CloudReady v66.4 now available!

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CloudReady v66.4 now available!

 

Hey CloudReady Fans!

We're releasing v66.4 today! This update is going out to all Channels of the Home Edition and our Education and Enterprise customers in the next few hours.

In keeping with our recent update patterns, ".4" indicates that this release will be a stability-update for all Home Edition users, and will reach our Education and Enterprise Edition customers on the Stable Channel for the first time.
 

Release Notes for v66:

  • OS Upgrade to 66
  • Additional mitigations for Spectre v2 vulnerabilities: We're closing some of the last security gaps left from the Meltdown & Spectre vulnerabilities.
  • Added security via "root filesystem verification": As part of our continual effort to improve CloudReady's security, we're enabling a feature called "rootfs verification" for the first time in v66. This helps verify that CloudReady's root partition hasn't been tampered with. You can read more about how this helps improve security, or about how Home Edition users can edit their root partition in v66. 
  • More touchpad improvements: We continue to fix touchpads that are laggy or unresponsive. Any model that fails to support tap-to-click may work better in v66. Specific models with a fix include Asus Vivobook 14, Lenovo ThinkPad E550, and the Dell Latitude 3480 and 3490.
  • Sleep/resume improvements for many desktops: The HP Compaq dc5700, dc5800, dc5850, dc7600, dc7700, dc7800, dc7900, and Dell Optiplex 745, 755, 760, 780, and 790 have all had issues or flaws with sleep/resume resolved in this update.
  • Fix for video playback on Apollo Lake Intel devices: This fix resolves a problem on Intel Apollo Lake devices where VP9 video playback would show corruption and tearing.
  • Fix for install failures hanging indefinitely: Installs are now less prone to hang indefinitely if there is a failure. They will now instead reliably display error messages.
  • Refinement to "Settings > About CloudReady" menu: We've changed "About Chromium OS" to be "About CloudReady" in the Settings menu, including a logo change and the addition of more device debug/support info.
  • Fix for issues with CloudReady VMs in VMware:  We saw some host machines across Mac, Windows, and Linux in v64 and v65 that would fail to boot CloudReady
  • Allow install to 8GB devices: CloudReady now allows you to target storage devices as small as 8GB for installation.
  • Widevine DRM now installed by default: We're making a change to make CloudReady easier to use with fewer setup steps. The Widevine DRM module that was, previously, available as a plugin in our settings menu or in my.Neverware.com is now built in to all CloudReady images. 
    Adobe Flash and 3rd Party Media components are still available in the same way, as optional plugins. 
  • Fix for DisplayLink support: DisplayLink 3.0 allows certain peripherals like docks to transmit video over USB 3.0 ports. This functionality was broken in v64, but is fixed in v66.4.
  • Fix for graphics issues on some Apple devices: A graphics regression in v66.3 caused iMac 5,2 and other Apple models to show a black screen. This should be resolved in v66.4.
  • New certified models: Changes and improvements in v66 are leading to a new group 
    • HP Compaq 8200 Elite

    • HP Elitebook 840 G3

    • HP Elitebook 840 G4

    • HP ProOne 600 G1

Home Edition-only changes:

  • New data collection and privacy controls: To help us understand what kind of hardware CloudReady works on, and how it is used, we're starting to collect hardware info about devices running CloudReady: Home Edition, as well as data on the use of special features like flatpaks. This data is anonymized, but you can also opt out anytime. If you want to know more about the info we collect, you can read our updated privacy policy.
  • Initial experimental support for VirtualBox: First docker, next flatpaks, now VMs! We want to add as much functionality as we can to CloudReady, and providing VirtualBox to our Home Edition users open a wide range of use cases to CloudReady, letting folks import their own VM images to access other OSs within CloudReady. Read more!
  • More flatpak improvements: Flatpaks should continue to improve in this update to CloudReady. Many will show their own icon when open on the task bar, and they should also show up when searching for apps in your app tray.
  • Docker no longer starts automatically: We found that starting up our Docker service automatically was presenting network conflict for some users who didn't need Docker. We've made changes to allow you to start Docker manually from the command line, or optionally configure it yourself to start automatically.

