Canonical Design has introduced new Ubuntu fonts which will be used in the next release, Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat. The new fonts will not be available to everyone, though, as it has been released as a private beta. Only Ubuntu Members are allowed access to the new font through a private PPA. The fonts will be released as a public beta on 8th August. So if you are not an Ubuntu Member, you have to wait till then.
The Ubuntu font (family) is open-type ttf based font format and fully unicode compliant. It contains Latin A and B extended character sets, Greek Polytonic and Cyrillic extended. The font has been hinted for superior screen display. Its spacing and kerning is optimised for body copy sizes.
Another point of interest with the new fonts is that Canonical Design have said that “exact details of the license are not confirmed”. This has led to some speculation that Canonical may release it under a proprietary license. If they do release it under a proprietary license, it will go completely against the Ubuntu Philosophy. As of now, the Ubuntu Philosophy dictates that Ubuntu will not come with proprietary software by default. This is the reason why you have to install Flash, video and audio codecs etc. separately after installing Ubuntu.
This decision to release it as a closed beta and the licensing uncertainty has not gone down well with some Ubuntu Members. Some have even spoken up against Canonical.
However, they have made their decision and you have to wait till 8th August to get the new fonts if you are not an Ubuntu Member.
After joining Linaro, Canonical has been actively trying to make running Ubuntu in ARM devices a better experience.
In this video, Jerone Young, Partner Engineer at Canonical talks about the challenges they are facing at Canonical in making Ubuntu powered ARM laptops and desktops a reality. He also talks about the challenges in realizing a full desktop experience on ARM Powered devices, including full and fast web browsing and full access to most of the most useful Ubuntu applications.
Transmission is the default bit torrent client in Ubuntu. It is one of my favorite bit torrent clients. Its simple interface is the thing I like the most about Transmission. Although it many seem inferior compared to some other bit torrent clients, it is still a very good client and has all the features most people would need.
With the release of Transmission 2.0, it has just become a lot better. Transmission 2.0 has a number of improvements/changes from the previous version. These includes:
More lightweight and faster startup time.
“Local peer discovery” to discover peers in the local network.
The sixth release candidate of Wine 1.2 has been released. This release bring about a number bug fixes and some translation updates.
Wine is an application which allows Microsoft Windows programs to run in Unix-like operating systems (Linux, BSD, Solaris etc.).
Wine 1.2 was originally scheduled for release last month but it ran into a number of troubles in the way. Since the fifth release candidate, Wine 1.2 RC6, includes 42 new bug fixes. However there are still 48 other known bugs still left. Unless all these remaining bugs are fixed, the final release is unlikely. You can see the list of remaining bugs here.
You follow the instructions given here to install Wine 1.2 RC6 in Ubuntu 10.04.
If you are using Fedora, install instructions can be found here.
The developers at XDA have been working on getting Android to run in the HTC HD2 for quite sometime. In their quest, they have reached a major breakthrough by installing and running Ubuntu in the 4-inch device.
As you can see in the picture above, it is the desktop version of Ubuntu that is running.
Although they have reported that Ubuntu is running smoothly, Ubuntu is by no means a good operating system for a phone. Ubuntu is a Linux distro which has been designed for desktop and laptop computers not for phones. So even though it runs fine, you cannot do many functions crucial for a phone like making calls, texting etc. Moreover the interface has been designed for larger screen and will be a real pain to use in a 4-inch screen.
Nonetheless running a desktop OS on a phone is a really great achievement.
Remember that this is only an alpha release and is meant for testing purposes only.
Whats new in Ubuntu 10.10 Alpha 2? Here is a brief description of the changes.
Support For Btrfs
With the second alpha of Maverick, Ubuntu finally supports Btrfs. Btrfs is a new file system with a lot on interesting features like snapshot, roll-back etc. EXT4 is still the default file-system though.
The Ubuntu Software Center has now got some changes. Featured applications are shown main screen instead of just a link. There is also a place where new applications will be featured.
The Software Center also has Twitter integration so that you can share your favorite applications with the world.
Aptitude has been removed
Ubuntu 10.10 Alpha 2 no longer comes with aptitude installed. The reason stated for the removal is that it does almost the same function as apt-get and most people seem to prefer apt-get. You can still install it from the repository if you want.
The development for Ubuntu 10.10, which is scheduled for release this September, is going ahead at a feverish pace. The Ubuntu Software Center is one feature in Ubuntu which makes installation of software easily manageable for newbies. In the latest update for Maverick, the UI of the Software Center gets an overhaul.
Here is the Ubuntu Software Center before:
and here it is after the update:
Although this is not a very large change, it is a very significant change because of two reasons. First of all, the Featured Applications are, well, featured in the main page unlike the previous one where you have to click on a button to see them. Another thing is the “Whats New?”. We can safely assume that this is where new softwares will be features. Yet another useful little feature.
GIMP is the GNU Image Manipulation Program and is the best Open Source image-editing suite available for Linux as well as Windows. It is completely free and has features comparable to that of Photoshop.
We recently did a post to make GIMP look and feel like Photoshop. You can go check this page for more.
GIMP has just released a new version 2.6.9 which has a huge number of bug fixes as the major changes. There are no additional features in this release. The complete list of bug fixes is available at this page. Some of the important ones fixed in this release are:
Import PDF files with long titles.
Shared memory leak fixes.
Font selection remaining visible
Layer preview stops updating.
Histogram display made more accurate.
If you are a regular GIMP user, install GIMP 2.6.9 using,
As of now it seems that Ext4 will remain the default file system, but Btrfs support has been added in the latest spin of Ubuntu 10.10. The latest releases of other linux distributions like Fedora, OpenSUSE, MeeGo etc. already supports Btrfs. Btrfs has many interesting features like snapshot, scalability etc. Fedora 13 even offers a system rollback feature in Btrfs.
In the latest spin of Ubuntu 10.10, the option to use Btrfs is available only with the manual partition and it cannot be used in /boot. This is what Colin Watson wrote in ubuntu-dev announcing the inclusion of Btrfs support:
This is still NOT RECOMMENDED FOR PRODUCTION USE and MAY EAT YOUR DATA, but we’re making the option available by way of manual partitioning only so that we can experiment with btrfs more easily, contribute fixes to various tools as needed (as we’ve already done with grub2 in order to at least get this minimal level of support in place), and the like, and hopefully to encourage some more people to get involved in its development.
The guys at Phoronix have already done a performance test of Btrfs in comparison with Ext4 in Ubuntu 10.10. In most of the test Btrfs is performing better than Ext4. It is still early days for Btrfs in Ubuntu and it would be safe to say that Btrfs is going to make Ubuntu rock even more.