Mar
04

10.1.2">A look at the upcoming features for 10.1.2

If you’ve been an EDGE user in the past few weeks, or following our Roadmap items for the upcoming 10.1.2 release, you may have noticed a number of new security and privacy related items. I wanted to take a moment to clarify what some of these new features are and what they will do.

 

– PersonaCrypt –

The first of the new features is a new CLI utility called personacrypt. This command will allow the creation and usage of a GELI backed encrypted external media for your users $HOME directory. We are using it internally to keep our user profiles on USB 3.0256GB hybrid SSD / flash memory stick (Coarsair flash Voyager GTX specifically). This is tied into the PCDM login manager, and user manager, so when you create a new user account, you can opt to keep all your personal data on any external device. The device is formatted with GPT / GELI / ZFS, and is decrypted at login via the GUI, after entering your encryption key, along with the normal user password.

Additionally, the personacrypt command uses GELI’s ability to split the key into two parts. One being your passphrase, and the other being a key stored on disk. Without both of these parts, the media cannot be decrypted. This means if somebody steals the key and manages to get your password, it is still worthless without the system it was “paired” with. PersonaCrypt will also allow exporting / importing this key data, so you can “pair” the key with other systems.

– Tor Mode –

We’ve added a new ability to the System Updater Tray, so you can with a single-click, toggle between running in Tor mode, and regular “Open” mode. This switch to Tor mode, will do the following:

1. Launch the Tor daemon, and connect to the Tor network
2. Re-write all the IPFW rules, blocking all outgoing / incoming traffic, except for traffic to and from the Tor daemon
3. Re-route all DNS / TCP requests through Tor using its transparent proxy support

This allows applications on the system to now connect to the internet through Tor, without needing explicit SOCKS proxy support.

Obviously this alone isn’t enough to keep your identity safe on the Internet. We highly recommend that you read through their excellent FAQ and wiki articles on the subject.

https://​www​.torproject​.org/​d​o​c​s​/​f​a​q​.​h​t​m​l​.​e​n​#​A​n​o​n​y​m​i​t​y​A​n​d​S​e​c​u​r​ity

– Stealth Mode –

One of the features we just added to personacrypt is something we are calling “stealth” mode. It is integrated into PCDM, and does the following:

During the login, if stealth mode is selected, the users $HOME directory will be mounted with a GELI backed ZVOL with GELI’s onetime key encryption. This $HOME directory is setup with the default /usr/share/skel data, and is pretty much a “blank” slate, allowing you to login, and run apps as if on a fresh system each time. At logout the dataset is destroyed, or should the system be rebooted, the onetime key is lost, rendering the data useless. Think of it as a web browser’s “private” mode, except for your entire desktop session.

– LibreSSL –

We’ve made the switchover to convert our ports to use LibreSSL by default instead of the base systems OpenSSL. (Thanks to Bernard Spil for his work on this). Our hope is that LibreSSL will help make the system security better, and reduce the number of OpenSSL exploits that our packages may be vulnerable to.

– Encrypted Backups –

The Life-Preserver utility has had the ability for a while now to replicate your system to another box running FreeBSD, such as FreeNAS. This backup is done via ZFS send/recv using SSH, but the data on the remote end was stored un-encrypted and could be read by whomever was administrating the remote box. To provide an extra measure of security to backups, we are in the process of adding support for fully-encrypted backups, using GELI backed iSCSI volumes. This allows us to use ZFS send/recv over the wire, with all the data leaving the box already being encrypted via GELI. Your data on the remote side is fully-encrypted, and only accessibly with the key file you have stored on the client side. This is still in active development and should show up in the EDGE repo in the upcoming weeks, along with some additional details on usage.

