October 25, 2014

After the success[1] of their first Long-Term-Support (LTS) version in April this year, the Head of the Developer Team, Julien Lavergne, has finished work on the Utopic Unicorn which can now be downloaded at https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Lubuntu/GetLubuntu.

Acting Release Manager, Walter Lapchynski, shortly after the release: “This cycle we mainly focused on fixing known bugs. But”, he adds “there is a downside, too: due to several serious bugs, we had to skip PPC versions of the Unicorn. We recommend using of the LTS version for now and do hope, that we are able to present a PPC Version in April next year. For the moment we are still working on our plans to implement LXQt in either 15.04 or 15.10.”

Read more »
on October 25, 2014 10:05 PM

R2-D2 is not dumb. But my phone is. “[It] talks in maths. [It] buzzes like a fridge. [It's] like a detuned radio.”1

My phone has a communication problem. It beeps and boops, and sometimes screams to let me know that something is going on, but something is missing there. It’s all a bunch of noise. What exactly are you telling me, phone? Yes, there are some custom notifications to a certain degree, but normally they under the rules of a 3rd party. How do I know the difference between an emergency, an update, or an unimportant piece of information without constantly having to look at my phone? The answer is NOT a watch. In that case, maybe my phone shouldn’t have notifications at all!

Is it possible to tell me who is contacting, by what means, the type of information, and deliver the message at an appropriate time and in an appropriate fashion?
Is it possible to communicate with my digital, social, and spacial environments and tell my when my ship’s hyperdrive has been deactivated BEFORE I attempt to make the jump to lightspeed?

A *smart* phone could do that.

Dumb phone, you can beep and boop all you want, but you’re not the phone I’m looking for. Into the garbage chute!

sop

[1] Radio Head – Karma Police

on October 25, 2014 08:35 PM

Review of Ubucon 2014 Germany

Sujeevan Vijayakumaran

Last weekend the german Ubucon took place in the town of Katlenburg-Lindau. It was the 8th Ubucon in Germany and it was the third time that I attented an Ubucon as a visitor and as a speaker.

Preparation

It was the second time that I participated in the organisation of the Ubucon. Last year I was part of the organisation team for the event in Heidelberg. This time the organisation was rather „silent“. In my opinion it was sometimes too silent on the mailing list. The town where the event took place was rather small, therefore there were fewer speakers and also fewer visitors compared to the last two years. First I didn't expect that the event would be great, but luckily I was wrong!

The event

Friday

The first day of the event was friday. All visitors and speakers got a name plate with their full name and their nickname at the front desk. Last year, my name was actually too long. This time only one character was missing. Atleast I got used to mistakes in my name. :-)

The opening keynote was hold by Torsten Franz who was also the head of the organisation team. After this, he was talking about „10 years Ubuntu, 10 years Community“. Later a part of the visitors went to the first Social-Event which took place at a castle next to the school. Personally I didn't go to this event.

Saturday

The second day started at 10 o'clock in the morning. It was the first time that I did a workshop, which also started on that time. I talked about „Git for Beginners“. At the beginning we had a few issues with the Wifi. This also affected my workshop, because it took a rather long time for the participants to download and install git. Therefore, I changed a few things of my workshop, so afterwards the participants didn't need a working internet connection. I planned about 3 hours, but we finished after about 2,5h.

On the rest of the day, I didn't attend any talks. I rather talked to all the other nice people :-). At the evening we had two Social-Events. A big part went to „Theater der Nacht“ („Theatre of the night“). The other smaller part stayed at the school, where two persons played Live-Music. The Live-Music was quiet good, but all the other people who went to the Theatre said, that it was really great. It seems that I missed something. Bernhard took a few really nice photos in there.

Sunday

On Sunday I only attended to talks. The first one was about LVM, the other one about systemd. Both talks were hold by Stefan J. Betz. and they were really informative and also a bit funny.

At the afternoon the Ubucon ended. We had really many people who helped to clean up and pack everything. Therefore, many people could leave earlier than expected.

The location

The location was great! I didn't expect that a primary school was a good place for a Ubucon, but it is! The technical infrastructure was really good. The school had several „Smartboards“ with projectors. At the entrance area there was a big hall, where you can sit and talk if you're not in hearing a talk. In this hall there were several computers with different Linux-Distributions and Desktop-Environments.

It was the first time that we had a Gaming-Lounge. There were two rooms which contained four Ubuntu-PCs with large TVs and also two Table football. The idea was great and also the rooms were nice. There were many people who played games there. I hope that we will have a similar Gaming-Lounge on future Ubucons.

All speakers got a nice gift-bag from the local organisation team. This bag mainly contained several items of the region. In my bag there were a few sausages, wine, beer and a sauce. Personally I don't eat and drink that stuff, but it was a really good idea and gesture!

On all our Ubucons, the entrance fee of 10€ includes the money for food and drinks. On the last few years we had only two or three different types of bread roll. This time we also had bread rolls, but we also had Bockwurst and different types of soups. All of them were really tasty and everybody had a bigger choice to eat something which they like.

Conclusion

This years Ubucon was great! Compared to last years Ubucon we had a smaller amount of attendees but this time the organisation team in Katlenburg was really good. They had different really good ideas, like the Gaming-Lounge and the gift-bag for all speakers.

I simply hope that next years Ubucon will as good as this years Ubucon. The place is not fixed yet, we are going to search for another place for next years Ubucon. By shifting the place of the Ubucon every year, all attendees will see different cities and you can also meet different new nice people. The latter reason is my main reason why I attend and help to organize the Ubucon.

If you're looking for a few nice photos of this years Ubucon, have a look here. Bernhard Hanakam took some really good photos.

on October 25, 2014 12:00 PM

I’m still buzzing from this morning. No, it’s not because of the “crystal meth”1; nor is it because of the amazing cold brew coffee2 that’s sitting in my fridge. I’m on a mental high from listening to a great mind. This morning I went to see Cory Doctorow at the Vancouver Writer’s Fest, and I’m a better person because of it.

I’ll admit that I wasn’t initially too keen on attending the Writer’s Fest, but I said to myself, “hey, this is Cory Doctorow.”
In fact, I’m not really that into books and reading much3… but this is Cory Doctorow.
And, I’m really not that entertained by copyright talk… but, hey, this is Cory Doctorow.

If it wasn’t obvious already, I’m a pretty big fan of Cory Doctorow. He’s kind of an Alchemist of the Internet Age, except that he’s not afraid to share his knowledge. I had followed him for a while on boingboing, and I was inspired enough to read Little Brother. (Before doing so, I thought I should read George Orwell’s 1984, and so I did … for the first time. Yes, I’m not very well-read… yet). Little Brother was so impressive that I continued to buy the audiobook of Homeland. I didn’t have to pay for it, but I chose to because I valued the author and his work, which completely supports Doctorow’s Laws for the Internet Age.

At the Vancouver Writer’s Fest, Cory Doctorow gave an overview of his new book, by eloquently summarizing three laws that he had come up with for the Internet Age. It was followed by a discussion on some of the values discussed in his writing. When asked about his views on “free and open source software,” Cory was quite excited to share Ubuntu with the crowd :)

The entire discussion was probably one of the best overviews of Internet freedom that I have ever heard, and having such a master-of-language deliver the message made it all the better. I was educated, entertained, and encouraged to read and write more freely. You might say that I have turned over a new page with regards to information.

doctorow

I’m still buzzing.

If you get a chance to see Cory Doctorow during his current tour, then by all means do so, because, hey, it’s Cory Doctorow!

 

 

[1] Those who attended the event will get the inside joke.
[2] I learned about this from Cory Doctorow via Little Brother.
[3] Irlen Syndrome

on October 25, 2014 05:20 AM

October 24, 2014

In 2013, Debian participated in both rounds of the GNOME Outreach Program for Women (OPW). The first round was run in conjunction with GSoC and the second round was a standalone program.

The publicity around these programs and the strength of the Google and Debian brands attracted a range of female candidates, many of whom were shortlisted by mentors after passing their coding tests and satisfying us that they had the capability to complete a project successfully. As there are only a limited number of places for GSoC and limited funding for OPW, only a subset of these capable candidates were actually selected. The second round of OPW, for example, was only able to select two women.

Google to the rescue

Many of the women applying for the second round of OPW in 2013 were also students eligible for GSoC 2014. Debian was lucky to have over twenty places funded for GSoC 2014 and those women who had started preparing project plans for OPW and getting to know the Debian community were in a strong position to be considered for GSoC.

Chandrika Parimoo, who applied to Debian for the first round of OPW in 2013, was selected by the Ganglia project for one of five GSoC slots. Chandrika made contributions to PyNag and the ganglia-nagios-bridge.

Juliana Louback, who applied to Debian during the second round of OPW in 2013, was selected for one of Debian's GSoC 2014 slots working on the Debian WebRTC portal. The portal is built using JSCommunicator, a generic HTML5 softphone designed to be integrated in other web sites, portal frameworks and CMS systems.

Juliana has been particularly enthusiastic with her work and after completing the core requirements of her project, I suggested she explore just what is involved in embedding JSCommunicator into another open source application. By co-incidence, the xTuple development team had decided to dedicate the month of August to open source engagement, running a program called haxTuple. Juliana had originally applied to OPW with an interest in financial software and so this appeared to be a great opportunity for her to broaden her experience and engagement with the open source community.

Despite having no prior experience with ERP/CRM software, Juliana set about developing a plugin/extension for the new xTuple web frontend. She has published the extension in Github and written a detailed blog about her experience with the xTuple extension API.

Participation in DebConf14

Juliana attended DebConf14 in Portland and gave a presentation of her work on the Debian RTC portal. Many more people were able to try the portal for the first time thanks to her participation in DebConf. The video of the GSoC students at DebConf14 is available here.

Continuing with open source beyond GSoC

Although GSoC finished in August, xTuple invited Juliana and I to attend their annual xTupleCon in Norfolk, Virginia. Google went the extra mile and helped Juliana to get there and she gave a live demonstration of the xTuple extension she had created. This effort has simultaneously raised the profile of Debian, open source and open standards (SIP and WebRTC) in front of a wider audience of professional developers and business users.

Juliana describes her work at xTupleCon, Norfolk, 15 October 2014

It started with OPW

The key point to emphasize is that Juliana's work in GSoC was actually made possible by Debian's decision to participate in and promote Outreach Program for Women in 2013.

I've previously attended DebConf myself to help more developers become familiar with free and open RTC technology. I wasn't able to get there this year but thanks to the way GSoC and OPW are expanding our community, Juliana was there to help out.

on October 24, 2014 11:53 PM

This Giant Octopus that I’m talking about is GOOGLE.  Google has it’s giant arms everywhere in the tech world and it’s mind is only on one thing: PRIVACY INVASION.

Today, I read a post by Oli Warner about Paypal’s app on the android and the permissions that it requires the user to accept when installing or updating (see image on right, credit Oil).  Google is the only one that tells the developers that you must allow these permissions when the app is installed.  This allows developers to easily take your data, or even a hacker, and use that data and do whatever they want with it.  That is a huge risk that people are taking when they don’t read the permissions when they install/update.

I ask to protect from Google’s evil and use CyanogenMod with it’s Privacy Guard or some other app that protects you.  Or even better, install F-droid and go Google free. Also, please use Firefox, not Chrome.

There are other evils that Google has but that will be another post for another day.

P.S Read THIS also.

P.S.S.: I want to thank Oli for posting his post.  It’s one thing that I was ranted on but never really wrote a post about the issue.


on October 24, 2014 09:03 PM

In a previous blog post, I hinted at a recent happy development in my life/career that I would like to share with you today...

