Ubuntu Business Desktop Remix Login

Ubuntu Business Desktop Remix is an edition of Ubuntu Desktop tweaked for use by institutional or business users. It was announced by Mark Shuttleworth, the founder of Ubuntu, in this blog post. The first release is based on Ubuntu 11.10 Desktop Live CD. So what is the difference between it and the end-user desktop Live CD edition?

According to Mark, the business edition “takes the most common changes we’ve observed among institutional users and bundles them into one CD which can be installed directly or used as a basis for further customization.” Those changes include removing “features like music players or games” and adding “components that are a standard part of their business workflow.”

That brings up this question: What is the penetration or adoption rate of Ubuntu Desktop in the business sector? I do not have the numbers, and Canonical has not released any, as far as I know, but given that Mark and Co. have had a rough going trying to persuade PC vendors to pre-load Ubuntu Desktop on personal computers sold to the public, I doubt that the adoption rate is significant. If true (I could be wrong, though), I do not thing that a separate desktop edition for business users will make any difference.

Here are reasons I think so, why Ubuntu Business Desktop Remix will be a tough sell to serious businesses, that is, those serious about protecting their assets and maximizing employee productivity?

Before we get to the reasons, here is the boot menu.
Ubuntu Business Desktop Remix Boot

Now, to the reasons:

  1. Businesses now routinely stipulate that mobile computers (notebooks, ultrabooks, netbooks, etc) issued to employees be secured with full disk encryption. The reason is simple: Full disk encryption protects the data stored on a computer form those not authorized to view or modify it, as happens when the computer is lost or stolen. For example, back in 2009, Intel began deploying full disk encryption on all laptops issued to employees, and within 12 months, 75% of those computers were protected with full disk encryption. I do not have the latest figures, but I am almost certain that it should be 100% today. Besides businesses, full disk encryption has been required on all laptops owned by the Federal government, the US government that is, since 2006 (pdf).

    But the problem with Ubiquity, the installation program of Ubuntu Desktop Live CD, which is the same one on Ubuntu Business Desktop Remix, is that it lacks support for full disk encryption. That is despite popular demand and a campaign by the Electronic Frontier Foundation to bring full disk encryption to Ubuntu Live CD. The only physical security feature supported by Ubiquity, is encryption of the user’s home directory, which in the context of this discussion, is useless. So, until full disk encryption is implemented in Ubiquity, I do not think that major business entities will even consider Ubuntu Desktop or Ubuntu Desktop Business Remix. This screen shot was taken while attempting to install Ubuntu Desktop Business Remix. If you have installed Ubuntu Desktop, it should be familiar to you.
    Ubuntu Business Desktop Remix Install

    Note: In most states in the USA, the law requires that the authorities be notified when a business computer containing personal identification data (social security number, driver’s license number, debit or credit card number, etc) is lost or stolen.

  2. Ok, the second reason might not be a show-stopper, but how many businesses do you think will issue a laptop to employees when the login screen has a guest session enabled? I do not know the answer, but I do know that is one “feature” that many end users want to disable after installing Ubuntu Desktop.
    Ubuntu Business Desktop Remix Login
  3. The final reason is the user interface, the desktop itself. I do not use Ubuntu, but since Unity became the graphical interface on Ubuntu Desktop, there has been an almost endless cry for Canonical to “stop this madness.” But like the developers of GNOME 3, Mark Shuttleworth and Co. have forged ahead, trying to redefine the Linux desktop backwards. Unlike the default GNOME 3 interface, which looks and feels bad no mater how many times you look at it or use it, Unity looks good at a first glance, until you start using it to do serious computing. Then you find out how badly it sucks. That is my experience. Maybe, businesses have had a different take. May be CEO’s have been urging their IT staff to deploy Ubuntu Desktop all over the place. Most of Europe could also be experiencing a heat wave right now. The screen shot below was taken from a new installation of Ubuntu Business Desktop Remix.
    Ubuntu Business Desktop Remix

If you are interested in taking Ubuntu Business Desktop Remix out for a test drive, download an installation ISO image from here. Note: Registration is required, and only a 32-bit edition has been released.

Related Post:  Ubuntu Tweak: The first app to install on Ubuntu 13.10

Share:

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on pinterest
Pinterest
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn

Hola! Did you notice that LinuxBSDos.com no longer runs network ads?  Yep, no more ads from the usual suspects that track you across the Internet.  But since  I still need to pay to keep the site running, feel free to make a small donation by PayPal.

