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Ubuntu OTA-15 Will Let Ubuntu Touch Users Access HTTPS Sites Again

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Some websites don’t work

Canonical has confirmed that it is working on OTA-15 for Ubuntu phone and tablet — but say it won’t contain new features.

Instead, Ubuntu Touch OTA-15 will ship “a very limited number of critical bug fixes“, specifically ones pertaining to the Chromium-based ‘Oxide’ web engine that powers the Ubuntu browser.

Can’t Load Amazon on Ubuntu Phone? You’re Not Alone

A number of Ubuntu Touch users report that they are currently unable to load some HTTPS websites in the default Ubuntu browser on phone and tablet, or use many web-apps that are available in the Click store.

“Webbrowser-app displays a warning that the site’s certificate is invalid (without any reason). If I then choose “continue anyway”, the Amazon site is only incompletely displayed,” explains one affected user in a bug report on Launchpad.

Canonical’s Chris Coulson, who maintains and develops Oxide in Ubuntu, chips in to explain the problem — a bug affecting newer Chromium builds is to blame.

That bug ‘unintentionally set’ a time limit ‘where, after 10 weeks from build time, Symantec sites (such as Amazon), fail to operate [due to Certificate Transparency] trust issues.’

Crikey!

The Ubuntu web-browser app, Coulson explains, “is basically hitting [the Chromium time limit] because the build was 10 weeks old from [January 15] (actually, it’s not quite, but the build date recorded in the build is the first Sunday of the month, which is 6th November for the version of Oxide in OTA-14).”

As of writing the bug means any Ubuntu phone that runs OTA-14 is unable to load some HTTPS websites in the default web-browser or in some of the pre-loaded web-apps that also use Oxide, including Amazon and eBay.

There’s no firm ETA for the next OTA at the time of writing.

One suggested workaround is to upgrade from the stable channel to the RC Proposed channel. This isn’t a simple ‘flick a switch’ task, and for those who rely on their phones on a day-to-day basis caution is advised as new bugs and issues may be introduced.

H/T S.F.