Features that will be removed in the next Windows 10 Update

When Microsoft talked about Windows 10 before releasing it they said it will be around for a long time and will be getting updates in a different way than we were used to.

Looking back at this it looks like we already got a sneak preview at this concept with Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 (and remember the Windows XP Media Center disc 2?).

Continue reading Features that will be removed in the next Windows 10 Update

Hyper-V Server 2016 in a workgroup – Part 1

Pop quiz: Which Operating System edition from Microsoft has been free for use throughout it’s almost 10 year long lifespan?

Microsoft Hyper-V Server.

What is it?

Hyper-V is Microsoft’s hardware virtualization product. It lets you create and run a software version of a computer, called a virtual machine. Each virtual machine acts like a complete computer, running an operating system and programs. When you need computing resources, virtual machines give you more flexibility, help save time and money, and are a more efficient way to use hardware than just running one operating system on physical hardware.+

Hyper-V runs each virtual machine in its own isolated space, which means you can run more than one virtual machine on the same hardware at the same time. You might want to do this to avoid problems such as a crash affecting the other workloads, or to give different people, groups or services access to different systems.

Virtualization

VMware

There are 3 big players in the virtualization scene. VMware is probably the most well-known player and has been around for a long time. I have worked with ESX from their 2.5 days somewhere in 2004. While many things have changed, the basics are still the same.

You start with the Hardware > Installation of Hypervisor > Management through web interface. This is basically it. ESX has become picky with web browsers but in theory all you need is your web browser to do all the things on your server.

Hyper-V

Microsoft began with Hyper-V as a direct competitor against VMware with the introduction of Windows Server 2008 (aka the Vista edition). Yes it was a 1.0 product for them but it worked. One advantage and probably a disadvantage at the same time was that it could be a dedicated role on your server but it also allowed you to use your server as a regular server with the role Hyper-V on the side. Management throughout the GUI was done by a MSC (Microsoft Management Console snap-in). If you had a full server installed with GUI it was easy to manage on the server itself otherwise you almost had to have the server joined in a domain to manage it. It was possible to manage it from a workgroup but you would have to ‘break’ security on the server-side and perform some DCOM (Distributed Component Object Model) actions on the managing computer that resemble working with a crowbar.

XenServer

Xen backed by Citrix is the third player in the Hypervisor scene. Began as open-source project, was bought by Citrix and given back to the community. In comparison to VMware and Hyper-V it looks more like VMware. I have never worked with the pre-Citrix area of this product but from version 5.6 on you could manage your server through the XenCenter application, a Windows only program. There were alternatives for Linux like OpenXenManager but they were not officially supported by Citrix. The XenCenter application allows to connect to your server over the network with a username and password.

The Interfaces

vSphere 6.5 webclient, navigation bar on the left, menu bar on the top, content in the large screen. It’s okay for regular use. In previous versions you could ‘hack’ the performance monitoring tab to extend the only one hour limit of the free version to 3 days but this doesn’t seem to be possible anymore which is a shame and kind of negative point if you don’t have another system monitoring performance (which is kind of unusual in homelab setups)

Vsphere 6.5 interface

Hyper-V Manager, traditional MMC layout. List on the left, middle part has the content, right side covers the action bar. The Hyper-V Manager has has the basics of what you could do with a VM. Performance monitoring is real-time and will show only live CPU usage and Memory demand/usage.

Hyper-V 2016 interface

XenCenter, navigation bar on the left, toolbar with operations on the top, works with tabs for each different feature. Works great and I love the performance graphs. In previous releases Citrix sometimes used to change the feature level of the free edition and in the 6.x era you could enable enterprise features by using an older client but there is no need for these tricks anymore for regular users.

XenServer 7.2 interface

And XenCenter has one small benefit over the other 2 products with small and simple console allow you to start or shutdown VM’s on the console.

And XenServer has a simple interface on the server for basic operation.

 

Part 1 Finished

I won’t be going into much details which product is better for what reason but I chose Hyper-V Server for 1 reason as my ‘home‘ server. While VMware and Xen are pure virtualization hosts Hyper-V allows me to use my server also as a file server.