Subscribe for updates. Trust me, no spam!

Mailchimp Signup Form

Sponsored links

1. Attend Algorithm Conference, a top AI and ML event for 2020.
2. Reasons to use control panel for your server.
3. DHgate Computers Electronics, Cell Phones & more.

32 Responses

  1. “Note this is not a graphical installer…”
    Ummm, yes, yes it is. You are using a “TUI”, a Textual UI. It is still “graphical” in the sense that the user chooses from a set menu of items and is guided through the process.

  2. Could you please explain the passage:

    “You might be tempted to select “Physical volume for encryption,” but the correct option is “Physical volume for LVM.”

    why is that ?

      1. Okay, I read all three pages.
        Maybe I’m dumb, but I don’t see how that makes a difference.

        As far as I understand, if I follow the instructions, it will be

        LVM partition -> encrypted volume -> LVM volumes

        However, if I specify the free space as physical volume for encryption, and THEN create an LVM on top of dev_sda#_crypt (the crypto volume that results from using free space as physical volume for encryption), wouldn’t it be like that:

        encrypted volume -> LVM -> LVM Volumes

        That is, essentially, the same ?

        P.S.:
        Just tried both in Lubuntu 12.04, and in both cases the LVM seems to end up on sda#_crypt…
        … but if I follow the tutorial to the letter, it is sda5_crypt for some reason, however, if I specify the free space as physical volume for encryption, and then specify the resultant sda#_crypt as place for LVM, the cryptovolume gets named sda2_crypt.

        No other difference seems to be present…

      2. So, not to be an obtrusive nosy person (I am obsessive, not obtrusive! ^_~), what are the benefits of “encryption -over- LVM” as opposed to “LVM -over- encrypted volume” ?

        Am I missing something big and obvious ?

        1. I think this is a case where the installer offers two different options that essentially do the same thing. No matter which one you select, the end result seems to be the same. Don’t sweat the small stuff, though it’s always good to get these things clarified.

  3. Hi, excellent tutorial!
    Can someone also confirm, that – if I understand this correctly – once the partition is encrypted, there’s no need to encrypt the home folder too?

    1. In a single-user system, encrypting /home after the disk has been encrypted does not really offer any meaningful security protection.

      You can, however, encrypt specific files and folders within your home directory. With that, you may then hide certain docs, so that if another person happens upon your computer when you are logged in and not around, the hidden files will remain inaccessible. But if you have the screenlock activated when you are logged in and not around, you wouldn’t have to worry too much about that.

      1. Thank you. So the only security hole with an encrypted LVM installation is that /boot is installed (& is unprotected) on the local drive. Any ideas (or a guide maybe) on how to properly install /boot on a USB thumb with encrypted LVM on the internal HDD?

        I tried setting the USB drive as the /boot while partitioning, set the bootable flag, tried to set filesystem to ext4, tried it with ext2 also, but whatever I do, after start up I get dumped to grub rescue (unknown filesystem). Obviously, BIOS is set to boot first from USB. At the rescue prompt I get
        set
        prefix=(hd0,msdos1)/grub
        root=hd0,msdos1
        ls
        (hd0) (hd0,msdos1) (hd1) (hd1,msdos1)

        Now it seems, that grub is trying to load root also from the USB thumb, whereas the LVM is installed on hd1,msdos1.

        (As a side note, why is it called ‘msdos’ – thought I got rid of Windows for good several years ago.)

        Any ideas on how to do this properly?

        1. You are obviously more paranoid (security conscious) than I am, which, btw, is a good thing, but “unprotected” /boot on the local drive is not such a big deal. I don’t think you can have it any other way, and I have not come across any case where a computer with an encrypted disk was compromised via /boot.

          There have been very recent cases in courts where defendants are being forced to surrender their encryption passphrases because persecutors could not decrypt the drive.

          Since you have /boot on a stick, the main system on the local drive, and the system is still trying to load main from the stick, you can edit GRUB to point main to the correct partition on the local drive.

          Just to be sure, hd0 is the local drive, and hd1, the USB stick, so “LVM is installed on hd1,msdos1” should not be a correct statement. Right?

