Configuring HSTS & OCSP Stapling

There are a couple of new technologies that are becoming more widely used that you may what to think about using. I have written a couple of pages explaining what they are and how to use them. They are definitely worth a look if you are a web server administrator.

How to Configure OCSP Stapling on Apache HTTP Server

How to Configure HTTP Strict Transport Security on Apache & NGINX

Netflix Logo

Ubuntu 14.04 LTS to get Native Netflix support

In a recent discussion with Ubuntu developers, it seems that Netflix will soon work natively on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS in the Google Chrome browser.

This has become possible because of the development of the HTML5 player.

The only prerequisite is for the NSS security package to be upgraded to at least version 3.17. This is planned to occur in the next couple of weeks as a standard security enhancement.

At the moment it is possible to watch Netflix on Linux, but only if you adjust the User-Agent string in Google Chrome.

Update 23rd September 2014

I can now confirm that the NSS package has been updated to version 3.17 and that Netflix is now working in Google Chrome.






Ubuntu Manual Project – Position Openings

Ubuntu Manual Header Image

What is the Ubuntu Manual Project?

The Ubuntu Manual Project Team is responsible for the Getting Started with Ubuntu book. This a comprehensive beginner’s guide for the Ubuntu operating system. It is written under an open source license and is free for you to download, read, modify, and share.

The manual is aimed at new users of Ubuntu to help them become familiar with everyday tasks such as surfing the web, listening to music, and scanning documents. With an emphasis on easy-to-follow instructions, it is suitable for all levels of experience.

Available positions

We are currently trying to fill the following roles:

These missing roles have meant that the project has not moved forward as we would have liked.

How to apply for these roles

Please provide responses to all the questions below and email them to jobs@ubuntu-manual.org.

  • Full name
  • Contact email address
  • Role you are applying for
  • Describe any relevant experience you have in as much detail as possible
  • Describe why you think you should be considered for this position
  • What you would do in this role (e.g., how you would improve the release process or how you would engage the community

The closing date for applications is Friday, 11 March 2011 at 20:00 UTC.

Project leader

The Ubuntu Manual project leader is responsible for guiding and directing the project. The project leader’s responsibilities include:

  • Promoting the project in the community.
  • Recruiting new project members.
  • Scheduling regular meetings.
  • Release Planning.
  • Motivating project members.
  • Providing vision (and blueprints) for the project.

The project leader should have the following qualifications:

  • Be Self-motivated.
  • Good at managing people.
  • Have a firm grasp of American English.
  • Be able to guide and direct the project.

Editor in chief

The editor in chief is responsible for the overall quality and content of the manual and ensures that it is published in a timely fashion. The editor in chief manages the chapter editors and authors. The editor in chief must commit to the following duties for the duration of the release cycle (approximately six months):

  • Check spelling, grammar, writing style, and factual accuracy.
  • Track changes between previous and current Ubuntu releases and ensure that the current edition of the manual reflects those changes.
  • Motivate and coordinate with the chapter authors/editors to contribute in a timely fashion.
  • Provide regular status updates to the mailing list.
  • Ensure proper attribution for text that has been copied from other (CC-licensed) sources.
  • Maintain the list of credits (authors, editors, translators, designers, etc.).
  • Verify that all screenshots and graphics are correct.
  • Gives the final go-ahead to publish the online and print versions of the manual.

The editor in chief should have the following qualifications:

  • Be Self-motivated.
  • Good at managing people (namely chapter authors and editors).
  • Have a firm grasp of American English.
  • Fully understand the Ubuntu Manual Style Guide.
  • Be able to run alpha and beta releases of Ubuntu.

Additional Information

Please note that we are a community project, and these roles are unpaid.

Ubuntu Manual Project Progressing… Slowly.

Ubuntu Manual Header Image

It is now almost the middle of December and the Ubuntu Manual Project has yet to release the Maverick edition of the manual. The project leader has stepped down. I guess there are a lot of people who are questioning whether this project is dead? Personally I can understand why anyone would think that. I have even wondered that myself.  Yet, the project is still here, it is still moving forward, albeit slowly.

It seems the biggest problem that the project is facing is the lack of time. As this is a community driven project, it effectively takes a back seat to everything else that is going on in people’s lives. Personally, I do not know what can be done to change the situation. I too have limited time as well, but I do my best, as do many others involved in the project. Thank you to all those people. Your help is greatly appreciated.

So, what is the current status of the project…

All the writing is complete and now the proof reading is being finalised. After that, we need to begin collecting new screen-shots. Hopefully it won’t be that much longer until we can get the Maverick manual out.

There are still a few outstanding questions with the project. Who is going to take charge of the project? How often are we going to release new versions of the manual? How can we make things better with the next version?

Only time will tell…

…if you have suggestions, please let us know. If you would like to help, please let us know.

Contact us via  http://www.ubuntu-manual.org

Ubuntu 10.10 Released

Another 6 months have passed and now another iteration of Ubuntu has been released. There have been a great number of changes. Apart from the usual array of package upgrades there are a number of key features in this latest release.