 

 

We hope you’ve enjoyed this sneak-peek of whats happening with PC-BSD development right now. As always, we love people to test these features in our EDGE repo, and let us know of issues via our bug tracker:

https://​bugs​.pcbsd​.org

Feb
19

0.8.2 Released!">Lumina Desktop 0.8.2 Released!

The next version of the Lumina desktop environment has just been released! Version 0.8.2 is mainly a “spit-and-polish” release: focusing on bugfixes, overall appearances, and interface layout/design. The FreeBSD port has already been updated to the new version, and the PC-BSD “Edge” repository will be making the new version available within the next day or two (packages building now). If you are creating/distributing your own packages, you can find the source code for this release in the “qt5/0.8.2″ branch in the Lumina repository on GitHub.

The major difference that people will notice is that the themes/colors distributed with the desktop have been greatly improved, and I have included a few examples below. The full details about the changes in this release are listed at the bottom of the announcement.

Reminder: The Lumina desktop environment is still considered to be “beta-quality”, so if you find things that either don’t work or don’t work well, please report them on the PC-BSD bug tracker so that they can get fixed as soon as possible.

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

Changes from 0.8.1 -> 0.8.2:

New Utility: “lumina-info”
  • This utility provides basic information about the current version of the Lumina desktop as well as link to various information online (source repository, list of contributors, bug tracker, etc…).
Theming:
  • New Color Scheme: PCBSD10-Default (the default for new PC-BSD users)
  • Lumina-[Red/Green/Gold/Purple] color schemes updated.
  • Lumina-Default” and “None” theme templates updated significantly.
  • Make it easier for a distributor to set a default theme/color by just supplying the name instead of the full path (since paths can be different on different OS’s)
  • Fix issue with some fonts not loading properly.
  • Distinguish between “Save” and “Apply” in the theme template editor (“Save” to update the file but keep the editor open, “Apply” to update the file and close the editor). This makes it much easier to test changes to the current theme template as you don’t need to close/re-open the editor to try it out.
  • Add the ability to distinguish between transparent/opaque desktop plugins in the theme template.
Configuration Utility Changes:
  • Add a new dialog for selecting plugins of all kinds. This makes it easier to browse through and read the descriptions of the plugins before actually selecting one.
  • Re-arrange the interface quite a bit. Now the general page arrangements make much more sense (Appearance [wallpaper/theme], Interface [desktop/panels], Applications [auto-start/file defaults], Shortcuts, Session [general options/window system] )
  • Add the ability to set your preferred time/date format(s) in the general session options.
  • Add the ability to reset your preferred file manager/terminal/web browser/email client back to defaults.
Insight File Manager Changes:
  • Make all the file operations happen in a separate thread (does not lock the UI any more).
  • Clean up the detection routine for Qt-editable files (for rotating images in the slideshow in particular).
  • When removing a file in the slideshow, make it simply go to the next/previous image instead of the beginning of the list.
  • Make the ZFS snapshot search functionality a lot faster if just refreshing the current directory.
Desktop Session Changes:
  • For vertical panels, have the clock plugin try to use vertical space instead of horizontal.
  • Clean up a few desktop plugin stability issues.
  • Streamline the session cleanup functionality.
  • Fix some issues with 2nd panel functionality.
  • Reduce the number of backend filesystem watchers (only one per session instead of one per screen now).
Lumina Search Changes:
  • When searching for files/directories, make the initial starting point user-configurable as well as add the ability to exclude directories from the search routine (also configurable by the user).
Feb
02

10.1.1-Release">PC-BSD 10.1.1-Release

Hey Everyone! The new version of PC-BSD is out. There are lots of improved features so check out the release notes below!

The PC-BSD team is pleased to announce the availability of 10.1.1-RELEASE!