Sure you can run a guest VM on VMware or Xen with multiple terabytes storage but my files are more important that a virtual machine and keeping my files on my harddisk on a VMFS formatted datastore in a VMDK or a XenServer Storage Repository running LVM and ext3 could be hell is something goes wrong with the hypervisor. I prefer to have my files on a harddisk and in case of a server failure I can remove the disk out of my server and plug it into a USB dock. Couldn’t be more simple than that.

Next time

Part 2 will cover the commands to make the most kickass home server setup for file sharing and running some VM’s.

 

H.264 H.265/HEVC Video Extension – Windows 10 Insider

Windows 10 logo

About restoring your video playing experience. HEVC Video Extension on Microsoft Store

The last fey days I had some trouble getting the latest Windows insider slow ring update on my main pc. (Version 16232). I’ve seen this screen a few times now:

Something to do with drivers on my installation. I had to uninstall some drivers from my mouse, audio- and graphics-card to get the update the update installed. Stupid thing about the error was that the GSOD (Green Screen of Death) was at the end of the setup and it automatically did a rollback. I couldn’t choose any other way and with the rollback it also wiped the installation files. Thankfully the rollback works great and as soon as the old Windows installation is up and running it sees an insider update and downloads the whole set again and again and so on….

But anyway I’m running now Build 16232 with the Windows Defender Application Guard for Microsoft Edge functionality. More info on this feature here and here.

The next day after installing the update and my drivers again 🙂 I wanted to resume watching a video on my pc. The video opened with the default Movies and TV app which I actually really like and audio started but my screen kept black.

Maybe I didn’t see the announcement (or maybe there is no announcement as I still can’t find it when googling for it now) but it looks like Microsoft has pulled H.264, x264, H.265 aka HEVC codec support and maybe more from their base OS. You now have to install a small add-on from the store to get the functionality back.

Download it from Microsoft here:

microsoft.com/en-us/store/p/hevc-video-extension/9n4wgh0z6vhq

It probably has something to do with royalties or some lawsuit for a patent infringement but it’s a bit weird there was absolutely no information out there before this happened. The word H265 or H264 hasn’t been mentioned at the Windows Insider blog for the last year.

After installing this add-on I could play my video files again.

 

 

Windows Home Server 2011 End of Mainstream Support – Users left abandoned

Windows Server logo

Windows Home Server 2011 mainstream support has ended in the second quarter of 2017

What does this mean for you?

This means that Microsoft will no longer issue security updates for the Home Server-specific components that make up Windows Home Server 2011. If you are still running Windows Home Server 2008 or Windows Home Server 2011, Microsoft recommends bringing in a new device running Windows Server Standard or Windows Server Essentials and migrating your roles, features and data to the new appliance. Today’s new hardware is significantly faster and cheaper and can better handle the latest Windows security infrastructure, roles and features. Customers moving to a modern operating system will benefit from dramatically enhanced security, broad device support, higher user productivity, and a lower total cost of ownership through improved management capabilities.

Why migrate from Windows Home Server to Windows Server Essentials?

The latest versions of Windows Server Essentials support improvements in security, scalability, and manageability, and it contains device driver support for new hardware and silicon.
Simplified setup. There is no easier way to set up a server than using the Windows Server Essentials Out-of-Box experience. Windows Server Essentials configures AD, certificate services, and DNS. It helps get a public domain name set up, and it generates and installs SSL certificates and everything you need to get started with your own hybrid cloud setup.
Data redundancy and single pool of storage. Windows Server Essentials includes a feature called Storage Spaces that provides data redundancy and storage pooling functionality like that provided by Drive Extender in WHS. Windows Server Essentials has a much more reliable and resilient storage subsystem.
Centralized PC backup and restore. Windows Server Essentials includes the next generation version of the centralized PC backup and restore functionality from Windows Home Server 2011 as well as centralized File History storage for all your PCs. Windows Server Essentials supports up to 75 PC backups vs. Windows Home Server’s 25 PC backup limitation. Windows Server Essentials 2016 also supports backing up volumes to Azure and backing up VMs to Azure Site Recovery (ASR).
Centralized PC and server health monitoring. Windows Server Essentials includes health monitoring, both for the server itself as well as for all the connected PCs.
Document and media sharing. Windows Server Essentials can share content using SMB, iSCSI or NFS. Windows Server Essentials 2016 no longer includes the media streaming codecs, however, we found that people were not actually using that feature and they prefer to decode in the respective media applications.
Remote access. Windows Server Essentials has the remote access gateway feature that automatically generates SSL certificates for your server from GoDaddy. Essentials includes a web-based client for accessing home documents and media, and you can also remote desktop into the server if needed for administration purposes.

