Planet London Python

October 20, 2016

Steve Holden

October 19, 2016

Sylvain Hellegouarch

Ubuntu on a Dell XPS 15 9550

I have enjoyed using a Dell XPS 15 9550 for a few months now. Fantastic machine. When I got it, I tried to install Ubuntu 15.10 which utterly failed. Basically, I couldn’t even boot up the installation. I gave up and started monitoring threads on that subject.

Today is the release of Ubuntu 16.10 and I thought I’d give it a try once more. Well, good on me as it worked flawlessly! For those interested, here’s what I did:

  1. Updated, from Windows, the BIOS to 1.2.14 as well as the drivers for the Dell WD15 dock station (since I own one)
  2. Disabled the Secure Boot in the BIOS and rebooted
  3. Switched from RAID to AHCI from Windows drivers for the storage (really make a recovery disk just in case) following this link. Windows didn’t reboot after I changed the driver type from Device Manager. But, rebooting in safe mode, and then rebooting fixed that automatically somehow (see this comment). You have to switch to AHCI or Ubuntu will not see your storage during installation
  4. Next booted on my USB key and executed the installation process

That’s it!

Once installed and restarted, I could boot on both Linux and Windows fine. Once logged into my Ubuntu session, I installed the Nvidia drivers (367.57) via the Ubuntu driver utility, then Cinnamon because it handles HDPi automatically and I dislike Unity with a passion.

Everything has been working fine so far (natively without any tweaking):

  • HDPi on the 4K screen
  • Keyboard backlight
  • Touchscreen
  • Bluetooth
  • Wifi
  • Dual screen (HDMI)
  • Logitech C920

I haven’t tried yet or I’m not sure:

  • Hibernating
  • Sleep mode
  • the dock station (it was recognised but did not use it properly yet)


There is hope!

by Sylvain Hellegouarch at October 19, 2016 03:25 PM

October 18, 2016

Steve Holden

October 14, 2016

Steve Holden

October 13, 2016

Python Anywhere

Today's upgrade: improving websites, better security

This morning's system update went smoothly, and we've made a couple of great changes :-)

Improved website routing

This one should be pretty much transparent to you, but we've revamped the way we route requests for the websites that we host; this should speed things up for some people.

Noisy neighbours always cause problems, in the real world and on the Internet. When someone writes a website that hogs system resources on PythonAnywhere, sometimes it can impact other people who happen to be on the same server. Naturally, we monitor the system, and when we find a particularly badly-behaved website we notify its owner by email and ask them to fix it -- or in extreme cases, if it's causing serious problems, we shut it down. But that's far from ideal.

Today's update makes that all a lot better. We've given ourselves, the system administrators, fine-grained control over where websites run. So now, if we see a website that's causing slowdowns for other users, as well as notifying the owner so that they can fix it, we can move it right away onto a server where it won't impact other people. We're calling it "putting them in the sin bin"...

Security is important people have reminded us frequently in suspiciously-similar Tweets. And they're right! So we've implemented two-factor authentication, using Google Authenticator (or any other TOTP app). It's currently going through a short internal-only testing process (in other words, we've switched it on for our own accounts to see if it breaks anything) and if all is well, we'll provide it as an option for everyone next week.

On the subject of security, we've also fixed a couple of bugs: Nikhil Mittal reported a CSRF issue on PythonAnywhere that would have allowed an attacker who knew both your username and the internal database ID of one of your scheduled tasks to delete that task, if they tricked you into visiting a web page that they controlled while you were logged in to PythonAnywhere. It wouldn't have given the attacker access to any of your data, but it could have been really irritating, and we're glad it was reported so that we could fix it. Bug: fixed. Bug bounty: paid. Nikhil also reported some issues around our email confirmation system, which we've also fixed.

...and the rest

As always, we've put in a number of user interface tweaks, including fixing the print preview on IPython notebooks.

That's it!

Thanks for reading, and for using PythonAnywhere :-)

by giles at October 13, 2016 12:00 PM