Changes since RC2
———————————————

* Fixed an issue using auto-login in PCDM and setting incorrect locale
* Fixed a bug in user-manager allowing the deletion of the current user
* Updated GRUB to include i18n files
* Fixed an issue with invalid GPT options being displayed when
installing to a specific partition
* Updated GRUB to better auto-detect other disk-drives to chainload via
the boot menu
* Fixed various bugs in external media mounting

Changes since RC1
———————————————

* Disabled some diskid / gptid labels from installer
* Updated HandBook with additions for 10.1.1
* Fixes to Lumina desktop default settings
* Disabled the lock functionality in AppCafe
* Fixed an issue with VirtualBox modules not being loaded after install
* Updated some man pages for pbi_* commands
* Fixes to how ISO / memory disks are mounted via Mount Tray
* Fixes to Mount Tray for mounting exFAT partitions with write access
* Fixed an issue with UEFI USB media not loading GRUB correctly
* Removed pc-soundconfig utility, functionality has been merged into
pc-mixer

PC-BSD 10.1.1 notable Changes
———————————————

* Brand new system updater which supports automatic background updating
of the system
* Many improvements to boot-environments and GRUB support for a wider
variety of setups
* Support for installation to a specific GPT partition and GPT
dual-booting improvements
* Conversion to Qt5 for all desktop utilities
* Fixes to using dtrace when booted from GRUB
* Re-write of Mount Tray utility, improves mounting of external media
* Support for full-disk encryption (without an unencrypted /boot) using
GELI v7
* More packages available for installation from DVD/USB/CD images via
“PC-BSD roles“
* New OVA files for virtual machines
* Misc bugfixes and improvements to utilities
* GNOME 3.14.1
* Cinnamon 2.4.2
* Lumina desktop 0.8.1
* Chromium 39.0.2171.95
* Firefox 35.0
* NVIDIA Driver 340.65
* Pkg 1.4.4

Getting media
———————————————

10.1.1-RELEASE DVD/USB media can be downloaded from the following URL via
HTTP or Torrent.

http://​www​.pcbsd​.org/​e​n​/​d​o​w​n​l​o​a​d​.​h​tml

Updating
———————————————

Users running on 10.1-RELEASE can now update to 10.1.1 via the normal
package updating mechanisms.

If the update cannot complete, such as when excessive pkg conflicts
exist, it is possible to grab the new PC-BSD updater from git and use
it. To do so, use the following instructions.

(As root)

# pkg update –f
# pkg upgrade –f ports-mgmt/pkg
# pkg update –f
# pkg install –f grub2-pcbsd

# git clone –depth=1 –b releng/10.1.1 https://​github​.com/​p​c​b​s​d​/​p​c​b​s​d​.​git
# cd pcbsd/src-sh/libsh
# make install
# cd ../pcbsd-utils/pc-updatemanager
# make install
# pc-updatemanager pkgupdate

Reporting Bugs
———————————————
Found a bug in 10.1.1? Please report it (with as much detail as
possible) to our bugs database.

https://​bugs​.pcbsd​.org

Jan
26

10.1.1-RC2 Now Available">PC-BSD 10.1.1-RC2 Now Available

The PC-BSD team is pleased to announce the availability of RC2 images for the upcoming quarterly 10.1.1 release.

Please test these images out and report any issues found on our bug tracker.

Changes since RC1

* Disabled some diskid / gptid labels from installer
* Updated HandBook with additions for 10.1.1
* Fixes to Lumina desktop default settings
* Disabled the lock functionality in AppCafe
* Fixed an issue with VirtualBox modules not being loaded after install
* Updated some man pages for pbi_* commands
* Fixes to how ISO / memory disks are mounted via Mount Tray
* Fixes to Mount Tray for mounting exFAT partitions with write access
* Fixed an issue with UEFI USB media not loading GRUB correctly
* Removed pc-soundmixer utility, functionality has been merged into tray app

PC-BSD 10.1.1 notable Changes
* Brand new system updater which supports automatic background updating of the system
* Many improvements to boot-environments and GRUB support for a wider variety of setups
* Support for installation to a specific GPT partition and GPT dual-booting improvements
* Conversion to Qt5 for all desktop utilities
* Fixes to using dtrace when booted from GRUB
* Re-write of Mount Tray utility, improves mounting of external media
* Support for full-disk encryption (without an unencrypted /boot) using GELI v7
* More packages available for installation from DVD/USB/CD images via “PC-BSD roles“
* New OVA files for virtual machines
* Misc bugfixes and improvements to utilities
* GNOME 3.14.1
* Cinnamon 2.4.2
* Lumina desktop 0.8.0
* Chromium 39.0.2171.95
* Firefox 35.0
* NVIDIA Driver 340.65
* Pkg 1.4.4

Updating

Users currently running the EDGE package repo can now update their packages via the updater GUI or “pc-updatemanager” utility to be brought up to date with RC1.

