Ubuntu 12.04 LTS To Target 750MB Image
The default ISO size target for Ubuntu 12.04 LTS is now 750MB, which rules out burning this Linux distribution to a traditional 700MB CD, but allows for 1GB+ USB flash drives and DVDs. Plus there's some other news from the Orlando development summit happening this week.
Back on Wednesday was a session at the Ubuntu Developer Summit (UDS) for "Precise Pangolin" about targeting a 1.5GB DVD image by default. Doubling the available space on the standard Ubuntu disc image would allow for incorporating more software, since with recent releases they have had quite a hard time managing to fit all of their desired packages onto a 700MB image. There's been optional Ubuntu DVD editions for earlier releases, but the Ubuntu default ISO has always been CD-sized.
The outcome of this session is to not target a 1.5GB image size, but rather 750MB. The 50MB increase makes it possible to still use a 1GB flash drive for an Ubuntu installation, but I would suspect within a release or two they will decide to go for the 1.5GB target. The official notes from the size discussion was simply, "The new Mark target size is 750 MB, targeting USB sticks (or DVD drives) instead of CDs."
The whiteboard for this Blueprint said prior to the session, "pitti: As we already have a DVD image of that sort in Oneiric, I suppose this is not primarily a technical matter, but a marketing one. I. e. what will be offered on ubuntu.com/download, what will we put on releases.u.c. for wide mirroring, how does it affect the Ubuntu Shop and pressed CDs/DVDs, etc. I set Mark as an approver, please change to someone more appropriate if you want to delegate this. Thanks!"
This extra room on the disc could allow for integrating more of the GNOME3 components, plus Canonical's new software components they are working on for Ubuntu/Unity, including a service to meet-up with Ubuntu users.
Aside from the size of Ubuntu discussion, there were also a few other interesting sessions not talked about in some of the other UDS postings. For instance, NetworkManager was brought up this morning.
There was some unofficial talk of ConnMan (the networking component developed by Intel for Moblin/MeeGo) to replace NetworkManager on the Unity desktop, but that wasn't brought up during the Friday morning NetworkManager discussion. The NetworkManager plans for Ubuntu 12.04 LTS is to be pulling in the latest code for this FreeDesktop.org project and to also pull in ModemManager 0.6 for Precise. The NetworkManager in Ubuntu 12.04 will offer up some new features like bonding and VLAN support, but the firewall support is not likely to be found in this April Ubuntu release. The ModemManager update in Ubuntu 12.04 will bring improved SMS support along with initial support for LTE networks.
Another Friday morning discussion was about improving the multi-monitor support for the Unity desktop. Those notes are here. The multi-monitor improvements for Unity will be particularly for dual-head configurations, namely when connecting a notebook to a project or other external display. It looks like it will be a while before I can make better use of all the displays in my office.
Also worth mentioning from UDS-P was the plans to use GNOME's Zeitegeist in Ubuntu 12.04. In particular, a version of Zeitgeist that's rewritten in Vala (rather than Python) was showed off. The Vala-ized version of Zeitegeist has a noticeably smaller memory foot-print and is significantly faster. Zeitgeist data sources found in Ubuntu 12.04 include Banshee, Eye of GNOME, Firefox, gEdit, Rhythmbox, Telepathy/Empathy, and Totem. The official notes are here.
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