Release notes: UBOS Linux update 2019-04-03 (green channel)


To upgrade

To be safe, first create a backup of all your sites to a suitable file, with a command such as:

  • sudo ubos-admin backup --out ~/XXX.ubos-backup

If you have any of the following packages installed, remove them:

  • sudo pacman -R smespath botocore amazons3

Then, update your device:

  • sudo ubos-admin update -v


Before upgrading on Amazon EC2, you need to update your instance’s kernel command line, otherwise the instance will fail to connect to the network upon reboot. Details see below.

What’s new

New functionality:

  • ubos-admin is now in color! (On terminals that support it.) That makes entering the correct information in commands such as ubos-admin createsite visually much simpler. It also makes it easier to distinguish between informational messages and errors emitted by ubos-admin.

  • A new design for backups has been implemented. This means that the command syntax for backups has changed slightly. It also means backups have become much more flexible, powerful and open to new protocols. In more detail:

    • The command ubos-admin backup now either takes the argument --backuptofile <file> or --backuptodir <dir>. The argument --out <file> has been removed. If a file is specified, the backup will be written to the file with that name. If a directory is specified, UBOS generates a filename for the backup, and saves the backup with that file name in the specified directory.

    • <file> and <directory> can be specified as local files and directories, but they can also have a URL-style protocol in front. For example, using --backuptofile with scp://user@example.com/mybackup.ubos-backup will cause UBOS to upload the backup to file mybackup.ubos-backup on host example.com, transferred using the scp protocol as remote user user.

    • To see which URL-style protocols are available on your device, run the (new) command ubos-admin list-data-transfer-protocols. The following protocols have been implemented so far: file (local files), ftp (traditional ftp), http (upload by HTTP POST or PUT), https (upload by HTTPS POST or PUT), scp (secure remote file copy), and sftp (secure ftp).

    • In addition, if you installed optional package ubos-datatransfer-rsync, you will also get rsync+ssh (rsync over ssh transport). If you install optional package amazons3, you will also get s3 (upload to Amazon Web Services S3).

    • The command ubos-admin backup-to-amazon-s3 has been removed, as the functionality is now handled by the normal ubos-admin backup with an s3: protocol.

    • If credentials are required for uploading a backup, UBOS will ask you for those credentials on the first time you run backup with a particular protocol to a particular destination. When you run the backup the second time, by default, UBOS will reuse the credentials you provided earlier. The same applies to many protocol-specific options, such as the “passive” option for ftp. These options are stored by destination, so if you regularly back up to two different destinations but with the same protocol (e.g. two different S3 buckets, or two ftp sites), UBOS will use the flags for that specific destination. This makes regular backups much simpler because you don’t have to remember the options that are needed for upload, or the specific credentials.

    • Regardless of destination or protocol, backups can now be encrypted simply by specifying the GPG encryption key to use with --encryptid <id>. By default, the GPG key chain of the shepherd user is used, but you can specify an alternate GPG home directory.

    • As you probably guessed from the above, under the hood, UBOS now implements a plugin architecture for “data transfer protocols” and knows how to perform backup over any such provided plugin. This makes it easy for us (and for you!) to plug-in additional data transfer protocols.

  • The command-line arguments for ubos-admin backupinfo and ubos-admin listsites have been made consistent.

  • ubos-admin createsite now requires that the administrator e-mail address uses a fully-qualified domain name (well, it needs to have at least one dot). This seemed to be the easiest solution to the problem that some apps (like Nextcloud) do not accept user e-mail addresses that refer to local hostnames without domain names.

  • ubos-admin createsite now requires administrator passwords that are at least 8 characters long.

  • During ubos-admin update, UBOS will now temporarily store exported database content in compressed form. This reduces the need for extra disk space during upgrades. Also, the restore algorithm was improved for higher speed in case of large databases.

  • During system upgrades with ubos-admin update, it is unavoidable that sites are temporarily unavailable. However, the duration during which they are unavailable has been reduced.

  • If you have a separate /ubos partition and it is formatted with btrfs, ubos-admin update will now also automatically snapshot that partition.

  • ubos-admin status output is now more readable.

  • There were a set of intermittent issues related to LetsEncrypt certificates, either with or without running Pagekite. The provisioning of LetsEncrypt certificates has been rewritten. Among other changes, UBOS now keeps valid LetsEncrypt certificates around, even if a site at the corresponding hostname has been undeployed. This avoids running into throttling problems with LetsEncrypt during certain system administration tasks.

Notable new packages:

New apps:

  • Matomo, an analytics application (formerly named Piwik)
  • Decko, an innovative Wiki platform (formerly named Wagn)

New accessories for Nextcloud:

  • nextcloud-bruteforcesettings: protect Nextcloud servers from attempts to guess user passwords in various ways
  • nextcloud-deck: kanban style organization tool aimed at personal planning and project organization for teams integrated with Nextcloud
  • nextcloud-files-rightclick: allows users and developers to have a right click menu
  • nextcloud-group-everyone: adds a virtual “Everyone” group.
  • nextcloud-groupfolders: admin configured folders shared by everyone in a group
  • nextcloud-passwords: allows you to store your passwords safely with Nextcloud
  • nextcloud-socialsharing-email: enable direct sharing of files via email, using shared links
  • nextcloud-socialsharing-facebook: enable direct sharing of files via Facebook, using shared links
  • nextcloud-socialsharing-twitter: enable direct sharing of files via Twitter, using shared links.

New accessories for Wordpress:

  • Pterotype and SEO

Other packages;

  • The GNU debugger: gdb
  • The PHP debugger: xdebug
  • The Node version manager: nvm
  • IPFS: go-ipfs

Notable package upgrades:

  • Docroot
  • Mediawiki and accessories
  • Nextcloud and accessories
  • Wordpress and accessories

There were approx 400 new or upgraded packages in total.

Fixes and improvements:

  • Various backup/restore issues were fixed. These had impacted primarily sites running Shaarli and Selfoss.
  • Nextcloud installations now set the admin e-mail address automatically
  • Nextcloud now shows memory info
  • DNSSEC is turned off by default for new installations, as it appears to be incompatible with many deployed DNS servers that don’t support it.
  • Resolves a character-set issue sporadically producing errors in the Nextcloud user interface.

Changes for developers:

  • Apps based on Node now need to package their own node runtime. More info is in the documentation </docs-yellow/developers/middleware-notes/nodejs.html>_.

Removed functionality

  • Nextcloud has been removed from the armv6h architecture. The Raspberry Pi Zero and One are simply not powerful enough to run Nextcloud, so there is no point.

Known issues

  • ubos-admin status emits some (harmless) errors under some circumstances.

  • If upgrading, if some packages are installed, they need to be uninstalled first: sudo pacman -R smespath botocore amazons3

  • Running Pagekite with ubos-admin start-pagekite on a device that runs a wildcard site (ie a site whose hostname was specified as *) may not forward the traffic correctly. Redeploy the site with its public hostname instead.

  • On Amazon EC2, the kernel command-line needs to be updated prior to an upgrade. Here are the steps:

    #. As root, edit file /etc/default/grub. Look for the line (towards the beginning of the file) that starts with GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT. Change the line to read:

    GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="nomodeset console=ttyS0,9600n8 earlyprintk=serial,ttyS0,9600,verbose loglevel=7 init=/usr/lib/systemd/systemd"

    Save the file.

    #. As root, execute: grub-install --recheck /dev/xvda

    #. As root, execute: grub-mkconfig -o /boot/grub/grub.cfg

    #. Now perform the update with: sudo ubos-admin update

Need help?

Post to the UBOS forum.