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Moz/FF

Mozilla Leftovers and Firefox Development

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Moz/FF

  • Browser Wish List - Tab Splitting for Contextual Reading

    On Desktop, I'm very often in a situation where I want to read a long article in a browser tab with a certain number of hypertext links. The number of actions I have to do to properly read the text is tedious. It's prone to errors, requires a bit of preparation and has a lot of manual actions.

  • Mozilla Privacy Blog: Laws designed to protect online security should not undermine it

    Mozilla, Atlassian, and Shopify yesterday filed a friend-of-the-court brief in Van Buren v. U.S. asking the U.S. Supreme Court to consider implications of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act for online security and privacy.

    Mozilla’s involvement in this case comes from our interest in making sure that the law doesn’t stand in the way of effective online security. The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) was passed as a tool to combat online hacking through civil and criminal liability. However, over the years various federal circuit courts have interpreted the law so broadly as to threaten important practices for managing computer security used by Mozilla and many others. Contrary to the purpose of the statute, the lower court’s decision in this case would take a law meant to increase security and interpret it in a way that undermines that goal.

  • Changes to storage.sync in Firefox 79

    Firefox 79, which will be released on July 28, includes changes to the storage.sync area. Items that extensions store in this area are automatically synced to all devices signed in to the same Firefox Account, similar to how Firefox Sync handles bookmarks and passwords. The storage.sync area has been ported to a new Rust-based implementation, allowing extension storage to share the same infrastructure and backend used by Firefox Sync.

    Extension data that had been stored locally in existing profiles will automatically migrate the first time an installed extension tries to access storage.sync data in Firefox 79. After the migration, the data will be stored locally in a new storage-sync2.sqlite file in the profile directory.

  • SpiderMonkey Newsletter 5 (Firefox 78-79)

    SpiderMonkey is the JavaScript engine used in Mozilla Firefox. This newsletter gives an overview of the JavaScript and WebAssembly work we’ve done as part of the Firefox 78 and 79 Nightly release cycles.

    If you like these newsletters, you may also enjoy Yulia’s weekly Compiler Compiler live stream, a guided tour of what it is like to work on SpiderMonkey and improve spec compliance.

  • Testing Firefox more efficiently with machine learning

    At Mozilla we have around 50,000 unique test files. Each contain many test functions. These tests need to run on all our supported platforms (Windows, Mac, Linux, Android) against a variety of build configurations (PGO, debug, ASan, etc.), with a range of runtime parameters (site isolation, WebRender, multi-process, etc.).

    While we don’t test against every possible combination of the above, there are still over 90 unique configurations that we do test against. In other words, for each change that developers push to the repository, we could potentially run all 50k tests 90 different times. On an average work day we see nearly 300 pushes (including our testing branch). If we simply ran every test on every configuration on every push, we’d run approximately 1.35 billion test files per day! While we do throw money at this problem to some extent, as an independent non-profit organization, our budget is finite.

    So how do we keep our CI load manageable? First, we recognize that some of those ninety unique configurations are more important than others. Many of the less important ones only run a small subset of the tests, or only run on a handful of pushes per day, or both. Second, in the case of our testing branch, we rely on our developers to specify which configurations and tests are most relevant to their changes. Third, we use an integration branch.

    [...]

    The early results of this project have been very promising. Compared to our previous solution, we’ve reduced the number of test tasks on our integration branch by 70%! Compared to a CI system with no test selection, by almost 99%! We’ve also seen pretty fast adoption of our mach try auto tool, suggesting a usability improvement (since developers no longer need to think about what to select). But there is still a long way to go!

    We need to improve the model’s ability to select configurations and default to that. Our regression detection heuristics and the quality of our dataset needs to improve. We have yet to implement usability and stability fixes to mach try auto.

    And while we can’t make any promises, we’d love to package the model and service up in a way that is useful to organizations outside of Mozilla. Currently, this effort is part of a larger project that contains other machine learning infrastructure originally created to help manage Mozilla’s Bugzilla instance.