Many of you know me from my involvement in building local communities that are passionate about Ubuntu. I've been at this for nearly 7 years now as a volunteer and it's something I'm very passionate about. (Note: Friends and family sometimes use different adjectives.)

https://wiki.ubuntu.com/RandallRoss

Over this time, I've had the privilege to meet and to work with many brilliant people in Vancouver BC, the community-at-large and also in the part of the community that is Canonical. (Yes, it's all community.) I've met rock stars, both literally and figuratively. They've encouraged and inspired me and finally opportunity knocked, and I answered.

I am happy to announce that I am Ubuntu's newest Community Manager.

My focus (at least initially) will be growing a large and thriving community around the architecture that powers the world's fastest computers. Think really big iron. Think Watson. Think chess. But more than that, think solving real-world problems the fastest way possible, with Power!

Ubuntu already has the beginnings of a great story on Power. I am tremendously excited about the potential of the "magic" that is Ubuntu with Juju and MaaS to launch solutions on Power hardware nearly effortlessly. I'm here to help the community that wants to change the world make that happen.

Click me: Push the button to see Power!Click me: Push the button to see Power!

Please join me. If you're a Power advocate, developer, architect, systems administrator, researcher, or anyone who's just interested in Ubuntu on Power, please send me a note and introduce yourself. Let's work together!

randall AT ubuntu DOT com

--

Note: I'm not replacing Jono Bacon, As many of you know, he's moved on to solve some world problems that are "not just software" and Dave Planella and team are filling those big shoes.


image by Thom Watson
https://www.flickr.com/photos/thomwatson/
and modified by me.

on October 24, 2014 07:38 PM

This title is kind of a misnomer, as of course, all this goodness is available to Ubuntu 14.04 users, so it’s more of a “Things that happen to line up with” Ubuntu 14.10.

More new items next week, hint hint!

on October 24, 2014 05:35 PM

Sprinting in DC

Alan Pope

For the last week I’ve been working with 230 other Ubuntu people in Washington, DC. We have sprints like this pretty frequently now and are a great way to collaborate and Get Things Done™ at high velocity.

This is the second sprint where we’ve invited some of the developers who are blazing a trail with our Core Apps project. Not everyone could make it to the sprint, and those who didn’t were certainly missed. These are people who give their own time to work on some of the featured and default apps on the Ubuntu Phone, and perhaps in the future on the converged desktop.

It’s been a busy week with discussion & planning punctuating intense hacking sessions. Once again I’m proud of the patience, professionalism and and hard work done by these guys working on bringing up our core apps project on a phone that hasn’t event shipped a single device yet!

We’ve spent much of the week discussing and resolving design issues, fixing performance bugs, crashers and platform integration issues, as well as the odd game of ‘Cards Against Humanity’ & ‘We Didn’t Playtest This At All’ in the bar afterwards.

Having 10 community developers in the same place as 200+ Canonical people accelerates things tremendously. Being able to go and sit with the SDK team allowed Robert Schroll to express his issues with the tools when developing Beru, the ebook reader. When Filippo Scognamiglio needed help with mouse and touch input, we could grab Florian Boucault and Daniel d’Andrada to provide tips. Having Renato Filho nearby to fix problems in Evolution Data Server allowed Kunal Parmar and Mihir Soni to resolve calendar issues. The list goes on.

All week we’ve been collaborating towards a common goal of high quality, beautiful, performant and stable applications for the phone today, and desktop of the future. It’s been an incredibly fun and productive week, and I’m a little sad to be heading home today. But I’m happy that we’ve had this time together to improve the free software we all care deeply about.

The relationships built up during these sprints will of course endure. We all exchange email addresses and IRC nicknames, so we can continue the conversation once the sprint is over. Development and meetings will continue beyond the sprint, in the virtual world of IRC, hangouts and mailing lists.

on October 24, 2014 05:17 PM
Kubuntu T-shirts and Polo Shirts are available again. This time our supplier is HelloTux who are working with the Hungarian Ubuntu LoCo. $3 from each shirt goes to Kubuntu and $1.5 to the Hungarian LoCo team.
on October 24, 2014 03:51 PM

The SSLv3 “POODLE” Vulnerability.

Most of us are aware of the recent protocol flaw vulnerability in SSLv3. Officially designated CVE-2014-3566, it is more commonly referred to as the “POODLE” (Padding Oracle On Downgraded Legacy Encryption) vulnerability.

The vulnerability is a result of a flaw in the way that the (now old) SSLv3 protocol behaves and operates. There is a Ubuntu-specific question on the POODLE vulnerability on Ask Ubuntu (link) which answers common questions on it. There is also a more general question on the POODLE vulnerability on the Information Security Stack Exchange site (link) with more general details on the POODLE vulnerability. If you would like more details, you should refer to those sites, or read the OpenSSL Whitepaper on the POODLE vulnerability (link).

As this is a protocol flaw in SSLv3, ALL implementations of SSLv3 are affected, so the only way to truly protect against POODLE is to disable SSLv3 protocol support in your web application, whether it be software you write, or hosted by a web server.


Disable SSLv3 in nginx:

Since the recommendation is to no longer use SSLv3, the simplest thing to do is disable SSLv3 for your site. In nginx, this is very simple to achieve.

Typically, one would have SSL enabled on their site with the following protocols line or similar if using the example in the default-shipped configuration files (in latest Debian or the NGINX PPAs, prior to the latest updates that happened in the past week or so):
ssl_protocols SSLv3 TLSv1 TLSv1.1 TLSv1.2;

To resolve this issue and disable SSLv3 support, we merely need to use the following instead to use only TLS:
ssl_protocols TLSv1 TLSv1.1 TLSv1.2;

Note that on really old implementations of OpenSSL, you won’t be able to get TLSv1.1 and TLSv1.2, so at the very least you can just have TLSv1 on the ssl_protocols line. You should probably consider updating to a more recent version of OpenSSL, though, because of other risks/issues in OpenSSL.


Update OpenSSL to get TLS_FALLBACK_SCSV Support:

More importantly than just disabling SSLv3, you should definitely update your OpenSSL, or whatever SSL implementation you use, to receive support for TLS_FALLBACK_SCSV. There is an attack vector that would make you vulnerable to POODLE by starting a TLS session, but then falling back to SSLv3, and then open you to the POODLE vulnerability. By updating, and then having the use of TLS_FALLBACK_SCSV, you will be protecting yourself from protocol downgrading attacks which would also make you vulnerable to POODLE.


Ubuntu Users:

OpenSSL:

Fortunately for all users of Ubuntu, the OpenSSL packages were updated to protect against SSL downgrade attacks. This is detailed in “USN-2385-1: OpenSSL vulnerabilities” (link). Simply running sudo apt-get update with the security repositories enabled should get you the OpenSSL update to address this.

nginx from the Ubuntu Repositories:

Due to the vulnerability, and Debian already having these changes done, I was able to get in a last-minute update (courtesy of the Ubuntu Security Team and the Ubuntu Release Team), into the nginx package for the Utopic (14.10) release, which happened officially yesterday (October 23, 2014). In Utopic, the nginx package’s default config does NOT have SSLv3 on the ssl_protocols line. All other supported versions of Ubuntu do not have this change (this means that Precise and Trusty are both affected).

PPA Users:

Of course, many users of Ubuntu and nginx like the newer features of the latest nginx Stable or Mainline releases. This is why the nginx PPAs exist. Originally maintained by some of the Debian maintainers of the nginx package, I’ve taken primary responsibility of updating the nginx packages, and keeping them in sync (as close as I can) to the Debian nginx packaging.

As of today (October 24, 2014), both the Stable and Mainline PPAs have been updated to be in sync with the latest Debian packaging of the nginx package. This includes the removal of SSLv3 from the default ssl_protocols line.


Debian Users:

OpenSSL:

Fortunately, like Ubuntu, Debian has also updated the OpenSSL packages to protect against SSL downgrade attacks. This is detailed in “DSA-3053-1 openssl — security update” (link). Like in Ubuntu, this can be fixed by running sudo apt-get update or similar to update your packages.

nginx in the Debian Repositories:

If you are on Debian Unstable, you are in luck. The Debian package in Unstable has this change in it already.

If you are on Debian Testing or Debian Stable or Debian Old Stable, you’re unfortunately out of luck, this change isn’t in those versions of the package yet. You can easily do the aforementioned changes, though, and fix your configs to disable SSLv3.

on October 24, 2014 02:54 PM

Who actually checks the permissions of applications they're installing? A little while ago a Paypal update stalled because it required extra permissions. This is what happens if an app you have already installed wants more power. I was more than a little surprised with what I found.

Update: Unfortunately some of the /r/Android and /r/Technology readers don't seem to be making it past the title. Rather than repeated telling me why Paypal might occasionally need access to my camera, perhaps consider why I need to give it permanent access. And why do I have to give something access for features I don't use. This —as you'll see if you keep reading— can be solved by both Paypal and Google.

It's easy to overlook app permissions. After all, you want something, and if there's no tangible sacrifice attached to it, people don't see the problem.

I do. I look after a few servers; security is something that's always in or around my consciousness. The prime tenet of data security is to only give access to things that need it.

The Paypal app can, as it turns out, do a raft of things that include your peripheral hardware. Like magnetic stripe readers, scanning credit cards and OCRing cheques. I've still no idea why it needs SMS/MMS, calendar, location and app inspection access... So answers on a postcard.

That isn't really the point. My first problem comes in that Paypal are normalising applications doing a permission land-grab at install time. Something that was installed to let me do lightweight management of my account (and get notifications) has mutated into this beast that wants permanent access to my physical life.

Now, you can probably trust Paypal; they've only been shown to be moderately evil in the past... But who is to say that will always be true. They could decide to monetise this access. Or they could get hacked. Or another app could manipulate it to escalate its own privileges. In any case the result is the same: it can track you, it can watch you, it can hear you and it can smuggle data off your phone without you ever realising. You're installing the perfect tracking, wiretapping bug.

There is an argument that Android should be marshalling access to privileges better but before I get there, Paypal could and should be more considerate about what they're asking users to hand over. They could easily split the application out into plugins and distribute those in separate packages with their own privileges. It would leave the core application svelte, concentrated on core functionality, allowing cranky old users like me their simple, secure access and giving coffee-shop-hopping Alice and Bob all the naff features they want to trade for their privacy.

But the biggest issue -- as comments are highlighting-- is how Android allows developers to request permissions. It all has to be done at install-time and it all or nothing. If the user won't accept it, they can't install or update. They have to uninstall or ignore the updates... Which is obviously another massive security issue.

If an iOS app wants to use the camera, you're asked when it wants to use the camera. That might seem like Vista's UAC all over again, but that's the call here... And I think Apple have it a million time more right. Android needs to start thinking about permissions in an interactive sense.

Back to Paypal. Given I only use the Paypal app to manage my Paypal account, I decided to uninstall it.

There has been a great discussion following this on Hacker News. I particularly like some of the interface suggestions on how this could work without being annoying. Google could learn something from this dialogue.

on October 24, 2014 01:56 PM

Sprinting in DC: Thursday

Nicholas Skaggs

This week, my team and I are sprinting with many of the core app developers and other folks inside of Ubuntu Engineering. Each day I'm attempting to give you a glimpse of what's happening.

Today started with some UOS planning which is happening in a couple short weeks. If you haven't yet put it on your calendar, please do so! And plan to not only attend, but consider submitting a session as well. The users track might be just the place for your session. Session topics can be about anything ubuntu related you might want to share or discuss with others.