What’s New

  • The Ubuntu Font – In Ubuntu 10.04 all the artwork received a makeover. Most of the logos were created with a new typeface. In 10.10 this typeface has been made available to everybody. For more information on the Ubuntu Font take a look here.
  • Music Streaming to your phone – The Ubuntu One Music Store has been improved and now includes some new features. You can now stream music from your Ubuntu One file store direct to you iPhone or Android phone.
  • Ubuntu One on Windows – Another new feature that is coming soon is the ability to sync files with your Windows pc’s as well as your Ubuntu pc’s. This is a feature that brings Ubuntu One closer to the functionality of Dropbox.
  • Sound Indicator – The sound indicator has been improved and now includes music player controls. This means that you no-longer have t switch back to Rhythmbox to Play, Pause, skip tracks or adjust the volume. The menu even includes an image of the album cover.
  • Software Centre – The Ubuntu Software Centre has also been improved. Now there includes an additional menu that enables you to purchase non-free software. There is not much there at the moment, but I fully expect to see this market place grow.

For more information take a look at the new features pages on the Ubuntu Website.

Ubuntu 10.04 LTS Released

Finally, after 6 months of development the next iteration of Ubuntu has finally been released. Much has changed in that period. This is not just your average version of Ubuntu. This is the next long-term support (LTS) version. It has been 2 years since the last LTS version of Ubuntu.

What’s New

  • Social from the start: The new ‘Me Menu’ in Ubuntu 10.04 LTS consolidates the process of accessing and updating social networks including Facebook, Digg, Twitter and Identi.ca. The Me Menu also integrates with instant messaging clients so users can talk with friends on Google Talk, MSN, IRC and various other networks.
  • Software Centre 2.0: The Software Centre has been improved and now includes software from partners.
  • Ubuntu One Music Store: The Ubuntu One Music Store is a new plug-in that is integrated into Rhythmbox that allows you to purchase DRM free music. It integrates with the Ubuntu One service to ensure that you always have a backup of your music.
  • Boot Speed: Improvements have been made to the boot-up speed of Ubuntu.
  • Ubuntu Manual: The Ubuntu Manual project has been working on a getting started with Ubuntu guide for new users to Ubuntu.

For more information take a look at the new features pages on the Ubuntu Website.

Lucid changes default Firefox search provider to Yahoo!

It has come to light that in the next release of Ubuntu (Lucid), the default search provider in Firefox will change to Yahoo!

My first thought on this matter was to shout Noooooo!!!!

This might have been a little extreme, but not expected on my part. I don’t like it when things that I like, change. Especially when it is my default search provider. I am quite fond of the Google search and I want it to stay.

After my trauma had subsided, I thought about it for a moment. Why shouldn’t companies  make money in this way. It was only last week that we heard that Bing was going to be the default search provider on the iPhone after a deal with Microsoft. The change in Ubuntu is not vastly dissimilar. I am sure that the extra cash will be welcomed by Canonical.

I wonder what the future has in store? How many more distributions will change their default search for some cold hard cash.

Ubuntu 10.04 LTS Lucid Lynx Release Schedule

On the 14th January the second alpha of the next long term support version of Ubuntu Linux will be released.

I thought I would post the current release schedule for all the milestones of Lucid Lynx.


  • Alpha 1 – 10th December 2009
  • Alpha 2 – 14th January 2010
  • Alpha 3 – 25th February 2010
  • Beta 1 – 18th March 2010
  • Beta 2 – 8th April 2010
  • Release Candidate – 22nd April 2010
  • Final Release – 29th April 2010

For more information on this upcoming release look at the following links.

Wiki – https://wiki.ubuntu.com/LucidLynx

Lucid Testing – http://www.ubuntu.com/testing

Ubuntu 9.10 Release Candidate Review

Today I read a blog on the BBC website by Rory Cellan-Jones. He had been comparing Ubuntu 9.10 (Karmic Koala) to Microsoft Windows 7.

Personally I have been running Windows 7 on my notebook for quite some time now. I was impressed by it right from the beginning. It feels fast, stable and way better than Vista ever was. I think that is actually quite a compliment considering I would class myself and a Linux and Ubuntu evangelist. This has prompted me to update my netbook to the latest version of Karmic that is available.

Look and Feel

Included with the beta release of Karmic is all the graphics and eye candy that is to ship with the full release. It really appears that Canonical has spent a great deal of time working on the look and feel of Ubuntu. This was also confirmed when I randomly bumped into one of the graphics designers from Canonical while cycling through central London.

It really does feel that Canonical has put its all into this release. They have even removed all the beta logos from Ubuntu One and given it a brand new white interface as well as including a collection of different desktop wallpapers if you don’t like brown (slightly more yellow this time).

The netbook remix interface has also had an overhaul. Now it has moved from being a three column interface to a two column interface. This really feels a lot nicer an definitely less cramped.

Software Centre

With this release of Karmic and new package managment tool has been added. “Ubuntu Software Centre”. This is quite a nice tool and does aid package management. I did note that Adobe Reader is buried in a Canonical partner repositry that is not enabled by default. Adobe flash was easier to find, so it didn’t take long to get the BBC iPlayer to work. I even tried the iPlayer Desktop and was prompted to install Adobe Air.

Intel Video Driver Architecture

I am very happy to see that the Intel video drivers included have been updated. This now means that the additional visual effects (Compiz) work properly on my Asus Netbook. This meant that visual effects were unusable for me in 9.04.


Ubuntu 9.10 has come on leaps and bounds since 9.04. It is a release that is really worth looking at. It is very easy to use and looks amazing. Rory Cellan-Jone from the BBC tried it for a day. I say, try it for a week, at least. It is different from Windows, but it is more than capable of delivering everything you require.

For further information on what is new in the latest release of Ubuntu. Have a read through the release notes.