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Ubuntu Snappy Core Now Officially Available for uCRobotics’ Bubblegum-96 Board

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Canonical, through April Wang, is pleased to announce that the Snappy Ubuntu Core operating system for embedded and IoT (Internet of Things) devices is now officially available for the Bubblegum-96 single-board computer (SBC).

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Exton|OS Light Now Based on Ubuntu 16.04.1 LTS, but Powered by Linux Kernel 4.6

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GNU/Linux developer Arne Exton has released a new version of his Ubuntu-based Exton|OS operating system, build 160728. The Exton|OS Light edition has been updated, which uses the Openbox window manager.

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Leftovers: Ubuntu and Debian

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  • Fixing Debian bug #794266

    After finally being able to fix Debian bug #794266 I want to thank those who made this possible:

    Some time ago my colleague Bjørn offered an Arietta G25 to me. After Jochen, another colleague, helped me to solder pin headers on it, this machine served as host computer for my tests.

  • Amazon cloud: refreshing my skills. (100%)

    For a few years I did not attempt any serious task on the Amazon cloud. It took me a bit of time to get back my automatisms and adapt myself to the changes. In particular, the cheapest instances, t2.nano, are only accessible via virtual private clouds (VPC), and it was a bit difficult for me to find how to create a simple one. Perhaps this is because all AWS accounts created after March 18, 2013, automatically have a default VPC, and everybody else who needed their own simple VPC have created it a long time ago already. In the end, this was not complicated at all. This is probably why I could not find a tutorial.

  • Debian And TOR Services Now Available Using “Dark” .Onion Address

    The Tor project and the Debian project have teamed to provide Debian services and repositories over the Tor network. Debian has announced the existence of few such services in a blog post.

  • Hedera is a New Linux Icon Theme Inspired By a Very Old One…

    Hedera is a new Linux icon pack inspired by the past. Specifically, the Tango project.

  • Ubuntu 16.10 To Ship with Nautilus 3.20

    Nautilus 3.20, and a host of GNOME 3.20 apps, will ship by default in Ubuntu 16.10 'Yakkety Yak', with new versions already available for testing.

  • Linux Mint 18 Xfce Edition Released

Ubuntu Leftovers

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  • So Far Ubuntu Phone Hasn't Tempted Me, But Would Highly Consider A Tizen Device

    With writing this weekend about switching to an S7 Edge powered by Android as my primary smartphone, it generated a flurry of comments in the forums and elsewhere with people wanting to share their two cents.

  • Win an Ubuntu Linux laptop in the System76 'Pop Quiz' giveaway

    The upcoming school year is quickly approaching, meaning many parents and students are busy shopping. While some kids still need old-school things like pens and paper, the really fun thing to buy is a new laptop.

    Understandably, money is tight for many folks, meaning a quality computer might not be in the budget. Luckily, System76 is giving away one of its most popular Linux-based laptops -- the Lemur. The pre-installed Ubuntu operating system is absolutely brilliant for education, making it a sweet prize for the winner. If you are interested in entering, you can find out the details below.

  • Beautiful Arc GTK Theme Now Available in the Ubuntu 16.10 (Yakkety Yak) Repos

    It would appear that the popular and beautiful Arc GTK Theme created by Horst3180 has finally landed in the software repositories of the Ubuntu Linux operating system.

BQ's Aquaris M10 Ubuntu Edition is an underwhelming tablet [Review]

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The Aquaris M10 is very much a first attempt for BQ and you would expect future iterations to have some significant improvements. It’s also hard to find compelling reasons why iOS or Android fans would want to switch over to an Ubuntu tablet, but those familiar with the operating system should be excited to finally have their needs met in the tablet market.

One positive factor is that switching between tablet and desktop mode works very well for the most part, so can definitely fulfill professional needs as much as casual ones. This could be a viable option for someone who wants that flexibility and isn’t too fussed about some of the more superficial features.

Aspects such as the cameras, display and build quality could all be improved, but are about right for the price point in this unspectacular but solid device.

With the HD version costing €229.90 (£187) and the full HD tablet coming in at €279.90 (£227), the M10 offers decent value for money and provides a solid platform for BQ to build on in the future.

