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Ubuntu

A Brief History of Ubuntu Touch

Filed under
Ubuntu

Sensing the tech trend, Ubuntu tried its hands on creating a Linux-based mobile operating system. The first announcement came a decade back and six years down the line, Ubuntu closed the curtains on the project.

What went wrong? How it started? Is Ubuntu Touch still alive? Let’s take a look at the history of Ubuntu Touch in chronological order.

The Ubuntu Touch project began with a blog post by Canonical founder Mark Shuttleworth. The blog post, dated October 31, 2011, started with a bold prediction: “By 14.04 LTS Ubuntu will power tablets, phones, TVs and smart screens from the car to the office kitchen, and it will connect those devices cleanly and seamlessly to the desktop, the server and the cloud.”

Shuttleworth went on to explain that this move would be accomplished mainly through the use of the company’s new desktop environment, Unity. (Unity was introduced in Ubuntu 10.10.) “Unity, the desktop interface in today’s Ubuntu 11.10, was designed with this specific vision in mind.”

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Control Philips Hue Lights on Ubuntu with this GNOME Extension

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GNOME
Ubuntu

In 2016 we wrote about a GTK app for managing Phillips Hue lights on the Linux desktop. Though very handy that tool hasn’t been updated for a while. But no worries: now there’s something better.

If you use Ubuntu (or any distro with GNOME Shell) and your Hue bulbs are connected to a Hue Bridge you can turn lights on or off, control their brightness, and even change their colour — directly from your desktop PC.

The brightly named “Hue Lights” GNOME Shell extension is able to discover Hue Bridges (or connect directly by IP). It lets you manage individual bulbs or groups of lights in “zones” (e.g., ‘bedroom lights’, ec).

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Adjust Color Temperature of Your Screen Using Terminal in Ubuntu

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Ubuntu

In this quick guide, I will show how you can adjust the color temperature of your screen in Ubuntu using the terminal. No additional GUI installation is required and you can enjoy the night light even if your desktop environment doesn't provide a native one.
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Canonical Announces ETrace As New Linux Application Tracing For Performance/Debugging

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Ubuntu

Canonical has announced ETrace as a new application tracing tool designed for debugging and performance profiling of Snap packages but can also be used with any Linux binary applications.

Their new ETrace tool is written in the Go programming language and leverages ptrace for performance and debug analysis. Current functionality of ETrace allows monitoring the time it takes an application until its window is displayed, the files accessed during the duration of the program, and other common profiling/debug features.

ETrace has various features integrated around Snap such as being able to automatically clear user data, reinstall Snaps, and more. We'll see how much momentum ETrace ends up getting in the Linux development ecosystem outside of the Snaps world.

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Direct: Introducing etrace – a multi-purpose application profiling tool

GNOME and Ubuntu Leftovers

Filed under
GNOME
Ubuntu
  • The Art of (Not) Painting Pixels – GNOME Shell & Mutter

    Being a compositor and a compositing window manager, the most important aspect Mutter and GNOME Shell is to paint pixels to your monitors with relevant content. A large part of this content is provided by applications themselves, but many elements still need to be rendered on top of them.

    Over the past few years, Mutter’s codebase has slowly but steadily been refactored, cleaned up, reorganized, and modernized. This includes the internal copies of Clutter and Cogl. With the beginning of the GNOME 40 development cycle, it all converged in a specially large and exciting set of changes which we’ll be talking about in this article.

  • GSoD Weekly Summary 5

    Before starting this week, I created an issue mentioning all the issues that I found and started completing them one by one while I kept adding new ones when required. So now the second task was to look again for the next issue which I found under “Using the Keyboard” there was a link missing which I added in the documentation.

    After this, the next task was to fix the subscript and superscript page style and add a link to it too. These changes I included with my previous PR.

  • Ubuntu Fridge | Call for nominations for the Local Communities Council

    The Local Communities (LoCo) Council has been vacant for some time and has not been restaffed due to a vacant Community Council. Since the Community Council has now been newly elected, a nomination for the LoCo Council is now being announced.

    The LoCo Council is a board of people who are in charge of empowering and helping out LoCo Teams worldwide. Their members have two-year terms, and we have seven open seats at the Council.

  • Canonical Drops etcd for Dqlite For MicroK8s

    MicroK8s is a lightweight and easy to use Kubernetes distribution designed to run in resource-constrained environments such as IoT and edge devices. As Canonical is eyeing enterprise use-cases it’s making Microk8s more resilient by adding high availability capabilities to it.

