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Canonical/Ubuntu: Mir, Ubuntu Core, Desktop Report, and OpenStack Upgrades

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  • Mir 0.31 Is On The Way With MirAL 2.0, Wayland XDG-Shell Support

    Ahead of Ubuntu 18.04 LTS next month the Mir developers are working to release Mir version 0.31.

    The focus of the upcoming Mir 0.31 release is on MirAL version 2.0 and Wayland XDG-Shell support. MirAL 2.0 takes a ABI/API cleansing for this Mir abstraction layer to assist in writing code for Mir. This does result in some simplification for users of MirAL.

  • Your first robot: Sharing with others [5/5]

    This is the fifth (and final) blog post in this series about creating your first robot with ROS and Ubuntu Core. In the previous post we discussed methods of control, did a little math, and wrote the ROS driver for our robot. But it still required several nodes to be running at once, and sharing it with the world involved uploading your source code somewhere and convincing people to install ROS, build your package, and use it. Today we’re going to simplify both of those issues by discussing ROS launch files, and packaging everything we’ve written as a snap that can be installed by your friends with a few keystrokes, even without knowing anything about ROS.

  • Ubuntu Desktop weekly update – 16th March 2018

    We’ve had a busy few weeks, and so this email is a roll up of what’s been going on in Desktopland. Last week we had a team sprint in Budapest where we got to work side by side with our teammates and colleagues across Canonical. Feature Freeze has now passed and we’re working on fixing as many bugs as we can. We still have some additional features to land, and so we will be requesting Feature Freeze Exceptions for those. Meanwhile, here’s a recap of what’s been going on:

  • Winning with OpenStack Upgrades?

    On the Monday of the project teams gathering in Dublin a now somewhat familiar gathering of developers and operators got together to discuss upgrades – specifically fast forward upgrades but discussion over the day drifted into rolling upgrades and how to minimize downtime in supporting components as well. This discussion has been a regular feature over the last 18 months at PTG’s, Forums and Ops Meetups.

Ubuntu Has Made its Minimal Images Even More Minimal — Just 28MB!

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The Ubuntu minimal image has been reduced in size for the upcoming Ubuntu 18.04 LTS Bionic Beaver release. Ubuntu devs have reduced the images to just 28MB.

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Also: TeX Live 2018 (pretest) hits Debian/experimental

Chromium and Firefox Web Browsers Are Now Installable as Snaps on Ubuntu Linux

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Canonical's Snappy technologies are becoming more and more popular these days as the company behind the widely used Ubuntu plans to enable them by default and even make them a first-class citizen in future releases of its Linux-based operating system.

The great thing about Snap apps is that they are secure by design, utilizing a container-style approach mechanism for deploying software on various GNU/Linux distributions that support Canonical's Snappy universal binary format.

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Debian and Ubuntu Leftovers

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  • build service now supports creation of VM disk images

    You can define a disk image size, select a language, set a user and root password, select a Debian distribution and enable backports just by one click. It's possible to add your public key for access to the root account without a password. This can also be done by just specifying your GitHub account. Several disk formats are supports, like raw (compressed with xz or zstd), qcow2, vdi, vhdx and vmdk. And you can add your own list of packages, you want to have inside this OS. After a few minutes the disk image is created and you will get a download link, including a log the the creation process and a link to the FAI configuration that was used to create your customized image.

  • aput - simple upload script for a flat artifactory Debian repository
  • Univention Corporate Server 4.3: Simpler, Faster, and More User-Friendly Administration

    Univention is proud to present the latest Univention Corporate Server (UCS) release. Version 4.3 of the established Open Source software now allows administrators to customize the portal pages which can be set up in UCS to suit the specific requirements of their organization very simply via the drag and drop feature. In addition, they are also able to make the more than 90 enterprise applications in UCS’ integrated App Center available to users. The users access these applications via the portal pages and, insofar as the respective application permits, only need to log in once thanks to the single sign-on mechanism. Univention has also considerably improved the data import performance. In this way, UCS 4.3 allows smaller companies to administrate heterogeneous IT environments with ease and fulfills the requirements of larger organizations with tens of thousands of users at the same time.

  • EzeeLinux Show 18.12 | A BIG THANK YOU, First Look At Ubuntu 18.04
  • LXD weekly status #38
  • Lets Snap The World

    I am a long-time Ubuntu user and community contributor. I love how open-source communities generally work, sure there are hiccups, like companies mandating decisions that aren't popular amongst the community. The idea of I being able to fix an issue and getting that released to hundreds of thousands of people is just priceless for me.

    For the long time, I have distinguished some issues in Linux on the desktop that I want fixed. Biggest is always having the latest version of the software I use. Think of Android for example, you always get the latest version of the app, directly from the developers with no package maintainer in between. That's the ideal scenario but for us currently on Linux it may not be possible in all cases because of the fragmentation we have.


The Register Looks at *Ubuntu 18.04 Beta

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  • 18.04 beta is as good a time as any to see which Ubuntu flavour tickles your Budgie, MATE

    The first beta of Ubuntu 18.04 is here. The finished article, due next month, will be a long-term support release and, for those who stick with LTS, the first time many see the new GNOME-based Ubuntu.

