Plymouth is a Red Hat innovation that came around last year to provide a new, attractive boot graphical splash screen that went on to replace RHGB (Red Hat Graphical Boot) in Fedora 10. We have extensively talked about Plymouth as its interesting and provides a very clean boot interface thanks to it leveraging kernel mode-setting to offer a flicker-free experience and then providing tight integration with GDM and the X Server. Mandriva also ended up adopting Plymouth for use in its distribution.
Just as planned, the first alpha release for Ubuntu 10.04 (the "Lucid Lynx") has arrived. Ubuntu 10.04 Alpha 1 is running with the Linux 2.6.32 kernel, X Server 1.7, GNOME 2.29.3, KDE Software Compilation 4.4 Beta 1, and many other package upgrades since the release of Ubuntu 9.10 back in October.
Just in time for the Alpha 1 release of Ubuntu 10.04, X.Org 7.5 with X Server 1.7 has been pulled into the Lucid Lynx package repository. With this push of new X.Org 7.5 packages comes a number of other upstream X package updates along with rebuilds of the other non-updated drivers so that they will work against this latest stable X Server.
The Ubuntu kernel team has written a message on the Ubuntu announcement mailing list in which they lay out the kernel summary for Ubuntu Lucid. In this message the kernel team confirms that Ubuntu 10.04 LTS (the "Lucid Lynx") will indeed be shipping with the just-released Linux 2.6.32 kernel. By the time Ubuntu 10.04 rolls around in April, the Linux 2.6.33 kernel will have been released and the Linux 2.6.34 kernel will be in development, but the Ubuntu developers have decided to stick it out with the 2.6.32 kernel for a maximum stabilization period, especially since this is a Long-Term Support release.
A week ago we found out that Nouveau would be pulled into Ubuntu 10.04 as the default NVIDIA graphics driver replacing the current open-source NVIDIA driver mess that is known as xf86-video-nv. The Nouveau driver stack isn't stable or officially released yet, but the 2D portion is in good standing and the 3D portion written to use Gallium3D is progressing (recent status update). The Nouveau driver has been used by default in two Fedora releases, but on the Ubuntu side it will be the default starting with Ubuntu 10.04 LTS "Lucid Lynx", including the DRM / kernel mode-setting bits.
Started during the Ubuntu 9.10 development cycle was an Ubuntu project to address paper cuts in Ubuntu, or rather small usability bugs in Ubuntu and the Linux desktop that are often only minor impairments or annoyances, but these easy-to-fix issues have never been heavily targeted for correction. These "paper cuts" are often spotted by new Linux users but frequently go unnoticed to those that have been using the Linux desktop for a while and are accustomed to its shortcomings. Most of the 100 paper cuts targeted for Ubuntu 9.10 were addressed (the official count seems to be at 76), but this project is going to live on with Ubuntu 10.04 LTS.
Canonical's Ubuntu Developer Summit for Ubuntu 10.04 LTS (codenamed Lucid Lynx) is taking place this week in Texas, but happening right now on the Ubuntu-X mailing list is a discussion about what the X.Org plans are for Ubuntu Lucid.
Just as planned, Ubuntu 9.10 "Karmic Koala" has been officially released this morning. Additionally, 9.10 Karmic releases of Kubuntu, Xubuntu, Edubuntu, Mythbuntu, and Ubuntu Studio are also available. The Ubuntu 9.10 Server build also sports support for the Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud (UEC) and Amazon EC2 support. Furthermore, another flavor of Ubuntu 9.10 that is also available is Ubuntu 9.10 Netbook Remix with its many improvements.
With one week to go until the official release of Ubuntu 9.10 "Karmic Koala", Canonical has announced the release candidate of this forthcoming Linux distribution update. Kubuntu, Xubuntu, Edubuntu, Ubuntu Studio, and Mythbuntu have all reached Ubuntu 9.10 RC status as well.
Ubuntu 9.04 was released back in April while the next release, Ubuntu 9.10, will be out in less than three weeks. However, only recently has Dell been getting around to rolling out their Linux desktops, netbooks, and notebooks with an Ubuntu 9.04 installation option rather than Ubuntu 8.10. Besides switching out the base operating system to Ubuntu 9.04, Dell's Linux engineers also took this time to make a few other changes to their "Dellbuntu" stack.
Ubuntu 9.10 (the "Karmic Koala") will be officially released later this month along with the other distributions in the Ubuntu family, but coming out of the Canonical camp yesterday was the beta releases for these Ubuntu-based Linux operating systems.
With the current Ubuntu 9.10 release cycle that we are currently going through, like most earlier releases, there were six alpha releases followed by one beta and a release candidate before going gold. However, with Ubuntu 10.04 -- the next release that will bear Canonical's Long Term Support and is codenamed the Lucid Lynx -- this will not be the case.
Mark Shuttleworth has announced at the Atlanta Linux Fest that the next major Ubuntu release following Ubuntu 9.10 (the Karmic Koala) will be codenamed the Lucid Lynx. Ubuntu 10.04 will be the official name and with their bi-annual scheduling, this release will also serve as a Long Term Support (LTS) version.
For those of you wanting to test out some new software over the weekend (well, if you are not at Oktoberfest in Munich), Ubuntu 9.10 Alpha 6 is now available. Ubuntu 9.10 entered into a feature freeze a month ago so there are major upstream package updates in here, although there is the final Linux 2.6.31 kernel, more recent GNOME 2.28 snapshots, etc. More of the Ubuntu-specific improvements like artwork and enhancements to Ubiquity are visible in Ubuntu 9.10 Alpha 6 too.
Besides the ATI Catalyst Linux driver still lacking public XvBA support (the library is in the driver, but there's no documentation or public implementations of it) even though we exclusively detailed the X-Video Bitstream Acceleration architecture nearly a year ago for enhancing HD video playback on Linux, the other leading problem we usually end up facing with AMD's proprietary Linux driver is their slow response time with supporting new X Server and kernel releases. AMD's policy has been not to focus on providing support for unreleased kernels/X servers, and then to provide the support once out, but while they do provide new releases on a consistent monthly basis, things usually don't end up working out as planned.
Yesterday Ubuntu 9.10 Alpha 5 was released and besides shipping with a number of updated packages and the Ubuntu One client along with Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud images, the Ubiquity installer shipped with its new slide-show feature enabled. Now during the Ubuntu installation process from the desktop LiveCD, rather than just showing a status bar it also advertises various features of this Linux operating system.
In just under two months there will be the release of Ubuntu 9.10 "Karmic Koala", but until then, there is the continual stream of new test releases. The latest test release to emerge from the Canonical camp is Ubuntu 9.10 Alpha 5. This fifth testing release of Mark Shuttleworth's operating system brings the Linux 2.6.31-rc8 kernel, the latest KDE/GNOME packages, a few updated X.Org bits, and many other package updates, although the Karmic Koala is now under a feature freeze.
Introduced last year with Fedora 10 was Plymouth, a project to replace the aging Red Hat Graphical Boot (RHGB) software. From the start, Plymouth leveraged kernel mode-setting to provide a flicker-free boot process and a splash screen that would run at the panel's native resolution. Beyond using KMS, Red Hat designed a nice plug-in architecture for Plymouth to offer different functionality and make it easy to add in new artwork.
Right on schedule, Canonical's Steve Langasek has announced the release of Ubuntu 9.10 Alpha 4. This fourth development release of the Karmic Koala brings more updated packages (including a kernel based upon Linux 2.6.31-rc5), Ubuntu One file sharing support, and some other new features. Ubuntu 9.10 Alpha 4 is also the first build to have Kubuntu Netbook Remix support for KDE 4.3 and Ubuntu UEC. Ubuntu UEC is for the Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud with support for Amazon's EC2 service.
There's twelve days left until the release of X Server 1.7 and X.Org 7.5! Wait, there still is not even an X Server 1.7 Beta, which should have happened last month, so chances are slim to none on seeing a final release this month. The release schedule for X Server 1.7 / X.Org 7.5 has already slipped a few times, after it was supposed to be released back in April.
