Linux This Month - AlmaLinux arrives, Podman 3.0, KaliLinux and Ubuntu Core 20

Alex Alex 12 March
Linux This Month - AlmaLinux arrives, Podman 3.0, KaliLinux and Ubuntu Core 20

In this episode, we're going to take a look at recent developments with AlmaLinux and Podman, and the arrival of Ubuntu Core 20, Kali Linux, 2021.1 and Firefox 86.0, let's take a look.

First up in the news. If you've been crying in your beer over the recent CentOS lifecycle announcement, well, you can stop. Cloud Linux recently announced the release of their AlmaLinux 8.3 release candidate. AlmaLinux is here to keep the original spirit of CentOS alive and fill an important role in the Linux universe. We'll take a closer look at what's been going on with AlmaLinux in our top stories. You'll want to check it out.

The Mozilla team has been hard at work and their efforts have produced a new release version. 86.0 was released on February 23rd. And it brings a number of new features, including picture and picture for viewing multiple videos, improved print functionality and total cookie protection. Total cookie protection assigned each website, its own cookie jar isolating cookies by site, which gives users enhanced site to site tracking protection.

In addition, version 86.0 brings a number of bugs and security fixes, including mitigation for the stack clash attack on Linux and Android.

Offensive security announced its first release of the year, Kali Linux 2021.1. If you're not familiar with Kali Linux it's okay. Kali is Debian and based distribution. That's aimed at security minded users focusing on digital forensics and penetration testing. We'll check out what's new with Kali Linux 2021.1 in our top stories. 

Canonical has released Ubuntu Core 20 they're lightweight container-based version of Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. This release targets IOT devices and embedded systems and features increased security via secure boot, full disk encryption and secure device recovery. Ubuntu Core is supported on x86 and arm, single board computers. You know, I'll be giving it a try.

The container world gets a bit better as the Podman team has released their next major version 3.0. Podman is a Containerless plus open source tool that makes it easy to find, run, build, share, and deploy applications using OCI containers and images. Now I want to take a deeper dive into Podman 3.0 in just a tick. Enough with the Highlights onto our Top Stories. 

We had a few big changes I'd like to explore. Those are Podmans 3.0 release and the arrival of Kali Linux 2021.1. But first the AlmaLinux developments.

AlmaLinux

The reason CentOS lifecycle announcement by Red Hat has a lot of users. The future with regard to operating system choice and has led to a lot of shopping around for a replacement. In the last episode of Linux This Month, Ross mentioned several potential distributions. You might want to consider as replacements for CentOS. And one was a forthcoming project from Cloud Linux. Well, cloud Linux is finally announced the availability of their AlmaLinux 8.3 release candidate, which was designed to be a drop-in replacement for CentOS 8.

AlmaLinux is targeting current CentOS users as well as those looking to migrate away from red hat enterprise Linux. Channeling cloud Linux is 10 plus years of experience of delivering their RHEL derived operating system, cloud Linux OS, which boasts over 200,000 installations with AlmaLinux. They're bringing the Linux community along for the ride with a governing board and a promise to keep all AlmaLinux free, open-source and supported through the year 2029.

The AlmaLinux team has been busy, not only delivering their CentOS replacement, but in spinning up the infrastructure and community around it. In addition to the analytics, 8.3 Release candidate being available, the script to migrate to all AlmaLinux from rallied is ready. The AlmaLinux mere list has had double digits third-party AlmaLinux AMI are available in the AWS marketplace and AlmaLinux is available from other cloud and hosting providers as well. Finally, the AlmaLinux repository is available on the open SUSE build service and the brand new AlmaLinux Reddit community boasts over a thousand members already. So point your browser over to AlmaLinux.org and get your hands on a copy of the release candidate.

Podman 3.0

The Podman team has also been hard at work delivering version 3.0 Podman, the new kid on the block and the container landscape. Podman is the default container engine that ships with the latest RHEL and fedora based distributions and is designed to be a drop-in replacement for Docker. But without the Damon. Podman makes it easy to find, run, build, share, and deploy applications using OCI containers and images and contains features that allow users to migrate containers to Kubernetes and system D.

New department 3.0 is Docker compose support, which can run against the Podman rest API. Docker compose functionality is seamless with Podman, with composed being completely unaware that it's using Podman. Compose requires route at this time, but plans are in place to allow rootless operation in future releases. So stay tuned. Podman 3.O also brings secure short name aliasing, which is enabled by default. Short name aliasing helps protect users from malicious container images by prompting users to confirm the location they are pulling the image from when they use an image's short name. This is only required the first time the images pull.

Additional fixes and improvements include improved Podman networking, a new version of builder, the companion utility to Padman that's used to create container images, a security fix for rootless Podman and more. Podman me 3.0 also dropped support for the legacy VAR link API, which was deprecated in Podman 2.0. Many additional features fixes and changes made their way into the 3.0 release. So be sure to check out the Podman 3.0 release information on GitHub.

Kali Linux 2021.1

Offensive security has kicked off 2021 right, with the release of Kali Linux 2021.1. Kali Linux is a favorite of the security crowd packed with security and penetration testing tools. A number of new items have been added to this release. Let's take a look just because Kali Linux is aimed at the more advanced crowd doesn't mean it can't be easy to use the addition of the command not found functionality to Kali Linux 2021.1 means that missing commands no longer return a "command not found" message, but include installation instructions to assist users.

So the answer to a missing command, isn't a problem, but a solution Kali Linux, 2021.1 gets a facelift as well with the default SFC desktop environment, getting a bump to version 4.16. And the alternate KTE desktop environment advancing diversion 5.20. Beauty is more than skin deep though with a number of terminal options undergoing calcification to extend the Kali Linux theme to the terminal. Kali Net Hunter, which is geared towards mobile penetration testing received an upgrade of the busy box engine and its associated tools have been upgraded as well.

Finally, Kali Linux 2021 has extended support on arm platforms, adding support for wireless on the popular raspberry PI 400 with Apple recently bringing the Mac into the arm universe, releasing new Macs, equipped with their M one processor and parallels being first to the game to add virtualization support on the M one platform. The Kali team is now offering installer and live ISOs to use with M one virtual machines. If you're lucky enough to have a new M one Mac grab parallels and the Kali ISOs and give it a try. 

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