Unity Gets New Application Menu – Looks Awesome!

Unity – the interface for Ubuntu Netbook Edition 10.10, has been undergoing a great deal of development and the testing PPA has received a new update.

This update improves the application access menu. which was non-existent before, and oh boy it looks amazing. Instead of describing it, here is a screenshot:

(Click on the image to see the full size)

There are still  some issues with the interface. For example, the search does not seem to work. However, this will be fixed in time for the final release in September.

What do you think about the new Unity application menu?

In case you want to give it a go, you can install Unity in Lucid as described here.

Shuttleworth Says That Canonical is Not Developing Ubuntu For Tablets

A couple of weeks ago, Canonical’s Vice President of OEM, Chris Kenyon was quoted as saying that a light-weight touch friendly version of Ubuntu will be available in tablets by the first quarter next year. This created a lot of excitement  among the Ubuntu community.

However, Ubuntu’s Benevolent Dictator For Life, Mark Shuttleworth has denied that they are developing Ubuntu for tablets. He said that Chris Kenyon was misunderstood. He also said that Canonical’s main focus for Ubuntu remains on the desktop, netbooks and servers.

Canonical is indeed working with OEM to bring Ubuntu in various forms to the people. They are developing an instant-on version of Ubuntu called Ubuntu Light for OEMs which will be installed installed alongside another OS. Some OEMs also ship Netbooks with Ubuntu. However because of the touch intensive usage pattern of tablets, a different kind of UI is required for tablets.

I, for one, am disappointed with this news. What about you?

[source]

Ubuntu Planning to Remove the Notification Area

Ubuntu has planned to remove the notification area because, according to it, the notification area is ineffective in notifying people about changes. The graphics on the notification area is also buggy and breaks too often. Instead, the notification area will display system status menus and messages. Ubuntu has already asked developers to use other methods of notification like custom status messages and dialog boxes.

Whether this move is for good or for bad, time will tell. Now let us see what the inspiration for this change was. It is Windows! The people at Ubuntu are happy though, seeing that Microsoft leaves no stone unturned to rechristen the area as the Notification Area but people still keep calling it the good old System Tray.

Therefore, we have a +1 in Ubuntu with the fact that it is already called the Notification Area. However, in both Windows and Linux, we see only a few applications use this area as a true Notification Area. The scenario is changing in Windows 7 where many applications are actively using this area but, in Ubuntu, it is a #fail.

The Notification Area will be no more from Ubuntu 11.04. It is an advice to the application developers to integrate their notifications and other messages into one of the menu items instead.

(Source)

Ubuntu for Tablet PCs Coming Soon

Ubuntu has already been successful on the desktop and netbook PC and is on a prospective roadmap. This growth continues as Ubuntu extends from beyond these conventional platforms and aims to capture the next big thing: tablets PCs.

The iPad drive has already shown us how much people love tablet PCs and Ubuntu sees this as the ripe time to jump into the all new Tablet PC market. With this, Ubuntu will compete with the likes of iOS, Android and Meego.

The only news currently known about this project is that it will have a touchscreen interface and will be based on the Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat.

Ubuntu is the most successful Linux distro amongst regular users who are not too involved in the development front. A Tablet powered by Ubuntu will appeal to all kinds of people ranging from students to journalists.

It will definitely be no match for the business model of the iPad though, with an open source technology powering it, prices of any tablet based on this will automatically come down. This will be a big attraction and might just be the USP of such a tablet.

The tablet is expected to make an appearance sometime next year and will be powered by an ARM processor and a Pixel Qi display.

(Source)

Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat Alpha 1 Released

Canonical has released the first of four Alphas of Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat. As it has been released just after weeks after the Lucid release, it is not very much different from Lucid from the outside. The only notable change may be the History Tab in the Software Center.

As this is an Alpha, it is considered not safe for use in production machines. Anyway if you want to try it out you can download it from http://cdimage.ubuntu.com/releases/10.10/alpha-1/ and install it.

In case you decided to test it out, do let us know how it feels.

[image credit: Web Upd8]

Equinox Ubuntu Themes – Awesome!

We all love a new theme once in a while to spice up our (boring) Ubuntu desktop. Equinox is a set of two themes for Ubuntu designed by Matthieu James for Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx. All I can say about the themes is that they look amazing! Take a look yourself:

Equiniox comes in two themes – a light one and a dark one. The light one is called Equinox Ambient and the dark one is called Equinox Radient. Personally I prefer the light one as the dark one looks too much like the default Ubuntu Lucid theme.