          Since this is not something I have attempted before, I am not in a position to offer more practical advice on this, but it is an opportunity to try it myself. Let’s work on this together and see how we can make it work.

          1. Yes, let’s, as I’m quite determined to get this to work. Through e-mail this might be easier though, can you contact me @ geophey@mailcatch.com (don’t worry, it’s a disposable address) or directly to my registered one (if you can see it)?

          2. Well, I tried, and fedora works effortlessly, and with a GUI install. I haven’t found a way in Ubuntu yet.

          3. Trying to get this done with Ubuntu’s installer is a pain in the neck. Canonical needs to work on Ubuntu’s graphical installer and the ncurses installer. They should take a break from trying to redefine the desktop and work to improve the installers.

  4. Hi there, great tutorial.
    I’ve followed it like it says, but instead used the language “Portuguese From Brazil” to install.
    And when I get to the login in gnome, it doesn’t work the login.
    It just get blank, and apparently won’t start gnome.(it show at the start a the update window, and other options, but they are all with strange unicode data, it show symbols instead of special characters).
    When I loged in as root(from grub) and got to the /home/user folder it shows also the folders with this symbols instead of the regular characters.

    Is this a known bug for encrypting the hole OS or could it be because I’m running in a VM?(using virtual box).

    Thanks, and sorry for the bad english

      1. Yeah, it’s that.
        I instaled the en-us version and no errors at all.
        Can I just ask you guy one more question?
        My gf is trying a dual boot (xp and ubuntu) but wanted a file partition that is accessible from both OS.
        In the installation she divided the home in half and made a new FAT32, but in the mount point we got a little trouble… in the end she let the mount point as /windows.
        Is this the right way to do so?

        Thanks for the fast answer

  5. Thanks for the clear and consise tutorial, most helpful. There were a couple of screens which were not featured but I was able to guess that bit! Just waiting for it to install now! 🙂

  6. Wow, very nice tutorial finid. It worked pretty flawlessly for Kubuntu 11.10 b2, though the alternative install CD evidently must actually be burned to physical CD, as USB live install couldn’t seem to get past the fact that I was installing to my HDD. Thanks again!

  7. If i want create a logical volumen with two physical volumes i need to create two passwords. Is posible create an group volumen before encrypt ?

    I’m sorry for my english. Thanks !

    1. I’ve not investigated that use case, but if you refer to the image 3, counting from the top, on page 2 of the article, you are given the option to select one or more PVs to encrypt. I’m not sure about this, but I think if you have 2 PVs, the installer might allow you to specify just one password.

      Have you tried it?

  8. Very nice tuto!
    To bad that the current installation procces is already a bit different. I installed using your walk through several laptops last 2 weeks, and suprise, the new alternative cd i burned this week is different from the one from the week before, takes a few extra steps to compleet.
    Most importent, if installed on the end it asks if grub can be written on the disk, if i use a usb stick, it will write it automatically on the usb stick?!?!
    So i burned a new cd, problem solved.
    Also in the new installer there are 2 or 3 more screens where you have to say yes to writing the lv and the partitions on disk.

    thanks for the tuto!
    helped to make my life easier!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Get the latest

On social media
Via my newsletter
Mailchimp Signup Form

Partner links

1. Attend Algorithm Conference, a top AI and ML event for 2021.
2. Reasons to use control panel for your server.
3. DHgate Computers Electronics, Cell Phones & more.
Hacking, pentesting distributions

Linux Distributions for Hacking

Experts use these Linux distributions for hacking, digital forensics, and pentesting.

Categories
Archives

The authors of these books are confirmed to speak during

Algorithm Conference

T-minus AI

Author was the first chairperson of AI for the U.S. Air Force.

The case for killer robots

Author is the Director of the Center for Natural and Artificial Intelligence.

Why greatness cannot be planned

Author works on AI safety as a Senior Research Scientist at Uber AI Labs.

Anastasia Marchenkova

An invitation from Anastasia Marchenkova

Hya, after stints as a quantum researcher at Georgia Tech Quantum Optics & Quantum Telecom Lab, and the University of Maryland Joint Quantum Institute, I’m now working on superconducting qubit quantum processors at Bleximo. I’ll be speaking during Algorithm Conference in Austin, Texas, July 16 – 18, 2020. Meet me there and let’s chat about progress and hype in quantum computing.