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Ubuntu Phone - The Meizu Pro 5

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In many ways, for me, smart phones are the realization of a childhood fantasy: computers small enough to fit in a pocket and powerful enough to perform common computing tasks. There is a certain amount of wonder I feel when I look up trivia, get directions or play chess on a device that can sit in my pocket and only needs to be recharged once every day or two. However, while I greatly admire the technology that goes into a smart phone, the experience often suffers from dozens of small issues.

Over the years I have tried most of the major smart phone platforms. While each had their strengths, they also introduced frustrations which sent me on to another platform. Early Blackberry phones I found bulky and difficult to navigate. While I found more modern Blackberries much more comfortable and I enjoyed their physical keyboards, the Blackberry company seems to be killing off their classic phones in favour of touch screens and giant square devices that won't fit in my pocket. I briefly tried a few generations of the iPhone, but never felt comfortable with the interface (iOS seems to interpret my touch gestures as vague suggestions) and I found it difficult to find ways to perform common tasks. The iPhone also feels uncomfortably locked into the Apple ecosystem, making it a poor fit for me. Android is the platform I have used the longest. My first Android regularly crashed and lost its wi-fi connection. My most recent Android is much more stable, but still loses its network connection and is bundled with software I cannot remove which insists on nagging me on a regular basis. I very briefly tried a Windows phone and while I found the interface sometimes had the familiar feel of a desktop computer, the illusion of familiarity did not hold up. The Windows phone felt like a Barbie doll - a recognizable imitation of a familiar concept, but warped and stiff, ultimately something I'd be embarrassed being seen with on a date.

For the past few years I, like many other Linux enthusiasts, have been looking forward to a more pure mobile GNU/Linux experience. Ubuntu phones started appearing in Europe last year, but the models from Bq appear to work on frequencies not compatible with (or not ideal for) North American mobile networks. Meizu has launched the Meizu Pro 5 which is available in Android and Ubuntu flavours. The Meizu phone appears to offer complete compatibly with mobile networks in Canada and the United States of America and I was eager to try it. Upon request, Canonical was kind enough to send me a Pro 5 model to explore and what follows are my impressions of the device.

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Linux Mint 18 and Ubuntu

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  • Linux Mint 18 Xfce Edition Is Now Available for Download, Here's What's New

    We've been tipped by one of our regular readers that the final release of the Linux Mint 18 "Sarah" Xfce Edition operating system is now available for download from the official channels.

    While there's no release announcement at the moment of writing this article, we all know already that the ISO images of new Linux Mint versions appear on the main FTP channels a few days before project leader Clement Lefebvre informs the community about the release, so that all the mirrors get in sync with the main download server.

    Therefore, the final, production-ready Linux Mint 18 Xfce Edition ISOs are now available for download, supporting 64-bit and 32-bit PCs. Based on the Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus) operating system and powered by the Linux 4.4 LTS kernel, the Xfce edition of Linux Mint 18 "Sarah" comes with a great set of new features.

  • Annoucing netplan -- Consolidated YAML network configuration across Ubuntu

    The purpose of the new "netplan" project is to unify and clean up networking configuration in Ubuntu. Currently, Desktop/Server installers generate ifupdown /etc/network/interfaces, MaaS/curtin/cloud-init use a YAML based format that gets translated to /e/n/i, and there is currently no simple way to pre-configure NetworkManager, and no support for networkd.

  • Ubuntu Plans For Consolidated Network Configuration

    For Ubuntu 16.10, Canonical is planning to make use of a new project to unify and clean-up network configuration across Ubuntu projects from the desktop/server/cloud versions to MaaS and other forms.

  • Ubuntu Moves Closer With Session Startup On Systemd

    With Ubuntu 16.10 developers are finally finishing their migration to systemd by switching over the starting of graphical desktop sessions from Upstart to systemd.

Voyager 16.04.1 LTS Adds Intel Skylake Support, Based on Xubuntu 16.04.1 LTS

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The guys over Voyager, a Xubuntu-based GNU/Linux distribution built around the lightweight Xfce desktop environment, have announced the release of Voyager 16.04.1 LTS.

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Debian and Ubuntu News

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  • Debian Project News - July 29th, 2016

    Welcome to this year's third issue of DPN, the newsletter for the Debian community.

