For those wishing to spend some time reading a long blog post or are interested from Mark Shuttleworth's perspective regarding what Ubuntu / Canonical contributes to the free software ecosystem (since it's widely regarded that their actual code contributions are very low), here's the post for you.
Back in July we reported on a GEM-free UMS Intel driver coming about that was targeted for owners of vintage Intel 8xx series hardware to circumvent the stability issues and other problems they commonly have encountered since switching to Intel's newer driver stack with kernel mode-setting and the Graphics Execution Manager. Canonical hoped to ship this UMS code-path in Ubuntu 10.10 that would then be enabled for those with these older Intel integrated graphics processors.
There's just one month and one week to the release of Ubuntu 10.10 (it's being released on 10 October, a.k.a. 10.10.10) but today the beta release of the "Maverick Meerkat" is out in the wild.
After the release of the Ubuntu Multi-Touch stack called UTouch and the X.Org Gesture Extension, the rising question would be the support of everyday applications, as only a few applications in Ubuntu 10.10 will properly support UTouch. Standard applications which are non-multi-touch-aware only recognize events which come from the keyboard and the mouse like key-presses and mouse clicks.
Not only do we know that Ubuntu 11.04 is codenamed the Natty Narwhal, but we have the release schedule for this next Ubuntu Linux release to succeed Ubuntu 10.10.
A few months back we reported that the IA64 and SPARC versions of Ubuntu were in trouble and would be decommissioned if no individual(s) were to step-up and maintain these ports of Ubuntu Linux for these architectures that are much less popular and common than x86 and x86_64 hardware. Well, there still is no one backing the Intel IA64 and Sun SPARC versions of Ubuntu Linux so they are being dropped completely.
While there is less than two months to the release of Ubuntu 10.10 and details for Ubuntu 11.04 are already emerging (it's codenamed the Natty Narwhal), the first point release to Ubuntu 10.04 LTS is now available.
Mark Shuttleworth has just announced via his blog that Ubuntu 11.04, which will be released in April of 2011, is codenamed the Natty Narwhal.
For those with multi-touch capable hardware like Dell's XT2 tablet, the Apple Magic TrackPad, or 3M/N-Trig hardware, there's good news if you are an Ubuntu user as Ubuntu 10.10 is set to ship with multi-touch support by default. However, the Ubuntu 10.10 multi-touch support isn't based on the recent port to Linux of the Synaptics Gesture Suite, the Clutter multi-gesture capabilities, or the various other free software efforts in this area, but rather Canonical has come around and come up with their own solution once again. New to Ubuntu today is the Canonical UTouch Framework.
Following last week's Ubuntu 10.10 Alpha 3 release but landing before the Ubuntu 10.10 "Maverick Meerkat" feature freeze this week were a number of last-minute features like X Server 1.9 integration and other updated packages along with the committing of the revamped Ubuntu desktop installer to Maverick. Via this revamped Ubuntu installer it's possible to install proprietary bits directly like support for MP3 audio files and proprietary graphics drivers.
Just uploaded to the Ubuntu Lucid repository for Ubuntu 10.04 LTS (and we imagine it will appear shortly in Maverick too for Ubuntu 10.10) is a new package called canonical-census, which marks its initial release. Curious about what this package provides, we did some digging and found it's for tracking Ubuntu installations by sending an "I am alive" ping to Canonical on a daily basis.
Ubuntu's Christopher James Halse Rogers has just issued a notice that X.Org Server 1.9 is soon going to be uploaded to the Ubuntu Maverick repository for Ubuntu 10.10, which is part of Ubuntu's X and Mesa plans. X.Org Server 1.9 isn't going to be officially released until later this month, but the Ubuntu 10.10 feature freeze is coming up this week so the existing X.Org Server 1.8.2 release is being replaced with an X.Org Server 1.9 snapshot until the final release is made available.
Martin Pitt on behalf of the Ubuntu development community has announced the release of Ubuntu 10.10 "Maverick Meerkat" Alpha 3. Ubuntu 10.10 continues to pull in new packages and features until its feature freeze beginning next week.
Canonical's Robbie Williamson has provided an update on the status of the Ubuntu 10.04.1 LTS release, which is the first re-spin since the Long-Term Support release of the Lucid Lynx in April. Ubuntu 10.04.1 incorporates the package updates and minor fixes committed to Lucid since the original release. Ubuntu 10.04.1 was supposed to be released next week, but now it's been postponed to August.
A month after putting out Maverick Alpha 1, the second alpha release of Ubuntu 10.10 (codenamed the "Maverick Meerkat") has been released to the wild.
Back in May during the Ubuntu Developer Summit for Ubuntu 10.10 (the "Maverick Meerkat") we reported on Canonical's plans for Btrfs in 2011 and 2012 and even that Btrfs could be the default file-system in Ubuntu 10.10. While EXT4 will likely remain the default file-system choice with Ubuntu Maverick, as of the latest daily ISO spins there is now support for installing Ubuntu to a Btrfs file-system.