    Microk8s already has the clustering feature; with a single command, users can join multiple MicroK8s nodes in a cluster. With HA, as soon as users join three or more nodes, they get the Kubernetes control plane distributed across these nodes. If they join more nodes they get all the API services of Kubernetes available on all nodes and the control plane is still distributed on these nodes.

Station P1 & M1 fanless mini PCs run media or desktop-optimized Android OS

Filed under
OS
Android
Linux
Ubuntu

T-Chip has recently introduced two fanless “Geek” mini PCs under their Firefly brand with Station P1 & M1 respectively powered by Rockchip RK3399 hexa-core processor, and RK3328 quad-core processor.

Both mini PCs can run Firefly’s Station OS in either desktop or media mode, as well as Android or Ubuntu. There are also some community efforts to port Armbian and LibreELEC to the devices.

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AdGuard Home: Another Brick in the Ad-Blocking Wall

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Security
Ubuntu

At the core of the emerging foundation that is Ubuntu Appliances is the aptly named Ubuntu Core, a slimmed-down Ubuntu operating system crafted with the IoT use case in mind. What distinguishes Ubuntu Core, which users can run as a standalone, and Ubuntu Appliances, is that each appliance comes preloaded with a featured service, and all the necessary programs are installed and managed via the Snaps containerized installation mechanism.

With this structure, appliances are designed to just work “out of the box,” if we borrow that brick-and-mortar paradigm in the sense of post-flashing, post-booting, and post-configuration. Users will need to boot the appliance device and perform a token amount of local administration, provide it with an Internet connection with a static LAN IP address, and set up an Ubuntu One account if they don’t have one. A few web GUI prompts later, and the user is up and running.

Ubuntu then does the rest, and that encompasses a lot of heavy lifting. Appliances will update themselves for a 10-year lifespan as long as they have Internet access. If all goes according to plan, users shouldn’t have to give a second thought to their appliance unless they want to change its configuration. Even then, all they have to do is enter the Web administration GUI, toggle a few switches, and close the tab.

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Ubuntu 21.04 Is The "Hirsute Hippo", Releasing On 22 April

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Ubuntu

Following last week's Ubuntu 20.10 "Groovy Gorilla" release, Ubuntu 21.04 development is now getting underway as the Hirsute Hippo.

Succeeding the "GG" series is Ubuntu 21.04 the Hirsute (Hairy) Hippo in following their usual naming convention. This is now the third time of Ubuntu seeing a "HH" release following the Ubuntu 5.04 Hoary Hedgehog and Ubuntu 8.04 Hardy Heron releases.

The release schedule for Ubuntu 21.04 puts the official release on 22 April, the beta on 1 April, and the feature freeze on 25 February as the prominent dates of the cycle.

The Ubuntu 21.04 toolchain upload is beginning tomorrow and expect more Debian changes to begin flowing into the Ubuntu Hirsute archive shortly. Hirsute uploads can be monitored via Launchpad.

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Also: Ubuntu 21.04 gets the codename ‘Hirsute Hippo'

The Ubuntu 21.04 Codename Revealed — It’s Hairy ‘n Huge!

And We’re Off: Ubuntu 21.04 Development Begins

Snap speed improvements with new compression algorithm!

Filed under
Ubuntu

Security and performance are often mutually exclusive concepts. A great user experience is one that manages to blend the two in a way that does not compromise on robust, solid foundations of security on one hand, and a fast, responsive software interaction on the other.

Snaps are self-contained applications, with layered security, and as a result, sometimes, they may have reduced perceived performance compared to those same applications offered via traditional Linux packaging mechanisms. We are well aware of this phenomenon, and we have invested significant effort and time in resolving any speed gaps, while keeping security in mind. Last year, we talked about improved snap startup times following fontconfig cache optimization. Now, we want to tell you about another major milestone – the use of a new compression algorithm for snaps offers 2-3x improvement in application startup times!

LZO and XZ algorithms

By default, snaps are packaged as a compressed, read-only squashfs filesystem using the XZ algorithm. This results in a high level of compression but consequently requires more processing power to uncompress and expand the filesystem for use. On the desktops, users may perceive this as a “slowness” – the time it takes for the application to launch. This is also far more noticeable on first launch only, before the application data is cached in memory. Subsequent launches are fast and typically, there’s little to no difference compared to traditionally packaged applications.

To improve startup times, we decided to test a different algorithm – LZO – which offers lesser compression, but needs less processing power to complete the action.