IO

Yeah, so this means the product line Home Server is dead and users are forced to migrate an domain, certificates and data. Well data migration isn’t that hard, a basic copy can do the job, but before they can do this they need to setup Storage Spaces which is a new concept for them.

Storage Pools

Do you know how to setup a storage pool with existing data? Well you don’t because it’s not possible…

Migrate Domain

Migrating a domain controller and removing the first existing domain controller used to be a lot of work if done properly. Good thing Microsoft made it easier with 2016. Basically all you need to do is delete the Computer Account from Active Directory Sites and Services (dsa.msc) and after this open a elevated Command Prompt or Powershell and

type ntdsutil and enter. 
Then metadata cleanup
Next type remove selected server <yourservername>

There is still one little issue with this. Server 2016 Essentials is designed to be a domain controller. If you are following the wizard pages after you login you will end up with another domain and joining the first domain will be a hard job. You have to cancel the wizard and join your new 2016 Essentials server manually to the existing domain.

Certificates

You will also have to import the EFS (Encrypted File System) and CA (Certification Authority) from one server to another.

EFS migratation contains files and certificates. The File is located in

%APPDATA%\Microsoft\Crypto\RSA

And you will need to export a certificate under the Administrator account Certificates\Personal\ of the File Recovery type. Export with private key or else you can’t use it.

For the CA feature there are more guides around on the interwebs.

Microsoft hasn’t made a guide for the 2016 edition yet, but the 2012 doesn’t seem that off.

 

So does this sound easy peasy for you? Well go ahead then with your new server (with new harddisks) if you have the funds and are willing to pay for it. It’s just $559 at the Microsoft Store 🙂 Not really a home product isn’t it….

YouTube Flash app for TVs no longer available

News from YouTube: full article here

The YouTube Flash app on older TV device models will no longer be available starting June 26th 2017. If your TV model is from 2012 or earlier, you likely have this older version of the YouTube app which looks like this:

https://lh6.ggpht.com/NtgdkDiRhyp6p7ip4ucrWS7enrV6She7q1aVV0frGra1Lnk5guTQYeeYo7UQhDFz8f5z_k8=w280-h158

In 2012, YouTube and our device partners started distributing an HTML5 version of the YouTube app for TVs. This app has many new features and other improvements that are not available on the older Flash app. We now think it is the right time to end-of-life this app because as we continue to roll out new features to the current YouTube on TV app (topic tabs, improved search, watch next, recommendations, better transport controls, etc.) the legacy devices using the Flash app cannot get them.

How to continue watching YouTube

If your device is impacted by this launch, you can still continue watching YouTube using the following methods:

Buy Buy Buy!

YouTube and TV manufactures aren’t giving you any option if you’re TV isn’t working anymore with probably the most used app on a smart tv besides buying some additional or a new device.

I feel that everyone who bought a 2012 or 2013 line-up tv and has no more YouTube support is being screwed by the tv maker. They should have made an update for their existing (another word for already sold) products if they sold their product as a smart tv. I can’t image that a car manufacturer would get away if they knew the tire would fall of in a few years and they didn’t do anything about it, waited until the tire felt off it and told you to buy a new car.

Wish they would make tv without any kind of smart function in it. I would even prefer that version of the tv if it’s the same price as an identical one with a Soc, extra Memory, Storage, WiFi, etc, etc.