To use the Equinox themes, you need to have the Equinox engine. You can download it from here.

Once you have the Equinox engine, you can then download the theme (download links: 32-bit 64-bit).

Ubuntu 10.04 LAMP Server Deployed In 5 Minutes [Video]

Just to prove Ubuntu’s ease of use (and to settle some score) dooratthe deployed an Ubuntu 10.04 LAMP (Linux Apache MySQL PHP) Server in 5 minutes and made a video of the installation. This video just goes to show how easy it is to use Ubuntu even on a server.

In just 5 minutes he did a complete install of Ubuntu 10.04, create a user, select SSH and the LAMP stack for install  options, and fully update the installation, including kernel, then perform a reboot, and a very quick  ‘ab’ benchmark against the installed apache.

Click on the image below to watch. (Be warned that it is a huge GIF image.)

For those interested, here are some details. This deployment was done in VirtualBox, with the CD image stored remotely on the storage server, not  locally. Specifications are single cpu, 1G of ram, bridged networking to eth0, and 12M of display memory.

Ubuntu 10.10 "Maverick Meerkat" Code Freeze In Place, Alpha 1 Coming Thursday

Barely a few weeks after Canonical released Ubuntu 10.04 aka Lucid Lynx, they already announced plans for Ubuntu 10.10 aka Maverick Meerkat, with a release schedule aimed to launch Meerkat in October 2010.

With the increased frenzy around the new build, there is some good news now that the initial codebase for Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat has been frozen, which means that no more major changes will go into the latest build and Alpha 1 of Meerkat will see the light of day as scheduled on Thursday, June 3, 2010.

The freeze for Maverick Alpha 1 happened ahead of schedule and was announced in the Ubuntu developers newsletter. The announcement states:

Hello fellow Ubuntu developers,

the Meerkat wants to stick its head out to the world the first time!  We
haven’t really started landing new features from ourselves yet, but the first
milestone is important for testing the new kernel on a variety of hardware, as
well as the result of the autosyncs from Debian and first wave of merges and
package updates.

Between tomorrow and Thursday, the developers will iron out the bugs in the existing codebase and prepare the build for the first milestone in the schedule. So, rest assured you will be able to say hello to Maverick Meerkat soon enough.

Are you excited about Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat? Will you be trying out the Alpha?

Ubuntu 10.04 Supports iPhone OS Out of the Box

Ubuntu 10.04 is finally out of the box compatible with iPhone. It needs no hacks or tweaks and identifies the iPhone as a plugged in device bringing up options to import music and images. This was made possible with updates in the libraries of libimobiledevice and usbmuxd/gtkpod which are also present in Fedora and Mandriva that will get equal benefits.

Not only that, you can also browse most of the files on your iPhone and if it your iPhone jailbroken, you can see all those files. You can also check out this Ubuntu help page on accessing iPhone data on Ubuntu thought, this needs your iPhone to be jailbroken and you can do an array of otherwise restricted things after that.

This comes in as a great relief as Apple had encrypted its library database  from Firmware version 2.x onwards and any transferred file failed to be recognized. This changed with Firmware version 3.x as support for iPhone rolled in natively with the release of this new firmware. The help page writes,

Lucid natively supports both iPhone and iPod Touch 1G, 2G, 3G and 3GS models  (iPad should be too) running up to firmware 3.1.3 without the need to jailbreak. This is due to the GNOME 2.30  libimobiledevice support.

(Via: iphonelife)

Install KOffice 2.2 In (K)Ubuntu 10.04

A few days back, we wrote about the release of KOffice 2.2 and promised that we will tell you as soon as it is available for installation in (K)Ubuntu. Well, the Kubuntu Community has just announced that KOffice 2.2 is available for (K)Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx.

KOffice 2.2 is currently available in the lucid-backport. To enable the lucid-backport, you have to check the “Unsupported Updates”. Here is how to do it in Ubuntu and Kubuntu:

For Ubuntu 10.04

  • Go to System -> Administration -> Software Sources.
  • In Software Sources, go to the tab Update.
  • Enable Unsupported updates.

For Kubuntu 10.04

  • Press ALT + F2, to bring up the KRunner.
  • Type “software sources“. You will probably get Software Sources even before you have finished typing it. Click on that.
  • Go to the tan Updates and enable Unsupported updates.

After enabling the lucid-backport, open the Terminal, or Konsole in Kubuntu. Then execute the commands given below:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install koffice

Before, we finish here are a few screenshots: