Late last month we shared that Plymouth may replace USplash in Ubuntu and that this matter was to be discussed further at the Jaunty UDS. With the Ubuntu Developer Summit now over, there are a few items to note from their Plymouth discussion.
Canonical's Rick Clark has announced today that the server build of Ubuntu is now available through Amazon's EC2 cloud computing service. Canonical has optimized a build of the Ubuntu Server edition for the EC2 environment and it's currently in a open beta program. Using Ubuntu in Amazon's cloud computing service is free, except for the normal costs incurred when using Amazon Web Services.
X Server 1.6 isn't being released until next month but the latest Git snapshot of it plus a slew of other updated X.Org packages have just made their way into the Jaunty repository for Ubuntu 9.04.
Scott Ritchie, an Ubuntu MOTU, has proposed that WINE be moved into Ubuntu's Main repository thereby making it shipping with Ubuntu by default in some form. This proposal is coming after he and several Ubuntu developers had discussed this idea last week at the Ubuntu Developer Summit. What he is proposing is that by default on new installations of Ubuntu, when clicking on an Windows executable file to come up with some prompt informing them of the possible actions, and then to setup WINE by default.
The Nouveau driver has been in development for several years now but with limited developers that are reverse-engineering NVIDIA's GPUs and there being no public documentation or support from NVIDIA, it has taken quite a while to come up with a reputable open-source driver that supports all of NVIDIA's hardware. Nouveau still doesn't have a stable released version of its 2D DDX or Mesa 3D driver, but development snapshots of it have appeared in Fedora and a few other distributions. With the release of Ubuntu 9.04 next April, a packaged version of Nouveau will finally appear in Ubuntu's repositories.
Launchpad, the web portal launched by Canonical for managing many different areas of Ubuntu work such as bug tracking, translation handling, and sharing of blueprints, now has a public API to expose its plug-in capabilities. Recently there were some official Launchpad plug-ins made available for integrating with Trac and Bugzilla, but now with this public API, anyone can write their own Launchpad plug-ins to provide for better integration with different bug tracking systems.
The first alpha build for Ubuntu 9.04 was released a week ago and there wasn't too much to take note of in this inaugural development release for the Jaunty Jackalope. Many of the packages were the same as what can be found in Ubuntu 8.10, there was the same theme, and the exciting Ubuntu 9.04 features have yet to be implemented. However, since that release several new packages have been accepted into Jaunty that begin to show change.
We've talked about Plymouth now a number of times at Phoronix, which is Red Hat's RHGB replacement starting with Fedora 10 and uses newer Linux technologies like kernel mode-setting to drive this graphical boot screen. As we shared in our detailed analysis of Plymouth it also offers a number of plug-ins and APIs for creating some fairly unique visuals. Now it looks like Plymouth may make its way into Ubuntu.
One of the planned development changes for Ubuntu 9.04 (the Jaunty Jackalope) is transitioning all Ubuntu source packages to having their own Bazaar repositories. From there, anyone can then clone these source-code repositories and do whatever they wish.
Canonical and ARM have jointly announced today that they are porting Ubuntu to the ARMv7 processor architecture in time for the release of Ubuntu 9.04 (the Jaunty Jackalope). Ubuntu is coming to the ARM platform for emerging netbooks and hybrid computers using this architecture.
Ubuntu 8.10 hasn't even been out for a week, but the release schedule for the next version of Ubuntu, 9.04 (the Jaunty Jackalope), has been published. The first alpha release of Ubuntu 9.04 will come in just seventeen days and a second alpha release will be out in time for Christmas. There will be a total of six alpha releases for Ubuntu Jaunty until the beta release at the end of March. Following that release, there will be a release candidate and then the final release of Ubuntu 9.04 on April 23, 2009. The release schedule for Ubuntu 9.04 can be read on the Ubuntu Wiki.
