LineageOS Change Log #9: Jelly as the Default Browser, Kernel su-hide, and more
CyanogenMod’s successor, LineageOS, has many devoted fans among our readers. The team has once again released another change log from which we can find out what they’ve been working on in the latest builds. Let’s see what’s new in LineageOS.
Two weeks ago we were informed about the brand new, lightweight browser called Jelly. The application was introduced to replace Gello on low-end devices with limited resources. The team has modified its strategy and decided that Jelly will replace Gello completely as Gello was becoming hard to maintain and was really outdated. The initial version of Gello was introduced in CyanogenMod and was based on Chromium m42 (dated April 2015). Even though LineageOS developers managed to update the Chromium build found in Gello to m58, the team is switching over to Jelly as it utilizes the system WebView and thus doesn’t require the LOS developers to maintain updating Chromium.
The LineageOS team has also addressed an important security vulnerability. The developers discovered that the Privacy Guard implementation of ‘su’ has security vulnerabilities even when disabled. To fix the issue, the su-hide kernel patch has been created. The patch hides the existence of su from all processes except root and system when the su deamon is not running. An updated kernel with the patch effectively prevents unprivileged processes to exploit su when root is disabled in settings. As a “side effect” of this, the binary is not visible to Google Play Services, so some (mostly older) devices can pass SafetyNet when root is disabled.
In addition, LineageOS was updated with the following improvements, per the change log:
- The autobrightness slider, found in Quick Settings, can now be toggled in Settings > Status bar > Brightness
- Jelly got various improvements, including desktop mode support
- FlipFlap can now be disabled from within the app
- Incorrect call durations in Dialer has been fixed
- Webview has been updated to the latest stable release (based on Chromium 58)
- Fixed a crash in some 3rd party apps that use the camera under some circumstances
Finally, some build roster changes are also announced. Tthe Nextbit Robin has been re-added to the build schedule. Unfortunately, the Google Nexus 4 is no longer actively maintained and was dropped from the build roster. The LineageOS team reminds us that dropped devices are waiting for new maintainers.