  • Async Interview #8: Stjepan Glavina

    Several months ago, on May 1st, I spoke to Stjepan Glavina about his (at the time) new crate, smol. Stjepan is, or ought to be, a pretty well-known figure in the Rust universe. He is one of the primary authors of the various crossbeam crates, which provide core parallel building blocks that are both efficient and very ergonomic to use. He was one of the initial designers for the async-std runtime.

  • Missing structure in technical discussions

    People are amazing creatures. When discussing a complex issue, they are able to keep multiple independent arguments in their heads, the pieces of supporting and disproving evidence, and can collapse this system into a concrete solution.

  • Thank you, Julie Hanna

    Over the last three plus years, Julie Hanna has brought extensive experience on innovation processes, global business operations, and mission-driven organizations to her role as a board member of Mozilla Corporation. We have deeply appreciated her contributions to Mozilla throughout this period, and thank her for her time and her work with the board.

    [...]

    We look forward to continuing to see her play a key role in shaping and evolving purpose-driven technology companies across industries.

Tor and Mozilla on Politics

Filed under
Moz/FF
Web
  • #MoreOnionsPorfavor: Onionize your website and take back the internet
  • Anti-censorship team report: June 2020

    Tor's anti-censorship team writes monthly reports to keep the world updated on its progress. This blog post summarizes the anti-censorship work we got done in June 2020. You can find a Chinese translation of this blog post below. Let us know if you have any questions or feedback!

  • New Release: Tor Browser 10.0a3

    Tor Browser 10.0a3 is now available from the Tor Browser Alpha download page and also from our distribution directory. This is an Android-only release.

    Note: This is an alpha release, an experimental version for users who want to help us test new features. For everyone else, we recommend downloading the latest stable release instead.

  • Mozilla Open Policy & Advocacy Blog: Criminal proceedings against Malaysiakini will harm free expression in Malaysia

    The Malaysian government’s decision to initiate criminal contempt proceedings against Malaysiakini for third party comments on the news portal’s website is deeply concerning. The move sets a dangerous precedent against intermediary liability and freedom of expression. It ignores the internationally accepted norm that holding publishers responsible for third party comments has a chilling effect on democratic discourse. The legal outcome the Malaysian government is seeking would upend the careful balance which places liability on the bad actors who engage in illegal activities, and only holds companies accountable when they know of such acts.

    Intermediary liability safe harbour protections have been fundamental to the growth of the internet. They have enabled hosting and media platforms to innovate and flourish without the fear that they would be crushed by a failure to police every action of their users. Imposing the risk of criminal liability for such content would place a tremendous, and in many cases fatal, burden on many online intermediaries while negatively impacting international confidence in Malaysia as a digital destination.

Mozilla: Firefox Nightly, JS, Security and Rust

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Moz/FF
  • Firefox Nightly: These Weeks in Firefox: Issue 75
  • Additional JavaScript syntax support in add-on developer tools

    When an add-on is submitted to Firefox for validation, the add-ons linter checks its code and displays relevant errors, warnings, or friendly messages for the developer to review. JavaScript is constantly evolving, and when the linter lags behind the language, developers may see syntax errors for code that is generally considered acceptable. These errors block developers from getting their add-on signed or listed on addons.mozilla.org.

  • A look at password security, Part I: history and background

    Today I’d like to talk about passwords. Yes, I know, passwords are the worst, but why? This is the first of a series of posts about passwords, with this one focusing on the origins of our current password systems starting with log in for multi-user systems.

    The conventional story for what’s wrong with passwords goes something like this: Passwords are simultaneously too long for users to memorize and too short to be secure.

    It’s easy to see how to get to this conclusion. If we restrict ourselves to just letters and numbers, then there are about 26 one character passwords, 212 two character passwords, etc. The fastest password cracking systems can check about 236 passwords/second, so if you want a password which takes a year to crack, you need a password of 10 characters long or longer.

    The situation is actually far worse than this; most people don’t use randomly generated passwords because they are hard to generate and hard to remember. Instead they tend to use words, sometimes adding a number, punctuation, or capitalization here and there. The result is passwords that are easy to crack, hence the need for password managers and the like.