Known Issues

  • Minor touchpad issues on Macbook 3,1 and Macbook 4,1: These two Macbook models show issues with initial touch on the right-side of the touchpad. This will be resolved in future releases.
  • Wallpaper rendering issues on some older GPUs: Some devices with GMA 950 and GMA 3150 graphics are no longer properly rendering the CloudReady wallpaper (and some other user-specified wallpapers). Issues of this kind are fixed once logged in as a user.
  • Issues with dual/switchable GPUs: We've found that machines with dual GPUs (Intel and NVIDIA) fail to boot CloudReady. We are generally recommending that all users disable "Optimus" or "Switchable" graphics in their BIOS/UEFI settings.

 

Have questions at Home? Visit the forums!

Need help at school or work? Support's here to help. 

Need help installing?

 

4 Comments

CloudReady v66.3 now available!

4 Comments

CloudReady v66.3 now available!

 

Hey CloudReady Fans!

We're excited to be releasing v66.3 this afternoon! In keeping with our recent update patterns, ".3" indicates that this release will go out to all users on all release Channels for the Home Edition, and to the Beta Channel for Education and Enterprise Edition customers.

All Home Edition users can expect over-the-air updates and downloadable images for this release over the next few hours.
If you're using CloudReady at school or work and interested in previewing this release, subscribe to the Dev or Beta Channels to get an over-the-air update now.
 

Release Notes for v66:

  • OS Upgrade to 66
  • Additional mitigations for Spectre v2 vulnerabilities: We're closing some of the last security gaps left from the Meltdown & Spectre vulnerabilities.
  • Added security via "root filesystem verification": As part of our continual effort to improve CloudReady's security, we're enabling a feature called "rootfs verification" for the first time in v66. This helps verify that CloudReady's root partition hasn't been tampered with. You can read more about how this helps improve security, or about how Home Edition users can edit their root partition in v66. 
  • More touchpad improvements: We continue to fix touchpads that are laggy or unresponsive. Any model that fails to support tap-to-click may work better in v66. 
  • Sleep/resume improvements for many desktops: The HP Compaq dc5700, dc5800, dc5850, dc7600, dc7700, dc7800, dc7900, and Dell Optiplex 745, 755, 760, 780, and 790 have all had issues or flaws with sleep/resume resolved in this update.
  • Fix for issues with CloudReady VMs in VMware:  We saw some host machines across Mac, Windows, and Linux in v64 and v65 that would fail to boot CloudReady

New in v66.3

  • Prevent Powerwash: CloudReady does not support Powerwash, but in v66.2 a change made it available by mistake. In v66.3 we're preventing powerwash in the setting menu and have added a block to prevent triggering a Powerwash at the login screen using the ctrl+alt+shift+r keystroke.
  • Fix for video playback on Apollo Lake Intel devices: This fix resolves a problem on Intel Apollo Lake devices where VP9 video playback would show corruption and tearing.
  • Fix for install failures hanging indefinitely: Install failures are now less prone to hang indefinitely when they fail, and will instead display error messages.
  • Refinement to Settings > About menu: We've changed "About Chromium OS" to be "About CloudReady", including a logo change and the addition of more device debug/support info (the same info available in the top-right corner of the login screen).