As the week has progressed I've enjoyed getting to know the core apps developers better. Today we met with all of them to hear feedback on how the projects have been going. Lots of good discussion was had discussing how things like meetings and reviews work, individual project needs and actions that could be taken to improve all of the projects. It's wonderful to have everyone in the same place and able to talk.

After lunch the QA team discussed manual testing and proposed utilizing moztrap for some of the manual testing they are undertaking as part of the CI process for ubuntu touch images. While it is too early to say what implications this will have on manual testing from a community perspective, I'm happy to see the conversation has begun around the current issues facing manual tests. I'm also happy someone else is willing to be a guinea pig for changes like this! For image testing, the qatracker has served us well and will continue to do so, but I hope in the future we can improve the experience. In fact, we have done work in this area recently, and would love to hear from anyone who wants to help improve the qatracker experience. So, whether or not a migration to moztrap occurs at some point, the future looks bright.

The core app developers also got a chance to both get and receive feedback from the SDK and design teams. The deep dives into applications like calendar were very much appreciated and I expect those suggestions will filter into the applications in the near future. As usual the core apps developers came prepared with suggestions and grievances for the SDK team, as well as praises for things done well.

Finally to end the day, we discussed developer mode on the device. Rather than talk about the history of how it was implemented, let me share with you the future. Rather than locking adb access via a password, we'll utilize certificates. The password based solution already will ensure your locked device isn't vulnerable to nefarious humans who might want to connect and steal your data or reflash your phone. However, things like passwordless sudo will be possible with using certificates. In addition if security is the bane of your existence, you will be able to enable developer mode without setting a password at all.

Whew, today was very full!
on October 24, 2014 07:30 AM

Hi everyone,

With each and every cycle, the same question is being asked over and over again:

Should I upgrade to the latest release? or should I keep my system as it is?

Well, luckily with Ubuntu GNOME, you don’t need to worry much or be confused at all. We shall make life super easy for you so relax and read this post :)

As of this very moment, Ubuntu GNOME has ONLY two main releases:

  1. Ubuntu GNOME 14.04 (Trusty Tahr) LTS.
  2. Ubuntu GNOME 14.10 (Utopic Unicorn).

Ubuntu 14.04 LTS has been released in April, 2014 while Ubuntu 14.10 has been released yesterday.

The answer to the endless question is very easy, more than what you may think:

  • If you would like to run and use the latest packages/software we are offering with our latest version of Ubuntu GNOME – that is 14.10 Utopic UnicornAND you do not mind a short term support release (9 months only) THEN go ahead and upgrade – please read this.
  • If you would like to run and use a rock solid system with long term support (3 years) AND you care less about using the latest packages/software THEN do not upgrade and stick to Ubuntu GNOME 14.04 LTS.

Tip: a side from upgrading, of course you can always do a fresh new install but please do NOT forget to backup your files – either way. Better safe than sorry.

So, mystery is solved. You need to ask yourself before asking anyone:

What do I need?

Run the latest release? or run the Long Term Supported release? you are the only one who knows the answer to that question and we have tried to make life easier for you. Now, you know what to do with each and every cycle ;)

If truth to be told, Ubuntu/Canonical Team has made life easier. It is either you keep and use the LTS version that is supported for 3 or 5 years (depends on which flavour you are using) OR you use the latest release and keep upgrading (or do fresh new installation) each 6 months.

You need to understand there is NOTHING wrong to keep the old version and there is NOTHING wrong to upgrade to the latest one. This is entirely up to the user to decide based on his/her needs.

By the way, this applies to Ubuntu and all its official flavours. Starting from 14.04 (Trusty Tahr), all Ubuntu and its official flavours have LTS releases.

Hope this will help many who are confused and keep asking :)

Thank you for choosing and using Ubuntu GNOME!

Ali/amjjawad
Non-Technical Leader of Ubuntu GNOME

on October 24, 2014 06:05 AM

Bad Voltage Turns 1

Jono Bacon

Today Bad Voltage celebrates our first birthday. We plan on celebrating it by having someone else blow out our birthday candles while we smash a cake and quietly defecate on ourselves.

For those of you unaware of the show, Bad Voltage is an Open Source, technology, and “other things we find interesting” podcast featuring Stuart Langridge (LugRadio, Shot Of Jaq), Bryan Lunduke (Linux Action Show), Jeremy Garcia (Linux Questions), and myself (LugRadio, Shot Of Jaq). The show takes fun but informed take on various topics, and includes interviews, reviews, competitions, and challenges.

Over the last year we have covered quite the plethora of topics. This has included VR, backups, atheism, ElementaryOS, guns, bitcoin, biohacking, PS4 vs. XBOX, kids and coding, crowdfunding, genetics, Open Source health, 3D printed weapons, the GPL, work/life balance, Open Source political parties, the right to be forgotten, smart-watches, equality, Mozilla, tech conferences, tech on TV, and more.

We have interviewed some awesome guests including Chris Anderson (Wired), Tim O’Reilly (O’Reilly Media), Greg Kroah-Hartman (Linux), Miguel de Icaza (Xamarin/GNOME), Stormy Peters (Mozilla), Simon Phipps (OSI), Jeff Atwood (Discourse), Emma Marshall (System76), Graham Morrison (Linux Voice), Matthew Miller (Fedora), Ilan Rabinovitch (Southern California Linux Expo), Daniel Foré (Elementary), Christian Schaller (Redhat), Matthew Garrett (Linux), Zohar Babin (Kaltura), Steven J. Vaughan-Nicols (ZDNet), and others.

…and then there are the competitions and challenges. We had a debate where we had to take the opposite viewpoints of what we think, we had a rocking poetry contest, challenged our listeners to mash up the shows to humiliate us, ran a selfie competition, and more. In many cases we punished each other when we lost and even tried to take on a sausage company.

It is all a lot of fun, and if you haven’t checked the show out, be sure to head over to www.badvoltage.org and load up on some shows.

One of the most awesome aspects of Bad Voltage is our community. Our pad is at community.badvoltage.org and we have a fantastically diverse community of different ideas, perspectives and viewpoints. In many cases we have discussed a topic on the show and there has been a long and interesting (and always respectful debate on the forum). It is so much fun to be around.

I just want to say a huge thank-you to everyone who has supported the show and stuck with us through our first year. We have a lot of fun doing it, but the Bad Voltage community make every ounce of effort worthwhile. I also want to thank my fellow presenters, Bryan, Stuart, and Jeremy; it is a pleasure getting to shoot the proverbial with you guys every few weeks.

Live Voltage!

Before I wrap up, I need to share an important piece of information. The Bad Voltage team will be performing our very first live show at the Southern California Linux Expo on the evening of Friday 20th Feb 2015 in Los Angeles.

We can’t think of a better place to do our first live show than SCALE, and we hope to see you there!

on October 24, 2014 04:39 AM

After six months of development, the latest version of Xubuntu has been released! Xubuntu 14.10 “Utopic Unicorn” features the latest in Xfce development and is the first step towards the next Long Term Support release in 2016.

Here’s 10 new things to look for in the latest release.  For a more comprehensive list of changes and a list of download links, please see the official release announcement and release notes.

Appearance Updates

  1. The login screen received a minor visual refresh and greater customization options.
    LightDM GTK+ Greeter with the latest Greybird theme.

    LightDM GTK+ Greeter with the latest Greybird theme.

  2. The new wallpaper for this release adds a splash of pink to the Xfce mouse.
    The new default wallpaper for Xubuntu 14.10 "Utopic Unicorn"

    The new default wallpaper for Xubuntu 14.10 “Utopic Unicorn”

  3. To celebrate the 14.10 codename “Utopic Unicorn”, pink highlights have been added.  These highlights can be reverted or easily changed to another color with the installed “Theme Configuration” utility.

    Using “Theme Configuration”, you can easily change Xubuntu’s colors to match your mood.

Xfce Updates

  1. Xfce Power Manager 1.4 sports several improvements over previous releases. Brightness controls have been extended to better support backlit keyboards and new laptop displays. The updated panel plugin shows device charge status, adds display brightness controls, and fixes “Presentation Mode” — letting you disable automatic screensavers.
    Xfce Power Manager replaces the Power Indicator for Xubuntu 14.10

    Xfce Power Manager replaces the Power Indicator for Xubuntu 14.10

  2. With the latest Xfce Display Settings, managing multiple monitors is no longer a hassle. Just drag and rearrange the displays to your liking.
    The new drag-and-drop display settings greatly improves multihead support.

    The new drag-and-drop display settings greatly improves multihead support.

  3. With the updated Xfce window manager, the Alt-Tab switcher has been updated with a refreshed appearance and the ability to select windows with your mouse or by touch.
    Even minor features like the Alt-Tab switcher have been improved.

    Even minor features like the Alt-Tab switcher have been improved.

  4. With the latest Whisker Menu and changes to the default configuration, applications in the Settings Manager are now searchable.
    Quickly find and launch any application with the Whisker Menu.

    Quickly find and launch any application with the Whisker Menu.

Application Updates

  1. With Catfish 1.2, previewing files has been greatly simplified. Easily switch between details and preview mode. When the search index becomes outdated, Catfish will also notify you to update.
    Catfish makes searching for images easier with the latest release.

    Catfish makes searching for images easier with the latest release.

  2. Parole 0.7 introduces a new Clutter-based backend and finally supports video playback in Virtualbox. The media controls are now contained in a slide-over overlay (with a configurable timeout).
    Parole's interface is further refined with each new release.

    Parole’s interface is further refined with each new release.

  3. Light Locker Settings has been improved, further integrating with Xfce Power Manager to handle screensaver settings.
    Light Locker Settings can now integrate with other screensaver managers.

    Light Locker Settings can now integrate with other screensaver managers.

 
That’s it for this release, now to get ready for 15.04 “Vivid Vervet”!

on October 24, 2014 02:55 AM

Such a Utopic Unicorn

Benjamin Kerensa

I want to congratulate the Ubuntu Teams on releasing another solid release of Ubuntu. I would like to take a moment to encourage those installing and upgrading to Ubuntu 14.10 Utopic Unicorn to enable Telemetry and Firefox Health Report on Firefox. If you are feeling adventurous, we can always use testers of Firefox Nightly not […]
on October 24, 2014 02:42 AM

2014 Chromebook Survey Results

Thank you to everyone who took the time to complete the 2014 Chromebook survey. Certainly not exhaustive but the numbers do indicate what folks are evaluating when considering a Chromebook. Take a look to see if you agree or disagree.

Survey Synopsis

Design

  • Build Design: Clam Shell
  • Build Material: Polycarbonate Plastic
  • Build Finish: Faux Metal or Black

Performance

  • Preferred SoC Architecture: Intel x86
  • Acceptable Octane Score: 9000 to 10000
  • Minimum RAM: 4GB
  • Minimum Storage: 32GB
  • Smooth Performance: @ 5-10 open tabs

Visual Experience

  • Touch screen: Not required
  • Resolution: 1920×1080 Full HD
  • Screen Panel: IPS
  • Screen Surface: Matte
  • Screen Size: 13.3″

Usability

  • Keyboard: Backlit
  • Touchpad: Enhanced with pinch to zoom
  • Battery: 8 HRS minimum typical operation
  • Battery: Full Charge in less than 2 HRS
  • Speakers: Enhanced upward facing
  • Webcam: 720p
  • Microphone: dual noise cancelling
  • Memory Card Reader: Standard SD

Connectivity

  • USB Ports: USB 2 & USB 3
  • Thunderbolt Ports: None
  • Bluetooth: Advanced v4
  • WiFi: 802.11 a/b/c/n & 802.11 ac
  • Video Out: HDMI

Value

  • Target Price: $400.00 US

Survey Details

 Design

General Appearance

I was surprised how few votes the hybrid design received (7%). Although heavily marketed in the Windows ecosystem a quick look at the best selling laptops on Amazon’s confirms the dominance of the clam shell design. The Lenovo Yoga design was voted as the next best alternative to the clamshell.