Updates for users on the 10.1-RELEASE / PRODUCTION repo will be available once 10.1.1-RELEASE is announced.

Getting media

10.1.1-RC2 DVD/USB media can be downloaded from here via HTTP or Torrent.

Reporting Bugs

Found a bug in 10.1.1? Please report it (with as much detail as possible) to our bugs database.

Jan
22

0.8.1 Released">Lumina Desktop 0.8.1 Released

The next version of the Lumina desktop environment (0.8.1) has just been tagged in the source tree, the FreeBSD port has been updated, and pre-built packages will be available in the upcoming PC-BSD 10.1.1 release (or earlier if you are using the “Edge” package repository).

This version includes quite a number of quality-of-life improvements, new plugins, and the usual assortment of bugfixes. There is a full breakdown of the changes below, but for most of you a screenshot (or two) is worth a thousand words.

Enjoy!

Lumina0.8.1

 

New Features:

1) New Desktop Plugin: “Audio Player”

This plugin allows the user to play audio files directly from the desktop (with playlist randomization if desired).

2) New Panel Plugin: “Home Button”

This plugin will minimize all open windows so the desktop will be completely visible.

3) New Panel Plugin: “Start Menu”

This plugin is the classical alternative to the “User Button”, and provides a simple menu for quickly launching applications.

4) New Slideshow file interactions in the Insight File Manager

When viewing an image slideshow, the user now has the options to delete the current image file, or rotate that image file clockwise or counter-clockwise (automatically updating the image file as necessary).

5) New Backend distribution customization framework.

There is a new system file (<PREFIX>/etc/luminaDesktop.conf), that can be set by the distributor of the Lumina desktop or a system administrator to provide system-wide defaults. This allows full customization of the initial desktop experience for a new user (will not change existing settings), allowing the distributor of the desktop to easily create a customized experience for their users. Along with this comes the ability for a user to reset their desktop settings back to defaults should the need arise (either system defaults or the defaults set by the Lumina project itself). This can be performed through the desktop configuration utility (in the session settings).

 

Updated Features:

1) Allow a customized user icon for the user button (this same icon will also be utilized for the user in PCDM). This option is available through the desktop configuration utility (in the session settings).

2) Have panels follow the current desktop theme by default. A customized color may still be specified through through the desktop configuration utility (in the panel settings), and any previous color setting for the panel is still saved as the customized color for that panel.

3) Have desktop plugins now follow the current theme. This allows for a much more unified look and feel, with simple user modification through locally saved modifications to any theme templates.

4) Convert the “Note Pad” desktop plugin to a file-based utility. Now all notes are automatically created in the ~/Notes directory (with the .note extension), and a generic non-note text file may also be loaded into the plugin for editing/watching. All notes in the previous format will be auto-converted to the new format the first time the new version is used. Warning: if you currently have multiple notepad plugins on your desktop, only one of them will have all the notes successfully converted to the new format. Before updating to the new version, it is a good idea to move all your notes into a single plugin instance (and remove the others) to ensure a proper conversion to the new format.

Bug Fixes:

- Fix when auto-hidden panels are re-hidden. This fixes a Qt5 bug where moving the mouse over the system tray was re-hiding the panel, preventing access to the system tray applications.

- Make the userbutton open even faster than before (auto-updates the menu in the background if applications are added/removed from the system).

- Various stability fixes involving the removal of desktop plugins.

- Filenames with multiple “.“s in them will now be properly handled through lumina-open.

- Have the log-out window appear on the current screen (instead of always the left-most screen).

- Make sure the log-out window is closed at the start of the log out procedure.

- Various other small bugfixes

 

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