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Mark Shuttleworth With a Beard Starts Sounding More Like Richard Stallman

Posted in GNU/Linux, Ubuntu at 6:25 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Mark Richard Buranov Shuttleworth
Photo from Space Facts

Summary: Ubuntu’s founder Mark Shuttleworth explains that his beard is grown as a political statement while he orders the elimination of ACPI, which is favoured by the world’s biggest back doors proponent, the NSA (and GCHQ)

Mark Shuttleworth is a fascinating and charismatic man. At a very young age, equipped with Free software, he was able to make his dreams come true and he is still very good at business [1]. In recent years many tried to portray him as a greedy exploiter — a narrative we rejected and fought back against. As a man who grew up in South Africa, he is aware of discrimination (sometimes to the extreme) and now that he lives in the UK he must be seeing some of the same symptoms, which is why he is growing a beard [2] (to make a statement).

“If Shuttleworth rejects ACPI, then he should also reject UEFI and Amazon (especially the Fog Computing aspect of it).”To be politically expressive sometimes contradicts and interferes with business. Just look at what’s being done to Mozilla right now. We are not going to entertain the politics of intimidation and blackmail (into conformity, by threatening one’s job and free speech), but a lot of readers may already know what we refer to. Either way, earlier this month, in response to NSA revelations, Mark Shuttleworth made it quite apparent that surveillance software like Skype won’t return into Ubuntu’s front page (in the Web site) any time soon. Shuttleworth seems to be grasping the fact that we are moving in a bad direction in technology, where surveillance and back doors are becoming somewhat of a norm. Earlier today a reader send us this news link [3] about US legislators wanting to require back doors not just in phones but also desktops/laptops (call it “Back Doors by Law”). This is seriously messed up!

Now, taking into account monopoly abuser‘s promotion of UEFI, which enables remote destruction of computers (the NSA helps validate this) we should definitely avoid it. Given what Amazon does with the CIA, we should avoid it too, not put Amazon spyware inside Ubuntu (in my job I was writing puppet config files to remove this spyware from hundreds of federated desktops). On the bright side of things, despite Canonical supporting Amazon and UEFI, Mr. Shuttleworth now declares war on ACPI [4], which is deemed a proprietary security threat (possible hijacking or remote bricking, like UEFI). There was press generated to that effect thanks to Mr. Shuttleworth [5-7], raising awareness among many.

Shuttleworth is not typically techno-political, except perhaps when it comes to software freedom. So his stance on ACPI is hopefully the start of more such stance changes. If Shuttleworth rejects ACPI, then he should also reject UEFI and Amazon (especially the Fog Computing aspect of it).

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Vendors “looking seriously” at Ubuntu – Shuttleworth

    Mark Shuttleworth, founder of Canonical, said that he is “very confident that large manufacturers are looking seriously at Ubuntu as the new open platform of choice”, following the recent announcement that it is working with two small players – bq and Meizu – to bring the first smartphones using the platform to market.

  2. Here’s why Mark Shuttleworth is growing beard

    “There is a slightly serious angle to beard. One of my colleagues was stopped and held by transport police in UK. He was questioned for hours. There was no justification to it and so while he was leaving, he asked them the reason and they said it was the beard. This is disgusting. A society should be civilised enough to not judge people on the basis of how they look.”

  3. Feds want an expanded ability to hack criminal suspects’ computers

    The United States Department of Justice wants to broaden its ability to hack criminal suspects’ computers according to a new legal proposal that was first published by the Wall Street Journal on Thursday.

    If passed as currently drafted, federal authorities would gain an expanded ability to conduct “remote access” under a warrant against a target computer whose location is unknown or outside of a given judicial district. It would also apply in cases where that computer is part of a larger network of computers spread across multiple judicial districts. In the United States, federal warrants are issued by judges who serve one of the 94 federal judicial districts and are typically only valid for that particular jurisdiction.

  4. ACPI, firmware and your security

    If you read the catalogue of spy tools and digital weaponry provided to us by Edward Snowden, you’ll see that firmware on your device is the NSA’s best friend. Your biggest mistake might be to assume that the NSA is the only institution abusing this position of trust – in fact, it’s reasonable to assume that all firmware is a cesspool of insecurity courtesy of incompetence of the worst degree from manufacturers, and competence of the highest degree from a very wide range of such agencies.

