ISO Image Writer

ISO Image Writer is a tool I’m working on which writes .iso files onto a USB disk ready for installing your lovely new operating system.  Surprisingly many distros don’t have very slick recommendations for how to do this but they’re all welcome to try this.

It’s based on ROSA Image Writer which has served KDE neon and other projects well for some time.  This adds ISO verification to automatically check the digital signatures or checksums, currently supported is KDE neon, Kubuntu and Netrunner.  It also uses KAuth so it doesn’t run the UI as root, only a simple helper binary to do the writing.  And it uses KDE Frameworks goodness so the UI feels nice.

First alpha 0.1 is out now.

Download from https://download.kde.org/unstable/isoimagewriter/

Signed by release manager Jonathan Riddell with 0xEC94D18F7F05997E. Git tags are also signed by the same key.

It’s in KDE Git at kde:isoimagewriter and in bugs.kde.org, please do try it out and report any issues.  If you’d like a distro added to the verification please let me know and/or submit a patch. (The code to do with is a bit verbose currently, it needs tidied up.)

I’d like to work out how to make AppImages, Windows and Mac installs for this but for now it’s in KDE neon developer editions and available as source.

 

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Plasma 5.11 and Greater Kicked Off

The Plasma team had a mammoth 2.5 hour meeting to discuss some of the aspects of the Plasma releases going forward.  Much of the debate was around when to do an LTS release and we’ve gone with Plasma 5.12 due in January.  There will continue to be a couple of 5.8LTS releases in 2018 and more as necessary. We’re picking up 5.12 as an LTS at the request of openSUSE who wanted it for their next Leap release.  We also banned new features which might affect the Wayland port unless they’re already functional in Wayland.  Here’s the full list.

  • Stick to current schedule for Plasma 5.11, release Sep 21 2017
  • Plasma 5.8LTS to get 5.8.8LTS in April and 5.8.9LTS in October then become very strict update (security fixes only, no translations, releases as necessary)
  • Plasma 5.12 to be LTS on similar Fibonacci schedule as 5.8LTS, expected to require Qt 5.9, supported for at least 2 years
  • Schedule 4 month releases for 2018 to sync with frameworks
  • No more new workspace features that would need Wayland porting unless Wayland version is done first
  • bshah to create a meta 5.11 task and add features as dep to that one
  • bshah to poke people into filling out itemised To Do cards
  • Riddell to be kicked until adding openqa to Neon
  • Beta time to become three weeks
  • Promote https://community.kde.org/Plasma/Live_Images#Ships_Plasma_5.10_beta harder at beta time and nudge developers and contributors into running beta code
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Voted SNP and Jim Eadie in Edinburgh South General Election

There’s another election on Thursday called by a prime minister who thought she could increase her small majority in parliament and see off her rivals who will oppose her.  Except that’s politics, you have an opposition.  Theresa May’s dictatorial instinct has got worse during the campaign and she is now talking about removing human rights and banning encryption. She was home secretary for 6 years, in charge of MI5, GCHQ and English police, she has taken zero responsibility for the attacks that happened recently nor made the more valid point that there is nothing you can do to stop a determined person driving a van into people.

She was incharge of GCHQ which catalogues vulnerabilities in Windows and works with the NSA who create viruses used to attack systems in Iran (and probably elsewhere).  These viruses were used to blackmail everyone in the UK by blocking our health records and other systems.  There has been no political fallout from this which I’m astonished at.  The responsibility lies with Theresa May and she’s getting away with her incompetence.

But this election is primarily about one issue so important it has created its own ugly word, Brexit.  Our freedoms will be taken away.  I should have the freedom to go to Barcelona and Guadeloupe just as I would to Glasgow or London. That will be removed.  All the political parties have let us down by letting the isolationist nationalism of Brexit persuade people that somehow removing freedoms and mis-aligning regulations will improve their quality of life.  It will not.  Paperwork will increase, taxes will go up to pay for the bill, rights will be removed.  None of the parties have even vaguely said how they will pay for the EU bill or get their magic free-trade deal or why that’s a good thing without the necessary regulation.

The SNP is the only party offering a realistic alternative to Brexit.  An independent Scotland would continue with a strong relationship with rUK and the EU same as Ireland can.  We need a referendum and I’m looking forward to it.  London will try to block it in an undemocratic repressive move, a sign of things to come under a Tory government.

Labour want a hard Brexit same as the Tories.  They want to waste money on vanity projects like nuclear bombs same as Tories.  It is very pleasing to see the English get a genuine economic alternative for the first time in my adult life.  But it doesn’t forgive for their destructive Brexit nationalism.

The Lib Dems have the nonsense situation of wanting a second referendum on EU membership but not on Scottish independence.  They were government for 5 years in charge of GCHQ organising mass surveillance.  They aren’t liberal or democratic.

And the Greens don’t have a hope to win and will just split the vote.  The nonsense first-past-the-post system doesn’t make it sensible to vote for them (or ‘us’, I’m a member).

The Tories will win in the UK.  The SNP will win in Scotland.  The Tories will claim the SNP doesn’t have a mandate for a referendum despite already having one and everything will get very Catalan.  Ara es l’hora.

Modern elections are weird, they are won by spending thousands and millions on Facebook adverts which can target swing voters in swing constituencies.  The party (or referendum campaign) with the most money can buy the most adverts and wins.  Except for the SNP who win by offering the best choice, we can be proud of that.

 

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