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This page contains the release notes for each FreedomBox version.

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= Release notes for the FreedomBox project = ## BEGIN_INCLUDE

= Release Notes =

This page contains the release notes for each FreedomBox version.

Release Notes

This page contains the release notes for each FreedomBox version.

Version 0.5 (2015-08-07)

Notable Features

  • New targets: ?CubieTruck, i386, amd64

  • New apps in Plinth: Transmission, Dynamic DNS, Mumble, ikiwiki, Deluge, Roundcube, Privoxy
  • NetworkManager handles network configuration and can be manipulated through Plinth.

  • Software Upgrades (unattended-upgrades) module can upgrade the system, and enable automatic upgrades.
  • Plinth is now capable of installing ejabberd, jwchat, and privoxy, so they are not included in image but can be installed when needed.
  • User authentication through LDAP for SSH, XMPP (ejabberd), and ikiwiki.
  • Unit test suite is automatically run on Plinth upstream. This helps us catch at least some code errors before they are discovered by users!
  • New, simpler look for Plinth.
  • Performance improvements for Plinth.

1. freedom-maker

  • Add ability to set build and image mirrors separately
  • Updated installation instructions
  • Ability to set specific components based on targets
  • Add support for ?CubieTruck

  • Fix build failure during date change boundary
  • Disable btrfs for Raspberry Pi
  • Add support for building i386/amd64 images
  • Update documentation about the new targets
  • Corrected the git url for freedom-maker build
  • Use vmdebootstrap-0.8
  • Remove unneeded DHCP config option to vmdebootstrap

2. freedombox-setup

  • Setup uap0 interface on dreamplug, using hostapd to configure wifi AP.
  • Set HOME in first-run initscript so etckeeper can find the git config.
  • Beaglebone: Don't need to copy u-boot files to boot partition. freedom-maker will install it in front of boot partition.
  • Add initial support for cubietruck.
  • Remove pagekite recommendation as Plinth now takes care of its installation and setup
  • Redirect to Plinth from home page instead of showing jwchat
  • Migrate to dh_python3 from python-support
  • Use nmcli to setup network connections
  • Remove jwchat/ejabber setup as it is handle by Plinth
  • Remove LDAP root password and create ou=groups
  • Remove renaming of network interfaces as it does not work. Start using systemd's new predictable naming. Don't alter /etc/network/interface anymore.
  • Use network manager for configuring DNS and DHCP servers
  • Fix hang issue when building Raspberry Pi images
  • Remove privoxy setup as it happens in Plinth now
  • Configure PAM for LDAP user logins

3. Plinth 0.4.5

  • New app modules:
    • BitTorrent (Transmission)

    • Dynamic DNS
    • Voice Chat (Mumble)
    • Wiki & Blog (ikiwiki)

  • New system modules:
    • Networks
    • Software Upgrades
  • Add unit tests with coverage report and Travis-CI integration
  • Add systemd service file for Plinth
  • Use augeas to configure Pagekite
  • Use domainname as ejabberd host
  • Bugfixes for ownCloud and packagekit
  • Fixes for user dropdown menu when javascript is disabled
  • Simpler look

4. Plinth 0.5

  • New app modules:
    • BitTorrent (Deluge)

    • Email Client (Roundcube)
    • Web Proxy (Privoxy)
  • Use libnm for Networks module
  • Add support for testing Django-dependent modules
  • Plinth can now setup ejabberd and jwchat
  • Setup firewall zones for network-manager connections
  • Manage LDAP users and groups with ldapscripts package
  • LDAP user authentication is now used for XMPP, ikiwiki, and SSH
  • Fixes to cherrypy autoreload and remove unneeded extra server. Plinth now uses much less CPU.
  • Use django-stronghold for authentication handling
  • Bundle tests with applications; add Travis-CI status image to README
  • Move to using python3-augeas for Pagekite
  • Extend and use action utilities for enabling/disabling services and Apache confs
  • Fixed timezone list issue
  • Bind a Network connection to an interface
  • Many small cleanups

Version 0.3 (2015-01-20)

Notable Features

  • Tor Bridges: All boxes now act as non-exit Tor bridges, routing traffic for the Tor network.
  • Firewall: firewall is on by default and is automatically managed.

  • Add ?BeagleBone support. We now have images for ?BeagleBone, RaspberryPi, VirtualBox i386/amd64, and ?DreamPlug.