With the final release of Ubuntu 8.10 (the Intrepid Ibex) coming out next Thursday, it's time for the one and only release candidate in the 8.10 series. Canonical's Steve Langasek has announced the 8.10 release candidates this afternoon for the Ubuntu Desktop, Ubuntu Server, Kubuntu, Xubuntu, Ubuntu Studio, and Mythbuntu editions.
As expected, the beta release of the forthcoming Ubuntu 8.10 "Intrepid Ibex" has been released this afternoon. In addition to the desktop spin, the server release of the Ubuntu 8.10 Beta had also occurred. Likewise, the 8.10 Beta releases for Kubuntu, Xubuntu, Ubuntu Studio, and Mythbuntu are all available.
Ubuntu users were promised a radical new desktop theme with Ubuntu 8.04 and then that ended up getting postponed to the upcoming 8.10 release (a.k.a. the Intrepid Ibex). There was a new brown theme that had appeared early on in Intrepid but many users were dissatisfied with this work and Canonical ended up reverting the theme to that of Ubuntu 8.04 and earlier. Though with the Intrepid artwork final deadline passing last week, what does the desktop look like in the Ubuntu 8.10 Beta release due out this week? Here are some screenshots.
Early this morning we published an article on Ubuntu's BulletProofX taking a simpler approach for its fail-safe mode when the X Server fails to properly start. No longer is the user bound to displayconfig-gtk but there is a menu system with options for diagnosing the problem and reconfiguring the xorg.conf. However, since that article went live we have a few more details on this revision to BulletProofX.
Gerry Carr has announced on the Canonical Blog that Fluendo and CyberLink will now be selling their multimedia wares through the Canonical Store. Fluendo is the company supporting the development of GStreamer and they sell several proprietary codecs for providing a legal media playback experience on Linux. Among these codecs are Windows Media, MPEG2, and MPEG4. CyberLink on the other hand is selling their PowerDVD software for Ubuntu.
Firefox, what's not to love about this open-source web browser? Well, a number of users following the development work on Ubuntu 8.10 (the Intrepid Ibex) are feeling rather outraged over Mozilla Firefox 3.0.2 and later. In the latest Ubuntu packages, Firefox requires an EULA (End-User License Agreement) be accepted the first time you launch the browser. The EULA mostly deals with agreeing to Mozilla's trademark policies for Firefox.
There's still a month left until the Intrepid Ibex is released (or perhaps better known as Ubuntu 8.10), but Mark Shuttleworth has begun outlining the plans for the next Ubuntu release. Following Ubuntu 8.10 "Intrepid Ibex" will be... the Jaunty Jackalope!
With almost a month having went by since Ubuntu 8.10 Alpha 4 was released, the fifth alpha release is now available for testing. This release most significantly swaps out the Linux 2.6.26 kernel for 2.6.27 for reasons we shared in a previous article. We are very happy to see the Linux 2.6.27 kernel being used. In addition, this release is shipping with the latest GNOME 2.24 bits which also bring some interesting features for the Linux desktop.
Generating buzz this morning with the release of the Linux 2.6.27-rc4 kernel is word that Ubuntu may switch to the Linux 2.6.27 kernel for their forthcoming 8.10 "Intrepid Ibex" release. Canonical's Ben Collins has proposed on the Ubuntu development mailing list that Intrepid be switched to using the Linux 2.6.27 kernel instead of using 2.6.26.
For those of you interested in open-source Java and are Ubuntu users, you'll be pleased to know that OpenJDK 6 was promoted to Ubuntu main and has now become the default Java Run-Time Environment (JRE) and Java Development Kit (JDK) starting with Ubuntu 8.10. OpenJDK is the open-source version of Java and is compliant with version 6 of Java. With Ubuntu 8.10 on x86 and x86_64 architectures, the Hotspot VM with its JIT (Just In Time) compiler is used as the default virtual machine. More information on these Java changes for Ubuntu can be found on ubuntu-devel-announce.
While not too much for the end-user has changed since Ubuntu 8.10 Alpha 2, Canonical has just announced the release of Ubuntu 8.10 "Intrepid Ibex" Alpha 3. The release announcement for Ubuntu 8.10 Alpha 3 can be read on the mailing list and a few added pieces of information on the Ubuntu Testing Wiki.