Home Edition-only changes:

  • New data collection and privacy controls: To help us understand what kind of hardware CloudReady works on, and how it is used, we're starting to collect hardware info about devices running CloudReady: Home Edition, as well as data on the use of special features like flatpaks. Home Edition users will be offered the ability to opt out before we collect that information, but any data we do collect is only tied to an anonymized label for your device, never a username or profile . If you want to know more about the info we collect, you can read our updated privacy policy.
  • Initial experimental support for VirtualBox: First docker, next flatpaks, now VMs! We want to add as much functionality as we can to CloudReady, and providing VirtualBox to our Home Edition users open a wide range of use cases to CloudReady, letting folks import their own VM images to access other OSs within CloudReady. Read more!
  • More flatpak improvements: Flatpaks should continue to improve in this update to CloudReady. Many will show their own icon when open on the task bar, and they should also show up when searching for apps in your app tray.
  • Docker no longer starts automatically: We found that starting up our Docker service automatically was presenting network conflict for some users who didn't need Docker. We've made changes to allow you to start Docker manually from the command line, or optionally configure it yourself to start automatically.

Known Issues

  • Wallpaper rendering issues on some older GPUs: Some devices with GMA 950 and GMA 3150 graphics are no longer properly rendering the CloudReady wallpaper (and some other user-specified wallpapers). Issues of this kind are fixed once logged in as a user.
  • Issues with dual/switchable GPUs: We've found that machines with dual GPUs (Intel and NVIDIA) fail to boot CloudReady. We are generally recommending that all users disable "Optimus" or "Switchable" graphics in their BIOS/UEFI settings.

 

Have questions at Home? Visit the forums!

Need help at school or work? Support's here to help. 

Need help installing?

 

4 Comments

CloudReady v66.2 now available on Dev/Beta Channels!

4 Comments

CloudReady v66.2 now available on Dev/Beta Channels!

 

Hey CloudReady Fans!

We're releasing our v66.2 to unstable channels today. In keeping with our most recent update patterns, ".2" indicates that this release will go out to the Dev Channel of the Education and Enterprise Editions, and the Beta Channel of the Home Edition!

If you're interested, subscribe to the Dev or Beta Channels to get an over-the-air update now
 

Release Notes for v66:

  • OS Upgrade to 66
  • Additional mitigations for Spectre v2 vulnerabilities: We're closing some of the last security gaps left from the Meltdown & Spectre vulnerabilities.
  • Added security via "root filesystem verification": As part of our continual effort to improve CloudReady's security, we're enabling a feature called "rootfs verification" for the first time in v66. This helps verify that CloudReady's root partition hasn't been tampered with. You can read more about how this helps improve security, or about how to edit your root partition in v66.1. 
  • More touchpad improvements: We continue to fix touchpads that are laggy or unresponsive. Any model that fails to support tap-to-click may work better in v66.1. 
  • Fix for issues with CloudReady VMs in VMware:  We saw some host machines across Mac, Windows, and Linux in v64 and v65 that would fail to boot CloudReady 

New in v66.2

  • Fixed slow boot time: A bug in v66.1 that caused significant boot delays on most models is resolved now.
  • Fix for graphics failures on Intel GM965/GL960 GPUs: A bug that prevented bootup of these GPUs on v66.1 has been fixed.
  • Sleep/resume improvements for many desktops: The HP Compaq dc5700, dc5800, dc5850, dc7600, dc7700, dc7800, dc7900, and Dell Optiplex 745, 755, 760, 780, and 790 have all had issues or flaws with sleep/resume resolved in this update. 

Home Edition-only changes:

  • New data collection and privacy controls: To help us understand what kind of hardware CloudReady works on, and how it is used, we're starting to collect hardware info about devices running CloudReady, as well as data on your use of special features like flatpaks. You'll be prompted with the ability to opt out before we collect that information, but any data we do collect is only tied to an anonymized label for your device, never a username or profile . If you want to know more about the info we collect, you can read our updated privacy policy.
  • Initial experimental support for VirtualBox: First docker, next flatpaks, now VMs! We want to add as much functionality as we can to CloudReady, and providing VirtualBox to our Home Edition users open a wide range of use cases to CloudReady, letting folks import their own VM images to access other OSs within CloudReady. Read more!
  • More flatpak improvements: Flatpaks should continue to improve in this update to CloudReady. Many will show their own icon when open on the task bar, and they should also show up when searching for apps in your app tray. 