    This beta, however, does not include the main GNOME-based release. Instead this is more a community release with most of the Ubuntu flavours participating. This particular test build is slightly more noteworthy than usual since, thanks to the havoc wreaked by Spectre and Meltdown, which limited the use of many distros' build systems, it is really the first milestone for most of the flavours. It also came a couple of days late, which is unusual for an Ubuntu beta.

    As the Xubuntu developers note: "The ISO Tracker has seen little activity for the last few development cycles. We know we have some excited users already using and testing 18.04. But without testing results being recorded anywhere, we have to assume that nobody is testing the daily images and milestones. And this has major implications for both the 18.04 release and the project as a whole."

  • Ubuntu 18.04 Bionic Beaver Beta 1 Released

    Many of the popular flavours of the famous Ubuntu Linux system such as Kubuntu, Ubuntu Kylin, Ubuntu Budgie, Ubuntu MATE and Xubuntu, have released beta downloads for the upcoming Long-Term Support release of Ubuntu 18.04.

    Typically, the Ubuntu team releases an LTS edition of the OS, every two years, which will carry major security updates and patches, as well as full support, for five years.

i.MX8M SBC on pre-order for $165

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Boundary Devices has launched a $165 “Nitrogen8M” SBC that runs Linux or Android on a quad-core i.MX8M with GbE, WiFi, BT, HDMI 2.0, mini-PCIe, MIPI-DSI and -CSI, 4x USB 3.0, and optional -40 to 85°C support.

Boundary Devices has updated its Nitrogen line of NXP i.MX based SBCs with a Nitrogen8M model that runs Android, Yocto, Ubuntu, Buildroot, or Debian based Linux on NXP’s i.MX8M. Available on pre-order starting at $165 with 2GB RAM, the SBC will ship this Spring.

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A Quick Look to Ubuntu 18.04 Beta 1

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Ubuntu 18.04 LTS "Bionic Beaver" Beta 1 released few days ago. This Beta 1 is the first pre-release version designed for testing to prepare the final release next April. I have installed Beta 1 and this short review covers where to download Bionic Beta 1, what applications available, how the desktop looks, how much RAM it takes, and more links and information about it. In short, Bionic Beta 1 brings GNOME 3.27 and Linux Kernel 4.15, with LibreOffice 6.0 and bunch of GNOME Applications, and with Firefox Quantum beside the improved Ubuntu Software. Finally, this article is for all of you wanting to know Bionic in brief without installing it. I hope you enjoy it!

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Debian and Ubuntu: Debian LTS, Debian 9.4, Zstd and More

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  • Debian LTS work, February 2018

    I was assigned 15 hours of work by Freexian's Debian LTS initiative and worked 13 hours. I will carry over 2 hours to March.

    I made another release on the Linux 3.2 longterm stable branch (3.2.99) and started the review cycle for the next update (3.2.100). I rebased the Debian package onto 3.2.99 but didn't upload an update to Debian this month.

  • Debian 9.4 Stretch GNU/Linux Released With 150+ Fixes: Update Now

    One of the great things about using a popular Linux distro is that you keep getting timely upgrades, which ensure that you’re running a secure operating system. The same holds true for Debian GNU/Linux, whose development team keeps offering regular updates. Just a couple of days ago, the team pushed the fourth point release of Debian 9 “stretch.”

    For those who don’t know, Debian 9.0 series is an LTS edition, and it’ll remain supported for the next five years.

  • Debian GNU/Linux 9.4 "Stretch" Point Release Brings More Than 70 Security Fixes

    The Debian Project announced over the weekend the release of the fourth maintenance update to the stable Debian GNU/Linux 9 "Stretch" operating system series.

    Debian GNU/Linux 9.4 "Stretch" comes three months after the 9.3 point release and brings more than 70 security fixes and 89 miscellaneous bugfixes for various core components or other packages available in the main software repositories of the Linux-based operating system. However, the Debian Project warns that this point release doesn't represent a new version of Debian Stretch.

    "This point release mainly adds corrections for security issues, along with a few adjustments for serious problems. Security advisories have already been published separately and are referenced where available. Please note that the point release does not constitute a new version of Debian 9 but only updates some of the packages included," reads the release announcement.

  • Debian 9.4 released
  • Ubuntu Installs Made 10% Faster Using Facebook Tech

    If you long to install Ubuntu a little bit faster help it at hand thanks to some nifty open-source tech developed by Facebook.

    Using Zstandard (zstd), a ‘lossless data compression algorithm’ developed by Facebook, Ubuntu developers have been able to speed up Ubuntu installs by 10%.

    While Zstd is primarily designed for use in “real-time compression scenarios” it is able to unpack packages during an Ubuntu install faster than current compression tools Xz and Gzip do.

  • Canonical Working On Zstd-Compressed Debian Packages For Ubuntu

    Support for Zstd-compressed Debian packages was worked on last week by some Canonical/Ubuntu developers and already by the end of the year they are looking at potentially using it by default.