    This analysis isn’t wrong, precisely; but if you’ve ever watched a movie where someone tries to break into a computer by typing passwords over and over, you’re probably thinking “nobody is a fast enough typist to try billions of passwords a second”. This is obviously true, so where does password cracking come into it?

    [...]

    This design is a huge improvement over just having a file with cleartext passwords and it might seem at this point like you didn’t need to stop people from reading the password file at all. In fact, on the original UNIX systems where this design was used, the /etc/passwd file was publicly readable. However, upon further reflection, it has the drawback that it’s cheap to verify a guess for a given password: just compute H(guess) and compare it to what’s been stored. This wouldn’t be much of an issue if people used strong passwords, but because people generally choose bad passwords, it is possible to write password cracking programs which would try out candidate passwords (typically starting with a list of common passwords and then trying variants) to see if any of these matched. Programs to do this task quickly emerged.

    The key thing to realize is that the computation of H(guess) can be done offline. Once you have a copy of the password file, you can compare your pre-computed hashes of candidate passwords against the password file without interacting with the system at all. By contrast, in an online attack you have to interact with the system for each guess, which gives it an opportunity to rate limit you in various ways (for instance by taking a long time to return an answer or by locking out the account after some number of failures). In an offline attack, this kind of countermeasure is ineffective.

  • Announcing Rustup 1.22.1

    The rustup working group is happy to announce the release of rustup version 1.22.1. Rustup is the recommended tool to install Rust, a programming language that is empowering everyone to build reliable and efficient software.

  • This Week in Rust 346

Mozilla: Firefox for Android Nightly, prefers-contrast and more

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Moz/FF
  • New Extensions in Firefox for Android Nightly (Previously Firefox Preview)

    Firefox for Android Nightly (formerly known as Firefox Preview) is a sneak peek of the new Firefox for Android experience. The browser is being rebuilt based on GeckoView, an embeddable component for Android, and we are continuing to gradually roll out extension support.

    Including the add-ons from our last announcement, there are currently nine Recommended Extensions available to users.

  • Adding prefers-contrast to Firefox

    In this article, we’ll walk through the design and implementation of the prefers-contrast media query in Firefox. We’ll start by defining high contrast mode, then we’ll cover the importance of prefers-contrast. Finally, we’ll walk through the media query implementation in Firefox. By the end, you’ll have a greater understanding of how media queries work in Firefox, and why the prefers-contrast query is important and exciting.

    When we talk about the contrast of a page we’re assessing how the web author’s color choices impact readability. For visitors with low vision web pages with low or insufficient contrast can be hard to use. The lack of distinction between text and its background can cause them to “bleed” together.

  • Browser Wish List - Tabs Time Machine

    It would be interesting to see the exact distribution, because there is a cohort with a very high number of tabs. I have usually in between 300 and 500 tabs opened. And sometimes I'm cleaning up everything. But after an internal discussion at Mozilla, I realized some people had even more toward a couple of thousand tabs opened at once.

    While we are not the sheer majority, we are definitely a group of people probably working with browsers intensively and with specific needs that the browsers currently do not address. Also we have to be careful with these stats which are auto-selecting group of people. If there's nothing to manage a high number of tabs, it is then likely that there will not be a lot of people ready to painstakly manage a high number of tabs.

Mozilla: Accessibility, Net Neutrality, AMP and Rust

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Moz/FF
  • Mozilla Accessibility: Broadening Our Impact

    Last year, the accessibility team worked to identify and fix gaps in our screen reader support, as well as on some new areas of focus, like improving Firefox for users with low vision. As a result, we shipped some great features. In addition, we’ve begun building awareness across Mozilla and putting in place processes to help ensure delightful accessibility going forward, including a Firefox wide triage process.

    With a solid foundation for delightful accessibility well underway, we’re looking at the next step in broadening our impact: expanding our engagement with our passionate, global community. It’s our hope that we can get to a place where a broad community of interested people become active participants in the planning, design, development and testing of Firefox accessibility. To get there, the first step is open communication about what we’re doing and where we’re headed.

