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You Can Now Turn Your Old Moto G2 "Titan" Phone Into an Ubuntu Phone, Here's How

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Walid Hammami managed to port UBports' Ubuntu Touch mobile operating system on the Moto G2 2014 smartphone, which features a Qualcomm MSM8226 Snapdragon 400 chip, 1GB RAM, and 8GB internal storage.

As such, Moto G2 has been accepted by the UBports project as the first community supported device, and it's a well-done port with everything working just fine, including Wi-Fi, GSM, 3G, GPS, Bluetooth, SMS, Camera, Ubuntu Store, etc.

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Canonical Outs New Ubuntu Kernel Update with Compiler-Based Retpoline Mitigation

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New Linux kernel security updates have been released for Ubuntu 17.10 (Artful Aardvark), Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus), Ubuntu 14.04 LTS (Trusty Tahr), and Ubuntu 12.04 ESM (Extended Security Maintenance), adding the compiler-based retpoline kernel mitigation for the Spectre Variant 2 vulnerability on amd64 and i386 architectures.

Canonical fixed the Spectre Variant 2 security vulnerability last month on January 22, but only for 64-bit Ubuntu installations. This update apparently mitigates the issue for 32-bit installations too. Spectre is a nasty hardware bug in microprocessors that use branch prediction and speculative execution and it could allow unauthorized memory reads via side-channel attacks.

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Debian and Ubuntu Leftovers

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  • Listing and loading of Debian repositories: now live on Software Heritage

    Software Heritage is the project for which I’ve been working during the past two and a half years now. The grand vision of the project is to build the universal software archive, which will collect, preserve and share the Software Commons.

    Today, we’ve announced that Software Heritage is archiving the contents of Debian daily. I’m reposting this article on my blog as it will probably be of interest to readers of Planet Debian.

    TL;DR: Software Heritage now archives all source packages of Debian as well as its security archive daily. Everything is ready for archival of other Debian derivatives as well. Keep on reading to get details of the work that made this possible.

  • Canonical announces Ubuntu Core across Rigado’s IoT gateways
  • Collecting user data while protecting user privacy

    Lots of companies want to collect data about their users. This is a good thing, generally; being data-driven is important, and it’s jolly hard to know where best to focus your efforts if you don’t know what your people are like. However, this sort of data collection also gives people a sense of disquiet; what are you going to do with that data about me? How do I get you to stop using it? What conclusions are you drawing from it? I’ve spoken about this sense of disquiet in the past, and you can watch (or read) that talk for a lot more detail about how and why people don’t like it.

    So, what can we do about it? As I said, being data-driven is a good thing, and you can’t be data-driven if you haven’t got any data to be driven by. How do we enable people to collect data about you without compromising your privacy?

    Well, there are some ways. Before I dive into them, though, a couple of brief asides: there are some people who believe that you shouldn’t be allowed to collect any data on your users whatsoever; that the mere act of wanting to do so is in itself a compromise of privacy. This is not addressed to those people. What I want is a way that both sides can get what they want: companies and projects can be data-driven, and users don’t get their privacy compromised. If what you want is that companies are banned from collecting anything… this is not for you. Most people are basically OK with the idea of data collection, they just don’t want to be victimised by it, now or in the future, and it’s that property that we want to protect.

    Similarly, if you’re a company who wants to know everything about each individual one of your users so you can sell that data for money, or exploit it on a user-by-user basis, this isn’t for you either. Stop doing that.

Ubuntu vs Linux Mint: Which distro is best for your business?

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Linux is attracting a growing number of users to its enormous selection of distribution systems. These 'distros' are operating systems with the Linux kernel at their foundation and a variety of software built on top to create a desktop environment tailored to the needs of users.

Ubuntu and Linux Mint are among the most popular flavours of these.

Ubuntu's name derives from a Southern Africa philosophy that can loosely be defined as "humanity to others", a spirit its founders wanted to harness in a complete operating system that is both free and highly customisable.

Linux Mint is based on Ubuntu and built as a user-friendly alternative with full out-of-the-box multimedia support. By some measures, Linux Mint has surpassed the popularity of its progenitor, but Ubuntu retains a loyal following of its own.

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Ubuntu Core Embedded Linux Operating System Now Runs on Rigado’s IoT Gateways

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Canonical has apparently partnered with Rigado, a private company that provides Bluetooth LE (Low Energy) modules and custom IoT gateways for them, as well as for Wi-Fi, LoRa, and Thread wireless technologies, to deploy its slimmed-down Ubuntu Core operating system across Rigado’s Edge Connectivity gateway solutions.

"Rigado’s enterprise-grade, easily configurable IoT gateways will offer Ubuntu Core’s secure and open architecture for companies globally to deploy and manage their commercial IoT applications, such as asset tracking and connected guest experiences," says Canonical.

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Canonical's Unity 8 Desktop Revived by UBports with Support for Ubuntu 18.04 LTS

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As you are aware, last year Canonical decided to stop the development of its futuristic Unity 8 desktop for Ubuntu and the Ubuntu Touch mobile OS. Days after their sad announcement a few community members appeared interested in taking over the development of Unity 8, the most promising one being Yunit.

However, the Yunit project didn't manage to improve Unity 8 for desktops in the last few months as much as the community would have wanted, and, after a long battle, they decided to pass the baton to UBports team, which is announcing the initial build for devs and an official website for Unity 8.

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Canonical Donates Ubuntu Phones to UBports to Continue Ubuntu Touch Development

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UBports devs announced today on Twitter that Canonical sent them a few old Ubuntu Phone devices to continue the development of the Ubuntu Touch mobile operating system.