Materials of Shell

Although Apple prides itself on its metal designs many folks are saying polycarbonate is acceptable in the Chromebook ecosystem.

Finish of Shell

I will admit this question is entirely subjective and founded on personal tastes but it is a very important consideration when designing a product. Some designers would state black and white are conservative and colors more daring. A faux metal finish honed from polycarbonate is an interesting choice. The Toshiba Chromebooks are a good example of this and early reviews of the Chromebook 2 are generally favorable. The obvious middle ground to color is to offer covers/skins which cater to those who want something more.

 Performance

Preferred SoC Architecture

Intel’s dominance in the laptop space has to be respected. Although ARM is gaining in performance the real competitive advantage to ARM is price. The new Nexus 9 certainly speaks volumes about Google’s commitment to ARM but for this survey folks expressed a preference for Intel by a three to one margin.

Acceptable Octane Score

Using Google Octane as the yardstick to measure acceptable performance, about half of the respondents stated a value of 9000 to 10000 would be acceptable. None of the current ARM SoCs meet this standard and only some of the Intel. My observation is folks with a Chromebook or a Chromebox powered by an Intel Celeron 2955U are satisfied with its performance. Some may argue with the right mix of features and price an Octane score of 8000 is sufficient.

Minimum Acceptable System RAM

Hands down folks want and will spend extra for 4GB of RAM.

Mimimum Acceptable Storage

Not typically offered in Chromebooks, but respondents voiced the desire for 32GB of local storage. The driver for this may be the ability to store off line content.

Typical Number of Open Tabs

Where is all of this horse power going – 10 to 15 open tabs.

 Visual Experience

Touch Screen

This was another surprise to me. Touch screen is heavily marketed but most folks said no thanks.

Acceptable Resolution

  • 1920×1080 Full HD

Panel Type

  • IPS Panel

Panel Surface

  • Matte Finish

Panel Size

  • 13.3 Inches

 Usability

Keyboard

Back lighting is the most requested keyboard option. I believe what folks are really asking for is a keyboard which can be seen in low lighting. There may be other ways to achieve this result without back lighting.

Touchpad

A touchpad with pinch to zoom makes perfect sense without a touch screen. This may be a Chrome OS software enhancement.

Minimum Battery Life

  • Eight hours or more of battery performance is today’s standard.

Battery Charging

One of the early complaints of Chromebooks was the amount of time required to recharge the battery. With today’s longer battery life this may not be much of an issue.

Speakers

The Chromebook Pixel set the design standard for speakers and for best quality they need to face up.

Webcam

  • HD webcam is today’s standard.

Microphone

If you are going to hang out with your friends noise cancelling microphones are pretty much a requirement.

Memory Card Reader

  • I agree, a standard SD card reader is very convenient.

 Connectivity

USB Ports

Another surprise for me. Folks want USB v2 & v3 ports. Maybe the real answer is USB v3 with backward compatibility to v2.

Thunderbolt Ports

  • No thanks

Bluetooth

Got to have bluetooth and make it v4.

WiFi

As Chromebooks depend upon WiFi so heavily, leveraging the fastest possible WiFi makes perfect sense.

Video Out

  • Without question, HDMI is the new standard for video out.

 Value

Chromebook Price

Here is the million dollar question – can a Chromebook be manufactured to these specs and sold for $400?

The post 2014 Chromebook Survey Results appeared first on john's journal.

on October 24, 2014 12:51 AM

October 23, 2014

Ubuntu 14.10

Svetlana Belkin

Today was the release day of Ubuntu 14.10, code-named “Utopic Unicorn” and my only thoughts are going to this gif from the movie, Despicable Me:

Really, I do think it’s fluffy and awesome!  The only  two features that I noticed that I was able to upgrade from 14.04 to 14.10 without any issues on both of my computers.  That is a first for me.  The other one is the updated icons for the folders of the videos and downloads.  Those do look better than the old ones.

The only thing that I don’t like is that the Unity notifications for new messages is too small.  I hope there is a way to tweak that.

P.S. I did go to the Online release party but I didn’t really enjoy my time since there was too much chatter but it was still fun nagging the bot with !isitout. ;)


on October 23, 2014 11:33 PM

S07E30 – The One at the Beach

Ubuntu Podcast from the UK LoCo

We’re back with Season Seven, Episode Thirty of the Ubuntu Podcast! Alan Pope, Laura Cowen and Tony Whitmore bring you this episode whilst Mark Johnson is on a sun-lounger somewhere.

In this week’s show:

  • We discuss Mark’s blog post about diversity at OggCamp

  • We also discuss:

  • We share some Command Line Lurve which saves you valuable time and regret:
    rsync --partial --progress --rsh=ssh user@host:remote_file local_file
    
  • And we read your feedback. Thanks for sending it in!

We’ll be back next week, so please send your comments and suggestions to: podcast@ubuntu-uk.org
Join us on IRC in #uupc on Freenode
Leave a voicemail via phone: +44 (0) 203 298 1600, sip: podcast@sip.ubuntu-uk.org and skype: ubuntuukpodcast
Follow us on Twitter
Find our Facebook Fan Page
Follow us on Google+

on October 23, 2014 07:30 PM

Codenamed "Utopic Unicorn", 14.10 continues Ubuntu’s proud tradition of integrating the latest and greatest open source technologies into a high-quality, easy-to-use Linux distribution. The team has been hard at work through this cycle, introducing new features and fixing bugs.

Under the hood, there have been updates to many core packages, including a new 3.16-based kernel, a new AppArmor with fine-grained socket control, and more.

Ubuntu Desktop has seen incremental improvements, with newer versions of GTK and Qt, updates to major packages like Firefox and LibreOffice, and improvements to Unity, including improved High-DPI display support.

Ubuntu Server 14.10 includes the Juno release of OpenStack, alongside deployment and management tools that save devops teams time when deploying distributed applications – whether on private clouds, public clouds, x86 or ARM servers, or on developer laptops. Several key server technologies, from MAAS to Ceph, have been updated to new upstream versions with a variety of new features.

The newest Kubuntu, Xubuntu, Lubuntu, Ubuntu GNOME, Ubuntu Kylin, and Ubuntu Studio are also being released today. More details can be found for these at their individual release notes:

https://wiki.ubuntu.com/UtopicUnicorn/ReleaseNotes#Official_flavours

Maintenance updates will be provided for 9 months for all flavours releasing with 14.10.

To get Ubuntu 14.10

In order to download Ubuntu 14.10, visit:

http://www.ubuntu.com/download

Users of Ubuntu 14.04 LTS will be offered an automatic upgrade to 14.10 if they have selected to be notified of all releases, rather than just LTS upgrades. For further information about upgrading, see:

http://www.ubuntu.com/download/desktop/upgrade

As always, upgrades to the latest version of Ubuntu are entirely free of charge.

We recommend that all users read the release notes, which document caveats, workarounds for known issues, as well as more in-depth notes on the release itself. They are available at:

http://wiki.ubuntu.com/UtopicUnicorn/ReleaseNotes

Find out what’s new in this release with a graphical overview:

http://www.ubuntu.com/desktop

http://www.ubuntu.com/desktop/features

If you have a question, or if you think you may have found a bug but aren’t sure, you can try asking in any of the following places:

Help Shape Ubuntu

If you would like to help shape Ubuntu, take a look at the list of ways you can participate at:

http://www.ubuntu.com/community/get-involved

About Ubuntu

Ubuntu is a full-featured Linux distribution for desktops, laptops, netbooks and servers, with a fast and easy installation and regular releases. A tightly-integrated selection of excellent applications is included, and an incredible variety of add-on software is just a few clicks away.

Professional services including support are available from Canonical and hundreds of other companies around the world. For more information about support, visit:

http://www.ubuntu.com/support

More Information

You can learn more about Ubuntu and about this release on our website listed below:

http://www.ubuntu.com

To sign up for future Ubuntu announcements, please subscribe to Ubuntu’s very low volume announcement list at:

http://lists.ubuntu.com/mailman/listinfo/ubuntu-announce

Originally posted to the ubuntu-announce mailing list on Thu Oct 23 18:32:11 UTC 2014 by Adam Conrad, on behalf of the Ubuntu Release Team

on October 23, 2014 07:04 PM

Update on python-glibc

Zygmunt Krynicki

My pure-python bindings to glibc are progressing at a nice rate. I've made some interesting changes today that I'd like to share.
  • First, there is a clear difference between the raw glibc functions (all in the glibc module) and anything else. You can use them directly just as you would have from C. There's no magic going on and it's all there.
  • Second, we now have a growing collection of python wrappers (in the new pyglibc package), that give low-level primitives nice, high-level, pythonic API. Some of those are straight out of Python 3.4 (but are not a code copy), those include selectors.EpollSelector and select.epoll, some are custom (there's nothing to based this on) like signalfd and pthread_sigmask. More are on the way.
  • Third, and this is pretty interesting. I've decided to build a PEP3156 compatible event loop API. This is paramount for how this code can be consumed. It should roughly work out of the box as a drop-in replacement for the Python 3.4 only asyncio module. Did I mention that it works on Python 2.7? A lot is still missing but I am making progress. This ultimately means that once my contraption makes it into plainbox it won't have to be supported forever (aka job security) and can be discarded once we can depend on Python 3.4. It also means there's a clear, well defined API, a reference implementation (and some others if you look hard enough.
All of that is coming in the 0.6 release that I plan to make later today. The API is stable as I don't like changing my examples over and over so if you want to give it a try, please do so.

My ultimate goal is to scratch my itch. I want to build a reliable test launcher that does monitoring and cleanup. My only constraint is support for Python 3.2 on Ubuntu 12.04 that I have to support. I'm doing a little bit more by supporting Python 2.7 (since it's not costing me anything) on anything that is running the recent enough glibc.

If you're interested in discussing this, using it, adding patches or the like, ping me please.
on October 23, 2014 06:09 PM

Ubuntu is 10 today! That's reason to celebrate.

I encourage everyone who's ever enjoyed or contributed to Ubuntu to find the most fun, outrageous, and outlandish birthday photo you can and show it to three people you know who have never heard of (or tried) Ubuntu. Then post it to Planet Ubuntu (or to your favourite place if you can't post here). (If you're not a Planet Ubuntu author, please link to your post in the comments so others can find it here.)

Here's my favourite birthday photo:

Put Orange Candles on Your Head and Celebrate Ubuntu!Put Orange Candles on Your Head and Celebrate Ubuntu!

10 years may seem like an eternity in the tech world, but I like to remind people that we're only part way along the journey to create technology that respects humans, doesn't treat them as "users", and gives them a voice in the decision-making process. Look around you. Is your technology serving you, or are you part of a predatory business model? Are your friends and family enjoying Ubuntu yet?

I once heard that the path to widespread Ubuntu adoption would be a 20-year journey. I can't remember who to attribute this to, but if you're reading, please chime in, and please accept my thanks for setting realistic expectations. This is a struggle that won't be over soon, but we're well on our way.

I am honoured to be part of the Ubuntu family, and I'm looking forward to the next 10 years. When we have our 20th, the world will be a *much* better place, thanks in part to the wonderful people who make Ubuntu.

And, finally, no Happy Birthday message for Ubuntu would be complete without thanking Mark "sabdl" Shuttleworth. Thank you Mark for being the change you want to see in the world and for inspiring so many (myself included) to work on something meaningful.