This evening at OSCON 2008, Mark Shuttleworth had keynoted and talked about driving innovation within free software, the Web, and Linux on mobile devices were among the topics during his 30 minute talk.
Ubuntu 8.10 Alpha 1 arrived over two weeks late, but Alpha 2 has just been made available and its arriving only one day late. The development cycle for Ubuntu 8.10 "Intrepid Ibex" is still young and there isn't too much to interest the end-user at this time aside from what we had shared in our Ubuntu 8.10 Alpha 1 preview.
BulletProofX was a less-exposed feature that was introduced with Ubuntu 7.10 as a fail-safe mode when X.Org wasn't able to properly start -- generally caused by improperly installing the ATI/NVIDIA proprietary driver or by incorrectly configuring the xorg.conf. The BulletProofX mode just sets the X server to run at 800 x 600 with 256 colors while showing Ubuntu's displayconfig-gtk utility (another Ubuntu 7.10 feature). While it leads to an easy experience for novice end-users, it impedes the process for experienced users of being able to easily debug the problem by viewing the failed log and then dropping to a terminal to address the problem manually. Fortunately, it looks like BulletProofX may be disabled by default within the forthcoming Ubuntu 8.10 "Intrepid Ibex" release.
It's going on three months since Ubuntu 8.04 was released with Long-Term Support, but arriving today is the first update for this LTS release. Ubuntu 8.04.1 LTS adds in over 200 package updates -- that address both bugs and security issues. One of the big changes that's noticeable to the end-user is upgrading against Firefox 3.0 final. More information on the changes along with download links for Ubuntu 8.04.1 LTS is available in the Ubuntu mailing list message.
The first alpha release for Ubuntu 8.10 "Intrepid Ibex" was supposed to be out over two weeks ago, but now Ubuntu 8.10 Alpha 1 has finally made it out on this Friday night. There isn't much to look at unless you're a developer or Ubuntu-phile, but Ubuntu 8.10 Alpha 1 has a massive selection of updated packages from Debian. Beyond that, the Ubuntu 8.10 features are still forming. The Ubuntu 8.10 Alpha 1 release announcement can be read on the ubuntu-devel-announce mailing list and checking out the Ubuntu Alpha 1 page. Intrepid Alpha 1 can be downloaded here (along with updates for Kubuntu and Xubuntu). We'll have more on this testing release out on Phoronix tomorrow. Ubuntu 8.10 "Intrepid Ibex" Alpha 2 should be out by the middle of July.
The release of Ubuntu 8.10 Alpha 1 is running a few days behind schedule, but an interesting announcement has come out of the Canonical camp this morning. Gobuntu is an official Ubuntu-based distribution that's funded by Canonical and its mission is to ship a distribution composed entirely of software packages that are approved by the Free Software Foundation. Even the artwork and sounds must be fully free and permitted to be modified, and in addition, this distribution ships with no firmware for hardware devices or any binary-only drivers. During Gobuntu's short history there hasn't been much excitement surrounding it compared to the mainline Ubuntu and the free software alternative presented by the Free Software Foundation known as gNewSense.
For those of you experiencing problems with Ubuntu 8.04 (a.k.a. the "Hardy Heron"), tomorrow Canonical intends to ship the first alpha release for the forthcoming Ubuntu 8.10 release. Ubuntu 8.10 is codenamed "Intrepid Ibex" and its complete release schedule can be viewed on the Ubuntu Wiki. The important dates to keep in mind are that Ubuntu 8.10 Alpha 2 is due on July 3rd with more development releases to follow, but Ubuntu 8.10 "Intrepid Ibex" is planned for an October 30 release. Tomorrow we'll have more information on Intrepid Alpha 1.
In addition to the many hardware launches that are occurring around Computex Taipei 2008, Canonical is for the first-time showcasing their "Netbook Remix" at this trade-show.
970 Ubuntu news articles published on Phoronix.