Many thanks to all the donors and sponsors who help fund our project. We received close to 500 donations in January. Many thanks to you for your support.

Sponsorships:

Linux Mint is proudly sponsored by:

Platinum Sponsors:
Private Internet Access
Gold Sponsors:
Linux VPS Hosting
Silver Sponsors:

Acunetix
Sucuri
Bronze Sponsors:
Vault Networks *
AYKsolutions Server & Cloud Hosting
7L Networks Toronto Colocation *
Goscomb
BGASoft Inc
David Salvo
Community Sponsors:

 

Donations in January:

A total of $10,907 were raised thanks to the generous contributions of 498 donors:

$544, Pascal S.
$218, George B.
$218, Renato R.
$150 (22nd donation), Wolfgang P.
$109 (2nd donation), Antonio T.
$109, Marcus H.
$109, Stephanie D.
$109, Nikolai K.
$100 (10th donation), Samson S. aka “Samtastic”
$100 (9th donation), Philip W.
$100 (4th donation), Sean O.
$100 (2nd donation), John T.
$100, David J.
$100, Ronald O.
$100, Jeffrey C.
$100, Clark V.
$100, Jan-erik Ö.
$100, Glenn S.
$100, Nicholas R.
$100, Nicolas S.
$100, Bc B.
$87, Tilman K.
$75 (4th donation), John M.
$65, Joachim K.
$60, Björn K.
$54 (4th donation), Hans-georg T.
$54 (2nd donation), C J. V.
$54 (2nd donation), Marco G.
$54, Enzo P
$54, Victor S.
$54, Polinices-CAT
$54, Robert M.
$54, José L. R. P. aka “NoisyDad”
$54, Arttu H.
$50 (23rd donation), Anthony C. aka “ciak”
$50 (7th donation), Thomas T. aka “FullTimer1489”
$50 (6th donation), Stephen A.
$50 (5th donation), Michael K. S.
$50 (4th donation), Wade T.
$50 (2nd donation), Risto S.
$50 (2nd donation), Rob U.
$50 (2nd donation), 진구 봉
$50, Martin B.
$50, Regis F.
$50, JR
$50, Shilpa R.
$50, Roberto L. P.
$50, Joseph N.
$50, Stacey F.
$50, Gilles G.
$50, Michael B.
$50, Gary H.
$50, Peter P.
$50, Michael K.
$50, Vivian Z.
$50, Charles W.
$50, Katherine S.
$50, Erwin D.
$50, Claus M.
$50, H. J. M.
$50, Aris A.
$45 (2nd donation), Samuel R.
$45, William D.
$45, Paul S.
$45, Dale K.
$44, Paul G.
$44, Erwin Lammenett eCommerce Berater
$40 (4th donation), Roberto O. L.
$40 (2nd donation), Northern Mike
$40, Robert T.
$35 (3rd donation), Cristian P.
$35, Martin D.
$35, Thomas S.
$33 (95th donation), Olli K.
$33 (6th donation), Tomas S.
$33 (3rd donation), Andrew L.
$33 (3rd donation), Florentino A. P.
$33 (2nd donation), Eusebio G. G.
$33, Anton M.
$33, Robert K.
$33, Tim F.
$33, Wouter W.
$30 (5th donation), Nasser Bader aka “VIRUS
$30 (2nd donation), Nigel T.
$30 (2nd donation), Brian H.
$30 (2nd donation), Griffin C.
$30, Elizabeth D.
$30, Aminah B.
$30, Justin P.
$30, Dennis J.
$30, Neil C.
$30, Chris S.
$30, John H.
$27 (7th donation), Douglas T.
$27 (6th donation), Roger D. P. aka “Linux Users Group Monitor Niel
$27 (3rd donation), Erwin v K. aka “Erwin vK”
$27 (3rd donation), Andreas M.
$27 (2nd donation), Heinrich S.
$27 (2nd donation), Jacobus J. A.
$27 (2nd donation), David A.
$27, Emil S. U.
$27, Thomas N.
$27, Christian S.
$27, Frank R.
$27, Ronny D.
$27, Thomas B.
$26 (2nd donation), Timo R.
$25 (78th donation), Ronald W.
$25 (5th donation), Frances K.
$25 (5th donation), Larry Jones aka “LarryJ2
$25 (4th donation), Lennart J.
$25 (3rd donation), Roy V. K.
$25 (2nd donation), John V.
$25, Nicholas M.
$25, Kirk S.
$25, Carlos Q.
$25, Kenneth C.
$25, Mattias A.
$25, Pantaleon C.
$25, Jerson F.
$25, Dickie L.
$25, Paul F.
$25, David M.
$25, Andrew Z.
$25, William B.
$25, Andrew P.
$25, Viv H.
$25, Gabriel S.
$25, Mark C.
$25, Retrojunkie’s
$25, Dean W.
$25, Allan M. aka “trini64”