 

Spotify for Windows 10 – finally available in the store

Microsoft announced that Spotify for Windows 10 is now available to download in the Windows Store*. Microsoft announced their partnership with Spotify in early May and is  bringing the Spotify app to Windows 10 and Windows 10 S customers following on the heels of the release of Surface Laptop and Windows 10 S last week. The Spotify app is available today in all 60 countries where Spotify is available and offers the same familiar experiences as the Win32 application**.

With Spotify on Windows 10, you can enjoy, discover and share millions of songs wherever and whenever you want. Make and share your own playlists, or let Spotify suggest something great for you. Listen for free or subscribe to Premium for higher quality listening and to take your music offline

*PCs and tablets. To download this app, your PC or tablet must be running the Windows 10 Anniversary Update or greater. 

**The Spotify app for Windows 10 is available in the following markets, Andorra, Argentina, Austria, Australia, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Honduras, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Monaco, New Zealand, Netherlands, Nicaragua, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Singapore, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Turkey, Uruguay, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Windows 10 Insider – Gaming improvements

Windows 10 logo

Microsoft released a new Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 16226 for PC to Windows Insiders in the Fast ring yesterday.  They have spent some time on making improvements for gamers this time. cross-platform multi-player could become a less exotic thing.

Gaming Improvements

New help options: We have added a new “Xbox Networking” section under Settings > Gaming. Here, we’ll help you attempt to identify and resolve issues preventing you from using voice chatting and playing multiplayer games with other Xbox Live users.

 

Track your GPU performance

For the Task Manager fans out there, we’re happy to share that we’ve heard your feedback and we’ve updated Task Manager to now include GPU info. Our engineering team used the feedback you gave us that is part of this Feedback Collection https://aka.ms/olx5pn to prioritize and to design the feature – thank you! The Performance tab shows GPU utilization information for each separate GPU component (such as 3D and Video encode/decode), as well as graphics memory usage stats. The Details tab shows you GPU utilization info for each process. Please note that this feature is still under construction and you will find issues and bugs.

Kodi and SMBv1 – how to jump into the 21st century

Kodi logo

What is it?

The Server Message Block (SMB) protocol is a network file sharing protocol that allows applications on a computer to read and write to files and to request services from server programs in a computer network. The SMB protocol can be used on top of its TCP/IP protocol or other network protocols. Using the SMB protocol, an application or the user can access files or other resources at a remote server. This allows applications to read, create, and update files on the remote server. It can also communicate with any server program that is set up to receive an SMB client request.

What versions are out there?

The original SMB1 protocol is nearly 30 years old, and like much of the software made in the 80’s, it was designed for a world that no longer exists.

The SMBv2 protocol was introduced in Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008. The SMBv3 protocol was introduced in Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012.

WannaCry

Almost everyone has heard of WannaCry in the recent weeks, an exploit that propagates EternalBlue, made by the NSA and lost by the NSA, an exploit of Windows’ Server Message Block (SMB) protocol.

WannaCry is made less harmful by patching Microsoft’s Operating Systems, disabling SMBv1 and blocking all versions of SMB at the network boundary by blocking TCP port 445 with related protocols on UDP ports 137-138 and TCP port 139, for all boundary devices.

 

How to enable or disable SMB protocols on the Windows SMB server

If you are running Windows Server you can use the Set-SMBServerConfiguration Windows PowerShell cmdlet. The cmdlet enables you to enable or disable the SMBv1, SMBv2, and SMBv3 protocols on the server component. You do not have to restart the computer after you run the Set-SMBServerConfiguration cmdlet.

To obtain the current state of the SMB server protocol configuration, run the following cmdlet:

Get-SmbServerConfiguration | Select EnableSMB1Protocol, EnableSMB2Protocol

To disable SMBv1 on the SMB server, run the following cmdlet:

Set-SmbServerConfiguration -EnableSMB1Protocol $false
Notes
  • You must run these commands at an elevated command prompt.
  • You do not have to restart the computer after you make these changes.

 

To enable or disable SMB protocols on an SMB Server that is running a Windows Desktop OS use Windows PowerShell or Registry Editor.

