Ubuntu Software Center Continues To Make Great Improvements

The Ubuntu Software Center is probably one of the most actively developed feature for Maverick. It now has an updated look with features apps and new apps. It has also got plugin supports and some form of social media integration.

Well, it continues its improvement and now it will handle the installation of .deb file, instead of the old Gdebi. Now, when you click on a .deb file, the Ubuntu Software Center will open.

This is a very good move from Canonical and it will streamline the installation of applications in Ubuntu. However, a concern that some people have been raising is that it would make a third-party .deb file seem like it is from the repository. In the current implementation, there is a warning, but perhaps it would be a good idea to make it more visually distinct – say, a different color background, as people are suggesting.

In a related news, the Ubuntu Software Center has got its first paid application. The application is Fluendo DVD Player and they are selling it for $24.95.

[via: OMG!UBUNTU!]

Ubuntu 10.10 Beta Released

Ubuntu 10.10 “Maverick Meerkat” has finally entered the beta stage. And, as usual, along with Ubuntu its other official derivatives have also entered the beta stage.

Here are some of the changes with the download links:

(Warning: This is not a stable release and is meant for testing only.)

Ubuntu Desktop

  • The desktop environment has been updated to GNOME 2.31.
  • Shotwell is now the default photo manager.
  • Gwibber has been updated with OAuth support. It has also received some in the  back-end  to improve its performance.
  • The Software Center has an updated look with new “Featutes” and “What’s New” sections.
  • The Ubuntu One desktop integration has been polished.
  • The sound indicator now includes the music player controls.

Download: http://releases.ubuntu.com/10.10/

Ubuntu Netbook

  • Unity is now the default interface.
  • Global Menu bar is included by default.
  • Shotwell is the default photo manager.
  • Evolution Express is the default Email client.

Download: http://releases.ubuntu.com/10.10/


Download: http://releases.ubuntu.com/kubuntu/10.10/

Ksplice Joins Fedora, now free on Fedora and Ubuntu

We have covered Ksplice earlier, when it debuted around a year back during this time. Ksplice is a breakthrough technology in Linux as it eliminates the need to reboot a Linux system. Most of the time, reboots are necessary as in case of kernel updates. However, Ksplice  eliminates the need for any reboot as it can apply all kernel patches in live.

Ksplice blog announces this by saying,

In response to many requests, Ksplice is proud to announce we’re now providing Uptrack free of charge for Fedora!

Fedora will join Ubuntu Desktop among our free platforms, and will give Fedora users reboot less updates as long as Fedora maintains each major kernel release.

However, of note: Fedora is the only Linux distribution that migrates to a new Linux kernel version family (e.g. 2.6.33 to 2.6.34) during the lifetime of the product. This kernel version family migration is such a major version change that Ksplice recommends a reboot for this version change. These migrations occur roughly twice per year and only in Fedora; all of the other important Fedora kernel updates can be applied bootlessly, as can the kernel updates for the rest of our supported Linux distributions.

Fedora has recently decided to provide Ksplice update to its users for free. This feature is already available on Ubuntu for free whereas Red Hat, Centos, Debian, Ubuntu Server and CloudLinux provide this feature on a nominal fee. Free or not, this is one service every Linux user should have and Fedora users are very excited to have this feature.


Ubuntu Developer Summit for 11.04 Natty Narwhal Announced

The Ubuntu Fridge website has announced the next Ubuntu Developer Summit, which will be held from 25th to 29th of October this year. The Ubuntu Developer Summit (UDS) marks a gathering of innovative and bright minds who collectively, aim to make Ubuntu better.

The Ubuntu Developer Summit, as explained by  Ubuntu Fridge:

The Ubuntu Developer Summit one of the most important events in the Ubuntu calendar and at it we discuss, debate and design the next version of Ubuntu. We bring together the entire Canonical development team and sponsor a large number of community members across the wide range of areas in which people contribute to Ubuntu. This includes packaging, translations, documentation, testing, LoCo teams and more. UDS is an incredible experience, filled with smart and enthusiastic people, fast paced and exhausting, but incredibly gratifying to be part of the process that builds the next Ubuntu.

The developer summit is for anyone and everyone. If you are a developer, you should attend the summit to have an idea of the future developments and changes to focus your development work around that. Same goes for those who have a business based around Ubuntu. This summit is decisive for the future of Ubuntu and many of the changes and updates that are decided here decide the next course of actions.

If you are confident of your contribution to Ubuntu and want to attend the event but have some  monetary  problems, worry not. The event has provision for sponsoring a number of visitors as well. Apply for a sponsorship before the deadline of 8th of September.

The developer Summit this year; has a new website to promote the events. More details on this can be found at  this page.

Ubuntu Running on Samsung Galaxy S

Samsung Galaxy S is still on the list of best Android phones and it keeps getting better with all the love and care developers, hackers and modders are showing it. Recently, an XDA member Armin Coralici was successful in installing Ubuntu on the Galaxy S.

There is a considerable speed lag with Ubuntu but it works perfectly well. The installation was made by creating a chroot environment for ARM. This is probably because chroot is available only for the x86 and x64 architectures. The version of Ubuntu used here is a stripped down version and here is a video of Ubutu running on Galaxy S.

Cannot see the video? Follow this link to YouTube.