Intel's Poulsbo driver for their GMA 500 IGP on the SCH U15W is a bloody mess. Unlike their X.Org driver for their other Intel IGPs, the Poulsbo driver is closed-source (since they licensed some of the technologies for this graphics processor), but the problems go beyond just whether or not you like to use a binary blob. Intel hasn't done a good job at maintaining this driver and ensuring it works with the latest kernel and X.Org releases and tracking down all of the components to use the driver on a non-supported distribution can be challenging. In fact, it took quite some work to even get the Poulsbo driver running on Fedora.
Canonical, the parent company behind Ubuntu, has announced this morning that next month they will release Landscape Dedicated Server. Canonical's Landscape provides systems management and monitoring support for Ubuntu systems, but with Landscape Dedicated Server it should be easier to deploy in data-centers and the like.
Right on schedule, Ubuntu 9.10 Alpha 3 has been released. This third alpha release brings package updates to the Linux kernel, the desktop (both GNOME and KDE), and other packages throughout the Ubuntu repositories.
Last year on the 22nd of July we were covering the OSCON 2008 event. There really wasn't anything great about that year's open-source conference from O'Reilly (hence it's demise and conversion into LinuxCon in a different state), but Mark Shuttleworth was there and had keynoted at one of the evening events. Among other statements, Mark said that Launchpad would be open-source within 12 months. Well, with tomorrow marking the one-year anniversary, Canonical has early this morning pushed out the source-code to Launchpad.
For those of you still running Ubuntu 8.04 due to its Long-Term Support status rather than upgrading to Ubuntu 8.10 or Ubuntu 9.04, fire up your update manager as Ubuntu 8.04.3 LTS is now available. Ubuntu 8.04.3 LTS is the third maintenance update targeting the Hardy Heron and it includes security updates and fixes for high impact bugs.
On behalf of Canonical and the Ubuntu Technical Board, Scott James Remnant has issued a position statement surrounding Mono, the open-source project that provides a C# compiler for Linux (along with other operating systems) and other components for a free software .NET stack. However, the legality of Mono is frequently a key concern to free software advocates considering patents and other intellectual property that's owned by Microsoft. Richard Stallman has also referred to the use of Mono as "dangerous" due to such possible legal troubles that could ultimately kill this open-source project, which is owned by Novell, if such a situation ever cropped up. With these concerns coming up, the Ubuntu Technical Board has decided to reaffirm its position with Mono.
Last week the first ten Ubuntu paper cuts were exposed via Launchpad, which are small annoying usability problems with Ubuntu (and upstream applications) that are quite easy to address but simply have not been carried out. In time for the release of Ubuntu 9.10, Canonical hopes to have 100 of these "paper cuts" addressed. In less than a week, 100 of these paper cuts have been tagged in Launchpad and there's a few more in there too for the KDE version of Ubuntu, Kubuntu.
Canonical's X.Org guy, Bryce Harrington, has announced the switch to using Intel kernel mode-setting by default beginning with the new Linux 2.6.30 kernel update that was just committed to the Ubuntu 9.10 "Karmic Koala" repository. Cheers! For those unfamiliar with what Intel kernel mode-setting means or would like more information, check out the mailing list announcement.
With the release of Ubuntu 9.10, which is due out this October, Canonical and the Ubuntu developers hope to fix at least 100 "paper cuts" on the Ubuntu Linux desktop. Paper cuts are rather trivial usability bugs that are small, but in one way or another could impair the Linux desktop or increase the burden placed on a new Linux user ever so slightly. They are likely bugs that a new user of the Ubuntu desktop may encounter immediately but is something that may go unnoticed by a veteran Ubuntu user or developer since they have grown accustomed to the Linux desktop and its small flaws.
Ubuntu 9.10 "Karmic Koala" Alpha 2 is now available. This second testing release for the forthcoming Ubuntu 9.10 doesn't bring too much in the way of exciting features or major changes since the release of Alpha 1. There is, however, GRUB2 as the default boot-loader.
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