One of the benefits of kernel mode-setting on Linux besides providing a flicker-free boot experience, faster and better VT switching, and a cleaner architecture is that it removes a requirement against the X.Org Server from needing to be run as root. With Ubuntu 10.04 LTS now utilizing kernel mode-setting across Intel / ATI and AMD / NVIDIA graphics hardware, they are looking to make the X Server run as a normal user in upcoming releases.
The Ubuntu Developer Summit is kicking off today in Brussels, Belgium for Ubuntu 10.10 (a.k.a. the Maverick Meerkat) and as such there is likely to be a stream of Ubuntu Maverick news this week. To kick things off, Mark Shuttleworth has written yet another blog post and this time its detailing Canonical's newest product for OEMs: Ubuntu Light.
We began this week by providing the first extensive Windows 7 vs. Ubuntu 10.04 benchmarks to see whether Microsoft's operating system is faster than the most popular Linux distribution. In that first article we began by providing the OpenGL graphics benchmarks and the numbers were certainly interesting. Subsequently we delivered power consumption tests between Ubuntu Linux and Microsoft Windows on a netbook and a notebook. Now we are still preparing for the next set of tests, but until then, here are two disk tests looking at the file-system performance on Windows 7 with NTFS versus Ubuntu 10.04 LTS with EXT4.
Mark Shuttleworth, the founder of Ubuntu and its parent company Canonical, has answered a number of questions via IRC from the Ubuntu community today during the Ubuntu Open Week. The first question asked to Mark was whether the GNOME Shell would be used by default in Ubuntu 10.10 (a.k.a. the Maverick Meerkat) and here is the response:
With the development of Ubuntu 10.10 (codenamed the "Maverick Meerkat") getting started and the Ubuntu Developer Summit coming up in just a matter of days, we have re-launched the Ubuntu Phoromatic Tracker to monitor the performance of Ubuntu 10.10 on a daily basis.
While a few hours ago it looked uncertain whether Ubuntu 10.04 LTS (a.k.a. the "Lucid Lynx") would actually be released today due to a serious bug that caused the ISOs to be re-spun, Canonical managed to pull through and now the Lucid Lynx is officially out in the wild.
While Ubuntu 10.04 LTS is scheduled for release today, development of this "Lucid Lynx" release has not been as optimal as many would have liked. There had been many upset over Lucid's use of the Linux 2.6.32 kernel rather than the newer 2.6.33 release and the extensive back-porting that has went on, among other items to cause concern for some users. Last week they were then hit by a serious memory leaking issue within the X.Org Server, which fortunately has now been fixed in time for the release. But now we are onto a new issue. Rather than the Canonical crew and Ubuntu developers around the world spending today celebrating the release of Ubuntu 10.04 LTS, they are busy re-spinning some of the ISOs due to a new "critical" bug.
Since rolling out Ubuntu Netbook Remix two years ago, Canonical has invested a great deal in improving this netbook-focused spin of Ubuntu to work well on such mobile platforms as it competes with Moblin / MeeGo and others. Developers have worked on making a functional yet innovative user-interface (including ARM-specific UI work), hardware optimizations, and tweaking various applications to run on the less-powerful and smaller devices. With Ubuntu 10.10, more changes are coming to the netbook edition.
For those interested, the release candidate of Ubuntu 10.04 LTS is now available. All of the other distributions as part of the Ubuntu family (Kubuntu, Xubuntu, et al) have also been updated to their Lucid Lynx release candidate status.
Ubuntu 10.04 LTS is set to be released next Thursday and a release candidate is poised to be released tomorrow, but there's some last minute problems within the Lucid Lynx camp. There's a last-minute X.Org Server update that's being looked at as a result of a "major memory leak" that has been found over the past week.
In just three weeks Ubuntu 10.04 LTS "Lucid Lynx" will be released, but before that happens there is a final beta and one release candidate that needs to make it out into the hands of Ubuntu testers. Today the second beta release is here and ready for testing. Ubuntu 10.04 LTS Beta 2 really isn't anymore interesting than the first beta that came towards the middle of March, but there are bug-fixes and a few remaining updated packages (like for the GNOME 2.30.0 desktop).