To disable SMBv1 on the SMB server-side, run the following cmdlet:

Set-ItemProperty -Path "HKLM:\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\LanmanServer\Parameters" SMB1 -Type DWORD -Value 0 -Force
Notes
  • You must run these commands at an elevated command prompt.
  • You must restart the computer after you make these changes.

 

How to enable or disable SMB protocols on the Windows SMB client

Note

You might think a Windows Server has nothing to do with the client side of SMB but it uses the client to connect to other servers. So if you want to completely disable SMBv1 you also need to do the following on the Server OS.

To disable SMBv1 on the SMB client, run the following commands:

sc.exe config lanmanworkstation depend= bowser/mrxsmb20/nsi 
sc.exe config mrxsmb10 start= disabled
Notes
  • You must run these commands at an elevated command prompt.
  • You must restart the computer after you make these changes.

 

How to gracefully remove SMBv1 in Windows 8.1, Windows 10, Windows 2012 R2, and Windows Server 2016

If you are sure you do not need SMBv1 and will never need it you can also remove it from the OS.

If you are using Windows Server run the following cmdlet:

Remove-WindowsFeature FS-SMB1

If you are using a Windows Client IS run the following cmdlet:

Disable-WindowsOptionalFeature -Online -FeatureName smb1protocol
Note
  • You must run these commands at an elevated command prompt.

 

 

When does Kodi come into play?

You might have read this so far and asked yourself what has this to do with Kodi? Well after I disabled SMBv1 on my free Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2016 (Blog Post coming soon) I noticed my OSMC Kodi client couldn’t access the libraries anymore.

That’s weird, OSMC is running a fairly new Linux kernel and is normally shipped with up to date packages. Samba 3.6 was the first version that made SMBv2 possible. Released at the end of 2011 this should have worked.

After a lot of time on the Kodi and OSMC forum it turns out that Kodi has some sort of its own smb configuration.

While normal Linux systems have the configuration file located in the /etc/samba/smb.conf file, it turns out that Kodi uses it own configuration file.

While bumping the system wide smb.conf file for Samba up to SMB2 or higher I was still unable to connect my Pi with OSMC to my Ubuntu Server running SMB3.

Using smbstatus you can get a report on current Samba connections

$ sudo smbstatus -b

Note

To get the Windows equivalent of smbstatus use the following PowerShell line:

Get-SmbSession | Select-Object -Property SessionId,ClientComputerName,ClientUserName,NumOpens,Dialect | Format-Table

 

The almost hidden .smb/smb.conf

Kodi has very poorly documented its own smb.conf file in the ~/.kodi/.smb/smb.conf location. This is the file that Kodi uses for its Samba configuration.

I started adding the option client min protocol = SMB2 to bypass SMB1. After this I still couldn’t make a connection with my files. Some people stated client max protocol = SMB3 should go along with the min setting. I also added client NTLMv2 auth = yes since this kinda is the default settings since Windows Server 2008.

After this I was able to connect with my Windows Server 2016 but still not with my Ubuntu Server. I downgraded the server protocol to SMB2 with server min protocol = SMB2 and things started to work.

$ sudo smbstatus -b

Samba version 4.3.11-Ubuntu
PID Username Group Machine Protocol Version
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1741 nobody nogroup 172.16.1.195 (ipv4:172.16.1.195:50393) Unknown (0x0311)
1758 nobody nogroup 172.16.1.187 (ipv4:172.16.1.187:47632) SMB3_00
1758 -1 -1 172.16.1.187 (ipv4:172.16.1.187:47632) SMB3_00

Nice to see the client is connecting with SMB3 while it wouldn’t connect while the server was on SMB3 level… interoperability… jeej! 😉

So after some time I ended with the following configuration file for my Linux computers:

smb.conf

[global]
 client min protocol = SMB2
 client max protocol = SMB3
 client NTLMv2 auth = yes
 server min protocol = SMB2

 

After-effects

Disabling SMBv1 in Kodi breaks the SMB browsing function. You will not be able to use the SMB browser to navigate through your network and shares. If you want to connect to a new source you will have to type smb://MyServer/MyShare/

Android Phones/Tables/Players will not be able to make use of the more secure servers. While the same mechanism is still there the Samba client shipped with Kodi is not able to connect to SMB2/3 shares. According a developer from Kodi their Samba version for Android is not compatible with it.

