source, servers, ubuntu

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    Ubuntu 17.04, code named Zesty Zapus; Zesty, is an adjective for ‘great enthusiasm and energy’, while Zapus, is the genus name of a North-American mouse that is said to be the only mammal on Earth that has up to 18 teeth in total.

Zesty Zapus

Zesty Zapus


     Ubuntu 17.04 or Zesty Zapus final release is available from April 13, 2017 and let’s see what’s new in Zesty Zapus!

Updated Kernel

Ubuntu 17.04 Alpha 2 was released on the 26th of January and all the opt-in flavors are powered by an updated kernel, version 4.9.5.

The final Zesty Zapus includes the Linux kernel 4.10, which is known to enhance the performance of Intel Kaby Lake and AMD Ryzen systems.

Driverless Printing

We all know that printers are not that friendly with Linux. Vivaldi Snapshot 1.3.537.5 Brings Improved Proprietary Media Support on Zesty Zapus.

Ubuntu 17.04 is bringing the support for IPP Everywhere. It’s a new protocol that allows personal computers and mobile devices to find and print to networked and USB printers without using vendor-specific software.

Most of the printers sold these days already support IPP protocol. This means that you don’t need to install drivers for printer from XYZ manufacturer. You can search for it on the network and use it for printing.

Unity 8

Ubuntu users have been hearing a lot about Unity 8 for the last couple of years but so far Unity 8 is nowhere to be seen officially. Of course, there are ways you can run Unity 8 in Ubuntu releases already but the fact is that you should use them only if you are Linux-savvy.

Zesty Zapus does bring this experimental build of Unity 8. Though Unity 7 will still be the default desktop environment, you can select between Unity 7 and Unity 8 at the login screen.

Unity 8

Unity 8

Note: Unity 8 won’t be the default desktop on Ubuntu 17.04 or 17.10 or 18.04. Ubuntu Unity is dead and GNOME will be the default desktop environment starting Ubuntu 18.04.


Swap File Instead of Swap Partition

Canonical’s Dimitri John Ledkov announced that Ubuntu 17.04 will use Swap files by default on non-LVM installs.

He explains that, quite simply, the need for a separate swap partition that’s (at least) twice the RAM size “makes little sense” on systems where memory isn’t limited.

For a common, general, machine most of the time this swap will not be used at all. Or if said swap space is in use but is of inappropriate size, changing it in-place in retrospect is painful.

Ubuntu17.04 Zesty Zapus will use swap files by default. Sizing of swap files is different to the swap partitions and typically use no more than 5% of free disk space (or 2048MB of RAM), which is another potential benefit.

The change does not apply to those who install Ubuntu using the LVM (Logical Volume Manager) option.

What’s important here is that some form of swap is maintained, it doesn’t matter how the swap is implemented. Anyone who’s ever used or set-up a ‘no swap’ system only to then run out of memory will know it’s not a pretty experience!

More Snaps

Canonical’s Will Cooke said that “by 18.04 everything will be Snaps and Unity 8 all the way down” and Engineering director Kevin Gunn, added that, “Canonical has an aggressive internal goal to try to get a usable all-snaps based image for Unity 8 out by 17.04”. So, although Snaps wouldn’t be replacing apt anytime soon.

32-bit PowerPC Support is Dropped

You might not have realized but Ubuntu till now used to support the aging 32-bit PowerPC architecture. As Debian has decided to drop this support, naturally Ubuntu followed the suit and has decided to drop the support for 32-bit PowerPC too, starting from Ubuntu 17.04.


ubuntu 17.04

ubuntu 17.04



     As you may have already noticed that most of these updates discussed above are found in Desktop version. So, in general, a common question automatically comes up, ‘isn’t there any changes for the new Ubuntu 17.04 server version?’ Well, of course Ubuntu released many updates for the Ubuntu 17.04 server version as well. Ubuntu Server 17.04 also comes with these following updates,

Qemu 2.8

Qemu has been updated to the 2.8 release.

Libvirt 2.5

Libvirt has been updated to version 2.5. For administrators worth to consider is that depending on the system setup and huge page size availability the specification of a page size for huge pages in a guest xml can now be mandatory.

LXD 2.12

LXD, now at version 2.12, introduces support for GPU passthrough, including NVidia CUDA. A new storage API has also been added, allowing for the creation of multiple storage pools which can then be used to host containers or independent storage volumes. And a number of new images have been added, including support for Ubuntu Core 16.


Ubuntu 17.04 includes the latest release of DPDK, 16.11.1.

As a tech preview DPDK is now also available for ppc64el. This includes the latest improvements made in version 16.11.1 in general, but also further improvements to enable the i40e PMD and vfio-pci scanning on spapr platforms.

OpenStack Ocata

Ubuntu 17.04 includes the latest OpenStack release. OpenStack Ocata is also provided via the Ubuntu Cloud Archive for OpenStack Ocata for Ubuntu 16.04 LTS users.


Cloud-init has been updated to be stricter when identifying the cloud platform that it is running on and searching for data sources.


Why You Might Want to Upgrade

One nice thing for home users is the availability of driverless printing. Driverless printing will allow users to install just about any modern IPP Everywhere or Apple AirPrint-compatible printer via USB or network without installing a printer-specific driver. This is a big plus to folks who don’t like going through the rigmarole of finding and setting up print drivers for CUPS.

Other updates to the 17.04 release include an upgrade to LibreOffice 5.3, and a week view in the calendar. Standard-issue desktop apps will also migrate to Gnome 3.24, with the exceptions to Terminal, Evolution (email client), the Nautilus file manager, and Software (app store).

If you want to roll with an updated kernel in 16.04 like the 4.10 kernel that was recently released, you can use the Linux-mainline PPA to get newer kernel packages. If you choose to go this route, do so with care and be sure to keep the kernel updated because Ubuntu doesn’t officially support kernels from the mainline PPA. Things can and will break by using an unsupported kernel.

April 23rd, 2017

Posted In: Debian, Linux, New products, News, Open Source, Operating Systems, ubuntu

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Debian LogoeRacks Open Source Systems announces the immediate availability of Debian 7.3

Debian 7.3 is now available in the OS Dropdowns on most or all eRacks Systems.

If you don’t see what you want, just ask us –

Here’s the paraphrased original notice from the Debian Project:

– – –

The Debian project is pleased to announce the third update of its stable distribution Debian 7 (codename wheezy). This update mainly adds corrections for security problems to the stable release, along with a few adjustments for serious problems. Security advisories were already published separately and are referenced where available.

Please note that this update does not constitute a new version of Debian 7 but only updates some of the packages included. There is no need to throw away old wheezyCDs or DVDs but only to update via an up-to-date Debian mirror after an installation, to cause any out of date packages to be updated.

Those who frequently install updates from won’t have to update many packages and most updates from are included in this update.

New installation media and CD and DVD images containing updated packages will be available soon at the regular locations.

Upgrading to this revision is usually done by using the aptitude (or apt) package tool.

– – –

That’s It!


December 21st, 2013

Posted In: Debian, News, Operating Systems, Upgrades

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