As a test case, we chose the Chromium browser (stable build, 85.X). We believe this is a highly representative case, for several reasons. One, the browser is a ubiquitous (and popular) application, with frequent usage, so any potential slowness is likely to be noticeable. Two, Chromium is a relatively large and complex application. Three, it is not part of any specific Linux desktop environment, which makes the testing independent and accurate.

For comparison, the XZ-compressed snap weighs ~150 MB, whereas the one using the LZO compression is ~250 MB in size.

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today's leftovers

Filed under
OSS
Ubuntu
  • Ubuntu Fridge | Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 654

    Welcome to the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter, Issue 654 for the week of October 18 – 24, 2020. The full version of this issue is available here.

  • Apache HTTP Server

    The Apache HTTP server (or simply Apache) was launched in 1995 as an outgrowth of a public domain httpd project from the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA). According to the Apache website, development of that project stalled, so a group of webmasters got together to coordinate their own changes, extensions, and bug fixes in the form of patches. These developers, including Brian Behlendorf, Cliff Skolnick, and others, formed the basis of the original Apache Group, which in turn became The Apache Software Foundation.

    After launch, Apache quickly became the most popular web server on the Internet. The project is now developed and maintained, along with hundreds of other projects, by The Apache Software Foundation and is released under the terms of Apache License 2.0.

  • 8 Great Free Photo And Video Editing Software To Use For Beginners

    Blender

    On Linux, Ios, and PCs, Blender is another one of the most outstanding free video editing applications on the marketplace today. Blender is a fully free-to-use open-source platform. Blender was developed as a 3D animation kit, but it comes with a very convenient video editor.

    The video editor for Blender is an appropriate one for much of your video needs. This editor requires simple acts such as video cutting and sequencing to be done. It also helps you to do more difficult tasks, such as camera masking. This software makes it a compelling video editing that caters to beginners as well as experienced users.

    Shotcut

    Shotcut is completely an open-source software, like Blender. This platform suggests that you get linked to all the software without paying the update after installing it. This film editor provides a wide variety of file formats, and there is an excellent selection of instructional videos.

    Although this video editing app has excellent functionality, the interface can seem a little funky to some people. Initially, the platform Linux designed this application, and it sure reflects that. But, it is still a value video editor underneath the covers.

    [...]

    Openshot

    Openshot is a fully open-source, which renders it one of the most available tools for video editing. It’s simple to use drag and drop design and remind some Mac users a little more of iMovie.

    Openshot, though, contains more functionality, including infinite textures and audio mixing, than iMovie. This free editor achieves a good compromise among sophisticated functionality and a primary interface. When you build switches between scenes, it also enables real-time displays.

    GIMP

    GIMP is a popular picture editing app, shortened for GNU Image Processing Program, which features highly advanced and efficient tools. It is not for the faint-hearted or for those who do not understand much about pictures’ processing.

    Due to its software and functionality, it has been widely touted as a better Photoshop substitute. It contains the same resources for editing, blending, paints, text, and more. You can use presets and plugins in an instant, as well, but there is no cataloging feature.

  • Making the Business Case for Contributing to Open Source
  • Sending logs from syslog-ng to Grafana Loki - Blog - syslog-ng Community - syslog-ng Community

    Loki is one of the latest applications that lets you aggregate and query log messages, and of course to visualize logs using Grafana. It does not index the contents of log messages, only the labels associated with logs. This way, processing and storing log messages requires less resources, making Loki more cost-effective. Promtail, the log collector component of Loki, can collect log messages using the new, RFC5424 syslog protocol. This is where syslog-ng can send its log messages.

    From this blog, you can learn a minimal Loki & Promtail setup. We will send logs from syslog-ng, and as a first step, will check them with logcli, a command line utility for Loki. Once it works, we will also install Grafana in a container and query Loki from there.