Android/data/org.xbmc.kodi/files/.smb/smb.conf

A bit snooping arround github shows they are probably using Samba 3.0 with a lot of patches. The good news is that three weeks ago they started some work with Samba 4.1.

Until that work is complete a workaround for Kodi on Android might be switching to NFS or going truly hardcore with mounting cifs on the Android system.

End of roaming charges for travellers in the EU in 2017

The European Parliament sealed the new rules on ending roaming charges in June 2017 and the first EU-wide net neutrality rules.

Roaming

The roaming charges will cease to exist in the EU as of 15 June 2017. Consumers will pay the same price for calls, texts and mobile data wherever they are travelling in the EU. Calling a friend when you are at home or in another EU country won’t make a difference on your bill.

Already from April 2016, roaming will become even cheaper: operators will only be able to charge a small additional amount to domestic prices up to €0.05 per minute of call made, €0.02 per SMS sent, and €0.05 per MB of data (excl. VAT).

How does roaming work in the EU?

When you travel to a foreign country and phone, text or surf online with your mobile phone or device using your home country’s SIM card, you are roaming. Your operator in your home country pays the operator in the foreign country for the use of their networks. The price paid between operators is called the wholesale roaming price. It represents a cost to the home country operator and therefore impact on consumers’ final bills. This is why the Commission has worked to limit wholesale roaming prices in the EU, in parallel to its work to directly limit the retail prices paid by the consumer.

While many counties have 3 or 4 Mobile Network Operators with different names many are somehow part of a larger holding or some sort of group. Roaming has been a huge money tree for these companies while it was clear for everyone that the extra costs are almost nothing.

Vodafone network

Deutsche Telekom network

With only the Vodafone and Deutsche Telekom we got 80% of the world covered. In Europe there are two other smaller but multi county operators.

Orange network
Telenor network

What are the different domestic prices for mobile services across the EU?

Europeans have different travel habits across the EU, and there are also different network costs in visited countries. A recent European Commission study (2016) also shows that consumer retail offers vary between Member States. For example, in 2016 the cheapest monthly deals offering 1GB of data, 600 minutes of calls and 225 SMS ranged from €60 in Hungary to €8 in Estonia (excl. VAT and any smartphone subsidy).

EU action against roaming charges

Since 2007, the European Commission has successfully worked to reduce the consumer price of roaming. This has changed the habits of many Europeans who previously used to switch their mobile phones off while travelling. In 2013, the European Commission proposed legislation to end roaming charges for people periodically travelling in the EU. In October 2015, the European Parliament and the Council agreed that this should be in place as of 15 June 2017

As of 15 June 2017, you will be able to use your mobile device when travelling in the EU, paying the same prices as at home, i.e. to roam like at home, subject to operators’ fair use policies. For instance, if you pay for a monthly package of minutes, SMS and data in your country, any voice call, SMS and data session you make while travelling abroad in the EU will be deducted from that volume as if you were at home, with no extra charges.

What have been the different decreases in roaming prices?

  • Since 2007, the EU has achieved retail price reductions across calls of 92%
  • Since 2009, the EU has achieved retail price reductions across SMS of 92%
  • Data roaming is now up to 96% cheaper compared to 2012 when the first EU retail price cap became applicable on data roaming.
  • Between 2008 and 2015, the volume of data roaming has been multiplied by more than 100.

Regulated Roaming tariffs 2007 – 2016

(€ excl. VAT)
  Voicecall made Voicecall received SMS Data Data
        Wholesale Retail
        MB MB
2007 0,49 0,24      
2008 0,46 0,22      
2009 0,43 0,19 0,11 1,00  
2010 0,39 0,15 0,11 0,80  
2011 0,35 0,11 0,11 0,50  
2012 0,29 0,08 0,09 0,25 0,70
2013 0,24 0,07 0,08 0,15 0,45
2014 0,19 0,05 0,06 0,05 0,20
2015 0,19 0,05 0,06 0,05 0,20
2016 domestic price + up to 0,05 0,0114 domestic price + up to 0,02 0,05 domestic price + up to 0,05

Net neutrality

The rules enshrine the principle of net neutrality into EU law: no blocking or throttling of online content, applications and services. It means that there will be truly common EU-wide internet rules, contributing to a single market and reversing current fragmentation.