Last year a project came about within the Ubuntu community of addressing paper cuts, or small usability bugs that often are trivial but normally are ignored by developers. With Ubuntu 9.10 they targeted 100 paper cuts ranging from notifications being too small to the spell checker not recognizing the "Ubuntu" term. The idea of addressing 100 paper cuts again came up for Ubuntu 10.04 LTS and to date the Ubuntu developers have addressed 178 "paper cuts" in total. The Canonical Design blog has announced that again there will be the paper cuts project for Ubuntu 10.10 (a.k.a. The Maverick Meerkat).
While Ubuntu and its derivatives (such as Ubuntu Server and Ubuntu Netbook) are most popular on x86 and x86_64 systems along with a growing presence on ARM-based devices, ports of Ubuntu have been available for SPARC and IA64 architectures too. However, as the quality of these ports have been degrading, the IA64 and SPARC ports of Ubuntu Linux may be decommissioned during the Ubuntu 10.10 "Maverick Meerkat" development cycle.
While many new packages have been pulled into the "Maverick Meerkat" repository for Ubuntu 10.10, one area that hasn't yet received many changes compared to the Ubuntu 10.04 LTS packages has been the X.Org graphics stack. However, that soon will change with X.Org Server 1.8 being pulled into the Maverick repository in the very near future.
While to many it feels like Ubuntu 10.04 was just released yesterday (in reality it's been out for one month), the first alpha release of Ubuntu 10.10 (a.k.a. the Maverick Meerkat) has been released.
Ubuntu's longstanding policy of not pulling in new major versions of packages into their stable repositories is facing a slight change. Canonical along with the Ubuntu development community have been making it easier to deploy Mozilla Firefox web-browser updates into existing Ubuntu releases.
In an interesting move that now makes it easier to use the popular Skype VoIP program on Ubuntu Linux, Canonical's Brian Thomason has uploaded the first Skype package into the Ubuntu 10.04 "Lucid Lynx" repository. Using Skype on Ubuntu is now only a sudo apt-get install skype away from being used.
While the release schedules for Ubuntu Linux aren't exactly a close secret -- new releases generally coming in April and October with the version scheme being YY.MM such as Ubuntu 11.04 for the April 2011 release -- Canonical's Robbie Williamson has laid out tentative release schedules for Ubuntu 11.04, Ubuntu 11.10, and even Ubuntu 12.04 LTS.
Earlier this week we reported that Ubuntu has plans for the Btrfs file-system in 2011 and 2012 by providing support for installing Ubuntu Linux to a Btrfs file-system. This information was based upon documents coming out of the Ubuntu Developer Summit in Brussels, but it turns out that Canonical may actually deploy Btrfs this year. Not only to provide an installation option within the installer for Btrfs, but to make it the default file-system.
While the Btrfs file-system has been an install-time option for Fedora for a couple of releases already, Red Hat has even pushed support in RHEL6 for optionally using Btrfs, and then Intel and Nokia are using Btrfs as the default file-system in their MeeGo distribution, Ubuntu is now looking at joining the Btrfs party. However, it will not be for a while.
One of the benefits of kernel mode-setting on Linux besides providing a flicker-free boot experience, faster and better VT switching, and a cleaner architecture is that it removes a requirement against the X.Org Server from needing to be run as root. With Ubuntu 10.04 LTS now utilizing kernel mode-setting across Intel / ATI and AMD / NVIDIA graphics hardware, they are looking to make the X Server run as a normal user in upcoming releases.
The Ubuntu Developer Summit is kicking off today in Brussels, Belgium for Ubuntu 10.10 (a.k.a. the Maverick Meerkat) and as such there is likely to be a stream of Ubuntu Maverick news this week. To kick things off, Mark Shuttleworth has written yet another blog post and this time its detailing Canonical's newest product for OEMs: Ubuntu Light.
We began this week by providing the first extensive Windows 7 vs. Ubuntu 10.04 benchmarks to see whether Microsoft's operating system is faster than the most popular Linux distribution. In that first article we began by providing the OpenGL graphics benchmarks and the numbers were certainly interesting. Subsequently we delivered power consumption tests between Ubuntu Linux and Microsoft Windows on a netbook and a notebook. Now we are still preparing for the next set of tests, but until then, here are two disk tests looking at the file-system performance on Windows 7 with NTFS versus Ubuntu 10.04 LTS with EXT4.
Mark Shuttleworth, the founder of Ubuntu and its parent company Canonical, has answered a number of questions via IRC from the Ubuntu community today during the Ubuntu Open Week. The first question asked to Mark was whether the GNOME Shell would be used by default in Ubuntu 10.10 (a.k.a. the Maverick Meerkat) and here is the response:
With the development of Ubuntu 10.10 (codenamed the "Maverick Meerkat") getting started and the Ubuntu Developer Summit coming up in just a matter of days, we have re-launched the Ubuntu Phoromatic Tracker to monitor the performance of Ubuntu 10.10 on a daily basis.
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