Known Issues

  • Powerwash from settings breaks machines: The ability to run a "powerwash" is meant to be disabled on CloudReady, but in v66.2 a change makes it available. If you trigger a powerwash, your machine may need to be reinstalled. This will be resolved in v66.3.
  • Wallpaper rendering issues on some older GPUs: Some devices with GMA 950 and GMA 3150 graphics are no longer properly rendering the CloudReady wallpaper (and some other user-specified wallpapers). Issues of this kind are fixed once logged in as a user.
  • Issues with dual/switchable GPUs: We've found that machines with dual GPUs (Intel and NVIDIA) fail to boot CloudReady. We are generally recommending that all users disable "Optimus" or "Switchable" graphics in their BIOS/UEFI settings.

Unstable releases often have unforeseen bugs. We rely upon users on our unstable Channels to report those to us in our forums, so if you're ok with a little instability, please jump to this new release and let us know what you think!

 

Have questions at Home? Visit the forums!

Need help at school or work? Support's here to help. 

Need help installing?

 

4 Comments

4 Reasons Why CTOs Have Chosen Chromebooks

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4 Reasons Why CTOs Have Chosen Chromebooks

 

People involved in educational technology (EdTech) know that Chromebooks have become the computer-of-choice in school districts across the U.S. Some experts are estimating that 80% of new computers sold into U.S. K-12 this year will be Chrome devices (Global Market Insights; Statista 2018). But why?

In 2012, Chromebooks had 1% of the K-12 market, but by the end of 2014 had 39% market share! The number of all types of computers sold almost doubled in these 2 years, mostly driven by public school districts’ rapid acceptance of Chromebooks.

 Source: Futuresource Consulting Ltd.

Source: Futuresource Consulting Ltd.

So what exactly about Chromebooks led to this?  

Chromebooks are dominating U.S. K-12 because of their speed, simplicity and price. They boot in 7 seconds, run the fastest browser in the world (Chrome), and can cost less than $200. The simplicity of running entirely in the browser has made life easier for both education IT professionals, via the Google Admin console, and students, via G Suite for Education. The total cost of ownership for Chromebooks is 1/6th of PCs and Macs, and will continue to diverge with the accelerated development of free, web-based tools and curricula built for the Google ecosystem. For those that understand and live this, it’s no surprise that Apple & Microsoft are getting thrashed, and superintendents, Chief Technology Officers, school site techs, teachers, students, parents and taxpayers are increasingly opting for G Suite and Chromebooks.

G Suite for Education

Education technology is often focused on the newest hardware, bleeding-edge software, the latest AR, VR, AI algorithm, blah blah blah. But the only thing that matters to CTOs and K-12 leaders is helping kids be better students, employees, entrepreneurs, and ultimately citizens! Better at taking tests, graduating, extracurricular activities, community service, getting jobs, and going to college. Google recognized this, created a comprehensive library of tools and resources for teachers and students - many of which are unique to Google’s ecosystem - and made it totally free. It includes things like Gmail, Google Drive, Google Docs/Sheets/Slides, Google Forms, Google Calendar, Google Expeditions, and perhaps most importantly, Google Classroom, which helps teachers and students manage assignments and coursework.

The Google Admin Console

School district IT departments are not always front-and-center in the way that teachers and principals are, but they are the crucial backbone that keeps all technology running, from the network infrastructure, computers, and classroom technology, to the central office, ERP and security systems (recently, I spoke with one IT Director at a rural, socioeconomically disadvantaged district who even handles his district’s HVAC system, and coaches the wrestling team to boot). Out of necessity, most IT professionals learned in the last couple of decades how to manage heavyweight Windows & Mac environments, with a large operating system (OS), constant OS updates, a multiplicity of desktop applications, computer refreshes, security threats and increasingly, digital assessments. There weren’t any other good options.

The Google Admin console made it incredibly easy and quick to set up large numbers of Chromebooks, manage them securely, and update them automatically, in the background, from the cloud. No more day-to-day OS updates or issues with version compatibility! The only cost: a $30 Chrome Management License to manage each Chromebook.