$23, Toralv C. L.
$22 (12th donation), Derek R.
$22 (5th donation), Michael S.
$22 (4th donation), Gabriele Bandini aka “GiBi Gab
$22 (3rd donation), Elisabeth K.
$22 (3rd donation), Rossella C.
$22 (3rd donation), Martin W.
$22 (2nd donation), Sebastian R.
$22 (2nd donation), Reinhold L.
$22 (2nd donation), Frank G.
$22 (2nd donation), Rob B.
$22, Matthias B.
$22, Sebastian S.
$22, Bert D. B.
$22, John K.
$22, Jean-paul Q. aka “mammoutux
$22, Magne A. E.
$22, William A.
$22, Matthias V.
$22, Giorgi M.
$22, Pierre-emmanuel V.
$22, Johannes T.
$22, Leiv O. B.
$22, Roberto M.
$22, David M.
$22, Wolfgang K.
$22, Milli F.
$22, Eckhard L.
$22, Robert H.
$22, Karl K.
$22, Günter C. K.
$22, Simone F.
$22, Bernd W.
$22, Peter S.
$20 (6th donation), Andy N.
$20 (5th donation), Justin Oros
$20 (5th donation), Robert K.
$20 (4th donation), Peter R.
$20 (3rd donation), Benjamin P.
$20 (3rd donation), Jeff M.
$20 (3rd donation), Ian M.
$20 (3rd donation), Steven C.
$20 (2nd donation), WL aka “blewtiga001”
$20 (2nd donation), Edmond U.
$20 (2nd donation), GrowthPath Pty Ltd
$20 (2nd donation), Ross C.
$20 (2nd donation), M. H. .
$20 (2nd donation), L. W.
$20 (2nd donation), Derek B.
$20, Andrew F.
$20, Блинов Р.
$20, Larry J.
$20, Joseph D.
$20, George V.
$20, Robert P.
$20, Ralph B.
$20, Thomas C.
$20, Norman J.
$20, Ted J.
$20, A P. B. aka “AnnieB”
$20, Anthony C.
$20, July Z.
$20, Thomas B.
$20, Steven B.
$20, Thomas D.
$20, Mads H. S.
$20, Michael P.
$20, William D. B.
$20, Ron C.
$20, John S.
$20, Beat H.
$20, Lance M.
$20, Edwin M.
$20, James R.
$20, Wayne B.
$20, Maria M.
$20, Jason B.
$19.21, Timothy A.
$19 (3rd donation), Candelario E. aka “CE”
$18.44, David S.
$18.3 (11th donation), Anton W. aka “redant
$18.2 (10th donation), Anton W. aka “redant
$18.2 (9th donation), Anton W. aka “redant
$16 (13th donation), Francisco L. D. A.
$16 (4th donation), Antonio aka “pengu73”
$16, Marc A.
$16, Francesc M. C.
$16, Jean-francois L.
$16, Kristinn S.
$16, Wladimir B.
$16, Mirco U.
$16, Peter L.
$15 (15th donation), Stefan M. H.
$15 (4th donation), G&A
$15 (3rd donation), Kirk W.
$15 (3rd donation), Marius G.
$15, Lal C.
$15, Niklas P.
$15, Toni S.
$15, Rodrigo P. G.
$15, Joshua J.
$15, Don B.
$13 (21st donation), Anonymous
$13, Lukas S.
$13, Thorsten K.
$13, Frank R.
$12 (82th donation), Tony C. aka “S. LaRocca”
$12 (28th donation), JobsHiringnearMe
$12 (14th donation), Jim A.
$12 (12th donation), Johann J.
$12, Jiri K.
$11 (7th donation), Ray
$11 (6th donation), Roy S.
$11 (6th donation), Marc V. K.
$11 (6th donation), EB
$11 (5th donation), Alan B.
$11 (5th donation), EB
$11 (4th donation), Alexander Lang
$11 (3rd donation), Alessandro L.
$11 (3rd donation), Michiel B.
$11 (3rd donation), Davide A.
$11 (2nd donation), H&R Project
$11 (2nd donation), Florent V.
$11 (2nd donation), auto-platz
$11 (2nd donation), Andrea M.
$11 (2nd donation), Justo G.
$11 (2nd donation), Lotte
$11 (2nd donation), Nils B.
$11 (2nd donation), John O.
$11 (2nd donation), ccm
$11 (2nd donation), M. B. .
$11 (2nd donation), Slobodan Vrkacevic
$11 (2nd donation), Uwe K.
$11, Rafael M. C.
$11, Thanasis S.
$11, Patrik H.
$11, Francesco G.
$11, Oliver E.
$11, Georgios F.
$11, Fabian K.
$11, anonymous
$11, Miguel Á. M.
$11, José D. B. M.
$11, Jürgen K.
$11, Roman S.
$11, Axel D.
$11, Burkhard A.
$11, Long-hai L.
$11, Willem G. D. L.
$11, Luis M. M. I.
$11, Antonin L.
$11, Frederik K.
$11, B.S Andras Levente aka “Țuți”