Every European must be able to have access to the open internet and all content and service providers must be able to provide their services via a high-quality open internet. From the entry into force of the rules, blocking and throttling the internet will be illegal in the EU and users will be free to use their favourite apps no matter the offer they subscribe. Many mobile providers are blocking Skype, Facetime or similar apps or sometime they ask extra money for allowing these services: this will be illegal.

All traffic will be treated equally. This means, for example, that there can be no paid prioritisation of traffic in the internet access service. At the same time, equal treatment allows reasonable day-to-day traffic management according to justified technical requirements, and which must be independent of the origin or destination of the traffic and of any commercial considerations. Common rules on net neutrality mean that internet access providers cannot pick winners or losers on the internet, or decide which content and services are available.

 

Kodi 17.3 released – with critical security exploit fixed.

Kodi logo

May 22, 2017

Update from Kodi: Due to packaging issue after release some add-ons like PVR, visualisation and Inputstream are missing. Also on Ubuntu 14.04 an issue came to light. We will release v17.3 as soon as we can to solve this problem.

May 25, 2017

Sorry for this quick bump to v17.3 however we deemed it necessary. In the previous v17.2 we had a slight issue due to packaging certain binary add-ons like PVR, visualisation and Inputstream. Sadly we only uncovered this too late after release. Additionally on the older distros like Ubuntu 14.04 in combination with the available GCC 4.8 compiler an issue surfaced which we had to fix as well. This v17.3 release fixed both these issues and should be completely working again including the missing add-ons.

Fixes done in this release:

  • Fixed missing binary add-ons on release time
  • Fixed crash on older distros like Ubuntu 14.04 with GCC 4.8 compiler

From previous v17.2 release:

  • Fix selection after channelgroup switching in PVR guide window
  • Fix handling of gaps that caused eradic behaviour in EPG grid
  • Allow backing out of fullscreen pictures by mapping longpress guesture
  • Quick fix for wake up command not being called in PVR power management
  • Use alternative method to check if platform updates have been installed on Windows
  • Set the minimum version in the code which is currently OSX 10.8
  • Fix possible security flaw which could abused .zip files which try to traverse to a parent directory
  • Use the correct ttc font from the video file for subtitles on Windows
  • Detect and delete zero-byte database files which causes crashes

Security

You may have read in the news that malicious subtitle zip files could potentionally infect and harm your media player including Kodi. When Check Point researchers uncovered this flaw they contacted us up front to let us know about this flaw. Our developers fixed this secuity gap and have added the fix to this v17.2 release. As such we highly encourage all users to install this latest version! Any previous Kodi version will not get any security patch. We have began the roll out of this version and Android Play Store as well as Windows Store have this update pending and will roll out as soon as possible. Please be patient if you are using these store versions. Our official download page of course has the regular install files available for the supported platforms.

To be clear this possible vunrability is only present when you first enable a subtitle dowload add-on and then actually download zipped subtitles. Any subtitles that you already have as text file, are embedded in the video stream or are included with you DVD or Blurays are safe.

Only get static noise on Android?

if you have a Android device that only outputs static noise during playback we’d urge you to contact the manufacturer of your device. Recently we saw that Samsung released their Android 7.0 Nougat update for certain phone range that basically has broken audio support. This is something we as Team Kodi are not going to fix as it’s caused by a bug in their firmware. Only option you have is either stay at Kodi v16 or start contacting your device manufacturer and urge them to fix this issue.

Where can I download Kodi?

As alway you can find the official builds on our download page. Then click on the platform of choice and choose release build. You can install these build just on top of your current Kodi installation without doing a reinstall or cleanup as we do a full migration if needed. All you add-ons or installed skin will keep working.