Furthermore, the Google Admin console’s “Kiosk Mode” enables IT to lock down computers to a single browser-based app, for student assessments, in a fraction of the time it takes on Windows & Mac computers. Nearly every US state's department of education has a roadmap for digital transformation (http://www.state.nj.us/education/techno/localtech/tpdl/tpdl.pdf), a cornerstone of which is often a transition to digital student assessments. Digital assessments yield faster reporting on test results, while reducing the operational overhead of analog, pencil-and-paper assessments. Faster assessments align with superintendents' and Curriculum & Instruction departments' objectives for quick feedback so they can iterate and improve on the fly and year to year, thus compelling them to switch to Chromebooks. The end result: Google for Education has amassed market share, namely by expanding the market to segments that could not previously afford to run complex assessment routines and could not make a swift transition to assessing digitally.

At the end of the day, all of this transformation for administration and IT meant a better experience for teachers, and therein, a better experience for students.

 Source: Futuresource Consulting Ltd.

Source: Futuresource Consulting Ltd.

Total Cost of Ownership (TCO)

The first thing I learned when I began working with public school districts 4 years ago was that money is tight...scratch that - very tight. Paying to get the best teachers, curriculum, district support personnel, facilities and IT resources adds up, and districts don’t always get more money if they help kids better. More often than not, school districts are in a constant battle to make ends meet, and keeping up with technology for students is one of the first things to get cut. I spoke with a CTO of a 50,000+ student district this week whose budget was slashed 50% from last year!

But superintendents are increasingly aware that their students need access to technology to perform on digital tests, graduate on time, get decent jobs, compete for admission to college and become well-informed, well-rounded citizens that positively contribute to their community. Without adequate computer access, students are at a serious disadvantage, like in Baltimore City Schools, where the push for digital assessments combined with the lack of computer access for low-income students has hurt those students' test scores. Six years ago was when this awareness began spreading most strongly, and Google introduced the Chromebook right on time.  

With the least expensive models priced at $179, Chromebooks are undisputedly the most affordable computers for students and teachers. When buying in bulk with a Chrome Management License, white-glove setup, shipping and all other burdened costs, districts regularly pay $250 per Chromebook, much less than the standard Windows setup, which regularly runs double (or Mac, which easily runs quadruple).

IDC even did a study showing that Chromebooks have a 61% lower TCO over a 3-year period as compared with Windows computers, as a result of the 49% lower cost of Chromebooks, 68% more efficient IT support workflow, 91% lesser need to reboot, and whopping 93% faster deployment!

Google has also invested in Neverware, where we help school districts repurpose their old computers as Chrome devices, speeding them up and providing the same experience as Chromebooks, for as little as $1 per student per year. And they’ve sponsored services from companies like Amplified IT, so school districts can get their IT staff, Instructional Support staff and teachers the necessary training on Google tools and the Google Admin console with the purchase of their Chromebooks, and so teachers can jump right into teaching and focus on helping their kids with these tools. Again, all this for free!

Free Web-Based Tools & Curricula

The final key to Google and Chromebooks’ rapid adoption in K-12 has been content and apps.  Below are just a few examples from the broad ecosystem they’ve fostered:

  • Google Expeditions, empowering students to travel and learn (virtually) across the globe

  • Google “Digital Tools” like Scholar, which enables students to search scholarly articles

  • Google Computer Science, a large initiative to encourage and facilitate CS education

  • 3rd-party apps and tools to facilitate classroom instruction, IT administration and more

  • Google Training Center, with professional development resources for teachers

All of this led to continued growth of the K-12 device market and Google’s share of it, and by the end of 2017, Google owned almost two-thirds of all K-12 computing, and by way of its ecosystem, even more of EdTech mindshare as a whole. If superintendents, CIOs and CTOs weren’t already thinking this way, Google’s made it easy for them to decide, by mobbing them at the ground level with teacher evangelists that are well-versed in Google’s ecosystem and the resulting benefits for students.