Back in January we reported that Yahoo! would become the default search engine for Mozilla Firefox found in the forthcoming release of Ubuntu 10.04 LTS. This was because of a revenue sharing agreement between Yahoo and Canonical off the advertisements shown within the search results when using the Yahoo search engine in Ubuntu. Up to this point Google was the default search engine as it is by default with Firefox, but in a last minute change, Google is back in bed with Canonical and will be the premiere search engine for Ubuntu 10.04.
We already know the Ubuntu 10.10 release schedule (with the official release coming on the 28th of October), but now we know the codename for this Ubuntu 10.04 LTS successor. Ubuntu 10.10 is being named the "Maverick Meerkat", according to a blog post this morning by Mark Shuttleworth.
With Ubuntu 10.04 LTS shipping with the Linux 2.6.32 kernel rather than the latest stable release (the Linux 2.6.33 kernel), there has been some back-porting of code to this older release. The Lucid Lynx is using the 2.6.32 kernel since this is a Long-Term Support release and so Canonical and the Ubuntu kernel team has been more conservative this time around.
It's arriving a day late but Steve Langasek has announced the release of the Ubuntu 10.04 LTS Beta. This first major Ubuntu update of 2010 is codenamed "Lucid Lynx" and most Phoronix readers are already familiar with the new features and changes from all of our Lucid articles so we will spare you the details. Kubuntu, Xubuntu, Edubuntu, Ubuntu Studio, and Mythbuntu have all reached a 10.04 Beta status too.
Ubuntu 10.04 LTS will not even be released until next month towards the end of April, but Ubuntu 10.10 (with a codename yet to be announced) already has its release schedule available. Ubuntu 10.10 is scheduled to be released to the world officially on the 28th of October. Prior to this year's release of Ubuntu 10.10 that is six months after the release of Ubuntu 10.04 LTS (the "Lucid Lynx") will be four alpha releases, a beta, and then a release candidate.
It's been on the agenda for quite a while now, but the Ubuntu artwork team and Canonical have finally finished work on the new default theme that will be used in forthcoming releases of Ubuntu Linux, including the release of Ubuntu 10.04 LTS "Lucid Lynx" that will be available next month. It's not only a new theme that has arrived, but their brand with other visual assets have also been revised as well.
For those that have been waiting to try out Ubuntu 10.04 (a.k.a. the Lucid Lynx) until it gets closer to a beta state, the third and final alpha release is now available.
The decision to stick with the Linux 2.6.32 kernel rather than the soon to be released Linux 2.6.33 kernel for Ubuntu 10.04 LTS that will be released in April is leading to a few more headaches for those involved with packing X.Org and the graphics components for the Lucid Lynx release.
One of the features that was talked about and proposed a few months back was a music store for Ubuntu where one could easily purchase music and somewhat fits in with Canonical's plans for the Ubuntu Software Store (or the "Ubuntu Software Center" as it's now called). Plans were laid out for an Ubuntu One Music Store and the first packages to support this in Ubuntu 10.04 LTS are now available.
There's an ARM architecture port of Ubuntu Netbook Remix to support the growing number of netbooks and other mobile devices out there that are shipping with ARM CPUs. Unfortunately, most of the ARM devices out there lack any open-source graphics support especially for 3D acceleration, which hampers the nice Clutter-based interface found on the x86 spin of Ubuntu Netbook Remix. To circumvent this problem and to make a Ubuntu Netbook Remix ARM interface available to the masses, Canonical has written a new interface. To achieve the same graphical beauty but without 3D acceleration they turned to the Enlightenment project and their libraries.
One of the slated features for Ubuntu 10.04 early on in its development cycle was support for the Nouveau graphics driver on NVIDIA hardware since it's much better than the xf86-video-nv driver mess and has a much brighter future, which is especially important with 10.04 "Lucid Lynx" being a Long-Term Support (LTS) release. This was prior to Nouveau going mainline with Linux 2.6.33, but Ubuntu Lucid is running with the Linux 2.6.32 kernel so as a result Nouveau's DRM was back-ported.