$11, Stefano B.
$11, Stefan W.
$11, Philippe T. D. M.
$10 (26th donation), Thomas C.
$10 (17th donation), Frank K.
$10 (17th donation), Paul O.
$10 (10th donation), Terrance G.
$10 (7th donation), Jerry G.
$10 (5th donation), Eskild T.
$10 (4th donation), Neil E.
$10 (4th donation), Joseph L.
$10 (4th donation), Paul K.
$10 (4th donation), David W.
$10 (4th donation), hotelsnearbyme.net
$10 (3rd donation), Michael B.
$10 (3rd donation), Peter L.
$10 (3rd donation), William C.
$10 (3rd donation), Roy D.
$10 (3rd donation), Abigail M.
$10 (3rd donation), Geekoutdoors
$10 (3rd donation), Syed M.
$10 (3rd donation), Xavier Viader Ricós
$10 (2nd donation), James C.
$10 (2nd donation), Renato S.
$10 (2nd donation), Laurence C.
$10 (2nd donation), S K.
$10 (2nd donation), Michael G.
$10 (2nd donation), Erland Ö.
$10 (2nd donation), Alan B.
$10 (2nd donation), Wayne H.
$10, Pablo B.
$10, Douglas N.
$10, P Harder
$10, Mike W.
$10, Garrett R.
$10, Mark Goodson Associates Ltd
$10, Minnigaliev R.
$10, Barry L.
$10, Jacques H.
$10, Alejandro B. S.
$10, Roger H.
$10, Terry H.
$10, James B.
$10, Erick A. A. P.
$10, Eric G.
$10, Mukai N.
$10, Daniel E.
$10, James C.
$10, Yu D.
$10, Roberto R.
$10, Richard L.
$10, Niladri K.
$10, William R.
$10, Todd S.
$10, Peter L.
$10, Paulo Villi
$10, Harold S. F.
$10, Daniel W.
$10, Jere S.
$10, Geoffrey P.
$10, Ron N.
$10, Patrick V. R.
$10, Benoist P.
$10, Chocobo aka “LinuxMint.Com.RU
$10, Richard S.
$10, Якунин С.
$10, Howard K.
$10, Scott O.
$10, Cary V.
$10, Ric D.
$9 (3rd donation), M. H. .
$9 (3rd donation), Michael H. S.
$9, Ricardo
$8, Didier F.
$8, Sebastian C. S.
$7 (4th donation), RexAlan
$6.85, Howard V. D. W.
$6, Roberto A. H. S.
$6, Graham R.
$5 (20th donation), Eugene T.
$5 (17th donation), Todd A aka “thobin”
$5 (16th donation), Jens-uwe R.
$5 (12th donation), Bhavinder Jassar
$5 (9th donation), Dmitry P.
$5 (8th donation), Olaf B.
$5 (8th donation), J. S. .
$5 (7th donation), Blazej P. aka “bleyzer”
$5 (6th donation), Klaus Heckenbach
$5 (5th donation), Laura NL aka “lauranl
$5 (4th donation), Pierre G.
$5 (4th donation), Sergeev A.
$5 (4th donation), Martín P. D. L. G.
$5 (4th donation), Scott L.
$5 (3rd donation), Richard A.
$5 (3rd donation), Michael Chen
$5 (3rd donation), Joseph G.
$5 (3rd donation), Marco B. aka “SecretDungeon
$5 (2nd donation), Gleb from Paderborn
$5 (2nd donation), Peter G.
$5 (2nd donation), Thomas P.
$5 (2nd donation), Marco S.
$5 (2nd donation), ArtGirl
$5 (2nd donation), M. J. .
$5 (2nd donation), Dan K.
$5, Mario C. S.
$5, Sean C.
$5, Justin K.
$5, Logan B.
$5, Dell Laptops & Computers
$5, Antoine L.
$5, Marco A.
$5,
$5, Daniel D.
$5, Marcus A.
$5, Sharafutdinov F.
$5, Thierry Humphrey aka “thyhum
$5, Frank L. J.
$5, Ronald C.
$5, Mika Ruohomäki aka “Bertta
$5, Apostolos M.
$5, Tom G.
$5, Valerii L.
$5, Maurizio C.
$5, Mike R.
$5, Nicholas S.
$5, Sevil A.
$5, Julia K.
$5, Marcos E. S.
$5, Nikola D.
$5, Joel S.
$5, Dimitrios K.
$5, Victor K.
$5, Stephen T.
$5, Fábio N.
$5, Nino
$5, Tomasz R.
$5, Anon
$5, Terence V. R.
$5, Dominique M.
$5, Jan Miszura
$5, Matej
$5, Juan C. B. A.
$5, Marek A.
$5, Georg F.
$4.5 (2nd donation), Arc Helmets
$4, Frederick Z.
$3 (6th donation), selle dressage a vendre
$3 (2nd donation), Alex W.
$3 (2nd donation), Darin aka “mechonster”
$3, Vincent H.
$3, darkfenix
$3, Cássio G. M.
$3, David U.
$3, Giuliano L.
$3, Christopher P.
$2.5 (11th donation), David Y.
$73.22 from 57 smaller donations