--

image by Bart
https://www.flickr.com/photos/cayusa/

on October 23, 2014 04:41 PM

The Ubuntu GNOME Team is proud and happy to announce the release of Ubuntu GNOME 14.10 (Utopic Unicorn).

Ubuntu GNOME is an official flavour of Ubuntu, featuring the GNOME desktop environment. Ubuntu GNOME is a mostly pure GNOME desktop experience built from the Ubuntu repositories. Two years ago, Ubuntu GNOME has started as unofficial flavour to Ubuntu – see the release notes of 12.10 – and 6 months after that, Ubuntu GNOME has become an official flavour. So, 13.04, 13.10, 14.04 LTS and today, this is our 5th version and the 4th official one. Let’s find out more about Ubuntu GNOME 14.10 :)

Release Notes

Please read the Release Notes before Downloading Ubuntu GNOME 14.10:
https://wiki.ubuntu.com/UtopicUnicorn/ReleaseNotes/UbuntuGNOME

Get Ubuntu GNOME 14.10

There are important steps you need to be aware of before installing Ubuntu GNOME 14.10 so please read carefully: Download Ubuntu GNOME 14.10

Support

Ubuntu GNOME 14.10 (Utopic Unicorn) is supported for 9 months only. This is our Non-LTS Release. If you seek stability and long support, please consider Ubuntu GNOME 14.04 (Trusty Tahr) LTS Release. If you seek the latest software/packages that we can offer, then go ahead and use Ubuntu GNOME 14.10 (Utopic Unicorn).

Contact Us

Please, see the full list of our communications channels

Thank you everyone

To each and everyone who participated, helped, supported and contributed to Ubuntu GNOME this cycle; big thanks to all of you. Special thanks to our testers who did a unique great job to make Ubuntu GNOME better.

Thank you for choosing and using Ubuntu GNOME.

Ali/amjjawad
Non-Technical Leader of Ubuntu GNOME

on October 23, 2014 03:38 PM

Xubuntu 14.10 Utopic Unicorn

Xubuntu 14.10 Utopic Unicorn

The Xubuntu team is pleased to announce the immediate release of Xubuntu 14.10!

The release is available for download by torrents and direct downloads from http://xubuntu.org/getxubuntu/

As the main server will be very busy in the first days after the release, we recommend using the Torrents wherever possible.

For support with the release, navigate to Help & Support for a complete list of methods to get help.

Highlights and Known Issues

To celebrate the 14.10 codename “Utopic Unicorn” and to demonstrate the easy customisability of Xubuntu, highlight colors have been turned pink for this release. You can easily revert this change by using the theme configuration application (gtk-theme-config) under the Settings Manager; simply turn Custom Highlight Colors “Off” and click “Apply”. Of course, if you wish, you can change the highlight color to something you like better than the default blue!

Starting with Xubuntu 14.10, you should use pkexec instead of gksudo for running graphical applications with root access from the terminal for improved security. The Xubuntu team has prepared and shipped the necessary pkexec policy files for all default applications in the Xubuntu installation that we deemed necessary.

Please note that changes in the default configuration affect all users who haven’t changed the default configuration. Read more about the default configuration changes in the release notes.

Highlights

  • New Xfce Power Manager plugin is added to the panel
    Note: Upgraders from Trusty will not see the new xfce4-power-manager panel plugin by default, but instead stick to indicator-power. This can easily be resolved by uninstalling indicator-power and adding the “Power Manager Plugin” to the panel.
  • Items in the newly themed alt-tab dialog can now be clicked with the mouse

Known Issues

  • com32r error on boot with usb (1325801)
  • Virtualbox can start with a black screen (1378423)
  • Black background to Try/Install dialogue (1365815)
  • Qt apps don’t use the Gtk+ style by default, workaround is to install qt4-qtconfig and set the style there

Workarounds for issue in virtual machines

  • Move to TTY1 (with VirtualBox, RightCtrl+F1), then back to TTY7 (with VirtualBox, RightCtrl+F7) and proceed

For a more complete changelog between Xubuntu 14.04 and 14.10, please refer to the release notes.

on October 23, 2014 12:39 PM

Sprinting in DC: Wednesday

Nicholas Skaggs

This week, my team and I are sprinting with many of the core app developers and other folks inside of Ubuntu Engineering. Each day I'm attempting to give you a glimpse of what's happening.

To kick off the day, I led a session on something that has been wreaking havoc for application test writers within the core apps -- environment setup. In theory, setting up the environment to run your test should be easy. In practice, I've found it increasingly difficult. The music, calendar, clock, reminders, file manager and other teams have all been quite affected by this and the canonical QA team and myself have all pitched in to help, but struggled as well. In short, a test should be easy to launch, be well behaved and not delete any user data, and be easy to setup and feed test data into for the test process. I'm happy to report that the idea of a permanent solution has been reached. Now we must implement it of course, but the result should be drastically easier and more reliable test setup for you the test author.

I also had the chance to list some grievances for application developers with the QA team. We spoke about wanting to expand the documentation on testing and specifically targeted the need to create better templates in the ubuntu sdk for new projects. When you start a new project you should have well functioning tests, and we should teach you about how to run them too!



Just before lunch the community core app developers were able to discuss post-RTM plans and features. A review of the apps was undertaken and some desire for new designs or features were discussed. Terminal is being rebuilt to be more aligned with upstream. Music is currently undergoing a re-design which is coming along great. Calculator is anxious to get some design love. Reminders potential for offline notetaking as well as potential name changes were all discussed. Overall, an amazing accomplishment by all the developers!

After lunch, I spent time confirming the fix for a longstanding bug within autopilot. The merge proposal for fixing this bug has been simmering all summer and it's time to get it fixed. The current test suites for calendar and clock have been impacted by this and have already had regressions occur that could have been caught had tests been able to be written for this area. Having myself, the autopilot team, and the calendar developers in one place made fixing this possible.

To end the day, I spent some time attending sessions for changes to CI and learning more about the coming changes to CI within ubuntu. In summary the news is wonderful. CI will test using autopkgtest, and all of ubuntu will come under this umbrella -- phone, desktop, everything. If it's a package and it has tests, we will do all of the autopkgtest goodness currently being done for the distro.

The evening closed with a bit of fun provided by a game making hackathon using bacon2d and the hilariously horrible "Turkish Star Wars". We could always use more games in the ubuntu app store, and I hear there might even still be a pioneers t-shirt or two left if you get it in early!
on October 23, 2014 12:37 PM

This brief announcement was released yesterday to the debian-devel-announce mailing list.

 

Ciao!

The Debian Multimedia Maintainers have been quite active since the Wheezy release, and have some interesting news to share for the Jessie release. Here we give you a brief update on what work has been done and work that is still ongoing.

Let’s see what’s cooking for Jessie then.

 

Frameworks and libraries

Support for many new media formats and codecs.

The codec library libavcodec, which is used by popular media playback applications including vlc, mpv, totem (using gstreamer1.0-libav), xine, and many more, has been updated to the latest upstream release version 11 provided by Libav. This provides Debian users with HEVC playback, a native Opus decoder, Matroska 3D support, Apple ProRes, and much more. Please see libav’s changelog for a full list of functionality additions and updates.

libebur128

libebur128 is a free implementation of the European Broadcasting Union Loudness Recommendation (EBU R128), which is essentially an alternative to ReplayGain. The library can be used to analyze audio perceived loudness and subsequentially normalize the volume during playback.

libltc

libltc provides functionalities to encode and decode Linear (or Longitudinal) Timecode (LTC) from/to SMPTE data timecode.

libva

libva and the driver for Intel GPUs has been updated to the 1.4.0 release. Support for new GPUs has been added. libva now also supports Wayland.

Pure Data

A number of new additional libraries (externals) will appear in Jessie, including (among others) Eric Lyon’s fftease and lyonpotpourrie, Thomas Musil’s iemlib, the pdstring library for string manipulation and pd-lua that allows to write Pd-objects in the popular lua scripting language.

 

JACK and LADI

LASH Audio Session Handler was abandoned upstream a long time ago in favor of the new session management system, called ladish (LADI Session Handler). ladish allows users to run many JACK applications at once and save/restore their configuration with few mouse clicks.

The current status of the integration between the session handler and JACK may be summarized as follows:

  • ladish provides the backend;
  • laditools contains a number of useful graphical tools to tune the session management system’s whole configuration (including JACK);
  • gladish provides a easy-to-use graphical interface for the session handler.

Note that ladish uses the D-Bus interface to the jack daemon, therefore only Jessie’s jackd2 provides support for and also cooperates fine with it.

 

Plugins: LV2 and LADSPA

Debian Jessie will bring the newest 1.10.0 version of the LV2 technology. Most changes affect the packaging of new plugins and extensions, a brief list of packaging guidelines is now available.
A number of new plugins and development tools too have been made available during the Jessie development cycle:

LV2 Toolkit

LVTK provides libraries that wrap the LV2 C API and extensions into easy to use C++ classes. The original work for this was mostly done by Lars Luthman in lv2-c++-tools.

Vee One Suite

The whole suite by Rui Nuno Capela is now available in Jessie, and consists of three components:

  • drumkv1: old-school drum-kit sampler synthesizer
  • samplv1: polyphonic sampler
  • synthv1: analog-style 4-oscillator substractive synthesizer

All three are provided in both forms of LV2 plugins and stand-alone JACK client. JACK session, JACK MIDI, and ALSA MIDI are supported too.

x42-plugins and zam-plugins

LV2 bundles containing many audio plugins for high quality processing.

Fomp

Fomp is an LV2 port of the MCP, VCO, FIL, and WAH plugins by Fons Adriaensen.

Some other components have been upgraded to more recent upstream versions:

  • ab2gate: 1.1.7
  • calf: 0.0.19+git20140915+5de5da28
  • eq10q: 2.0~beta5.1
  • NASPRO: 0.5.1

We’ve packaged ste-plugins, Fons Adriaensen’s new stereo LADSPA plugins bundle.

A major upgrade of frei0r, namely the standard collection for the minimalistic plugin API for video effects, will be available in Jessie.

 

New multimedia applications

Advene

Advene (Annotate Digital Video, Exchange on the NEt) is a flexible video
annotation application.

Ardour3

The new generation of the popular digital audio workstation will make its very first appearance in Debian Jessie.

Cantata

Qt4 front-end for the MPD daemon.

Csound

Csound for jessie will feature the new major series 6, with the improved IDE CsoundQT. This new csound supports improved array data type handling, multi-core rendering and debugging features.

din

DIN Is Noise is a musical instrument and audio synthesizer that supports JACK audio output, MIDI, OSC, and IRC bot as input sources. It could be extended and customized with Tcl scripts too.

dvd-slideshow

dvd-slideshow consists of a suite of command line tools which come in handy to make slideshows from collections of pictures. Documentation is provided and available in `/usr/share/doc/dvd-slideshow/’.

dvdwizard

DVDwizard can fully automate the creation of DVD-Video filesystem. It supports graphical menus, chapters, multiple titlesets and multi-language streams. It supports both PAL and NTSC video modes too.

flowblade

Flowblade is a video editor – like the popular KDenlive based on the MLT engine, but more lightweight and with some difference in editing concepts.

forked-daapd

Forked-daapd switched to a new, active upstream again dropping Grand Central Dispatch in favor of libevent. The switch fixed several bugs and made forked-daapd available on all release architectures instead of shipping only on amd64 and i386. Now nothing prevents you from setting up a music streaming (DAAP/DACP) server on your favorite home server no matter if it is based on mips, arm or x86!

harvid

HTTP Ardour Video Daemon decodes still images from movie files and serves them via HTTP. It provides frame-accurate decoding and is main use-case is to act as backend and second level cache for rendering the
videotimeline in Ardour.