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More in Tux Machines

Trisquel 9 Review: Freedom Vehicle

Here is my review of Trisquel 9.0 Etiona the newly released computer operating system. It is the successor of Flidas and now based on Ubuntu 18.04. It brings the latest improvements by excellently keeping its user friendliness from the family of most secure operating systems on earth. As always, I choose the Regular Edition, with MATE Desktop choice, to report this to you. We will see what’s new in this release and why I call it Software Freedom Vehicle now continuing Successful Freedom in the past. With Etiona, everyone can see that Free Software as well as copyleft are already practical and now we can see that even clearer than before. Let's go! Read more

Postgresql service failed because the control process exited with an error code

PostgreSQL is a free and open-source, community-driven, standard-compliant, and most popular object-relational database management system. It is used by popular IT companies like Uber, Netflix, Instagram, Spotify, etc. Recently I installed PostgreSQL and getting an error while running daemon. This is mainly because PostgreSQL not getting sufficient permission to create the folder required to store database information. Read more

today's leftovers

  • Bob’s 2021 Tech Predictions: What a Difference a Pandemic Makes

    I predicted that IBM would dump a big division and essentially remake itself as Red Hat, its Linux company. Well yes and no. IBM did announce a major restructuring, spinning-off Global Technology Services just as I predicted (score one for me) but it has all happened slowly because everything slows down during a pandemic. The resulting company won’t be called Red Hat (yet), but the rest of it was correct so I’m going to claim this one, not that anybody cares about IBM anymore.

  • Robert Cringley Predicted 'The Death of IT' in 2020. Was He Right?
  • openSUSE Smiles

    There is no end to my amazement of the openSUSE community. They do such a fantastic job of making a wonderful distribution with all the tools that keep me productive. I am very thankful for the reliability I enjoy using openSUSE. The community members also do a great job of helping me through a jam, should I drive myself into one.

  • Retroarch for Android – The Complete Guide - Make Tech Easier

    The first thing you need to do, of course, is install Retroarch from the Play Store. Once you’ve done that, open Retroarch, and you’ll be presented with the main menu, which may mean absolutely nothing to you if you’re unfamiliar with Retroarch.

  • Considering Preparedness

    In short it is necessary to update your IT Disaster Recovery Plan if you are relying on resources physically based in the United States, I think. Nobody is quite sure what exactly is coming down the pike.

  • Junichi Uekawa: Yesterday was our monthly Debian meeting.

    Yesterday was our monthly Debian meeting. We do one every month for Tokyo and Kansai combined, because it's online and no reason to split for now. I presented what I learnt about nodejs packaging in Debian. This time, I started using Emacs for presentation, presenting PDF file. This week I switched most of my login shells to emacsclient, and experimenting.

  • WordPress Post Vs. Page

    Welcome back to the WordPress 101 series. In this series, we are discussing the basics of WordPress for new WordPress users. In this article, you’ll learn the differences between WordPress post vs. page. Often new users get confused between WordPress posts and pages. I remember my cousin created more than 10 pages before he realized he should’ve created posts, not pages. For new users, it may be difficult to understand why WordPress has two separate options to publish content. For them, one can create 200 pages instead of 200 posts and that should make no difference in how search engines see that content.

Programming Leftovers

  • GCC's Profile Guided Optimization Performance With The Ryzen 9 5950X - Phoronix

    Given the talk in prior days around patches for PGO'ing the Linux kernel and some readers not being familiar with Profile Guided Optimizations by code compilers, here are some fresh benchmarks on a Ryzen 9 5950X looking at the benefits of applying PGO optimizations to various benchmarks. We have benchmarked GCC and Clang PGO performance many times over the years with this just being some fresh data using a Ryzen 9 5950X and the latest software stack on Ubuntu 20.10. The testing was done by first running various open-source benchmarks without PGO, repeating the tests to generate profiles for the compiler to consume with PGO, and then benchmarking those PGO-enabled builds. These numbers are about best case scenarios given that with the testing for the PGO-enabled build, the benchmarks are repeated and thus matching well to the original profile. In more real-world, general purpose scenarios it can be more difficult generating an accurate profile for your actual workflow / software usage.

  • libsigsegv @ Savannah: libsigsegv 2.13 is released

    libsigsegv version 2.13 is released.

  • I told you so, 2021 edition

    You will recall that in 2004, which is now seventeen years ago, I wrote a document explaining why I made the design trade-offs that I did in XScreenSaver, and in that document I predicted this exact bug as my example of, "this is what will happen if you don't do it this way."

    And they went and made that happen.

    Repeatedly.

  • Jamie Zawinski Calls Cinnamon Screensaver Lock-Bypass Bug 'Unconscionable'

    Legendary programmer Jamie Zawinski has worked on everything from the earliest releases of the Netscape Navigator browser to XEmacs, Mozilla, and, of course, the XScreenSaver project.

  • Why and How to Use Java.util.stream.Collectors

    Streams are a wonderful feature in Java allowing you to write clean, efficient and powerful code. If you haven’t consumed the output of the stream, you will probably want to collect it. That’s when the methods from Java.util.stream.Collectors come to help.