If you want to help Linux Mint with a donation, please visit http://www.linuxmint.com/donors.php

Rankings:

  • Distrowatch (popularity ranking): 2781 (1st)
  • Alexa (website ranking): 3592

Hello everyone.

Things are very exciting for us at the moment. This is the start of a new year, we’re working on two new bases (Ubuntu 18.04 for Linux Mint 19 and Debian 9 for LMDE 3) and rather than diving straight into the development cycle, and working on fixing bugs and developing new features, we’ve taken some time off to improve our infrastructure, our documentation and the way we work.

Before we dive into that, we’d like to thank all the people who donated to us: Neil V. in particular for donating $4,000, and the 653 other people who donated to us this December. We’ve never received as much in a single month, we’ve never received as much from a single donation, and we’ve never received donations from as many people in a single month before. So we’re extremely humbled, and extremely proud of us, and of you, and happy to see your enjoyment and your response to what we do. This is really amazing.

Continuous integration

This might sound a bit technical. If you don’t understand it, it’s OK… we are starting to use new tools and technologies which greatly empower us and make it easier and faster for us to accept code contributions, build packages and guarantee quality for all our releases and the projects we maintain.

To give you an idea, when somebody contributed a complex code change to one of our projects, we had to test that change and build the project in Linux Mint and in LMDE to make sure everything was fine. We’re now using tools which do this automatically for us.

We are now using continuous integration to automate testing on Github. Every single commit, every single pull request automatically triggers a build in Linux Mint 18, Linux Mint 19 and LMDE 3. If the build fails in any of these environments, we can see it straight from Github.

This allows us to merge some of the pull requests much faster than before.

Debian packages are now also built automatically for each new commit.

Going forward we’ll probably start using continuous integration to also perform unit and functional tests.

Static code analysis

Source code is also now scanned for every commit and pull request, against various linters and analyzers.

Static code analysis doesn’t detect everything, but it can detect potential issues and thus prevent some potential bugs from ever happening at all.

Again, when something is wrong, it appears automatically on Github, so we can see it before merging anything.