  • Ability to enable and use Tor Hidden Services. Works with Ejabberd/JWChat and ownCloud services.
  • Enable Tor obfsproxy with scramblesuit.
  • Drop well-known root password (an account with sudo capabilities still exists for now but will be removed soon).
  • Switch to unstable as suite of choice for easier development.
  • Newer images are built with systemd by default (due to Debian change).
  • Install and operate firewall automatically (uses firewalld).
  • Major restructuring of Plinth UI using Python3, Django web development framework and Bootstrap3. Code quality is much better and UI is more polished.
  • Introduced packaging framework in Plinth UI for on-demand application installation.

1. freedom-maker

  • Newer images use systemd by default
  • VirtualBox images for amd64 architecture also

  • Default to btrfs filesytem where supported
  • Images for ?BeagleBone

  • Use Grub for virtualbox images
  • Use eatmydata to speed up build process
  • Switch to Debian Unstable as suite of choice
  • Drop well-known root password (an account with sudo capabilities still exists for now)

2. freedombox-setup

  • Add ?BeagleBone support

  • Enable scramblesuite for obfsproxy
  • Enable obfsproxy
  • Updates to testsuite
  • Pull documentation from Wiki and build it
  • Enable Tor transparent proxy
  • Update tests in testsuite

3. Plinth 0.4.1

  • Ability to enable and see status of Tor Hidden Services.
  • Fully migrated to Django and removed all code that was re-inventing web frameworks.
  • Migrated to Python 3.
  • Ability to write and distribute Plinth modules outside of Plinth repository: FreedomBox Apps.

  • Improved security using Django authentication and forms.
  • Reorganized source code to look more like a Python application.
  • Use Python setup.py instead of custom Makefiles.
  • Setting up Plinth for development is easier.
  • Removed dependency on withsqlite package with help from Django models.
  • Removed duplicated code in Twitter bootstrap JS/CSS by depending on proper Debian packages.
  • Removed stubs and TODOish messages in UI in preparation of proper public (developer) release.
  • Code quality clean-ups.
  • Updated documentation on setting up and using Plinth from source.

4. Plinth 0.4.4

  • Update to Bootstrap3 and improve styling in general
  • Fix issue with Apache configuration
  • Improvements to working behind a proxy server
  • Introduce package management framework
  • Show progress bar while installing ownCloud
  • Tested JWChat/ownCloud on .onion addresses
  • Test coverage measurement
  • Rewamped first boot wizard
  • Proper user management with editing and setting passwords
  • Remove expert mode
  • Seperate out domain name vs. hostname configuration
  • Fix issues with ejabberd configuration update on hostname change
  • Fix issue with hostname changes
  • Debian packaging related fixes
  • Many bug fixes and code cleanups

5. Firewall

Firewall is a network security system that controls the incoming and outgoing network traffic. Keeping a firewall enabled and properly configured reduces risk of security threat from the Internet.

The operation of the firewall is automatic. When you enable a service it is automatically permitted in the firewall and you disable a service is automatically disabled in the firewall.

Automatic management of firewall in FreedomBox is handled by Plinth web user interface using FirewallD.

Version 0.2 (2014-03-16)

FIXME: fill in.

New Architectures

In addition to the ?DreamPlug, Raspberry Pi and VirtualBox (x86) images are now provided.

New Services

These services are new as of this release:

  • Configuration Management UI
  • Instant Messaging
  • OwnCloud

  • dnsmasq
  • Low-Level Configuration Management
  • Service Announcement
  • LDAP Server
  • LXC Support
  • Source Packages

See ?the user documentation for instruction on how to use them.

1. Configuration Management UI

The FreedomBox now has an administrative interface, Plinth.

To use it:

  1. Start your FreedomBox.

  2. After Plinth is configured, log in.

To configure it:

  1. Start your FreedomBox.

  2. Plug your Ethernet cable in to your computer and eth1 on your ?DreamPlug.

  3. Connect to Plinth.

  4. Set up the user name and password you'll use to log into Plinth.

2. Instant Messaging

The FreedomBox now supports instant messaging via XMPP, using JWChat.

To use it:

  1. Start your FreedomBox.

  2. Register a new Jabber account.

  3. Log in to your Jabber account.

3. OwnCloud

  • (with 4GB images)

(What is this? What is it for? How do we use it?)

4. dnsmasq

(What is this? What is it for? How do we use it?)

5. Low-Level Configuration Management

Etckeeper is now used for configuration management: after every major system operation, the system automatically takes a configuration snapshot so configuration changes can be reversed, as necessary.