  • SteamOS Brewmaster 2.87 Released With NVIDIA Pascal Support
  • Snap interfaces for sandboxed applications

    Last week, we took a look at the initial release of the "portal" framework developed for Flatpak, the application-packaging format currently being developed in GNOME. For comparison, we will also explore the corresponding resource-control framework available in the Snap format developed in Ubuntu. The two packaging projects have broadly similar end goals, as many have observed, but they tend to vary quite a bit in the implementation details. Naturally, those differences are of particular importance to the intended audience: application developers.

    There is some common ground between the projects. Both use some combination of techniques (namespaces, control groups, seccomp filters, etc.) to restrict what a packaged application can do. Moreover, both implement a "deny by default" sandbox, then provide a supplemental means for applications to access certain useful system resources on a restricted or mediated basis. As we will see, there is also some overlap in what interfaces are offered, although the implementations differ.

    Snap has been available since 2014, so its sandboxing and resource-control implementations have already seen real-world usage. That said, the design of Snap originated in the Ubuntu Touch project aimed at smartphones, so some of its assumptions are undergoing revision as Snap comes to desktop systems.

    In the Snap framework, the interfaces that are defined to provide access to system resources are called, simply, "interfaces." As we will see, they cover similar territory to the recently unveiled "portals" for Flatpak, but there are some key distinctions.

    Two classes of Snap interfaces are defined: one for the standard resources expected to be of use to end-user applications, and one designed for use by system utilities. Snap packages using the standard interfaces can be installed with the snap command-line tool (which is the equivalent of apt for .deb packages). Packages using the advanced interfaces require a separate management tool.

  • Ubuntu 15.10 (Wily Werewolf) Reaches End Of Life Today (July 28)
  • Ubuntu MATE 16.10 Yakkety Yak Gets A Unity HUD-Like Searchable Menu

    MATE HUD, a Unity HUD-like tool that allows searching through an application's menu, was recently uploaded to the official Yakkety Yak repositories, and is available (but not enabled) by default in Ubuntu MATE 16.10.

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Yocto driven camera design taps octa-core Snapdragon

Qualcomm and Thundercomm unveiled a Linux-supported, 4K camera reference design with an octa-core Snapdragon 625 and video analytics software. Qualcomm and hardware partner Thundercomm Technology announced an IP Connected Camera reference design called the Snapdragon 625 IP Camera built around its 14nm-fabricated, octa-core Cortex-A53 Snapdragon 625 system-on-chip. This is Qualcomm’s first Connected Camera design to support Linux instead of Android. Read more

Renesas spins 3rd Gen automotive starter kits, adds new M3 SoC

Renesas has launched two Linux-ready R-Car starter kits optimized for AGL and GENIVI: an R-Car H3 based “Premier” and a “Pro” with a lower-end M3 SoC. Later this month, Renesas will begin selling two third-generation starter kits for its 64-bit ARM-based R-Car automotive SoCs. The kits are designed for ADAS, infotainment, reconfigurable digital clusters, and integrated digital cockpits. The two kits are optimized for open source Linux standards like Automotive Grade Linux (AGL) and GENIVI, but they also support QNX. Earlier R-Car automotive starter kits include last year’s R-Car H2 ADAS Starter Kit, based on its earlier H2 automotive SoC. Read more

Lumina Desktop 1.1 Released

The BSD-focused, Qt-powered Lumina Desktop Environment is out with its version 1.1 update. The developers behind the Lumina Desktop Environment consider it a "significant update" with both new and reworked utilities, infrastructure improvements, and other enhancements. Lumina 1.1 adds a pure Qt5 calculator, text editor improvements, the file manager has been completely overhauled, system application list management is much improved, and there is a range of other improvements. Read more

Radeon vs. Nouveau Open-Source Drivers On Mesa Git + Linux 4.9

For your viewing pleasure this Friday are some open-source AMD vs. NVIDIA numbers when using the latest open-source code on each side. Linux 4.9-rc1 was used while Ubuntu 16.10 paired with the Padoka PPA led to Mesa Git as of earlier this week plus LLVM 4.0 SVN. As covered recently, there are no Nouveau driver changes for Linux 4.9 while we had hoped the boost patches would land. Thus the re-clocking is still quite poor for this open-source NVIDIA driver stack. For the Nouveau tests I manually re-clocked each graphics card to the highest performance state (0f) after first re-clocking the cards to the 0a performance state for helping some of the GPUs that otherwise fail with memory re-clocking at 0f, as Nouveau developers have expressed this is the preferred approach for testing. Read more