Groove Basin

Groove Basin is a music player server with a web-based user interface inspired by Amarok 1.4. It runs on a server optionally connected to speakers. Guests can control the music player by connecting with a laptop, tablet, or smart phone. Further, users can stream their music libraries remotely.
It comes with a fast, responsive web interface that supports keyboard shortcuts and drag drop. It also provides the ability to upload songs, download songs, and import songs by URL, including YouTube URLs. Groove Basin supports Dynamic Mode which automatically queues random songs, favoring songs that have not been queued recently.
It automatically performs ReplayGain scanning on every song using the EBU R128 loudness standard, and automatically switches between track and album mode. Groove Basin supports the MPD protocol, which means it is compatible with MPD clients. There is also a more powerful Groove Basin protocol which you can use if the MPD protocol does not meet your needs.

HandBrake

HandBrake, a versatile video transcoder, is now available for Jessie. It could convert video from nearly any format to a wide range of commonly supported codecs.

jack-midi-clock

New jackd midiclock utility made by Robin Gareus.

laborejo

Laborejo, Esperanto for “Workshop”, is used to craft music through notation. It is a LilyPond GUI frontend, a MIDI creator and a tool collection to inspire and help music composers.

mpv

mpv is a movie player based on MPlayer and mplayer2. It supports a wide variety of video file formats, audio and video codecs, and subtitle types. The project focuses mainly on modern systems and encourages developer activity. As such, large portions of outdated code originating from MPlayer have been removed, and many new features and improvements have been added. Note that, although there are still some similarities to its predecessors, mpv should be considered a completely different program (e.g. lacking compatibility with both mplayer and mplayer2 in terms of command-line arguments and configuration).

smtube

SMTube is a stand-alone graphical video browser and player, which makes YouTube’s videos browsing, playing, and download such a piece of cake.
It has so many features that, we are sure, will make YouTube lovers very, very happy.

sonic-visualiser

Sonic Visualiser Application for viewing and analysing the contents of music audio files.

SoundScapeRenderer

SoundScapeRenderer (aka SSR) is a (rather) easy to use render engine for spatial audio, that provides a number of different rendering algorithms, ranging from binaural (headphone) playback via wave field synthesis to higher-order ambisonics.

Videotrans

videotrans is a set of scripts that allow its user to reformat existing movies into the VOB format that is used on DVDs.

XBMC

XBMC has been partially rebranded as XBMC from Debian to make it clear that it is changed to conform to Debian’s Policy. The latest stable release, 13.2 Gotham will be part of Jessie making Debian a good choice for HTPC-s.

zita-bls1

Binaural stereo signals converter made by Fons Adriaensen

zita-mu1

Stereo monitoring organiser for jackd made by Fons Adriaensen

zita-njbridge

Jack clients to transmit multichannel audio over a local IP network made by Fons Adriaensen

radium-compressor

Radium Compressor is the system compressor of the Radium suite. It is provided in the form of stand-alone JACK application.

 

Multimedia Tasks

With Jessie we are shipping a set of multimedia related tasks.
They include package lists for doing several multimedia related tasks. If you are interested in defining new tasks, or tweaking the current, existing ones, we are very much interested in hearing from you.

 

Upgraded applications and libraries

  • Aeolus: 0.9.0
  • Aliki: 0.3.0
  • Ams: 2.1.1
  • amsynth: 1.4.2
  • Audacious: 3.5.2
  • Audacity: 2.0.5
  • Audio File Library: 0.3.6
  • Blender: 2.72b
  • Bristol: 0.60.11f
  • C* Audio Plugin Suite: 0.9.23
  • Cecilia: 5.0.9
  • cmus: 2.5.0
  • DeVeDe: 3.23.0-13-gbfd73f3
  • DRC: 3.2.1
  • EasyTag: 2.2.2
  • ebumeter: 0.2.0
  • faustworks: 0.5
  • ffDiaporama: 1.5
  • ffms: 2.20
  • gmusicbrowser: 1.1.13
  • Hydrogen: 0.9.6.1
  • IDJC: 0.8.14
  • jack-tools: 20131226
  • LiVES: 2.2.6
  • mhWaveEdit: 1.4.23
  • Mixxx: 1.11.0
  • mp3fs: 0.91
  • MusE: 2.1.2
  • Petri-Foo: 0.1.87
  • PHASEX: 0.14.97
  • QjackCtl: 0.3.12
  • Qtractor: 0.6.3
  • rtaudio: 4.1.1
  • Rosegarden: 14.02
  • rtmidi: 2.1.0
  • SoundTouch: 1.8.0
  • stk: 4.4.4
  • streamtuner2: 2.1.3
  • SuperCollider: 3.6.6
  • Synfig Studio: 0.64.1
  • TerminatorX: 3.90
  • tsdecrypt: 10.0
  • Vamp Plugins SDK: 2.5
  • VLC: Jessie will release with the 2.2.x series of VLC
  • XCFA: 4.3.8
  • xwax: 1.5
  • xjadeo: 0.8.0
  • x264: 0.142.2431+gita5831aa
  • zynaddsubfx: 2.4.3

 

What’s not going to be in Jessie

With the aim to improve the overall quality of the multimedia software available in Debian, we have dropped a number of packages which were abandoned upstream:

  • beast
  • flumotion
  • jack-rack
  • jokosher
  • lv2fil (suggested replacement for users is eq10q or calf eq)
  • phat
  • plotmm
  • specimen (suggested replacement for users is petri-foo – fork of specimen)
  • zynjacku (suggested replacement for users is jalv)

We’ve also dropped mplayer, presently nobody seems interested in maintaining it.
The suggested replacements for users are mplayer2 or mpv. Whilst the former is mostly compatible with mplayer in terms of command-line arguments and configuration (and adds a few new features too), the latter adds a lot of new features and improvements, and it is actively maintained upstream.

Please note that although the mencoder package is no longer available anymore, avconv and mpv do provide encoding functionality. For more information see avconv’s manual page and documentation, and mpv’s encoding documentation.

 

Broken functionalities

rtkit under systemd is broken at the moment.

 

Activity statistics

More information about team’s activity are available.

 

Where to reach us

The Debian Multimedia Maintainers can be reached at pkg-multimedia-maintainers AT lists.alioth.debian.org for packaging related topics, or at debian-multimedia AT lists.debian.org for user and more general discussion.
We would like to invite everyone interested in multimedia to join us there. Some of the team members are also in the #debian-multimedia channel on OFTC.

Cheers!

Alessio Treglia
on behalf of the Debian Multimedia Maintainers

 

on October 23, 2014 11:30 AM

October 22, 2014

The following announcement will affect users using the Schedules Direct service to get guide data, including but not limited to USA and Canada.

On November 1st, 2014, the existing SD service is changing. 

We have been informed that Gracenote (formerly Tribune Media Services) will be ending the guide data service currently used by most users of Schedules Direct. Their plan is to end support for this service on November 1, 2014.

A service is being developed to mimic the DataDirect feed. It has most, but not all of the data currently in the Data Direct feed and will be updated daily. 

What does this mean for Schedules Direct?

The guide data provider (Gracenote) that Schedules Direct uses is changing how they present the guide data to users. Schedules Direct has taken it upon themselves to write a server side compatibility layer so existing applications will continue to get guide data. This does require a change in the URL that applications use to download which is why an update to MythTV is necessary.

What does this mean to you as a user?

If you have a paid subscription to Schedules Direct that will continue the way it has worked previously. A simple update to MythTV will be required for users on a supported version of MythTV.

Users that have enabled the MythTV Updates repo and are on a current version of MythTV and a supported version of Ubuntu will receive the fix for this via regular updates. The Mythbuntu team has always recommended enabling the MythTV Updates repo in the Mythbuntu Control Centre and staying up to date on fixes builds. The fix for this issue was added to our packages in the versions in the below table. More information on the Mythbuntu provided MythTV Update repo can be found here

Users on builds prior to 0.27 (eg. 0.26, 0.25) will need to either upgrade to a supported build version (see Mythbuntu Repos) or use one of the workarounds (See MythTV Wiki)

MythTV Version   Fixed in version
0.28 (development)2:0.28.0~master.20141013.4cb10e5-0ubuntu0mythbuntu#
0.27.X2:0.27.4+fixes.20141015.e4f65c8-0ubuntu0mythbuntu#
0.26.X2:0.26.2+fixes.20141022.4c4bb29-0ubuntu0mythbuntu1
Prior to 0.26.XWILL NOT BE FIXED, please either update or see the MythTV Wiki for a workaround


For more information on this issue, please see the writeup on the MythTV wiki. Questions can be directed to the MythTV-Users mailing list
on October 22, 2014 07:13 PM

Kubuntu 14.10

Kubuntu

Kubuntu 14.10 is available for upgrade or install. It comes in two flavours, the stable Plasma 4 running the desktop we know from previous releases, and a tech preview of the next generation Plasma 5 for early adopters.

on October 22, 2014 04:10 PM
Recently I'm fixing a rather difficult bug that deals with doing one simple task reliably. Run a program and watch (i.e. intercept and process) stdout and stderr until the process terminates.

Doing this is surprisingly difficult and I was certainly caught in a few mistakes the first time I tried to do this. I recently posted a lengthy comment on the corresponding bug. It took me a few moments to carefully analyze and re-think the situation and how a reliable approach should work. Non the less I am only human and I certainly have made my set of mistakes.

Below is the reproduction for my current approach. The implementation is still in progress but it seems to work (I need to implement the termination phase of non-kill-able processes and switch to fully non-blocking I/O). So far I've used epoll(7) and signalfd(7). I'm still planning to use timerfd_create(2) for the timer, perhaps with CLOCK_RTC for hard wall-clock-time limit enforcement. I'll post the full, complete examples once I'm done with this but you can look at how it mostly looks like today in the python-glibc git tree's demos/ directory.

I'd like to ask everyone that has experience with this part of systems engineering to poke holes in my reasoning and show how this might fail and misbehave. Thanks.

The current approach, that so far works good on all the pathological cases is to do this.
The general idea is that we're in a I/O loop, using non-blocking I/O and a select-like mechanism to wait for wait for:
 - timeout (optional, new feature)
 - read side of the stdout pipe data
 - read side of the stdout pipe being closed
 - read side of the stderr pipe data
 - read side of the stderr pipe being closed
 - SIGCHLD being delivered with the intent to say that the process is dead
In general we keep looping and terminate only when the set of waited things (stdout depleted, stderr depleted, process terminated) is empty. This is not always true so see below. The action that we do on each is event is obviously different:
If the timeout has elapsed we proceed to send SIGTERM, reset the timer for shutdown period, followed by SIGQUIT and another timer reset. After that we send SIGKILL. This can fail as the process may have elevated itself beyond our capabilities. This is still undecided but perhaps, at this time, we should use an elevated process manager (see below). If we fail to terminate the process special provisions apply (see below).
If we have data to read we just do and process that (send to log files, process, send to .record.gz). This is a point where we can optimize the process and improve reliability in event of sudden system crash. Using more modern facilities we can implement tee in kernel space which lowers processing burden on python and, in general, makes it more likely that the log files will see actual output the process made just prior to its death.
We can also use pipes in O_DIRECT (aka packet mode) here to ensure that all writes() end up as individual records, which is the indented design of the I/O log record concept. This won't address the inherent buffering that is enabled in all programs that detect when they are redirected and no longer attached to a tty.
Whenever one of the pipes is depleted (which may *never* happen, lesson learned) we just close our side.
When the child dies, and this is the most important part and the actual bugfix, we do the following sequence of events:
 - if we still have stdout pipe open, read at most one PIPE_BUF. We cannot read more as the pipe may live on forever and we can just hang as we currently do. Reading one PIPE_BUF ensures that we catch the last moments of what the originally started process intended to tell us. Then we close the pipe. This will likely result in SIGPIPE in any processes that are still attached to it though we have no guarantee that it will rally kill them as that signal can be blocked.
 - if we still have stderr pipe open we follow the same logic as for stdout above.
 - we restore some signal handling that was blocked during the execution of the loop and terminate.
There's one more trick up our sleeve and that is PR_SET_CHILD_SUBREAPER but I'll describe that in a separate bug report that deals with runaway processes. Think dbus-launch or anything that double-forks and demonizes

If you have any comments or ideas please post them here (wherever you are reading this), on the launchpad bug report page or via email. Thanks a lot!

on October 22, 2014 02:50 PM

Meeting information

#ubuntu-meeting: Regular LoCo Council Meeting for October 2014, 21 Oct at 20:00 — 21:33 UTC
Full logs at http://ubottu.com/meetingology/logs/ubuntu-meeting/2014/ubuntu-meeting.2014-10-21-20.00.log.html
Meeting summary

Opening Business

The discussion about “Opening Business” started at 20:00.