    Zstd is the compression algorithm out of Facebook that has been attracting a fair amount of interest in the Linux/open-source space due to its higher decompression speeds that can trump XZ or Gzip.

  • Keeping Governance Simple and Uncomplicated

    We did this in Ubuntu. We started with some core governance boards (the Community Council, focused on community policy and the Technical Council focused on technical policy). The rest of the extensive governance structure came as Ubuntu grew significantly. Our goal was always to keep things as lightweight as possible.

  • Ubuntu 18.04 LTS Beta 1 Released for Participating Flavors

    Ahoy, Beavers! The first beta builds of the Ubuntu 18.04 release cycle have been released and are available to download.


New Ubuntu Installs Could Be Speed Up by 10% with the Zstd Compression Algorithm

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Developed by Yann Collet at Facebook, zstd is an open-source lossless data compression algorithm designed to offer fast real-time compression and decompression speeds, even faster than xz or gzip. Zstd supports up to 19 compression levels, offering a 2.877 compression ratio with up to 430 MB/s compression and 1110 MB/s decompression speeds.

Julian Andres Klode and Balint Reczey report that they managed to increase the speed of a standard Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (Bionic Beaver) 64-bit installation by about 10 percent with a zstd configuration set at max level 19. Even better, the install speed was increased by about 40 percent when the "eatmydata" library designed to disable fsync and related packages was involved.

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Ubuntu Budgie 18.04 Looks like a Brilliant Upgrade

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I have to say folks, Ubuntu Budgie 18.04 is shaping up to be a one heck of a release.

It’s no secret that I think the nimble GNOME-based Budgie desktop is one of the best alternatives to GNOME Shell or Unity. It is lighter and leaner than either of those, but has a more cohesive and modern design than MATE or XFCE.

Naturally I’m also a fan of Ubuntu Budgie, the official Ubuntu flavor that uses the Budgie desktop by default. It provides all the benefits of Ubuntu and its ecosystem, but feathered beneath a clean, modern looking desktop interface.

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today's howtos

How to build something ‘useful’ with a Raspberry Pi

In honor of Pi Day, Chaim Gartenberg and I cooked up a tiny little Raspberry Pi project for yesterday’s episode of Circuit Breaker Live. We started with a simple concept: a button that says “Why?” when you press it, in honor of our favorite podcast. So we knew we’d need a button, some sound files, a little bit of Python code, and, of course, a Raspberry Pi. A new Pi is $35, but we found an old Raspberry Pi 2 in my desk drawer, which was up to the task. (Newer Pis have built-in Wi-Fi and faster processors, but for our simple button project we didn’t need internet or extra horsepower.) Read more

Wine 3.4

  • Wine Announcement
    The Wine development release 3.4 is now available.
  • Wine 3.4 Release Continues With Vulkan Upbringing, Some Wine-Staging Patches
    The latest bi-weekly release of Wine is now available for running your favorite or necessary Windows programs/games on Linux and macOS. Wine 3.4 is this latest release and it's significant for continuing to land the "WineVulkan" code. This does include the latest Wine Vulkan patches as of yesterday including the first bits of apps/games working and integration with the X11 driver.

Graphics: AMDGPU, Mesa 17.3.7, RADV

  • Linux 4.17 To Enable AMDGPU DC By Default For All Supported GPUs
    Since the introduction of the AMDGPU DC display code (formerly known as DAL) in Linux 4.15, this modern display stack has just been enabled by default for newer Radeon Vega and Raven Ridge devices. With Linux 4.17 that is changing with AMDGPU DC being enabled by default across the board for supported GPUs. Building off the earlier DRM-Next material for Linux 4.17, Alex Deucher minutes ago sent in another round of feature updates for targeting this next kernel cycle. This latest batch has continued code refactoring around PowerPlay, support for fetching the video RAM type from the video BIOS, allowing the TTM memory manager to drop its backing store when not needed, DC bandwidth calculation updates, enabling DC backlight control for pre-DCE11 GPUs, various display code fixes, and other bug fixes.
  • AMDGPU / ATI 18.0.1 X.Org DDX Driver Releases, Fixes Infinite Loop & Crashes
    Michel Dänzer of AMD issued bug-fix updates on Thursday for the xf86-video-ati and xf86-video-amdgpu DDX drivers. Just two weeks after the AMDGPU 18.0 X.Org driver release as the first version under their new year-based versioning scheme, the 18.0.1 bug-fix release is out. The xf86-video-amdgpu 18.0.1 DDX update fixes a potential infinite loop after a xorg-server reset in some configurations, Xorg crashing when multiple primary screens are configured, and using the TearFree feature could trigger Pixman library debugging spew.
  • Mesa 17.3.7 Nearing Release With 50+ Changes
    While waiting for Mesa 18.0, the Mesa 17.3.7 point release will soon hit stable users of this open-source, user-space graphics stack.
  • RADV Patches Are Closer For Sub-Group Capabilities
    Daniel Schürmann continues hacking on the sub-group patch-set for the RADV Vulkan driver to expose this important feature of the recent Vulkan 1.1 release.