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UBports' Ubuntu Touch Unlikely To Move To Ubuntu 18.04 Anytime Soon

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  • UBports' Ubuntu Touch Unlikely To Move To Ubuntu 18.04 Anytime Soon

    Phoronix: UBports' Ubuntu Touch Unlikely To Move To Ubuntu 18.04 Anytime Soon

    Given that it was only earlier this summer when UBports' Ubuntu Touch OTA-4 upgraded to an Ubuntu 16.04 LTS base, you might be wondering when they intend to transition to Ubuntu 18.04 LTS... But don't hold your breath...

    http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?pag...s-Ubuntu-18.04

  • #2
    Whether to develop and polish features on 16.04 for the time being, or to move to 18.04 as soon as possible, is discussed starting at about 33:15 in Ubuntu Touch Q&A 32.

    Personally, I hope that the UBports team will move Ubuntu Touch to 18.04 as soon as practical (even if not as soon as possible). The UBports team is making progress with Unity8 for the desktop on 18.04, including progress toward full Wayland support, and I'd like to see the same Wayland support on the phone. But their wait-and-see approach seems prudent. And who knows, maybe the puzzle pieces (with Mir, systemd, etc) will fall into place, allowing them to move to 18.04 more quickly than anticipated. Or at least that's my hope.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by GizmoChicken View Post
      Personally, I hope that the UBports team will move Ubuntu Touch to 18.04 as soon as practical (even if not as soon as possible).
      Well it is great the managed to get this to 16.04 for now because that means security updates for the next ~3 years.

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      • #4
        I wish Unity 8 and Ubuntu Touch were still officially supported by Canonical...
        Likely, if official support had been kept up, we would already have a flagship-level phone out by now. And the OS would be ready for prime-time as a daily driver.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by ZeroPointEnergy View Post
          Well it is great the managed to get this to 16.04 for now because that means security updates for the next ~3 years.
          Yep, I agree 100%. Moving to 16.04 is a huge accomplishment.

          Earlier, I had hoped that 16.04 could be skipped in favor of 18.04. But I now realize that doing so wouldn't have been practical. I do, however, continue to hope that the devs will shift their focus to 18.04 once "new" Mir (being developed by Canonical, and needed for Unity8 to work on 18.04) is closer to being feature complete. Hopefully, that will be sooner than expected.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by ZeroPointEnergy View Post
            Well it is great the managed to get this to 16.04 for now because that means security updates for the next ~3 years.
            Security updates for the next ~3 years, but for HW supported by Canonical, but no specifically for smartphones or tablets, including those preferred for development of Ubuntu Phone (and which had preinstalled also) , Meizu or Aquaris. Actually many security updates are platform aware, but it depends, it may not be the case.

            Priority will be to make a device as "functional" as possible, at least main functions to work. And after that various tunings and optimizations for speed, power consumption, cellular signal quality, sensors, camera etc. All of this specific from phone to phone.


            They stated in previous Q&As, the intention is to have a common code base with other OSS OSes for phones like Halium, Plasma Mobile, LuneOS/WebOS, Lineage OS etc Canonical has afforded dedicated teams of software devs, but for a small project of volunteers, code sharing can be a substitute for large number of paid developers, artist, engineers. And long delays.
            Last edited by onicsis; 08-03-2018, 08:51 AM.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by onicsis View Post
              Security updates for the next ~3 years, but for HW supported by Canonical, but no specifically for smartphones or tablets, including those preferred for development of Ubuntu Phone (and which had preinstalled also) , Meizu or Aquaris. Actually many security updates are platform aware, but it depends, it may not be the case.
              I mean just the updates for the GNU userland stack.

              Unfortunately when it comes to the kernel and the device drivers the situation is pretty horrible and there is no way to get an upstream kernel running on this devices.

              As for collaboration you talk about, that is project Haluim. I did a partial port for one device. You basically take the kernel sources you get for the device (some fork) and put some additional modules in required for the GNU userland to run and from the Lineage device tree you build a container with a minimal Android which is required for the binary device driver blobs so you can even talk to the hardware. Pretty horrible but there is no other way currently.

              .. well postmarket OS do it the hard way and try to mainline and reverse engineer everything, but that is an absolutely insane amount of work. Especially for devices which are obsolete after only a couple of years.

              But the real solution for all GNU/Linux phones is called Librem 5. To have a phone with upstream kernel support and no additional Android crap is an absolute dream. I really hope they manage to get this done. It would be a huge step forward even without their security related features.

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              • #8
                So now Unity8 for desktip is officially dead. We all knew it was dead with Ubports team not fixing their broken build for five months now. It's nice to see that they are finally admitting that rhough instead of lying and tryinf to get peoples interest in the project up on false grounds.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Pajn View Post
                  So now Unity8 for desktip is officially dead. We all knew it was dead with Ubports team not fixing their broken build for five months now. It's nice to see that they are finally admitting that rhough instead of lying and tryinf to get peoples interest in the project up on false grounds.
                  This article (and the referenced portion of Ubuntu Touch Q&A 32) discusses Ubuntu on mobile devices.

                  Unity8 on the desktop is still under development by UBports. Canonical recently began making big changes to the version of Mir that is needed for Unity8 to work on 18.04. And soon after, UBports issued some fixes to Unity8 necessitated by the changes that Canonical made to Mir. However, Canonical is still working through some remaining issues with Mir, including issues with logind and XWayland. For UBports to devote too many resources to Unity8 now (while Mir is still a rapidly moving target) would be inefficient, especially considering that UBports devs are currently focusing on OTA-4 and OTA-5 for mobile. Once Canonical has resolved more issues with Mir, UBports will be in a better situation to devote more resources to Unity8 for the desktop.

                  In any case, if you listen to Ubuntu Touch Q&A 32, you'll hear that, even now (while Mir is a moving target), members of the community are working to port Unity8 to Fedora and Arch. So, no, Unity8 is not dead.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Pajn View Post
                    So now Unity8 for desktip is officially dead. We all knew it was dead with Ubports team not fixing their broken build for five months now. It's nice to see that they are finally admitting that rhough instead of lying and tryinf to get peoples interest in the project up on false grounds.
                    Congratulations, you made me register here specifically to answer to your statement.

                    We always said that Unity8 for Desktop is not our priority as we are first-hand porting Ubuntu Touch to mobile devices, and eventually took over maintenance for the mobile-faced packages and projects as first priority. There is however an effort to also invest time into Unity8 for desktop, whenever there are resources available. But its not our main "product" at the moment.

                    I think its a very grave accusation when you say publicly that we are lying and I want you now to sustain this claim with evidence, when and how we lied about that.

                    I can understand anyone´s frustration of not having Unity8 any more on their desktop, but please do not blame us for that. We can do what we can to get momentum into Ubuntu Touch and connected projects, but its work we do in our spare time and we will not commit to any deadlines or crazy roadmaps. If you want that changed, you are free to pay us a few full developers (roughly € 35k per year).

                    Florian from UBports

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