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November Ubuntu News Roundup

Wednesday 25th of November 2015 12:10:35 AM

Please reactivate your Everything’s OK alarms. After a short hiatus we’re back with some news from the past month.

Linux kernel 4.4-rc2 released

The next major release of the Linux kernel has reached its second release candidate as of a couple of days ago. 4.4 will be a “longterm” release with an end of life scheduled for February 2018. Some of the highlights of the kernel release due early next year include:

  • Journaling for (software) RAID 5
  • Low-level host access to “Open-Channel” SSDs through the LightNVM project
  • New hardware support for dozens of sensors, controllers, and input devices, including the Corsair Vengeance K90 keyboard (with Cherry MX Red switches!)

You can read through a much more thorough list of user and developer-facing changes on LWN.

Ubuntu Online Summit

The latest Ubuntu Online Summit kicked off way back on November 3. Sessions were held on everything from the LXD container hypervisor to a look at writing scopes in JavaScript. Have a gander at the full list of sessions to find any recorded streams that pique your interest.

Dropping Python 2 from Default 16.04 Install

The upcoming 16.04 LTS release is set to drop Python 2 from default images and installs. The goal was originally set for the current 14.04 LTS release, but all signs point to good progress on removing or porting the remaining packages.

You can look through the UOS notes from the related session to track everyone’s progress (and help out!). If you’re using one of our favourite distros, Lubuntu, there’s a meta bug tracking their progress too.

And, of course, none of this means Python 2 is disappearing from the repos. Popular projects still struggling to update won’t need PPAs or manually compiled packages, but it’s worth keeping in mind if you need Python 2.7 after a fresh install of 16.04.

Removing Brasero and Empathy from Default 16.04 Install

Speaking of dropping packages, the Ubuntu desktop team is looking to drop Brasero and Empathy from default 16.04 installs and images as well – citing the shift towards USB drives for the former, the dwindling number of available chat services for the latter, and the lack of maintenance in both projects. Gnome Calendar was also slated to appear as a new default, but this now looks to be on hold.

New Kubuntu Release Managers

Kubuntu contributors Philip Muškovac and Scarlett Clark are the new Kubuntu release managers following Jonathan Riddell’s departure at the end of last month.

Ubuntu SDK Update

An update to the Ubuntu SDK tools has been released for all Ubuntu versions from 14.04 LTS. The update introduces new packages that make it possible to work with “the most recent UITK and Qt used on the phone images” even when your current release’s packages lag behind the phone’s, as is already the case with 14.04 LTS. The caveat is that the SDK team had to include their own Qt package in a PPA. To get the update, follow the instructions over on the Ubuntu developer blog.

Get the New Ubuntu SDK Tools

For those of you in the states, have a great Thanksgiving and an extra slice of pumpkin pie for us!

This post, November Ubuntu News Roundup, was written by Sam Tran and first appeared on OMG! Ubuntu!.

Ubuntu Software Centre To Be Replaced in 16.04 LTS

Wednesday 4th of November 2015 04:00:22 PM

The USC Will Be Replaced

The Ubuntu Software Centre is to be replaced in Ubuntu 16.04 LTS.

Users of the Xenial Xerus desktop will find that the familiar (and somewhat cumbersome) Ubuntu Software Centre is no longer available.

GNOME’s Software application will – according to current plans – take its place as the default and package management utility on the Unity 7-based desktop.

GNOME Software

New plugins will be created to support the Software Centre’s ratings, reviews and paid app features as a result of the switch.

The decisions were taken at a recent desktop Sprint held at Canonical HQ in London.

“We are more confident in our ability to add support for Snaps to GNOME Software Centre (sic) than we are to Ubuntu Software Centre. And so, right now, it looks like we will be replacing [the USC] with GNOME Software Centre”, explains Ubuntu desktop manager Will Cooke at the Ubuntu Online Summit.

GNOME 3.18 stack will also be included in Ubuntu 16.04, with select app updates to GNOME 3.20 apps taken ‘as and when it makes sense’, adds Will Cooke.

We recently ran a poll on Twitter asking how you install software on Ubuntu. The results suggest that few of you will mourn the passing of the incumbent Software Centre…

Which of these do you use to install software on #Ubuntu?

— OMG! UBUNTU! (@omgubuntu) November 1, 2015

Other Apps Being Dropped in Ubuntu 16.04

The Ubuntu Software Centre is not the only app set to be given the heave-ho in Xenial Xerus.

Disc burning utility Brasero and instant messaging app Empathy are also to be removed from the default install image.

Neither app is considered to be under active development, and with the march of laptops lacking optical drives and web and mobile-based chat services, they may also be seen as increasingly obsolete.

If you do have use for them don’t panic: both Brasero and Empathy will still be available to install on Ubuntu from the archives. 

It’s not all removals and replacements as one new desktop app is set be included by default: GNOME Calendar.

This post, Ubuntu Software Centre To Be Replaced in 16.04 LTS, was written by Sam Tran and first appeared on OMG! Ubuntu!.

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