  5. Linux Bugs but Proprietary the Threat Says Shuttleworth
  6. Mark Shuttleworth Calls For An End To ACPI
  7. Proprietary firmware poses a security threat, Ubuntu founder says


Ubuntu Makes Many Headlines Again, This Time Because of Real Phones

Posted in GNU/Linux, Ubuntu at 7:12 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Canonical’s latest marketing effort brings awareness of Ubuntu, Linux and even GNU/Free software to a lot of people all around the world

WHILE we may not agree with Canonical on everything, the company does have a positive effect on GNU/Linux adoption and many distributions are derived from it. When Canonical tried to kickstart the “Edge” we defended Canonical and criticised negative coverage which called “Edge” vapourware (a self-fulfilling prophecy). Well, now we know, based on the words of Canonical’s founder [1], that Apple played a role in making it hard to get screens for the “Edge”. CNET/CBS did not cover it properly (it seems more like Apple marketing), but it’s a serious issue which is at least being put out there right now.

Canonical and Ubuntu have not been making headlines for a while (except when Canonical was left with not much choice but to abandon its project, Upstart [2-5], as well as some non-news about Ubuntu Touch [6-8], Ubuntu desktop [9,10], convergence of those two [11-13], and servers [14]), so we were delighted to see a press release [15] followed by aggressive marketing by Canonical staff like Jono Bacon [16-17] really flooding the news/Internet with articles that mention (GNU/)Linux and the role it has in phones. This is not only good for Ubuntu; it’s probably good for Free software as a whole. It wasn’t just covered in FOSS sites or even technology sites; even general news sites covered it [18-55], bringing the message to a lot of people all around the world, even in poorer nations like the Philippines [56,57].

Well done, Canonical.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Apple ‘snapped up’ sapphire displays, says Canonical founder

    “Apple just snapped up three year’s worth of the supply of sapphire screens from the company that we had engaged to make the screens for the Edge,” he said (at roughly the 30:45 mark linked to above). The report about the sapphire display comments first appeared at Gigaom.

  2. Ubuntu Will Switch To Systemd Abandoning Their Own init System Upstart
  3. Systemd dominates and Debian, Ubuntu, Git updates – Linux Snippets
  4. Linux init-system shocker: Mark Shuttleworth announces that Ubuntu will follow Debian and adopt systemd
  5. Canonical Drops Upstart for systemd in Ubuntu Linux
  6. Ubuntu Touch x86 emulator improves security, OpenGL
  7. Canonical Confirms Arrival Of VLC, Spinlet, Mapbox & Other Third Party Apps For Ubuntu Touch
  8. Canonical gets support from major app developers for Ubuntu Touch

    Canonical has announced that the company has got support from major app developers for Ubuntu Touch—the mobile version of the Ubuntu operating system.

  9. Ubuntu 14.04 brings back menus in application windows

    Ubuntu users, I tell you this: good things come to those who wait. For all of you cheerful Ubuntu users, come 14.04, you’ll be able to choose whether or not you wish your application menus to appear globally or locally. With Locally Integrated Menus (coined by Unity Desktop member JohnLea), that will become possible.

  10. Mesa 10.1 Should Make It Into Ubuntu 14.04 LTS

    Mesa 10.1 brings many new OpenGL features, new hardware support, and as with most Mesa updates is a very worthwhile upgrade for users of the open-source Linux graphics stack. There’s been many articles about Mesa 10.1 on Phoronix while there’s also the Mesa 10.1 feature overview. Mesa 10.1 itself is in a release candidate stage but should be officially released later this month on 28 February.

  11. No Mobile Support for Ubuntu store apps until version 14.04

    Running an app simultaneously on your PC, tablet and mobile is the apex of technology nirvana, right? If you are a user of Ubuntu and into the news, you must have heard that there is a thing called “Karma app” into the market, which has been marketed up by Ubuntu Community Manager Jono Bacon this week showed off Karma Machine, a reddit client built by a third-party developer using the Ubuntu SDK. What Karma does is that it allows you to enjoy the apps both on your PC, tablet and mobile but, strangely enough, it does not support Ubuntu Center in it. You ask why? Because there won’t be any cross platform support until Ubuntu 14.4.

  12. Jono Bacon demos Ubuntu complete convergence with Karma Machine

    Canonical aims to unite the code base for all of their operating systems–for desktop, mobile, TV, and server–somewhere between the releases of Ubuntu 14.10 and Ubuntu 15.04. And the developers are pretty close to achieving this complete convergence.

  13. This is what Ubuntu convergence is all about – a single app running across different devices
  14. Joyent Partners with Canonical on Customized Ubuntu as a Cloud Service

    Joyent, well-known on the cloud computing scene and a growing player in Big Data analytics, announced a partnership with Canonical today to provide customers with optimized and supported Ubuntu server images in the Joyent Cloud. Effectively, users will be able to leverage a Canonical-customized Ubuntu in the cloud. The two companies also want to enable developers and enterprises to create mobile, big data and high-performance applications on Ubuntu and Joyent’s OS-Virtualized cloud platform.