  • Mozilla Open Policy & Advocacy Blog: Next Steps for Net Neutrality

    Two years ago we first brought Mozilla v. FCC in federal court, in an effort to save the net neutrality rules protecting American consumers. Mozilla has long fought for net neutrality because we believe that the internet works best when people control their own online experiences.

    Today is the deadline to petition the Supreme Court for review of the D.C. Circuit decision in Mozilla v. FCC. After careful consideration, Mozilla—as well as its partners in this litigation—are not seeking Supreme Court review of the D.C. Circuit decision. Even though we did not achieve all that we hoped for in the lower court, the court recognized the flaws of the FCC’s action and sent parts of it back to the agency for reconsideration. And the court cleared a path for net neutrality to move forward at the state level. We believe the fight is best pursued there, as well as on other fronts including Congress or a future FCC.

    Net neutrality is more than a legal construct. It is a reflection of the fundamental belief that ISPs have tremendous power over our online experiences and that power should not be further concentrated in actors that have often demonstrated a disregard for consumers and their digital rights. The global pandemic has moved even more of our daily lives—our work, school, conversations with friends and family—online. Internet videos and social media debates are fueling an essential conversation about systemic racism in America. At this moment, net neutrality protections ensuring equal treatment of online traffic are critical. Recent moves by ISPs to favor their own content channels or impose data caps and usage-based pricing make concerns about the need for protections all the more real.

  • Frédéric Wang: Contributions to Web Platform Interoperability (First Half of 2020)

    Web developers continue to face challenges with web interoperability issues and a lack of implementation of important features. As an open-source project, the AMP Project can help represent developers and aid in addressing these challenges. In the last few years, we have partnered with Igalia to collaborate on helping advance predictability and interoperability among browsers. Standards and the degree of interoperability that we want can be a long process. New features frequently require experimentation to get things rolling, course corrections along the way and then, ultimately as more implementations and users begin exploring the space, doing really interesting things and finding issues at the edges we continue to advance interoperability.

    Both AMP and Igalia are very pleased to have been able to play important roles at all stages of this process and help drive things forward. During the first half of this year, here’s what we’ve been up to…

  • Community crossover, Rust at CNCF, and more industry trends

    The impact: The Rust community has a reputation of welcoming loveliness; increased overlap in the Rust and CNCF Venn diagrams is a harbinger of good things for both communities.

Mozilla: Rustup 1.22.0, Servo and Performance Improvements via Formally-Verified Cryptography in Firefox

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Moz/FF
    • Announcing Rustup 1.22.0

      The rustup working group is happy to announce the release of rustup version 1.22.0. Rustup is the recommended tool to install Rust, a programming language that is empowering everyone to build reliable and efficient software.

    • This Week In Servo 131

      Welcome back everyone - it’s been a year without written updates, but we’re getting this train back on track! Servo hasn’t been dormant in that time; the biggest news was the public release of Firefox Reality (built on Servo technology) in the Microsoft store.

      In the past week, we merged 44 PRs in the Servo organization’s repositories.

    • Performance Improvements via Formally-Verified Cryptography in Firefox

      Cryptographic primitives, while extremely complex and difficult to implement, audit, and validate, are critical for security on the web. To ensure that NSS (Network Security Services, the cryptography library behind Firefox) abides by Mozilla’s principle of user security being fundamental, we’ve been working with Project Everest and the HACL* team to bring formally-verified cryptography into Firefox.

      In Firefox 57, we introduced formally-verified Curve25519, which is a mechanism used for key establishment in TLS and other protocols. In Firefox 60, we added ChaCha20 and Poly1305, providing high-assurance authenticated encryption. Firefox 69, 77, and 79 improve and expand these implementations, providing increased performance while retaining the assurance granted by formal verification.

Mozilla, the Web, and Standards

Filed under
Moz/FF
Web
  • Firefox UX: UX Book Club Recap: Writing is Designing, in Conversation with the Authors

    Beyond the language that appears in our products, Michael encouraged the group to educate themselves, follow Black writers and designers, and be open and willing to change. Any effective UX practitioner needs to approach their work with a sense of humility and openness to being wrong.

