Saturday, October 31, 2015

Is your team ready for UOS?

The Ubuntu Online Summit (UOS), 03-05 November 2015, is only a few days away.

Is your team ready to welcome, train, and integrate new volunteers inspired by UOS?

Has your team updated it's Find-a-Task roles for volunteers? It's easy to add or change your team's listings.

Find-a-Task is the Ubuntu community's job board for volunteers. Introduced in January 2015, Find-a-Task shows fellow volunteers the variety of tasks and roles available.

It's for everyone, new and old

UOS is one of the events that energizes the Ubuntu community. It is a great time for volunteers to change tracks, to try something new.

Your Find-a-Task roles should reflect that. Don't limit yourself to new enthusiasts. Your roles should welcome experienced members, too!

Improving Find-a-Task

Please share your suggestions to improve Find-a-Task during any of the UOS Community Roundtable sessions.
See you there!

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Point New Participants to Find-a-Task!

Find-a-Task is the Ubuntu community's job board for volunteers.

Introduced in January 2015, Find-a-Task shows fellow volunteers the variety of tasks and roles available.

Are you using Find-a-Task?

Volunteers can browse the many ways to contribute to Ubuntu, and choose their favorite. No hassle, no pressure, no sign-up, no commitment.

New enthusiasts don't know about Find-a-Task. (How could they?)
It only works if *you* encourage new volunteers to try it.

It's for new participants

Take a quick look, and see the variety of volunteer roles available. We have listings for many different skills and interests, including plenty of non-technical tasks.

It's also for longtime participants

Life moves on. Jobs and family and hobbies change.

Losing interest in your current role, or have less time for it? Renew the magic - use Find-a-Task to try something new and different!

Real friends don't let their mates burn out or drop off.  When you see a friend start to teeter or flame out, guide them to Find-a-Task and help them recover with a different role.

Adding Listings and Improving Find-a-Task

It's easy to add or change your team's listing.

Please share your suggestions to improve Find-a-Task on the ubuntu-community-team mailing list.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

CAC on Firefox using Ubuntu 15.04

After a couple years away form CAC on Linux, it's time to revisit how to install a DOD CAC reader for Firefox under Ubuntu 15.10.

Very good instructions are on the Ubuntu Help pages. This guide clarifies a few vague elements, and reorganizes the information to help you troubleshoot.

There are five simple steps:
  • Get an appropriate card reader
  • Install the card reader software (pcsd)
  • Test the card, reader, and software
  • Install cackey
  • Install the DOD certs and point Firefox to the card reader

The Firefox extension requires cackey, cackey requires pcsd, pcsd requires hardware to detect. We will follow best practice for Debian/Ubuntu and install the dependences first, in the right order.

Get A Card Reader

There's nothing to add here. The Ubuntu Help page says it all.

Install Card Reader Software

sudo apt-get install pcscd pcsc-tools

The key software you need is the pcsc daemon, and it's libpcsclite1 dependency. pcsc-tools is handy for testing the connection in the next step.

Test the card reader and software

Insert your CAC card and run:


As shown in the Ubuntu Help page, pcscd will clearly show you if your card reader and card are detected.

Install cackey

The cackey library provides access to the cryptographic and certificate functions of the CAC card.

1) You need to know if your Ubuntu system is a 32-bit or 64-bit install. Don't trust a sticker of what you remember - checking takes but a moment:

uname -i

If the result is 'i386' or similar, you are running a 32-bit system. Look for a download labeled 'i386'.
If the result is 'x86_64' or similar, you are running a 64-bit system. Look for a download labeled 'amd64'

2) There are two places to download the latest cackey package from: (CAC required) (non-CAC)

3) Download the latest cackey .deb package. Be sure to choose between 32/64 bit properly - the wrong package will happily install...but won't work.

4) Bug workaround for 64-bit only: Cackey tries to install to the /usr/lib64 directory, which probably doesn't exist on your system. Simply create it. This bug does not affect 32-bit users, who can safely ignore this entire paragraph.

5) Finally, install the downloaded cackey deb using the 'dpkg --install' command.

1) I'm running a 64-bit system.
3) I downloaded cackey_0.7.5-1_amd64.deb to my Downloads directory.
Then I installed the deb using:

sudo mkdir /usr/lib64        ## Step 4 - 64-bit bug workaround
sudo dpkg --install ~/Downloads/cackey_0.7.5-1_amd64.deb    ## Step 5

Install DOD Certificates and Point Firefox to the Card Reader

Happily, has a Firefox add-on that does all this for you!

1) Simply download the latest 'dod_configuration-X.X.X.xpi' file from (non-CAC).

2) Quit Firefox

3) Double-click on the dod_configuration-X.X.X.xpi file you downloaded (it might be in your Downloads directory). Firefox will restart, and offer to install the add-on. Go ahead and install it.


Try your favorite CAC website (like AKO or OWA) and see if the site works, and if the site communicates properly with your card.

Be sure your USB card reader is snugly inserted, of course.

Start (or restart) Firefox after your CAC reader and card are inserted and recognized by the system.