What’s new with Linux this month? We have a lot of news to talk about, including some big releases from Ubuntu and Pop!_OS, some Linux vulnerabilities you should know about, a Rocky Linux update and a new Arch-based Linux distribution for beginners. Read on for more!
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Ubuntu 22.04 LTS (Jammy Jellyfish) released
Ubuntu Linux, one of the most popular Linux distributions for the desktop, has released version 22.04.
While 2022 likely isn’t the year of the Linux desktop, more people than ever before are using Linux. And Ubuntu has been one of the most popular Linux distributions on the market, due to its user-friendliness and stability.
So what’s new in Ubuntu 20.04? Jammy Jellyfish is a long term support (LTS) release. It’s more stable and, theoretically, you can run it for five years without having to upgrade your operating system to the next version.
So if you want a solid, stable Linux system, go ahead and get installing!
One of the biggest selling points of Ubuntu 22.04 is a rebooted installer that’s easy to use, regardless of your skill level. Oh, and let’s not forget it also comes with GNOME 42. There have been tons of changes to this desktop environment including a new theme, better layouts, and just overall polish.
The new desktop is clean, fast, and slick. And with the extensive changes, and desktop configuration options, you can customize your machine to make it your own.
Several vulnerabilities discovered in Linux desktop endpoints
The Microsoft 365 Defender research team discovered a set of vulnerabilities that expose Linux desktop users, and include the ability to deploy root backdoors and perform arbitrary code execution.
It’s been named Nimbuspwn and can provide full root access to Linux machines. This means it’s capable of anything from executing a few commands as root, to full-on malware or ransomware.
The exploits involve D-Bus, which is an interprocess communication mechanism – a simple way for applications to talk to one another. While this is a well-designed system for Linux that runs stable, it’s another matter when the bad guys start tampering with it.
Vulcan Cyber’s Mike Parkin says there is no indication that the vulnerabilities have been exploited in the wild, and that exploiting them appears to require a local account.So, someone has to have shell access into the machine already, which is a little reassuring. But this is still something you should be aware of. Hopefully there will be a patch soon!
Pop!_OS 22.04 LTS released
Pop!_OS, one of my favorite Linux distributions, has released version 22.04 in tandem with Ubuntu. Remember, Pop!_OS is based on Ubuntu, but with a lot of cool extras.
Pop!_OS 22.04 now uses GNOME 42, with the custom Cosmic Desktop provided by Pop! I have personally used this desktop myself and it’s by far one of the most user-friendly, productive desktops out there.
It uses the new Linux kernel, built in light and dark mode, and has automatic updates. So if you’re like me, with your Linux machine bugging you for an update every time you turn it on, now you can set your machine to update every day.
Pop! is also replacing PulseAudio with Pipewire, which seems to be a popular move for Linux distributions these days, as users are far happier with PipeWire.
Rocky Linux arrives on Google Cloud
Rocky Linux, a fork of CentOS, is making its way to the cloud.
CentOS is a very popular Linux system and has been loved by system administrators for decades. But with Red Hat shifting focus away from it, many CentOS clones have popped up. And now, Rocky Linux is available on Google Cloud as an option when building out servers.
Rocky Linux was built by CIQ, a high-performance computing company, but is maintained by the community. They’re partnering with Google to provide support for anyone using Rocky Linux in the Cloud.
Gregory M. Kurtzer, one of the original founders of CentOS, is leading the Rocky Linux project. He says:
“Through this partnership, anytime you use our Rocky Linux on Google Cloud, CIQ with Google has your back! From the cloud platform itself, all the way through the enterprise operating system, every aspect of using Google Cloud is supported by a single call to Google, and together, we are your escalation team.”
This is great news! CIQ is working right now to provide a streamlined installation experience, performance-tuned images, and infrastructure tools to support easy migration.
XeroLinux is a new Arch-based distribution for beginners
There’s a new Linux distro in town for beginners called XeroLinux, and it’s worth a look.
XeroLinux is based on one of my favorite distributions, Arch Linux. But while Arch Linux can be difficult to install, the beginner focus of XeroLinux means they’ve worked hard to simplify the process.
It’s high performing, easy to customize, and also has a ton of applications available! By creating this distro on top of Arch Linux, you get the best of both worlds. Check it out.
May your sources remain open and your code compile. Keep being awesome, Cloud Gurus!