Listing of Sitting Members of LoCo Council (20:00)
For the avoidance of uncertainty and doubt, it is necessary to list the members of the council who are presently serving active terms.
Marcos Costales, term expiring 2015-04-16
Jose Antonio Rey, term expiring 2015-10-04
Pablo Rubianes, term expiring 2015-04-16
Sergio Meneses, term expiring 2015-10-04
Stephen Michael Kellat, term expiring 2015-10-04
There is currently one vacant seat on LoCo Council
Roll Call (20:00)
Vote: LoCo Council Roll Call (All Members Present To Vote In Favor To Register Attendance) (Carried)
Re-Verification: France

The discussion about “Re-Verification: France” started at 20:03.

Vote: That the re-verification application of France be approved and that the period of verification be extended for a period of two years from this date. (Carried)
Update on open cases before the LoCo Council

The discussion about “Update on open cases before the LoCo Council” started at 20:19.

LoCo Council presently has before it pending verification and re-verification proceedings for the following LoCo Teams: Mauritius, Finland, Netherlands, Peru, Russia, Serbia.
The loco-contacts thread “Our teams reject the new LoCo Council policy”

The discussion about “The loco-contacts thread ‘Our teams reject the new LoCo Council policy’” started at 20:20.

Requests from the Galician and Asturian teams

The discussion about “Requests from the Galician and Asturian teams” started at 20:59.

Vote: That the Galician Team, pursuant to their request this day, be considered an independent LoCo team notwithstanding representing less than a country. (Carried)
Vote: That the Asturian Team, pursuant to their request this day, be considered an independent LoCo Team notwithstanding representing less than a country. (Carried)
Marcos Costales, in his capacity as leader of Ubuntu Spain and as a member of LoCo Council, stood aside from both votes.
Any Other Business

The discussion about “Any Other Business” started at 21:13.

Those who have requests of the LoCo Council are advised to write to it at loco-council@lists.ubuntu.com for assistance.
Vote results

LoCo Council Roll Call (All Members Present To Vote In Favor To Register Attendance)

Motion carried (For/Against/Abstained 4/0/0)
Voters PabloRubianes, skellat, costales, SergioMeneses
That the re-verification application of France be approved and that the period of verification be extended for a period of two years from this date.

Motion carried (For/Against/Abstained 4/0/0)
Voters PabloRubianes, skellat, costales, SergioMeneses
That the Galician Team, pursuant to their request this day, be considered an independent LoCo team notwithstanding representing less than a country.

Motion carried (For/Against/Abstained 2/0/1)
Voters PabloRubianes, skellat, SergioMeneses
That the Asturian Team, pursuant to their request this day, be considered an independent LoCo Team notwithstanding representing less than a country.

Motion carried (For/Against/Abstained 2/0/1)
Voters PabloRubianes, skellat, SergioMeneses

on October 22, 2014 12:45 PM

Debian hangs during boot

Mattia Migliorini

This morning I came to work a hour earlier than usual. I started my work PC and waited for it to boot into Debian Jessie. And waited… waited… waited…

This sounds strange, doesn’t it? It generally boots rather quickly. In fact Debian hangs during boot with this message:

A start job is running for Create Volatile Files and Directories

Followed by a timer and no limit. You can leave it there, but it does not finish and just hangs there. So, let’s try understand the problem.

 

The problem

The problem here is quite obvious: in the previous session you updated systemd to version 215-5+b1. If you have a look at your system’s /tmp directory (you can’t do it now, but we’ll do it later for sake of knowledge), you find out that it’s bloated. Here’s the bug report.

Edit

As OdyX points out in the comments, the real problem has to do only with the /tmp directory and is caused by a bug in system-config-printer, and systemd is responsible only to expose the problem.

 

The solution

Thankfully, the solution is pretty straightforward. Reboot your computer with Ctrl+Alt+Del and wait for Grub to load, then press e to edit Debian’s entry. After the line with /boot/vmlinuz... add the following:

--add rw init=/bin/bash

And press F10 to boot. Debian will load as a shell with root permissions, so you can do whatever you want (but be careful, because you can cause big issues too!

Now it’s time to check your /tmp directory:

ls -l /tmp

You should wait some minutes until it finishes, and the output may scare you. It’s bloated, as I told you before. What can you do now? Just remove and recreate it.

rm -rf /tmp
mkdir /tmp
chmod 1777 /tmp

Now restart your PC and check it out: Debian will boot correctly!

 

Conclusion

Is systemd ready to go towards a Debian stable release? I don’t think so. The team has to work hard to accomplish this step. So, good luck guys, and please test it a little more next time!

See edit above.

 

Source: Debian User Forums

The post Debian hangs during boot appeared first on deshack.

on October 22, 2014 08:05 AM
Interview today for Linux Unplugged 63 which was fun! However we never discussed Kubuntu, which I understood was the subject. I had gotten together facts and links in case they were needed, so I thought I would post them in case anybody needs the information.

Created and supported by community: http://www.kubuntu.org/support
Professional support for users: http://kubuntu.emerge-open.com/buy
Support by Blue Systems to some developers & projects:
Infrastructure support by Ubuntu, KDE, Blue Systems and Debian
Governance: Kubuntu Council https://launchpad.net/~kubuntu-council

How to contact us: kubuntu.org, freenode irc: #kubuntu (-devel), kubuntu-user list, kubuntu-devel list, kubuntuforum
  - Documentation on KDE userbase: http://userbase.kde.org/Kubuntu
  - Kubuntu in the news: http://wire.kubuntu.org/

* our "upstream" KDE is also making big changes, starting by splitting kdelibs into the Frameworks, and basing them on Qt5
  - that work is largely done, although of course each library is being improved as time goes along. Releases monthly.
  - We're writing a KDE Frameworks book; more about that at books.kde.org
  - Developers: apidox at api.kde.org

* KDE has now released Plasma 5, based on those new frameworks
  - that is nearly done, and 5.1 was released 15 Oct.
  - lots of excitement around that, because it looks and works really elegant, smooth and modern
  - Riddell: 14.12 release of KDE Applications will be in December with a mix of Qt 4 and Qt 5 apps, they should both work equally well on your Plasma 4 or 5 desktop and look the same with the classic Oxygen or lovely new Breeze themes

*  so our upstream is up to lots of new wonderful stuff, including using CI too (CI: continuous integration with automated testing)

* meanwhile, bugfixes continue on KDE4:

* Our base for 14.10 (codename Utopic Unicorn) is that stable KDE platform.
* At the same time, we are releasing weekly ISOs of Plasma 5, to make
it easy for people to test
 - Riddell: We're releasing a tech preview of Kubuntu Plasma 5 as part of 14.10 for people to test. I'm using it daily and it's working great but expect testers to be competent enough to check for and report beasties

* we're following along to KDE's CI effort, and doing that with our packages
  - see #kubuntu-ci IRC channel for the reports as they are generated
 - Riddell: gory details at http://kci.pangea.pub/
 - packages built constantly to check for any updates that need changed

* Our new packaging is now in Debian git, so we can share packaging work
  - as time goes on, all our packaging files will be there
  - tooling such as packaging scripts are being updated
  - Debian and Kubuntu packagers will both save time which they can use to improve quality

* moving from LightDM to SDDM (Simple Desktop Display Manager), KDE/Qt default
graphical login program

* moving to systemd replacing upstart along with Debian and Ubuntu at some point in the future

* moving to Wayland when it is ready along with KDE (Kwin); now on xorg windowing system. We do not plan to use Ubuntu's Mir

* Testing until release (please!) on the 23rd:

* Testing Plasma 5:
(fresh install)

* Another way we stay close to KDE is that since Ubuntu stopped inviting community members to participate in face-to-face meetings, we have a Kubuntu Day with Akademy, KDE's annual meeting. Thanks to the Ubuntu Contributors who paid the travel costs for some of us to attend


--
Thanks to Jonathan Riddell for his clarifications and corrections
on October 22, 2014 05:56 AM

October 21, 2014

I’m considering a proposal to have 16.04 LTS be the last release of Ubuntu with 32 bit images to run on 32 bit only machines (on x86 aka Intel/AMD only – this has no bearing on ARM). You would still be able to run 32 bit applications on 64 bit Ubuntu.

Please answer my survey on how this would affect you or your organization.

Please only answer if you are running 32-bit (x86) Ubuntu! Thanks!

If you can’t see the form below click here.

Loading…

on October 21, 2014 06:32 PM

The creator of systemd, Lennart Poettering, had some very harsh words to say about the Linux community and about one of its role models, Linus Torvalds.

It might seem that the Linux community in its entirety is all about rainbows and bunnies, but the truth is that it’s made up of regular people and the likes. Most of the other communities are formed in this way and Linux is no exception. The problem is that Linus is pegged as one of the people responsible by Lennart Poettering.

There has been some small friction between the two projects, Linux and systemd, but nothing that would indicate that something was amiss. In fact, when asked what he thought about systemd, just a couple of weeks ago, Linus Torvalds was actually very tactful about it.

Source:

http://news.softpedia.com/news/Systemd-Creator-Say-Linux-Community-Is-Rotten-Points-at-Linus-Torvalds-as-the-Source-461219.shtml

Submitted by: Silviu Stahie

on October 21, 2014 06:00 AM

Welcome to the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter. This is issue #388 for the week October 13 – 19, 2014, and the full version is available here.

In this issue we cover:

The issue of The Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter is brought to you by:

  • Paul White
  • Elizabeth K. Joseph
  • John Mahoney
  • And many others

If you have a story idea for the Weekly Newsletter, join the Ubuntu News Team mailing list and submit it. Ideas can also be added to the wiki!

Except where otherwise noted, content in this issue is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License BY SA Creative Commons License

on October 21, 2014 12:12 AM

October 20, 2014

Today is Ubuntu’s ten year anniversary. Scott did a wonderful job summarizing many of those early years and his own experience, and while I won’t be as articulate as him, I wanted to share a few thoughts on my experience too.

I heard of this super secret Debian startup from Scott James Remnant. When I worked at OpenAdvantage we would often grab lunch in Birmingham, and he filled me in on what he was working on, but leaving a bunch of the blanks out due to confidentiality.

I was excited about this new mystery distribution. For many years I had been advocating at conferences about a consumer-facing desktop, and felt that Debian and GNOME, complete with the exciting Project Utopia work from Robert Love and David Zeuthen made sense. This was precisely what this new distro would be shipping.