Now that Canonical has ceased the development of its revolutionary Unity 8 user interface for the Ubuntu Touch mobile operating system used on smartphones from Meizu and BQ, the company decided to donate several devices to the UBports community.

UBports is recreating Ubuntu Touch, maintaining, updating, and modifying its code to offer the world a free and open source mobile operating system for those who want to use something else than Android, iOS, and what else is still out there.

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Also: Ubuntu Server 18.04 LTS Will Default To The New Installer

The New Ubuntu 18.04 LTS Server Installer

Ubuntu and Debian/Freexian News

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  • A Simple App Menu Editor for Ubuntu

    If you’re looking for an easy way to edit application launchers and menu entries on Ubuntu you’ll want to check out AppEditor.

    AppEditor is an easy to use

    Alacarte has been the go-to menu editor for almost as long as I’ve been using Ubuntu. It’s still perfectly functional, but it hasn’t really changed since then.

    ‘AppEditor’ would probably be better named Menu Entry Editor or Launcher Editor, or something other than App Editor as, rather than edit apps, it lets you edit app menu entries for apps, rather than the apps itself.

  • Canonical got Juju eyeballs for storage

    Canonical’s is mixing new potions in its Juju charm store.

    Juju is Canonical’s open source modelling tool for cloud software — it handles operations designed to deploy, configure, manage, maintain and scale applications via the command line interface, or through its optional GUI.

  • Freexian’s report about Debian Long Term Support, January 2017

Ubuntu: Unity, Mir, and Snapd

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  • Ubuntu Touch Q&A 23

    The developers have been hard at work on Xenial!

    ARM64 now working on Ubuntu Touch, and applications launch! As many modern CPUs don't include 32-bit compatibility mode, ARM64 native mode on UT can start to make use of more modern CPUs.

  • UBports Continues Working On Unity 8, Developer ISO Coming

    While Canonical is no longer involved in Unity 8 development, the community-driven UBports team continues working on their "Unity 8" and "Ubuntu Touch" efforts with a hope to deliver a developer ISO soon.

    Sadly the Yunit project that also forked Unity 8's code-base doesn't seem to be active at least not regularly anymore, but the UBports team is working on delivering. In their latest Q&A session they share that Unity 8 on the desktop is coming together. One of the developers commented, "While it's both good and pretty, it's not 'pretty good'."

  • This Week In Mir (16th Feb, 2018)
  • Snapd 2.31 Better Supports Wayland Via Mir, Canonical Hires Another Mir Developer

    Besides Mir 0.30 being released this week, other Mir progress was also made by these Canonical developers working on forging Mir into a viable Wayland compositor.

    Gerry Boland of Canonical's Mir team has shared that Snapd 2.31 now supports any Snap implementing the Wayland interface. This allows for Mir to be shipped as a Snap and support Wayland clients using Canonical's app sandboxing approach alternative to Flatpaks.

Ubuntu: Data Collection, a Decade at Canonical, Xubuntu 18.04 Community Wallpaper Contest

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  • Canonical wants Ubuntu to collect your personal data

    This has gone down like a bucket of cold sick with Linux users. After all, this is the sort of thing that Microsoft does and is precisely the sort of thing that they hate about Windows 10.

  • 10 Amazing Years of Ubuntu and Canonical

    10 years ago today, I joined Canonical, on the very earliest version of the Ubuntu Server Team!

    And in the decade since, I've had the tremendous privilege to work with so many amazing people, and the opportunity to contribute so much open source software to the Ubuntu ecosystem.

  • Xubuntu 18.04 community wallpaper contest

    We’re on our way to the 18.04 LTS release and it’s time for another community wallpaper contest!

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Canonical Officially Announces Mozilla's Firefox as a Snap App for Ubuntu Linux

The Firefox Snap package appears to be maintained by Mozilla, which allows Linux users to test drive the latest features of their Quantum browser on multiple GNU/Linux distributions that support Canonical's Snappy universal binary format. Developed by Canonical, the Snap universal application packaging format for Linux lets Linux users enjoy the most recent release of a software product as soon as it's released upstream. It's secure by design and works natively on multiple popular Linux OSes. Read more

today's leftovers

Replacing Windows

  • Ubuntu-Based Zorin OS Gets Better Support for Windows Apps, Desktop Improvements
    A new maintenance update of the Ubuntu-based Zorin OS GNU/Linux distribution arrived at the end of this week with a bunch of enhancements to its desktop environment, as well as the latest versions of core components and apps. Zorin OS 12.3 is here as the latest stable update of the Ubuntu-based operating system with a focus on improving the security, stability, and functionality of Zorin OS, which was always known as one of the most reliable open-source alternatives to Microsoft's Windows operating system. Therefore, probably the most important change of the Zorin OS 12.3 release is the introduction of Wine 3.0, the latest stable version of the compatibility layer for running Windows programs on Linux and UNIX-like systems, which ensures better compatibility with more Windows apps and games on Zorin OS.
  • Microsoft tries forcing Mail users to open links in Edge, and people are freaking out

    Under the new rules, it doesn’t matter which browser you have selected as the default; if you use the basic Mail app within Windows, any link you click will open up Edge.

  • Google picks up another win for G Suite as Airbus grounds Microsoft Office

    With over 130,000 employees, Airbus uses a lot of office productivity software. It recently decided to make a big bet on Google’s G Suite software package after running the company for years on hosted versions of Microsoft Office, according to a report.  

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