Ubuntu 11.04 “Natty Narwhal” Release Schedule

Mark Shuttleworth announced the codename of Ubuntu 11.04 a couple of days back. It is “Natty Narwhal” in case you missed it.

Even Ubuntu 10.10 “Maverick Meerkat” has not been released yet, but the release schedule of Natty Narwhal is already out. According to it, Ubuntu 11.04 is scheduled for release on 28th April 2011.

This time around there is a bit of a change in the pre-final releases. With Ubuntu 11.04, there will be five alpha releases instead of the three during the Maverick development cycle. The number of beta and RC remains same at one each.

Anyway, here is the release schedule:

Alpha 14th Novembe 2010
Alpha 22nd December 2010
Alpha 36th January 2011
Alpha 43rd February 2011
Alpha 53rd March 2011
Beta31st March 2011
Release Candidate21st April 2011
Final Release28th April 2011

You can see the detailed schedule at the Ubuntu Wiki.

0 A.D. Alpha Available In Ubuntu PPA

0 A.D. is an free open-source real time strategy game which runs natively on Linux. It is inspired by the Age Of Empires series. Unlike most of the other Linux games, which honestly feel half-baked, 0 A.D. has a distinctive commercial-quality.

Wildfire Games, which is behind the 0 A.D. project, has just released the first alpha of 0 A.D. And they have made it super easy for Ubuntu users to install it by setting up a PPA.

But before we get to how to install it, here is a video of the game:

(In case you cannot see the embedded video here is the link – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x2QgByWOhR8)

So, if you want to try out this game, open the terminal and execute the following commands:

Note: It is currently available only for Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:wfg/0ad
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install 0ad

Now wait for the download and the installation to finish. After that it will be found under Applications > Games. This is only an alpha release, so expect some rough edges.

If you have installed it, let us know what you think of the game in the comments.

Ubuntu 10.10 Will Support Multi-Touch

For those planning to use Ubuntu 10.10 on touch screen devices, there is excellent news – Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat will support multi-touch.

Earlier Mark Shuttleworth said that they are not developing Ubuntu for tablet devices. They are not developing a tablet specific version, but Canonical has officially announced that they are adding multi-touch and gesture support in Ubuntu Netbook Edition.

Canonical is pleased to announce the release of uTouch 1.0, Ubuntu’s multi-touch and gesture stack. With Ubuntu 10.10 (the Maverick Meerkat), users and developers will have an end-to-end touch-screen framework — from the kernel all the way through to applications.

The Canonical UTouch Framework is what will be supporting muti-touch and gestures in Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat. It consists of several components:

  • Gesture Engine Interface and Support
  • Gesture Recognition And Instantiation Library
  • Gesture Test

You can see more technical details at the mailing list.

The UTouch framework will also use a four-finger language, which again is developed by Canonical. With this four-finger gesture language, users can go beyond simple gestures and chain together different gestures to make more sophisticated commands. You can read more about this gesture language here.

The UTouch Framework will be included by default in the Ubuntu Netbook Edition 10.10. In UNE, windows management support gestures. You can minimize, maximize etc. using gestures. Desktop users will need to install Unity to see this in action.

A PPA has been setup for testing. It is not recommended that you install these unless you can bear with some problems it may cause. However, if you want to test, it execute the following (Maverick only) :

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:utouch-team/utouch
sudo apt-get update

[sources: Canonical Blog, Mark Shuttleworth]

The New Ubuntu Installer Is Now Live

About a month back, we wrote that the installer in Ubuntu 10.10 is getting a makeover. Well the new Ubiquity has arrived in the daily build of Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat.

Apart from the new looks, there are also a lot of new features in the new Ubiquity (that is the name of the installer). It allows users to install the proprietary drivers and the restricted extras during installation. This is sure to make many new users’ life a lot simpler. It also has a Wireless Network Setup and a simplified User Account setup before the installation begins.

There are still bugs though – apparently, it cannot install Ubuntu yet!

Here are some screenshots (via Softpedia)

Canonical To Start Tracking Ubuntu Installations Starting From Ubuntu 10.10

Today a new package has been added to the repository of Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat. This package, called canonical-census, is meant to for Canonical to track the OEM Ubuntu installations around the world.

This is what the source code description says:

Send an “I am alive” ping to Canonical. This is used for surveying how many original OEM installs are still existing on real machines. Note that this does not send any user specific data; it only transmits the operating system version (/var/lib/ubuntu_dist_channel), the machine product name, and a counter how many pings were sent.

Right now though, the package will not track everyone who install Ubuntu. It is only meant to track those who bought their system with Ubuntu pre-installed.

And if you are worrying about privacy and stuffs, the package will not not send any data which can identify the user (as the description above says). It is only meant to ping canonical just to let them know that the default Ubuntu installation is still alive. And if you are the paranoid type and do not want it to ping as well, you can just remove the package. I for one would not mind this package even in a non-OEM systems if it will help Ubuntu become better.

Unlike paid operating systems like Windows, there are currently no way for Canonical to track the Ubuntu installations. Since they encourage users to copy and share the Ubuntu CDs, it is even harder to track them. The introduction of this package looks like a first step by Canonical to understand the usage of Ubuntu properly.

If you are interested and want to take a peek at the source code, here is the link.

Are you concerned with the idea of Canonical tracking the Ubuntu installations?

[via Phoronix]