 Source: Futuresource Consulting Ltd.

Source: Futuresource Consulting Ltd.

And unlike Microsoft and Apple, who’ve had this position in the past (albeit not quite as dominantly), Google’s not letting go. They’re the first to make it easy for high school seniors to transfer their Chrome profiles over for college, and to eventually follow them into the workplace.  

Taking all of this into account, it’s no wonder that some experts are estimating that 80% of new computers sold into U.S. K-12 this year will be Chrome devices. More and more districts are going 1:1 (targeting a student-to-computer ratio of 1), and almost none of them can afford to do so with anything else. Nor would they want to. Superintendents realize that the heavyweight, costly Windows & Mac computers just aren’t needed, and that the money saved can be invested in helping kids be better instead.   

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CloudReady v66.1 available on Dev Channel of Home Edition

8 Comments

CloudReady v66.1 available on Dev Channel of Home Edition

 

Hey CloudReady Fans!

We're releasing our v66.1 to the Dev Channels of the Home Edition this afternoon!
This release is coming on the heels of release v65.1 to the dev Channel almost two weeks ago. As we've done in the past with v58 and v62, we're skipping stable releases of v65 in order to focus on stabilizing v66 and shipping it as soon as possible.

If you're interested, subscribe to the Dev channel to get an over-the-air update now
 

Release Notes for v66.1:

  • OS Upgrade to 66
  • Additional mitigations for Spectre v2 vulnerabilities: We're closing some of the last security gaps left from the Meltdown & Spectre vulnerabilities.
  • Added security via "rootfs verification": As part of our continual effort to improve CloudReady's security, we're enabling a feature called "rootfs verification" for the first time in v66. This helps verify that CloudReady's root partition hasn't been tampered with. You can read more about how this helps improve security, or about how to edit your root partition in v66.1. 
  • More touchpad improvements: We continue to fix touchpads that are laggy or unresponsive. Any model that fails to support tap-to-click may work better in v66.1. 
  • More flatpak improvements: Flatpaks should continue to improve in this update to CloudReady. Many will show their own icon when open on the task bar, and they should also show up when searching for apps in your app tray. 
  • Fix for issues with CloudReady VMs in VMware:  We saw some host machines across Mac, Windows, and Linux in v64 and v65 that would fail to boot CloudReady 
  • Initial experimental support for VirtualBox: First docker, next flatpaks, now VMs! We want to add as much functionality as we can to CloudReady, and providing VirtualBox to our Home Edition users open a wide range of use cases to CloudReady, letting folks import their own VM images to access other OSs within CloudReady. Read more!

Known Issues

  • Slow Boot time: A bug in v66.1 slows down boot time, in some cases significantly. You can mitigate this issue by pressing keyboard keys during the delay.
  • Powerwash from settings breaks machines: The ability to run a "powerwash" is meant to be disabled on CloudReady, but in v66.1 a change makes it available. If you trigger a powerwash, your machine may need to be reinstalled.
  • Wallpaper rendering issues on some older GPUs: Some devices with GMA 950 and GMA 3150 graphics are no longer properly rendering the CloudReady wallpaper (and some other user-specified wallpapers). Issues of this kind are fixed once logged in as a user.
  • Issues with dual/switchable GPUs: We've found that machines with dual GPUs (Intel and NVIDIA) fail to boot CloudReady. We are generally recommending that all users disable "Optimus" or "Switchable" graphics in their BIOS/UEFI settings.

Unstable releases often have unforeseen bugs. We rely upon Dev Channel users to report those to us in our forums, so if you're ok with a little instability, please jump to this new release and let us know what you think!

 

Have questions? Visit the forums!

Need help installing?

8 Comments

CloudReady v65.1 available on Dev Channel of Home Edition

4 Comments

CloudReady v65.1 available on Dev Channel of Home Edition

 

Hey CloudReady Fans!

