Ubuntu Archive

Canonical announce custom display server ‘Mir’

"Canonical has today publicly confirmed that they are working on a new cross-platform displayer server for Ubuntu. Called 'Mir', the X Window Server replacement is tasked with 'enabling development of the next generation Unity'. Which, in yet another about-turn, is to be rebuilt in Qt/QML." It'll be used for all Ubuntu variants (phone, tablet, desktop), and the first version will be released come May.

Developer preview of Ubuntu Phone for 21 February

"Images and open source code for the Touch Developer Preview of Ubuntu will be published on Thursday 21st February, supporting the Galaxy Nexus and Nexus 4 smartphones. They are intended for enthusiasts and developers, to familiarise themselves with Ubuntu's smartphone experience and develop applications on spare handsets. Tools that manage the flashing of the phone will be available on the same day in the Ubuntu archives, making it easy to keep a device up to date with the latest version of the Touch Developer Preview." Cool. Too bad it's only for Nexus phones, and not for more popular ones.

Canonical considers rolling release model for Ubuntu

"For the longest time Canonical has slapped an LTS moniker on some of their Ubuntu releases. Currently, a new major release of the operating system happens every six months, and is supported for 18 months after release. Whereas in the past when LTS versions received two years support or more, the current model - starting with 12.04 - supports new LTS releases for five years. However, a recent public Google Hangouts session revealed that Canonical has been thinking about switching from the venerable LTS model to a rolling release, starting with version 14.04."

Ubuntu phone looks like the future of computing

"The first computers were gigantic, filling rooms and requiring constant care and maintenance. The computer stayed on the desk until the laptop computer, a smaller, more portable, but just as powerful machine, made it nearly obsolete. And then, the iPhone was released, followed shortly after by Android and the Palm WebOS, and the next step in computing was clear. What we did not immediately understand was if mobile computing was an accessory, or a replacement, for the traditional desktop machines." Jon-Buys at Ostatic believes the phone-becomes-computer paradigm is the next step.

Ubuntu abandons search privacy

Proprietary software like Windows often includes surveillance code to track user behavior and send this information to vendor servers. Linux has traditionally been immune to such privacy violation. Ubuntu 12.10 now includes code that, by default, collects data on Dash searches. The code integrates Amazon products into search results and can even integrate with Facebook, Twitter, BBC and others as per Ubuntu's Third Party Privacy Policies. This article at the EFF tells how it all works and how to opt out of information sharing, while Richard Stallman himself comments here.

Ubuntu 12.10 released

Ubuntu 12.10 has been released, sporting the rather... Interesting tagline 'Avoid the pain of Windows 8'. Two main features are that websites can now be treated as actual applications, integrating them into Unity. The divide between local and online content when searching has also been softened, which, they claim, makes it easier to find what you're looking for. On the server side, it includes the Folsom release of OpenStack, "Cinder, for block storage and Quantum, a virtual networking API. Ubuntu's Metal-as-a-Service bare-metal provisioning tool has been updated and now supports Calxeda hyperscale hardware based on ARM".

Ubuntu 12.10 to ship with Amazon advertisements

Ubuntu 12.10 will include advertisements for products on Amazon. It will look like this - if you search, product suggestions will pop up. This seems like a rather slippery slope to me, and I certainly wouldn't want this on my desktop, laptop, smartphone, tablet, or anywhere else. On the web - fine, I'm on your site, not mine - but my desktop is mine, and mine alone. Not that it matters - open source, someone will disable them. Biggest concern: does this mean my search queries get sent across the web?

UEFI Secure Boot and Ubuntu

After Fedora, Ubuntu has now also announced how it's going to handle the nonsense called "Secure" Boot. The gist: they'll use the same key as Fedora, but they claim they can't use GRUB2. "In the event that a manufacturer makes a mistake and delivers a locked-down system with a GRUB 2 image signed by the Ubuntu key, we have not been able to find legal guidance that we wouldn't then be required by the terms of the GPLv3 to disclose our private key in order that users can install a modified boot loader. At that point our certificates would of course be revoked and everyone would end up worse off." So, they're going to use the more liberally licensed efilinux loader from Intel. Only the bootloader will be signed; the kernel will not.

Ubuntu Abandons Dial-Up Users

Over at the Goodbye, Microsoft web site, Brad R. takes Ubuntu to task for abandoning dial-up modem users. Apparently Ubuntu no longer includes the GnomePPP dial-up package in the distribution, without which you can't get online via dial-up. It gets better: if you do have some way to connect, when you download something from the Ubuntu repository, the first thing Ubuntu does is update its 16+ megabyte repository index. Happy waiting! Brad concludes that "Ubuntu is for broadband users only."

Ubuntu 12.04 released

The Canonical team has released Ubuntu 12.04 - a new long term support release. The biggest new feature is the HUD, an addition to the traditional application menu system, where you can search for the actions you want to perform instead of having to hunt for them in menus. Unity overall has been improved, and I must say that even though this new release is simply not at all ready for Asus ZenBooks, Unity runs perfectly well on it, and to my own shock and surprise, I'm slowly warming up to it. It's starting to make sense, it looks nice (especially after some custom tweaking), has become a lot more configurable, and it's really, really, really fast.

Kubuntu to be Sponsored by Blue Systems

"Kubuntu will have a new sponsor in Blue Systems from the 12.10 cycle starting in May. Kubuntu is a community led project to create a KDE flavour as part of Ubuntu. Our sponsor since it started has been Canonical who are now moving to focus on their Unity flavour. We would like to thank Canonical for this kind support and wish the best success for the Unity flavour (also called Ubuntu). Blue Systems sponsors a number of KDE projects and will encourage Kubuntu to follow the same successful formula as it has always had - community led, KDE focused, Ubuntu flavour." This makes me happy.