Yahoo! will be Firefox’s Default Search engine on Ubuntu

Rick Spencer is Engineering Manager at canonical. This recent email from Rick Spencer says that there are two new improvements in Ubuntu Lucid Lynx and the developers have been asked to arm Lucid with these changes as it nears its release date.

Although these changes are sure to appear by default, the user will also have an option to switch back to the previous option in case they liked them better. The reason for this change, as told by Rick Spencer is,

I am pursuing this change because Canonical has negotiated a revenue sharing deal with Yahoo! and this revenue will help Canonical to provide developers and resources to continue the open development of Ubuntu and the Ubuntu Platform. This change will help provide these resources as well as continuing to respect our user’s default search across Firefox.

The two changes mentioned in this letter are:

  • The default search homepage will change to the Yahoo! search homepage if we change the default search engine preference to Yahoo!. If we do not change the default search preference to Yahoo!, the current Google search page will remain intact as the homepage. This change currently applies to Yahoo! and Google only.
  • The default search provider in Firefox will be changed to Yahoo!. This setting can be changed by the above mentioned method.

This change brings up many questions like “Why Yahoo!?”, “Did Google disagree to continue with the deal with Mozilla?” and “Did Yahoo! promise better revenues than Google, so well known for its love of Open Source”?

How To Restore Grub in Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala

A common problem many users face after installing either Linux or Windows on a system when the other is already present is an override of the default boootloader. Without a bootloader, the system is clueless about where to get boot data from. In such a case, you can try these simple steps to restore your grub menu with all the Operating Systems present in the list.

  • Boot from Ubuntu 9.10 or any Ubuntu 9.10 derivative live CD ( the CD from which you installed Ubuntu).

  • After the boot is complete, press alt+F2 to open a terminal.

  • Enter the command fdisk as
    sudo fdisk -l
    This lists all the partitions as shown.

  • Mount the drive marked as Linux under System ( the last column) using the command
    sudo mount “device” /mnt
    Replace “path” with the corresponding device ID under the Device Boot section. So, for the given screen-shot,
    my command will be
    sudo mount /dev/sda12 /mnt

  • After the mount is successful,  install grub with the command
    sudo grub-install –root-directory=/mnt “path”

  • Unmount the drive with
    sudo unmount /mnt

Now, restart your system. Your grub will be restored with both Windows and Linux in the menu.

Photoshop, iTunes and Evernote to appear on Ubuntu?

A recent post at ubuntufurums has posted a survey which asks users to vote on a survey. The survey asks for choices of software which should be available in Ubuntu by default. Surprisingly, this survey includes closed source and paid software like iTunes and Photoshop respectively. The survey was started by the admin at ubuntuforums and is the first time that users are allowed to have a choice in including software.

But, the question here is, how are those applications going to be available? Is it through Wine or through the repositories or are there Debian packages being manufactured for these softwares? That would be a point of interest for those who use these softwares for windows. Also, if they are available as paid software and third-party apps anyway, do we have to pay for them or are they available for free? If free will they have all the features or they will be some stripped down versions? Too many questions, no answers at the moment.
Also, this survey seems a bit contradictory as the application Gimp had plans of removal owing to its huge size. So now, if they include Photoshop wont it face the same questions? Or are they choosing it over Gimp, and still trying to make it look good? Time will tell.

Ubuntu Tweaks: Version 0.5.0 Release

Ubuntu Tweaks has released the version 0.5.0 of the software. Ubuntu tweaks is a revolutionary software which takes customizing Ubuntu to totally new heights. This betters our experience of using Ubuntu. It has got many new features like syncing data from the web, a better UI and lots more.

The new version supports only the latest full release of Ubuntu 9.10, Karmic Koala. Given that, it also supports other Ubuntu based distros like Linux Mint 8, but has no support for older versions of Ubuntu.

The version 0.5.0 has made many major changes like:

  • Dropped support for any Ubuntu version before 9.10
  • Used native system icons in UI
  • A redesigned sidebar and title bar
  • Improved third party source, with data sync enabled.
  • Improved update manager
  • A show desktop button

The new version of Ubuntu tweaks will also allow automatic updates of the software list and this will keep the software list up-to-date, always. Also, the add-remove software which has been replaced by the  application center is much better in usability and updates the data from UTCOM, that is, the website.

Download Ubuntu tweaks at this page.

Lucid Lynx includes manual for Beginners

Ubuntu Lucid Lynx has plans of including a user manual for beginners. This will attract more migration from existing users of other OS like Windows and other Linux distributions. It will also help Ubuntu compete against Linux Mint, which is a Ubuntu derivative and has pushed through the distro list to come up to position #2, just after Ubuntu at #1.

The Ubuntu manual is a project with a complete guide on using Ubuntu from scratch, HowTo articles and comprehensive guides. The manual is written and maintained by the Ubuntu Manual Team. This project aims at providing a professional help system to advanced users and at the same time, keep it easy to use for beginners.

The manual is first expected to appear on the 10th of February, with the Alpha release of Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx. The Final release will be ready on the 29th of April. The manual will be released and revised every six months and will be available as a pdf file.

This will not only attract more users to the OS, it will also give it a better share in the OS market. Ubuntu Lucid Lynx might include many revolutionary features compared to earlier Linux versions like 32 bit graphics, even better boot times and now a user manual. With a strict six months release cycle, it simply keeps getting better.

Ubuntu 10.04 First Alpha to be Released Today

Ubuntu is on a roll with its 9.10 release. The Ubuntu 9.10 has advanced a lot over the development cycle and has remarkably improved its boot time.

Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx will see the first release of its Alpha version sometime today. This next Ubuntu, version 10.04 Lucid Lynx will see a final release on 29th April, 2010 with the first beta release on 18th March, 2010.

You can try out the Alpha release on a virtual machine and participate in the development by reporting bugs. A full system installation or a dual boot with Windows is still not recommended, as the OS is still in its alpha stage.

Some of the key features and changes in the Lucid Lynx will be:

  • Inclusion of Gwibber, a microblogging client.
  • Removal of GIMP as the image editor.
  • A 10 second boot time.

You can get the download here:

Download page

Ubuntu 9.10: Karmic Koala Frequently Asked Questions [FAQ]

Here are quick answers to some of the most frequently asked questions (FAQ’s) , by new users , for Karmic Koala:

How should I download Ubuntu Karmic Koala ?

You can download Karmic Koala using torrents to keep the strain minimal on Ubuntu servers. Users also have an option to download files from their ftp servers. You can also upgrade to Karmic Koala from previous installations of Ubuntu. Read a guide on How you can upgrade to Karmic Koala.

Are there any customized Ubuntu distributions for my netbook ?

You can install   Ubuntu netbook remix edition , but now you can also try out Kubuntu netbook edition .

Does Karmic Koala have any issues with Audio Support ?

Most users using Karmic Koala do not have any problems with the sound. However you can tweak ALSA-mixer a bit , if you are facing problems with the sound.

How can I install or uninstall new software in Karmic Koala ?

The Add/Remove programs option in Karmic Koala has been replaced with new the Ubuntu software center. You will need to use the new software center to install new programs or uninstall the existing ones.

Does Ubuntu Software Center sell proprietary software ?

Currently Ubuntu software center only provides users with an option to install free and Open Source Software (OSS). However , there are plans to allow commercial developers an opportunity to sell their software through the software center by next year.

Why is Pidgin missing from Karmic Koala ?

Pidgin IM has been replaced by a new instant messenger called Empathy. You can always install Pidgin from the software center , however , Empathy has some advantages over Pidgin , which include::

Are there new improvements for visual appearance in Karmic Koala ?

Yes , there are softer icons , and a new orange wallpaper.

Can Amarok play CD’s now ?

Until previous version of Ubuntu (Jaunty Jackalope) , Amarok had problems in playing audio cd. But in Karmic Koala the problem is fixed , and Amarok can audio cd.

Does Intel Graphics card work properly in Karmic Koala ?

Yes it has improved a lot from previous versions of Ubuntu Linux , and users of Intel graphics cards can instantaneously resume their PC from suspend mode , which was a big problem in previous versions

I upgraded from Jaunty Jackalope to Karmic Koala, and sound is not working in my PC. What should i do ?

Goto Terminal and run this command:
uname -r

If it displays “2.6.31-14-generic” then you have successfully upgraded to Karmic Koala.
If it still displays “2.6.28-16-generic” , you’re not running Karmic’s kernel.

Some people are also having trouble with GRUB not showing new kernel of Karmic Koala in boot menu.
To fix this problem,goto terminal and   run this command:
sudo update-grub

and then reboot.

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Android Theme for Ubuntu Linux

Do you love Android devices and cellphones, and you want the same look on your Ubuntu desktop?  You can have your Ubuntu Linux desktop look like Android OS, with matching icons, background and wallpapers.

“Genoid” is an Android Icon/GTK theme which can be used to transform your Ubuntu (GNOME) desktop to look like Android OS.

Android theme for Ubuntu
Android theme for Ubuntu

Genoid comes with lots of Android flavors – many icons have been incorporated. It has a GDM and a GTK theme.

You can download Genoid here.

After installing, the icons and the menus look quite sleek .

Android theme for Linux
Android theme for Linux

Techie-buzz Verdict: The theme provides you with the best Android look you can get for your Ubuntu desktop. However, a lot of Android icons are missing and you end up with half-android-half-gnome desktop.

GIMP to be removed from Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx

GIMP, the GNU Image Manipulation Tool, is a powerful image editing tool and is present in Ubuntu as a default application.

GIMP is the GNU Image Manipulation Program. It is a freely distributed piece of software for such tasks as photo retouching, image composition and image authoring. It works on many operating systems, in many languages.

Recently though, at the Ubuntu Developer Summit, the Ubuntu developer community has decided to discontinue providing GIMP as one of the default applications in the distribution.
GIMP is a powerful tool and has been a part of Ubuntu for a really long time. Although, this decision was taken to reduce the size of the Ubuntu live CD, it may have many other side advantages and logical explanations.

  • The general end-user hardly uses GIMP, it is more of a professional software.
  • The GIMP UI is complex and has many options, settings and editing capabilities.
  • It takes up a huge amount of disk space.
  • Windows does not bundle a Photoshop like software with itself, a basic image editing software should suffice.
  • F-Spot photo viewer is good enough for basic photo editing.

With all these points in mind, developers at the Ubuntu Development Summit has decided to remove GIMP from the next Ubuntu release onwards. Bye bye GIMP.

Five years of Ubuntu: Warty Warthog to Karmic Koala

Ubuntu is undoubtedly the most popular Linux distro ever. Ubuntu has a strong development team, strong funding and a strong user base. It’s got what it takes to make a successful Open Source software. Ubuntu has come a long way from the days of Ubuntu Warty Warthog to Karmic Koala. This video gives a tour of the changes in the look of desktops, of all the releases over these five years. Enjoy.