    Supporting racial justice and the Black Lives Matter movement must also include raising long-needed conversations in the workplace, asking tough questions, and sitting with discomfort. Michael recommended reading How To Be An Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi and So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo.

    [...]

    In the grand scheme of tech things, UX writing is still a relatively new discipline. Books like Writing for Designing are helping to define and shape the practice.

    When asked (at another meet-up, not our own) if he’s advocating for a ‘content-first approach,’ Michael’s response was that we need an ‘everything first approach’ — meaning, all parties involved in the design and development of a product should come to the planning table together, early on in the process. By making the case for writing as a strategic design practice, this book helps solidify a spot at that table for UX writers.

  • Tantek Çelik: Changes To IndieWeb Organizing, Brief Words At IndieWebCamp West

    A week ago Saturday morning co-organizer Chris Aldrich opened IndieWebCamp West and introduced the keynote speakers. After their inspiring talks he asked me to say a few words about changes we’re making in the IndieWeb community around organizing. This is an edited version of those words, rewritten for clarity and context. — Tantek

  • H.266/VVC Standard Finalized With ~50% Lower Size Compared To H.265

    The Versatile Video Coding (VVC) standard is now firmed up as H.266 as the successor to H.265/HEVC.

    H.266/VVC has been in the works for several years by a multitude of organizations. The schedule had been aiming for finalizing the standard by July 2020.

  • DSA Is Past Its Prime

    DSA is not only broken from an engineering point of view, though, it’s also cryptographically weak as deployed. The strength of an N-bit DSA key is approximately the same as that of an N-bit RSA key4, and modern cryptography has painstakingly moved away from 1024-bit RSA keys years ago considering them too weak. Academics computed a discrete logarithm modulo a 795-bit prime last year. NIST 800-57 recommends lengths of 2048 for keys with security lifetimes extending beyond 2010. The LogJam attack authors estimated the cost of breaking a 1024-bit DLP to be within reach of nation-states in 2015.5 And yet, DSA with keys larger than 1024 bits is not really a thing!

  • Email Isn’t Broken, Email Clients Are!

    You wouldn’t say “the Web” is broken (or HTTP for those reading who happen to be technologists). Actually some of you (of the HTTPS all-the-things variety) might but that’s beside the point. The real problem with email is managing the massive volume received in a way that’s relatively sane. You can’t fix this problem at the protocol level, it’s an application-level problem. The only real solution to dealing with massive amounts of email is automation (maybe even massive amounts of it). The uninitiated might be shocked to realize how much preprocessing their email messages undergo before they make it to the inbox, researching spam filtering is a great way to get a glimpse into what’s happening, but it’s not enough because it’s not personalized in a way that’s truly effective for the end-user.

Mozilla: SpiderMonkey and Filter Treeherder Development

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Moz/FF
  • SpiderMonkey Newsletter 5 (Firefox 78-79)

    SpiderMonkey is the JavaScript engine used in Mozilla Firefox. This newsletter gives an overview of the JavaScript and WebAssembly work we’ve done as part of the Firefox 78 and 79 Nightly release cycles.

    If you like these newsletters, you may also enjoy Yulia’s weekly Compiler Compiler live stream, a guided tour of what it is like to work on SpiderMonkey and improve spec compliance.

  • In Filter Treeherder jobs by test or manifest path I describe the feature.