Pre-alpha ISO and build environments

We’ve made ourselves a pre-alpha ISO for Linux Mint 19 and build environments for Linux Mint 19 and LMDE 3. This allows us to work on GTK 3.22 and easily build packages for our next releases.

We also greatly improved our build tools. Cross-compiling a github project is now a single command. We’ll talk more about this next month, hopefully when the Linux Mint Developer Guide is ready.

Important system changes in Cinnamon

Cinnamon went through important changes:

  • A migration from Python 2 to Python 3
  • A migration from mozjs38 to mozjs52 (which was ported to LMDE 3)
  • The ability to set the date and time and synchronize it via the network with Systemd

That last point should allow Linux Mint and LMDE to no longer ship with NTP.

Bug squashing strategy

We had to completely review our bug squashing strategy. It just didn’t work anymore. It was inconsistent, with some bugs in Github and some bugs in Launchpad. It wasn’t documented so it wasn’t clear what we expected. We were crawling under the numbers… a massive amount of bugs (5,000 in Launchpad, 2,500 in Github), many of them not leading to actual work, fixes or improvements, just there to be processed, with a team of developers afraid to say no and to close issues, and this number getting in the way of actually seeing and tackling some important issues, some of them really easy to work on.

These reports will be processed, all of them. We’re not throwing it all away and starting from scratch with a blank sheet and the same old strategy. We’re keeping them all and redefining our strategy from scratch, this time with a strong focus on expectation, goals and efficiency.

First, we’ve put the software at the center. If a bug report isn’t likely to improve the software, it has no reason to be. Bug reports are there for us to work on, not for us to ignore, or leave open for years based on the fact that they are good ideas or point at valid issues. If something isn’t turning quickly into an improvement, we should close it.

Second, we can’t have expectations without documentation. We now benefit from having a Linux Mint Troubleshooting Guide. This guide explains how to troubleshoot issues, what a bug is and what it isn’t, and how to report bugs.

Third, we’ve set up new teams and bug squashing tools. We now have three formal teams:

  • The Cinnamon Development Team consists of 11 people and handles all components related to Cinnamon
  • The Xapp Development Team consists of 4 people and handles all cross-distribution components (xapp, xplayer, pix, xed, xreader, xviewer but also blueberry, pia-manager, slick-greeter etc..)
  • The Linux Mint Development Team consists of 6 people and handles everything else

Each team has full permission over the components it maintains on Github and a Waffle board to quickly process new issues.

We still have a huge backlog when it comes to bug reports but these new tools, this new strategy and the documentation don’t hold us back anymore. We’re confident we’ll see that backlog shrink over time and it certainly won’t grow bigger.

What’s next

Adopting new technologies and new tools takes time but when these tools are great, it makes a huge difference in the long term. Git and Slack helped us tremendously in the past. Recently, we started using ReadTheDocs, Docker, CircleCI, Waffle and Codacy. There’s one more thing we’re hoping to embrace before we dive into the next development cycle: The Meson build system. Most of our projects use autoconf. Moving to Meson could simplify and speed up compilation, make it easier to maintain and more exciting for developers to use. We’re looking at it at the moment and considering if and how we can use it.

Another important project is documentation. We’ve written three guides so far. We’re planning to write a Developer Guide next, and a Security Guide. Some of the feedback we got from the Spectre and Meltdown security announcement highlighted the fact that many people in our community were confused and didn’t know enough about security. We’ll vulgarize important concepts, cover system snapshots, emphasize the importance of applying security updates, and we’ll document some aspects (such as 2FA authentication or the principle to not run 3rd party software)  which despite not being directly related to Linux Mint are extremely important for users to understand.

We wished we had these two guides written already. We can’t wait to provide you with more documentation and we should be able to announce them shortly.