We're releasing our v65.1 to the Dev Channels of the Home Edition today with a pretty cool new feature.

If you're interested, subscribe to the Dev channel to get an over-the-air update now

Update 5/14/18:
v65.1 is going out on the Dev Channel to our Education and Enterprise customers today!

Release Notes for v65.1:

  • OS Upgrade to 65
  • Touchpad improvements for a number of Dell and Asus machines: We've improved touchpad performance on a few common touchpads found in Asus and Dell Inspiron models. This fix is targeted by touchpad ID, so it may improve models not listed here.
  • Major improvements to input tools and methods: We've updated the available input tools in CloudReady to offer improvements to various foreign languages (especially Chinese input methods) as well improved on-screen keyboard inputs.
  • Guest users can no longer alter media plugins: To prevent a temporary guest session from altering the entire device, guest users can no longer install, uninstall, or update media plugins.
  • Fix for sleep issue on Lenovo IdeaPad S10-3: In v64, this model stopped resuming from sleep, but it works as expected in v65.1.
  • Improvements to flatpak support: Though still in an "experimental" phase, we continue to improve support for flatpaks. They will now periodically attempt to update themselves when installed, and most will show their proper icon on the task bar when open. You can also uninstall them just like a regular Chrome app. 

Known Issues

  • Intel GM965 graphics issues: Devices with Intel GM965 graphics are failing to boot on v65.1 - we're investigating this issue now  
  • Wallpaper rendering issues on some older GPUs: Some devices with GMA 950 and GMA 3150 graphics are no longer properly rendering the CloudReady wallpaper (and some other user-specified wallpapers). Issues of this kind are fixed once logged in as a user.
  • General issues with dual/switchable GPUs: We've found that machines with dual GPUs (Intel and NVIDIA) fail to boot CloudReady. We are generally recommending that all users disable "Optimus" or "Switchable" graphics in their BIOS/UEFI settings.

Unstable releases often have unforeseen bugs. We rely upon Dev Channel users to report those to us in our forums, so if you're ok with a little instability, please jump to this new release and let us know what you think!

 

Have questions? Visit the forums!

Need help installing?

4 Comments

UPDATE: CloudReady v64.4 released to all editions and channels!

7 Comments

UPDATE: CloudReady v64.4 released to all editions and channels!

 

Hey CloudReady Fans!

We're excited to be bringing v64.4 to all Education & Enterprise users today. Home Edition users who have been on v64.3 for a while already, will get this version, with some bug fixes and additional improvements, starting tomorrow.

Update 5/1/18:
After a brief delay, v64.4 is going out to our Home Edition users today!

Release Notes for v64:

  • OS Upgrade to 64
  • Removal of dualboot install option: In keeping with our previously announced timeline for sunsetting dualboot in CloudReady, v64 will no longer offer the ability to install dualboot mode. Read more.
  • Add support for PCI-connected eMMC storage: In v64, devices with eMMC internal storage that connects via PCI (rather than SATA) are able to install and boot CloudReady.
  • Fix for graphics issues on NVIDIA GeForce 8400M GPUs: We found some Macbooks and iMacs with NVIDIA 8400M graphics were showing graphics and boot problems starting v63. This release should fix those troubles
  • Sleep/resume & audio fixes for Asus T100TA: Though not certified because of other issues, we've fixed sound and sleep issues with this convertible device.
  • Google Hangouts/Meet screensharing fix: A change on the server side to Google's Hangouts and Meet video-conferencing solutions recently caused CloudReady to be unable to screenshare. Our team has resolved this issue.
  • New certified models: We're adding another handful of devices to our certified models list with v64. They are:
    • Dell Latitude 7280

    • Dell Latitude E7270

    • Dell Latitude 3450

    • Dell Latitude 3470

    • Asus X55C

    • Asus X202E

Home Edition-only changes:

Known Issues

  • Wallpaper rendering issues on some older GPUs: Some devices with GMA 950 and GMA 3150 graphics are no longer properly rendering the CloudReady wallpaper (and some other user-specified wallpapers). Issues of this kind are fixed once logged in as a user.
  • General issues with dual/switchable GPUs: We've found that machines with dual GPUs (Intel and NVIDIA) fail to boot CloudReady. We are generally recommending that all users disable "Optimus" or "Switchable" graphics in their BIOS/UEFI settings.