    In Filter Treeherder jobs by test or manifest path I describe the feature. In this post I will explain how it came about.
    I want to highlight the process between a conversation and a deployed feature. Many times, it is an unseen part of the development process that can be useful for contributors and junior developers who are trying to grow as developers.
    Back in the Fall of 2019 I started inquiring into developers’ satisfaction with Treeherder. This is one of the reasons I used to go to the office once in a while. One of these casual face-to-face conversations led to this feature. Mike Conley explained to me how he would look through various logs to find a test path that had failed on another platform (see referenced post for further details).
    After I understood the idea, I tried to determine what options we had to implement it. I wrote a Google Doc with various alternative implementations and with information about what pieces were needed for a prototype. I requested feedback from various co-workers to help discover blind spots in my plans.
    Once I had some feedback from immediate co-workers, I made my idea available in a Google group (increasing the circle of people giving feedback). I described my intent to implement the idea and was curious to see if anyone else was already working on it or had better ideas on how to implement it. I did this to raise awareness in larger circles, reduce duplicate efforts and learn from prior work.
    I also filed a bug to drive further technical discussions and for interested parties to follow up on the work. Fortunately, around the same time Andrew Halberstadt started working on defining explicitly what manifests each task executes before the tasks are scheduled (see bug). This is a major component to make the whole feature on Treeherder functional. In some cases, talking enough about the need can enlist others from their domains of expertise to help with your project.

  • Filter Treeherder jobs by test or manifest path

    This feature is useful for developers and code sheriffs because it permits them to determine whether or not a test that fails in one platform configuration also fails in other ones. Previously, this was difficult because certain test suites are split into multiple tasks (aka “chunks”). In the screenshot below, you can see that the manifest path devtools/client/framework/browser-toolbox/test/browser.ini is executed in different chunks.

Mozilla: Firefox 78, Virtual All Hands 2020 and Securing Gamepad API

Filed under
Moz/FF
  • Firefox 78 arrives with accessibility and video call improvements

    Mozilla today launched Firefox 78 for Windows, Mac, and Linux. Firefox 78 includes accessibility features and video call improvements and is the last to support three older macOS releases. You can download Firefox 78 for desktop now from Firefox.com, and all existing users should be able to upgrade to it automatically. According to Mozilla, Firefox has about 250 million active users, making it a major platform for web developers to consider.

    While Google and Microsoft had to adjust their respective browser release schedules due to the coronavirus pandemic, in April Mozilla committed to sticking with its 2020 Firefox release schedule and the browser’s four-week release cadence. While the schedule remains unchanged, Mozilla shifted its roadmap to avoid shipping changes that might negatively impact government and health services websites and to address video conferencing issues.

    [...]

    “While Apple does not have a public policy governing security updates for older macOS releases, their ongoing practice has been to support the most recent three releases,” Mozilla says in a support article. “The last security update applicable to macOS 10.11 was made available in July 2018. Unsupported operating systems do not receive security updates, have known exploits, and can be dangerous to use, which makes it difficult to maintain Firefox on those versions.”

  • Firefox 78: Protections dashboard, new developer features... and the end of the line for older macOS versions

    Mozilla has released Firefox 78 with a new Protections Dashboard and a bunch of updates for web developers. This is also the last supported version of Firefox for macOS El Capitan (10.11) and earlier.

    Firefox is on a "rapid release plan", which means a new version every four to five weeks. This means that major new features should not be expected every time. That said, Firefox 78 is also an extended support release (ESR), which means users who stick with ESR get updates from this and the previous 10 releases.

    The main new user-facing feature in Firefox 78 is the Protections Dashboard, a screen which shows trackers and scripts blocked, a link to the settings, a link to Firefox Monitor for checking your email address against known data breaches, and a button for password management.

    Handy, but does the Protections Dashboard have much real value? It is doubtful; the more revealing thing is to click the shield icon to the left of the address bar on a web page, which tells you what is blocked on that site.

  • Firefox 78 Released with “Reset to Default” Option

    Mozilla Firefox 78 was released a few days ago with some new features and improvements.

    Firefox 78 added “Refresh Firefox” button to the Uninstaller, which also available in about:support page, allows to reset Firefox to its default state, while saving your essential information like bookmarks, passwords, cookies.

  • Let’s meet online: Virtual All Hands 2020

    Here I am again sharing with you the amazing experience of another All Hands.

    This time no traveling was involved, and every meeting, coffee, and chat were left online.

    Virtuality seems the focus of this 2020 and if on one side we strongly missed the possibility of being together with colleagues and contributors, on the other hand, we were grateful for the possibility of being able to connect.