Sponsorships:

Linux Mint is proudly sponsored by:

Platinum Sponsors:
Private Internet Access
Gold Sponsors:
Linux VPS Hosting
Silver Sponsors:

Acunetix
Sucuri
Bronze Sponsors:
Vault Networks *
AYKsolutions Server & Cloud Hosting
7L Networks Toronto Colocation *
Goscomb
BGASoft Inc
David Salvo
Community Sponsors:

 

Donations in December:

A total of $20,459 were raised thanks to the generous contributions of 654 donors:

$4000 (2nd donation), Neil V.
$500, The OpenNMS Group
$500, Mark O.
$218 (6th donation),
$200, Sarbojeet S.
$150, Dave P.
$120, Peter K.
$113 (2nd donation), James R.
$109 (11th donation), Goran A.
$109 (3rd donation), Servconsultit S.
$109 (2nd donation), Lutz J.
$109 (2nd donation), Roland L.
$109 (2nd donation), Uwe P.
$109 (2nd donation), Jan S.
$109 (2nd donation), Jürgen A.
$109, Mathias M.
$109, Mario H.
$109, Mathias G.
$109, Karl T.
$109, Daniel M.
$105 (4th donation), Stefan S.
$100 (6th donation), Pasi K.
$100 (4th donation), Christophe Caillé aka “KKY”
$100 (4th donation), martywd
$100 (3rd donation), Randall H.
$100 (3rd donation), Brennan H.
$100 (3rd donation), Matt S.
$100 (2nd donation), Doug S.
$100, Harold T.
$100, Robert E.
$100, Des Éléphants et des Hommes
$100, Jim P. aka “in memory of Keith P.”
$100, Eric S.
$100, Peter H.
$100, Stephen J. K.
$100, Viacheslav P.
$100, Steve M.
$80, Damien S.
$75 (10th donation), Doug L.
$75, Ken B.
$75, Lloyd I.
$65 (2nd donation), Bernhard S.
$65 (2nd donation), Michael S.
$65, Marie-line R.
$60 (4th donation), Martin R.
$60 (3rd donation), Stephen B.
$54 (5th donation), More Linux
$54 (3rd donation), Paul S. E. aka “Paul”
$54 (3rd donation), Derek L.
$54 (3rd donation), Martin K.
$54 (2nd donation), Linus K.
$54 (2nd donation), Rosanna & Alex
$54 (2nd donation), Ludovic M.
$54 (2nd donation), David B.
$54 (2nd donation), Florian P.
$54 (2nd donation), Rhydwen V.
$54, Barbara B.
$54, Matti D.
$54, Edwin S.
$54, Ricotier Y.
$54, Johan H.
$54, Emir E.
$54, Gabor L.
$54, Helmut L.
$54, Gert-jan B.
$54, Erika O.
$54, Harald E.
$54, Thomas H.
$50 (17th donation), Philippe W.
$50 (8th donation), George H.
$50 (7th donation), Jason H aka “jaszhix
$50 (6th donation), Thomas T. aka “FullTimer1489”
$50 (6th donation), Adam H.
$50 (6th donation), Warren A.
$50 (6th donation), ranti
$50 (5th donation), Anonymous User
$50 (3rd donation), David S.
$50 (3rd donation), George H.
$50 (3rd donation), Holt D.
$50 (3rd donation), greerd
$50 (3rd donation), Walter W.
$50 (3rd donation), John M.
$50 (3rd donation), Kris J.
$50 (2nd donation), William G.
$50 (2nd donation), Ernie J.
$50 (2nd donation), James B.
$50 (2nd donation), Brian G — Sparky Geek
$50 (2nd donation), Suliman Al Adwani
$50 (2nd donation), Sam B.
$50 (2nd donation), Michael H.
$50 (2nd donation), Ryan Cragun aka “rcragun
$50, Cale B.
$50, Daniel B.
$50, Harry H. I.
$50, Craig B.
$50, Michael M.
$50, Dale A.
$50, George D. N.
$50, Michael L.
$50, Andy G.
$50, Omar T.
$50, George Y.
$50, Robin S.
$50, George A.
$50, Gary K.
$50, Robert M.
$50, Dennis B.
$50, James T.
$50, David H.
$50, Ralph P.
$50, Frederic R.
$50, Raymond H.
$44 (2nd donation), Miss anon aka “Anonymous ”
$40 (3rd donation), Rod Hassler
$40 (3rd donation), Rodney S.
$40 (3rd donation), Brian B.
$40, Frank P.
$38 (3rd donation), Ian W.
$38, Tobias S.
$38, Erwin H.
$36, Tommi V.
$35, Willem G.
$34 (3rd donation), Rosalea R.
$33 (94th donation), Olli K.
$33 (4th donation), Matteo T.
$33 (3rd donation), Susanne E. W.
$33 (3rd donation), Jérémy Meunier aka “Cervolikid”
$33 (2nd donation), Jesse C.
$33 (2nd donation), Achillefs C.
$33 (2nd donation), Christiane F.
$33, Rainer G.
$33, Armin R.
$33, Anna U.
$33, Jean-luc M.
$33, Stefano W.
$33, aka “Yamaneko”
$33, Joachim J.
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Security updates are now available for Meltdown and Spectre.