6. Service Announcement

Avahi Service Announcement and mDNS Name Resolution.

(What is this? What is it for? How do we use it?)

7. LDAP server

(What is this? What is it for? How do we use it?)

8. LXC support

(What is this? What is it for? How do we use it?)

9. Source Packages

Source Packages for each installed package are now stored in the /usr/src/packages/ directory.

Changes since 0.1 release

  • The privoxy setup is now the default from Debian.

Version 0.1 (2013-02-26)

I am pleased to announce our first FreedomBox software release. The FreedomBox 0.1 image is available here (.torrent) (sha512sum: 867f5bf462102daef82a34165017b9e67ed8e09116fe46edd67730541bbfb731083850ab5e28ee40bdbc5054cb64e4d0e46a201797f27e0b8f0d2881ef083b40).

This 0.1 version is primarily a developer release, which means that it focuses on architecture and infrastructure rather than finish work. The exception to this is privoxy-freedombox, the web proxy discussed in previous updates, which people can begin using right now to make their web browsing more secure and private and which will very soon be available on non-FreedomBox systems. More information on that tool at the end of this post.

  • What have we accomplished?
    • This first release completes a number of important milestones for the project.
    • Full hardware support in Debian
      • A big part of the vision for the FreedomBox project revolves around the "Boxs", tiny plug servers that are capable of running full size computing loads cheaply and with little use of electricity. In many respects these are wireless routers given the brains of a smart phone. If you want to change the software on a router or smart phone today you normally need to worry about bootloader images, custom roms, and a whole collection of specialized build and install tools. We wanted to the FreedomBox to move beyond this fragmented environment and, with the help of some embedded device experts, we have managed to make our development hardware into a fully supported Debian platform. That means that anyone with a device can install Debian on it just like a laptop or desktop computer. This support is very important for ensuring that the work we do on the FreedomBox is as portable and reusable as possible.

    • Basic software tools selected
      • There is a lot of great free software out there to choose from and we put a lot of thought into which elements would be included in our basic tool kit. This includes the user interface system

        "plinth" that I outlined in a recent kickstarter update as well as basic cryptography tools like gpg and a one named "monkeysphere" that leverages gpg as an authentication tool. All of these are now bundled together and installed on the release image. This common working environment will simplify development going forward.

    • Box-to-box communication design
      • Some goals of the FreedomBox can be accomplished with one user and one FreedomBox but many, like helping someone route around repressive government firewalls, will require groups of people and groups of boxes working together. One of our greatest architectural challenges has been finding a way for boxes to communicate securely without so slowing down or breaking network access as to make the system unpleasant to use. We have now outlined and built the first version of our proposed solution: Freedom-buddy. Freedom-buddy uses the world class TOR network so that boxes can find each other regardless of location or restrictive firewall and then allows the boxes to negotiate secure direct connections to each other for actually sending large or time sensitive data. We believe this blended approach will be most effective at improving the security and usability of personal-server communications and all the services we plan to build into those servers.

    • Web cleaning
      • Our first service, a piece of software you can use today to start making your web browsing more secure and private, is called "privoxy-freedombox". This software combines the functionality of

        the [https://adblockplus.org/en/|Adblock Plus]] ad blocker, the Easy Privacy filtering list, and the (?HTTPS Everywhere) website redirection plugin into a single piece of software to run on your FreedomBox. Combining these different plugins into software for your FreedomBox means that you can use them with almost any browser or mobile device using a standard web proxy connection. Because of our focus on building the FreedomBox as part of Debian this software will soon be available to anyone running a Debian system regardless of whether you are using our target DreamPlug hardware, a laptop, or a large rack server somewhere. As you read this packages should already be available in the

        Raspbian repositories, which is the optimized version of Debian used on the Raspberry Pi hardware. Hopefully we will get that onto the main Debian mirrors over the next month; if you are interested in building it for yourself in the meantime, the source is available from gitorious. As we build additional components for the FreedomBox we will continue to work on making them widely available.

  • What is next?
    • As you may have seen, our Project Lead, Bdale Garbee, is about to begin a well earned

      early retirement from his long time role as Open Source & Linux Chief Technologist at Hewlett-Packard. Over the coming month Bdale and the rest of the Foundation team will be putting together plans for the next stage of FreedomBox development and the road to a 1.0 release. News and updates will follow at freedomboxfoundation.org (rss).









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