When Warty was released I installed it and immediately became an Ubuntu user. Sure, it was simple, but the level of integration was a great step forward. More importantly though, what really struck me was how community-focused Ubuntu was. There was open governance, a Code Of Conduct, fully transparent mailing lists and IRC channels, and they had the Oceans 11 of rock-star developers involved from Debian, GNOME, and elsewhere.

I knew I wanted to be part of this.

While at GUADEC in Stuttgart I met Mark Shuttleworth and had a short meeting with him. He seemed a pretty cool guy, and I invited him to speak at our very first LugRadio Live in Wolverhampton.

Mark at LugRadio Live.

I am not sure how many multi-millionaires would consider speaking to 250 sweaty geeks in a football stadium sports bar in Wolverhampton, but Mark did it, not once, but twice. In fact, one time he took a helicopter to Wolverhampton and landed at the dog racing stadium. We had to have a debate in the LugRadio team for who had the nicest car to pick him up in. It was not me.

This second LugRadio Live appearance was memorable because two weeks previous I had emailed Mark to see if he had a spot for me at Canonical. OpenAdvantage was a three-year funded project and was wrapping up, and I was looking at other options.

Mark’s response was:

“Well, we are opening up an Ubuntu Community Manager position, but I am not sure it is for you.”

I asked him if he could send over the job description. When I read it I knew I wanted to do it.

Fast forward four interviews, the last of which being in his kitchen (which didn’t feel awkward, at all), and I got the job.

The day I got that job was one of the greatest days of my life. I felt like I had won the lottery; working on a project with mission, meaning, and something that could grow my career and skill-set.

Canonical team in 2007

The day I got the job was not without worry though.

I was going to be working with people like Colin Watson, Scott James Remnant, Martin Pitt, Matt Zimmerman, Robert Collins, and Ben Collins. How on earth was I going to measure up?

A few months later I flew out to my first Ubuntu Developer Summit in Mountain View, California. Knowing little about California in November, I packed nothing but shorts and t-shirts. Idiot.

I will always remember the day I arrived, going to a bar with Scott and some others, meeting the team, and knowing absolutely nothing about what they were saying. It sounded like gibberish, and I felt like I was a fairly technical guy at this point. Obviously not.

What struck me though was how kind, patient, and friendly everyone was. The delta in technical knowledge was narrowed with kindness and mentoring. I met some of my heroes, and they were just normal people wanting to make an awesome Linux distro, and wanting to help others get in on the ride too.

What followed was an incredible seven and a half years. I travelled to Ubuntu Developer Summits, sprints, and conferences in more than 30 countries, helped create a global community enthused by a passion for openness and collaboration, experimented with different methods of getting people to work together, and met some of the smartest and kindest people walking on this planet.

The awesome Ubuntu community

Ubuntu helped to define my career, but more importantly, it helped to define my perspective and outlook on life. My experience in Ubuntu helped me learn how to think, to manage, and to process and execute ideas. It helped me to be a better version of me, and to fill my world with good people doing great things, all of which inspired my own efforts.

This is the reason why Ubuntu has always been much more than just software to me. It is a philosophy, an ethos, and most importantly, a family. While some of us have moved on from Canonical, and some others have moved on from Ubuntu, one thing we will always share is this remarkable experience and a special connection that makes us Ubuntu people.

on October 20, 2014 05:52 PM

TL;DR: I apparently typed mkfs.vfat /dev/sda1 at some point. Oops.

So I rarely reboot my machines, and last night, when I rebooted my laptop (for graphics card weirdness) Grub just came up with:

Error: unknown filesystem.
grub rescue>

WTF, I wonder how I borked my grub config? Let's see what happens when we ls my /boot partition.

grub rescue>ls (hd0,msdos1)
unknown filesystem

Hrrm, that's no good. An ls on my other partition isn't going to be very useful, it's a LUKS-encrypted LVM PV. Alright, time for a live system. I grab a Kali live USB (not because Kali is necessarily the best option here, it's just what I happen to have handy) and put it in the system and boot from that. file tells me its an x86 boot sector, which is not at all what I'm expecting from an ext4 boot partition. It slowly dawns on me that at some point, intending to format a flash drive or SD card, I must've run mkfs.vfat /dev/sda1 instead of mkfs.vfat /dev/sdb1. That one letter makes all the difference. Of course, it turns out it's not even a valid FAT filesystem... since the device was mounted, the OS had kept writing to it like an ext4 filesystem, so it was basically a mangled mess. fsck wasn't able to restore it, even pointing to backup superblocks: it seems as though, among other things, the root inode was destroyed.

So, at this point, I basically have a completely useless /boot partition. I have approximately two options: reinstall and reconfigure the entire OS, or try to fix it manually. Since it didn't seem I had much to lose and it would probably be faster to fix manually (if I could), I decided to give door #2 a try.

First step: recreate a valid filesystem. mkfs.ext4 -L boot /dev/sda1 takes care of that, but you better believe I checked the device name about a dozen times. Now I need to get all the partitions and filesystems mounted for a chroot and then get into it:

% mkdir /target
% cryptsetup luksOpen /dev/sda5 sda5_crypt
% vgchange -a y
% mount /dev/mapper/ubuntu-root /target
% mount /dev/sda1 /target/boot
% mount -o bind /proc /target/proc
% mount -o bind /sys /target/sys
% mount -o bind /dev /target/dev
% chroot /target /bin/bash

Now I'm in my system and it's time to replace my missing files, but how to figure out what goes there? I know there are at least files for grub, kernels, initrds. I wonder if dpkg-query can be useful here?

# dpkg-query -S /boot
linux-image-3.13.0-36-generic, linux-image-3.13.0-37-generic, memtest86+, base-files: /boot

Well, there's a handful of packages. Let's reinstall them:

# apt-get install --reinstall linux-image-3.13.0-36-generic linux-image-3.13.0-37-generic memtest86+ base-files

That's gotten our kernel and initrd replace, but no grub files. Those can be copied by grub-install /dev/sda. Just to be on the safe side, let's also make sure our grub config and initrd images are up to date.

# grub-install /dev/sda
# update-grub2
# update-initramfs -k all -u

At this point, I've run out of things to double check, so I decide it's time to find out if this was actually good for anything. Exit the chroot and unmount all the filesystems, then reboot from the hard drive.

...

It worked! Fortunately for me, /boot is such a predictable skeleton that it's relatively easy to rebuild when destroyed. Here's hoping you never find yourself in this situation, but if you do, maybe this will help you get back to normal without a full reinstall.

on October 20, 2014 02:19 PM

V is for Vivid

Mark Shuttleworth

Release week! Already! I wouldn’t call Trusty ‘vintage’ just yet, but Utopic is poised to leap into the torrent stream. We’ve all managed to land our final touches to *buntu and are excited to bring the next wave of newness to users around the world. Glad to see the unicorn theme went down well, judging from the various desktops I see on G+.

And so it’s time to open the vatic floodgates and invite your thoughts and contributions to our soon-to-be-opened iteration next. Our ventrous quest to put GNU as you love it on phones is bearing fruit, with final touches to the first image in a new era of convergence in computing. From tiny devices to personal computers of all shapes and sizes to the ventose vistas of cloud computing, our goal is to make a platform that is useful, versal and widely used.

Who would have thought – a phone! Each year in Ubuntu brings something new. It is a privilege to celebrate our tenth anniversary milestone with such vernal efforts. New ecosystems are born all the time, and it’s vital that we refresh and renew our thinking and our product in vibrant ways. That we have the chance to do so is testament to the role Linux at large is playing in modern computing, and the breadth of vision in our virtual team.

To our fledgling phone developer community, for all your votive contributions and vocal participation, thank you! Let’s not be vaunty: we have a lot to do yet, but my oh my what we’ve made together feels fantastic. You are the vigorous vanguard, the verecund visionaries and our venerable mates in this adventure. Thank you again.

This verbose tract is a venial vanity, a chance to vector verbal vibes, a map of verdant hills to be climbed in months ahead. Amongst those peaks I expect we’ll find new ways to bring secure, free and fabulous opportunities for both developers and users. This is a time when every electronic thing can be an Internet thing, and that’s a chance for us to bring our platform, with its security and its long term support, to a vast and important field. In a world where almost any device can be smart, and also subverted, our shared efforts to make trusted and trustworthy systems might find fertile ground. So our goal this next cycle is to show the way past a simple Internet of things, to a world of Internet things-you-can-trust.

In my favourite places, the smartest thing around is a particular kind of monkey. Vexatious at times, volant and vogie at others, a vervet gets in anywhere and delights in teasing cats and dogs alike. As the upstart monkey in this business I can think of no better mascot. And so let’s launch our vicenary cycle, our verist varlet, the Vivid Vervet!

on October 20, 2014 01:22 PM

Pinit, Pinterest for WordPress, is a handy plugin that lets you add Pinterest badges to your website quickly and with no effort.

Today I released the first complete version of this plugin, which was around since 30/10/2013. Although it had only a few widgets and was not so powerful, it has been appreciated by more than 800 people in one year of life. But now it’s time to change! With this new 1.0 release you can leverage the simplicity, lightness and power of Pinit.

 

Download Pinit

Features

Pinit 1.0, or Pinterest for WordPress, includes only one widget to let you add three different Pinterest badges to your website’s sidebar:

  • Pin Widget
  • Profile Widget
  • Board Widget

Interested in adding badges to your posts and pages too? New in this version are three shortcodes:

  • Pin Shortcode [pit-pin]
  • Profile Shortcode [pit-profile]
  • Board Shortcode [pit-board]

 

Pinit Shortcodes Usage

Here is a little reference for the shortcodes.

 

Pin Shortcode

The Pin Shortcode [pit-pin] lets you add the badge of a single pin to your posts and pages and accepts only one argument:

  • url: the URL to the pin (e.g. http://www.pinterest.com/pin/99360735500167749/)

Example:

[pit-pin url="http://www.pinterest.com/pin/99360735500167749/"]

 

Profile Shortcode

With the Profile Shortcode [pit-profile] you can add a Pinterest profile’s badge to your WordPress. It accepts up to four arguments:

  • url: the URL to the profile (e.g. http://www.pinterest.com/pinterest/)
  • imgWidth: width of the badge’s images. Must be an integer. Defaults to 92.
  • boxHeight: height of the badge. Must be an integer. Defaults to 175.
  • boxWidth: width of the badge. Defaults to auto.

Example:

[pit-profile url="http://www.pinterest.com/pinterest/" imgWidth="100" boxHeight="300" boxWidth="200"]

 

Board Shortcode

The Board Shortcode [pit-board] lets you add a Board badge to your pages and posts. It accepts the same arguments of the Profile Shortcode:

  • url: the URL to the profile (e.g. http://www.pinterest.com/pinterest/pin-pets/)
  • imgWidth: width of the badge’s images. Must be an integer. Defaults to 92.
  • boxHeight: height of the badge. Must be an integer. Defaults to 175.
  • boxWidth: width of the badge. Defaults to auto.

Example:

[pit-board url="http://www.pinterest.com/pinterest/pin-pets/" imgWidth="100" boxHeight="300" boxWidth="200"]

 

Languages

Pinterest for WordPress is currently available in 3 different languages:

You can submit new translations with a pull request to the GitHub repository or by email to deshack AT ubuntu DOT com.

 

Conclusion

Feel free to submit issues to the GitHub repository or the official support forum. If you like this plugin, you can contribute back to it simply by leaving a review.

The post Pinit 1.0: Pinterest for WordPress rewritten appeared first on deshack.

on October 20, 2014 12:23 PM