    Virtual All Hands has been running for a week, from the 15th of June to the 18th, and has been full of events and meetups.

    [...]

    Thank you for your participation and your enthusiasm as always, we are missing live interaction but we have the opportunity to use some great tools as well. We are happy that so many people could enjoy those opportunities and created such a nice environment during the few days of the All Hands.

    See you really soon!

  • Securing Gamepad API

    As part of Mozilla’s ongoing commitment to improve the privacy and security of the web platform, over the next few months we will be making some changes to how the Gamepad_API works.

Tor Browser Releases

Filed under
Moz/FF
Security
  • New Release: Tor Browser 10.0a2

    Tor Browser 10.0a2 is now available from the Tor Browser Alpha download page and also from our distribution directory.

    Note: This is an alpha release, an experimental version for users who want to help us test new features. For everyone else, we recommend downloading the latest stable release instead.

  • New Release: Tor Browser 9.5.1

    Tor Browser 9.5.1 is now available from the Tor Browser download page and also from our distribution directory.

    This release updates Firefox to 68.10.0esr and NoScript to 11.0.32.

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Olimex Tukhla High-End Open Source Hardware NXP i.MX 8QuadMax SBC in the Works

Most open-source hardware Arm Linux SBCs are optimized for cost, and there are few higher-end boards with extensive connectivity designed for professionals. Beagleboard X15 would be one of the rare examples currently available on the market, but it was launched five years ago. One European company noticed the void in this market and asked Olimex to develop a high-end open-source Linux board with a well-documented processor. They ruled out RK3399, and instead went Olimex Tukhla SBC will be powered by NXP i.MX 8QuadMax, the top processor of i.MX 8 family with two Cortex-A72 cores, four Cortex-A53 cores, and two real-time Cortex-M4F cores. Read more

Robotics Recap: Learning, Programming & Snapping ROS 2

Robotics@Canonical puts a strong focus on the migration from ROS to ROS 2. ROS 2 benefits from many improvements, especially robot security. Our goal is to make it easy for you to transition to ROS 2, whether you’re completely new to ROS or a seasoned engineer retooling for a new environment. Your new platform should be secure-by-default, and we expect you’ll need to pivot between different environments as you migrate from ROS to ROS 2. Along the way we’ve encountered some friction points, some mild surprises, and some opportunities to better leverage existing tools. Whenever that happened we tried to fix them and share our experiences so you didn’t run into the same problems! This has resulted in blog posts and videos in three key focus areas: getting started with ROS 2, software development in ROS 2, and building snaps for ROS. Let’s recap some of our recent output. Read more

Linux 5.8-rc5

Ok, so rc4 was small, and now a week later, rc5 is large.

It's not _enormous_, but of all the 5.x kernels so far, this is the
rc5 with the most commits. So it's certainly not optimal. It was
actually very quiet the beginning of the week, but things picked up on
Friday. Like they do..

That said, a lot of it is because of the networking fixes that weren't
in rc4, and I'm still not hearing any real panicky sounds from people,
and things on the whole seem to be progressing just fine.

So a large rc5 to go with a large release doesn't sound all that
worrisome, when we had an unusually small rc4 that precedes it and
explains it.

Maybe I'm in denial, but I still think we might hit the usual release
schedule. A few more weeks to go before I need to make that decision,
so it won't be keeping me up at night.

The diffstat for rc5 doesn't look particularly worrisome either. Yes,
there's a (relatively) high number of commits, but they tend to be
small. Nothing makes me go "umm".

In addition to the outright fixes, there's a few cleanups that are
just prep for 5.9. They all look good and simple too.

Anyway, networking (counting both core and drivers) amounts to about a
third of the patch, with the rest being spread all over: arch updates
(arm64, s390, arc), drivers (gpu, sound, md, pin control, gpio),
tooling (perf and selftests). And misc noise all over.

The appended shortlog gives the details, nothing really looks all that
exciting. Which is just as it should be at this time.

Go forth and test.

Thanks,

                 Linus
Read more Also: Linux 5.8-rc5 Released As A Big Kernel For This Late In The Cycle