Meltdown and Spectre exploit critical vulnerabilities in modern processors. These hardware vulnerabilities allow programs to steal data which is currently processed on the computer. While programs are typically not permitted to read data from other programs, a malicious program can exploit Meltdown and Spectre to get hold of secrets stored in the memory of other running programs. This might include your passwords stored in a password manager or browser, your personal photos, emails, instant messages and even business-critical documents.

Meltdown and Spectre work on personal computers, mobile devices, and in the cloud. Depending on the cloud provider’s infrastructure, it might be possible to steal data from other customers.

If you haven’t already done so, please read “Meltdown and Spectre“.

These vulnerabilities are critical. They expose all memory data present on the computer to any application running locally (including to scripts run by your web browser).

Note: Meltdown and Spectre also affect smart phones and tablets. Please seek information on how to protect your mobile devices.

Firefox 57.0.4

Firefox was patched. Please use the Update Manager to upgrade it to version to 57.0.4.

https://usn.ubuntu.com/usn/usn-3516-1/

https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/security/advisories/mfsa2018-01/

NVIDIA 384.111

If you are using the NVIDIA proprietary drivers, upgrade them to version 384.111.

In Linux Mint 17.x and 18.x, this update is available in the Update Manager.

In LMDE, it is available on the NVIDIA Website.

https://forums.geforce.com/default/topic/1033210/nvidias-response-to-speculative-side-channels-cve-2017-5753-cve-2017-5715-and-cve-2017-5754/

https://usn.ubuntu.com/usn/usn-3521-1/

Chrome Site Isolation

If you are using Google Chrome or Chromium, please follow the steps below:

  • Type chrome://flags in the address bar and press Enter.
  • Scroll down the page and find “Strict site isolation” and press the Enable button.
  • Restart the Chrome browser.

https://www.chromium.org/Home/chromium-security/ssca

Opera

If you are using the Opera browser, visit opera://flags/?search=enable-site-per-process, click Enable and restart Opera.

Linux Kernel

Please use the Update Manager to upgrade your Linux kernel.

The following versions were patched:

  • 3.13 series (Linux Mint 17 LTS): patched in 3.13.0-139
  • 3.16 series (LMDE): patched in 3.16.51-3+deb8u1
  • 4.4 series (Linux Mint 17 HWE and Linux Mint 18 LTS): patched in 4.4.0-108
  • 4.13 series (Linux Mint 18 HWE): patched in 4.13.0-25

Note: The current HWE series in Linux Mint 18 moved from 4.10 to 4.13.

Some users reported issues with early kernel updates (4.4.0-108 issues in particular were fixed since in 4.4.0-109). We strongly recommend you use Timeshift to create a system snapshot before applying the updates. Timeshift is installed by default in Linux Mint 18.3 and available in the repositories for all Linux Mint 17.x and 18.x releases.

https://security-tracker.debian.org/tracker/CVE-2017-5754

https://usn.ubuntu.com/usn/usn-3524-1/

https://usn.ubuntu.com/usn/usn-3522-2/

https://usn.ubuntu.com/usn/usn-3522-1/

Intel Microcode

Please use the Update Manager to upgrade intel-microcode to version 3.20180108.0.

Note: If intel-microcode isn’t installed on your computer, run the Driver Manager to see if it’s needed.

https://usn.ubuntu.com/usn/usn-3531-1/

Other Updates

Other updates should become available in the near future, make sure to often apply all security updates.

General Advice

Locally, you should backup your personal data and set up daily system snapshots (timeshift is recommended for that).

Check for available security updates often, and apply them as they become available. In your Update Manager these are marked with a red exclamation mark.

Review any sensitive information stored online.

Stay away from 3rd party applications, proprietary in particular and do not visit websites you don’t trust on devices which haven’t been patched.

Consider securing access to your important data (your email account in particular) with 2 factor authentication.