There's been a lot of Ubuntu announcements coming down the pipe lately from ditching the GNOME Shell in favor of their own Canonical-developed Unity desktop to eventually shipping with the Wayland Display Server instead of X.Org. Here's another interesting one: Ubuntu may become a rolling-release distribution.
While we may see Canonical use Wayland beginning with Ubuntu 11.10, there's still the Ubuntu 11.04 release coming out before that we have to look forward to with the new Unity desktop interface. Here's some of the key X.Org details for Ubuntu 11.04, a.k.a. the Natty Narwhal.
Last week was the Ubuntu 11.04 Developer Summit in Orlando, Florida of the United States where a variety of topics were discussed. Aside from the very surprising announcement that Ubuntu 11.04 will use the Unity Desktop rather than GNOME's interface, most of the coverage on Phoronix was focused around the X.Org / graphics side of things, such as the xorg-server and Mesa to be used by Ubuntu 11.04 and the other discussions. Of course, other things were discussed too at this Ubuntu Developer Summit, and here's some of the other major happenings from the event.
Two days ago we reported on what the graphics stack should look like for Ubuntu 11.04 in terms of its X.Org Server, Mesa / Gallium3D, and the open-source graphics driver versions to be deployed in this next Linux operating system release codenamed the Natty Narwhal. This though wasn't the only X-related discussion to take place at the Ubuntu 11.04 developer summit in Orlando this week, but there were other related topics discussed such as KMS configuration / quirk handling, the multi-monitor experience on the Ubuntu desktop, and multi-touch support. There were also talks aimed at Linaro / embedded Ubuntu on ARM platforms with regards to embedded GPU drivers and OpenGL ES support.
The general X.Org planning summit for Ubuntu 11.04 just ended at the Ubuntu Developer Summit in Orlando. Here's a few key highlights from this hour-long discussion about the make-up of the X.Org / graphics stack for the Natty Narwhal release due for release in April.
The announcement of Ubuntu dropping the GNOME shell in favor of their own Unity interface that came during Mark Shuttleworth's keynote to kick off their Ubuntu 11.04 development summit has not been welcomed by many Linux users.
While GNOME 3.0 is expected to roll out in March and will boast the brand new GNOME Shell interface with the Mutter compositing window manager, this will not appear by default in the Ubuntu desktop. Certainly not in Ubuntu 11.04 and it doesn't look like it will be used at all in the future by default (granted, you'll be able to install the shell from a package repository). It's just been announced that beginning with Ubuntu 11.04, the desktop spin will begin using the Unity shell that Canonical originally developed for netbooks.
Not even a week has passed since the release of Ubuntu 10.10, but developers are now free to start committing package changes for the next release, Ubuntu 11.04, which is codenamed Natty Narwhal. Matthias Klose has announced that the Ubuntu Natty repository is now open for business.
Just as planned, Ubuntu 10.10 has been released today on the 10th of October, 2010. Ubuntu 10.10 has many features and improvements that we have talked about over the past several months from an updated kernel and GNOME desktop to Btrfs installation improvements.
Besides talking about performance at the Ubuntu Developer Summit later this month in Orlando for Ubuntu 11.04, there will also be discussions and tracks for hardware compatibility, Ubuntu as the project and community, application selections and defaults, how to empower application developers, cloud infrastructure, and multimedia.
At the Ubuntu Developer Summit later this month in Orlando for the Ubuntu 11.04 "Natty Narwhal" release, it looks like performance testing may finally be discussed at length by Canonical and the Ubuntu developers.
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.
1006 Ubuntu news articles published on Phoronix.