 

At Home with questions? Visit the forums!

Need help at school or work? Support's here to help. 

7 Comments

Going Google at Scale in Florida: Webinar Q&A

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Going Google at Scale in Florida: Webinar Q&A

 

Hey CloudReady fans!

On Tuesday the 24th, we held a webinar featuring two guests from Florida's Lee County Public Schools: Dwayne Alton, Lee's Executive Director of Infrastructure Services, and Jerry Christmas, Systems Engineer.

Dwayne and Jerry spoke during the session about the background, processes, and lessons learned from their district switching to the Google ecosystem, including G Suite, Chromebooks, and CloudReady. You can find the session available now as an on-demand webinar here.

During the session Q&A, we encountered some audio challenges with the last two questions, so we've transcribed that portion here for you:

Q: What do you feel is good enough, as well as suggested, internet bandwidth for deploying Chromebooks and CloudReady?

A: So let’s put it this way - for our high schools, which hover around 2000 students, we have 1GB for those. Our middle schools have 500 MB to them and they hover around typically around 1200 students - and keeping in mind that we’re not using digital textbooks - we’re actually using interactive digital objects and videos and things like that, so we deliver some pretty heavy content over that. Our internet bandwidth right now is 16 GB, it’s two redundant 8 GB lines. We did increase our bandwidth with the implementation, however a lot of people think that if you use Google rather than Windows that your bandwidth utilization is going to be higher because everything is “in the cloud.” In reality, there is actually not a big difference between what we were seeing with on-prem Windows machines and the cloud traffic for Google Docs. Google Docs saves continuously while you’re typing. Microsoft saves files in larger chunks. So the transition from Windows to Chrome was handled with the bandwidth we had already roadmapped for upgrades anyway. We didn’t do anything special for Chrome. Of course if you’re in a rural area and you’re saying 16 GB, that is special, I understand. 

Q: Can you talk about how you’re doing Web content filtering, and are you doing SSL inspection?

A: So the answer to the first one is we’re using GoGuardian for our Chrome devices, and GoGuardian has two components: one is filtering, which is called GoGuardian for Administrators, and the other one is GoGuardian for Teachers, which is a classroom management tool where they can see the students’ screens, kill the background tabs when the students are not on task, and add their own rules to what the students can do. We implemented those two solutions - it’s actually one product, but two pieces. As far as SSL inspection, it’s a little bit different way of looking at it. It’s not like a traditional perimeter appliance where you’re doing a man-in-the-middle attack and installing your own certificates and decrypting the traffic and inspecting them. We see all SSL traffic, not just the traffic for the specific sites where we’ve pushed “trusted” certificates. The other benefit is that we see what the user intended to go to, not where they ended up. A lot of the solutions show you destinations, I see what they’re trying to get to. I’ll give you an example where that’s useful. If you have SSL decryption turned on and you happen to catch that they’re going somewhere inappropriate, you might see - oh, they’re going to a proxy site. For us, we see what they’re looking at through the proxy site. So, having the agent on the device to see the traffic before it even hits the tunnel is beneficial. For the Chrome world, your two probably biggest leaders would be GoGuardian and Lightspeed; both use similar methodology for the Chrome devices. And what I really like is that they are human-readable reports. So the way we do it is to delegate the review to the schools. Whether it was blocked sites or they were getting through to something inappropriate, the AI system sees that and flags it for the school directly so the IT department doesn’t have to do all the investigation.

Our thanks to Dwayne and Jerry for taking the time to join us on the webinar!

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