The past three releases of Ubuntu Linux have included unreleased ATI Catalyst drivers. It started with Ubuntu 8.10, which got an early-access driver as the official Catalyst Linux driver that was available to the public at the time had not supported X Server 1.5. With Ubuntu 9.04, AMD was running behind at supporting X Server 1.6 as found in the Jaunty Jackalope, so it too received an early ATI driver. Ubuntu 9.10 also received an early Catalyst for Linux driver more than a month in advance to provide compatibility with the Linux 2.6.31 kernel. It looks like this will happen a fourth time with Ubuntu 10.04 LTS "Lucid Lynx" running with the X.Org Server 1.7.x series, which isn't yet supported by the Catalyst driver even though it was released back in October.
Ubuntu 10.04 may be just around the corner and it will be a Long-Term Support (LTS) release, which means it will be supported longer on desktops and servers than normal releases, but Canonical still has contractual obligations to continue supporting the Ubuntu 8.04 LTS release too. Canonical is supporting the Ubuntu 8.04 LTS "Hardy Heron" on desktops until 2011 and server installations will continue to receive love until 2013. As the final maintenance release where they re-spin the various 32-bit and 64-bit ISOs, Ubuntu 8.04.4 LTS has been released.
Canonical's Rick Spencer has written about two small changes that are happening to Mozilla Firefox in Ubuntu 10.04. The first is the default Ubuntu home-page with its search box in Firefox will now follow whatever the user has set as their default search engine in Firefox. The second change is that Canonical is changing the default search engine for Firefox in Ubuntu to Yahoo.
Canonical's Jos Boumans has sent out an e-mail on the Ubuntu development mailing list to outline some of the new plans going forward for Ubuntu Server with the 10.04 release. Ubuntu 10.04 LTS Alpha 2 came out just nine days ago, but Jos is hoping to incorporate these new Ubuntu Server changes prior to the Alpha 3 release that is scheduled for the end of February.
Canonical's Tim Gardner is seeking comments regarding a new build of Ubuntu Server that he is proposing. Canonical is considering another build of Ubuntu Server (there is already Ubuntu Server 32-bit and 64-bit along with specialized builds for cloud computing with Amazon EC2 and UEC), but this one would be specialized for just 64-bit platforms that have low-latency requirements and on power consumptive systems. This new build would be tuned for tasks like Asterisk that have low-latency requirements and where the current Ubuntu Server builds may not be sufficient. Though from the initial RFC, it may just end up being an alternate kernel that can be selected during the installation process of Ubuntu Server.
While we knew it was coming, this afternoon Canonical and the Ubuntu development community have announced the release of Lucid Lynx Alpha 2, or more easily known as Ubuntu 10.04 LTS Alpha 2. This second alpha release of Ubuntu 10.04 delivers on Plymouth integration, the likewise-open package for Active Directory authentication has received a major upgrade, KDE 4.4 RC1, Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud improvements, and many other improvements to this popular Linux distribution.
A month ago we wrote about Plymouth getting pulled into Ubuntu 10.04 LTS after Canonical ended up flip-flopping on their decision to use this Red Hat created splash program that leverages kernel mode-setting to provide a pleasant and flicker-free boot experience while being highly customizable and extensible. After the Plymouth packages got pulled into Ubuntu 10.04 LTS we also provided a video that showed it running on the "Lucid Lynx", but it was pretty boring with just a static Ubuntu logo and at the time some warning messages bled into the background.
While it's not too difficult to get your own package within Ubuntu's universe repository, it's more difficult to get a Debian package promoted to be within Ubuntu main, or the main repository that is officially supported by Canonical. However, the Ubuntu development community has decided to make that process a bit easier by eliminating some of the hurdles imposed when a package is initially rejected from being pushed into the main repository. Clarifying main package concerns used to require writing lengthy Wiki page entries, but now it's much more concise, simpler, and should be easier on everyone involved in the process.
970 Ubuntu news articles published on Phoronix.