  15. Canonical Announces First Partners to Ship Ubuntu Phones Around the Globe
  16. You’ll NEVER guess who’s building the first Ubuntu phones in 2014

    The first smartphones running Ubuntu will ship this year, Canonical now says – although the Linux vendor’s hardware partners are hardly the first companies you might guess.

  17. Today’s Ubuntu News

    I am sure that you have all seen the exciting news about the first partners to ship Ubuntu smart-phones.

  18. Two Ubuntu phones to hit market this year

    The wait is over, Ubuntu phones are coming. Canonical today announced that Meizu of China, and BQ of Spain, will start selling Ubuntu powered phones by the year end. While the company claims that these devices will be made available globally, it seems that the phones will be targeted at the local market of the two players as Ubuntu doesn’t hold enough weight to break the dominance of Android and iOS in stronger economies like EU and the US. Mozilla knows the reality and despite being much bigger than Canonical chose to focus on emerging markets for the same reason.

  19. Ubuntu Touch gets grip on its first phone makers
  20. Canonical, Partners Promise First Ubuntu Phones This Year
  21. Is there still room for Ubuntu smartphones on the market?
  22. Canonical announces first partners to ship Ubuntu phones around the globe
  23. Daily Roundup: Ubuntu’s first phones, Lumia Icon review and more!
  24. Ubuntu phones arriving in 2014 from Meizu and BQ Readers
  25. First Ubuntu smartphones to debut in 2014
  26. Canonical confirms partners for first Ubuntu phones
  27. Canonical announces manufacturers of Ubuntu phones
  28. Video: Did this Ubuntu superphone concept inspire the upcoming iPhone 6?
  29. Canonical names first Ubuntu Touch smartphone makers
  30. Ubuntu Phones from Meizu and bq Coming This Year
  31. Ubuntu Touch Finally Has Hardware Partners
  32. Ubuntu-based Smartphones Available In 2014
  33. Ubuntu desktop moving application menus back into application windows
  34. Linux Extends Its Mobile Empire With Ubuntu Phones

    Today, Canonical — the company that develops Ubuntu — announced partnerships with Spanish hardware designer bq and the Chinese mobile device company Meizu, saying that both would introduce phones over the next 10 months. The news is part of wider movement towards Linux phones across the world and particularly in Asia, where the open source OS can feed the enormous market for inexpensive devices.

  35. Meizu And BQ To Roll Out Ubuntu Smartphones
  36. Canonical announces BQ and Meizu as first Ubuntu phone partners
  37. Meizu, bq to sell Ubuntu phones in 2014, platform a ‘credible alternative’ to Android
  38. Two small manufacturers will release Ubuntu phones this year, Canonical says
  39. Canonical announces Ubuntu phones for release in 2014
  40. First Ubuntu phones coming this year from China’s Meizu and Spain’s Bq
  41. First Ubuntu phones to launch in 2014
  42. Canonical To Ship Ubuntu Smartphones From bq And Meizu Later This Year
  43. Ubuntu phones from Meizu and bq in 2014 Canonical promises
  44. Canonical announces first Ubuntu smartphone manufacturers
  45. First Ubuntu phones to launch in 2014
  46. Ubuntu smartphones coming later this year, Canonical reveals
  47. Ubuntu phones to ship this year from two manufacturers
  48. Meizu, bq to launch Ubuntu smartphones in 2014
  49. First Ubuntu phones on track for 2014 as handset makers jump on board
  50. Canonical details first Ubuntu smartphone partners, devices due to arrive later this year
  51. Meizu and BQ Readers will ship Ubuntu phones this year
  52. First Ubuntu Phone manufacturers announced
  53. Canonical announces first Ubuntu smartphone manufacturers
  54. Two Ubuntu phones with top apps in 2014
  55. Ubuntu phones arriving in 2014 from Meizu and BQ Readers

    Canonical is finally poised to enter the mobile market. After years of teases, promises and demos, the company has locked up the first two manufacturers of Ubuntu phones. Meizu and BQ Readers will be releasing handsets with the Linux-based OS installed on them sometime in 2014. Details about release date, price and specs are still to be determined, but we were told to expect more info at Mobile World Congress (which kicks off this weekend). The list of supporting carriers also remains a mystery, but at least we know that there will be consumer-ready Ubuntu phones on the market before the end of the year. Mark Shuttleworth, Canonical’s founder, is keeping things close to his chest, but he did say that two more manufacturers with “household names” should be coming on board in 2015.

  56. PHL among countries to get first crack at Ubuntu smartphones

    Filipinos may be among the first to get a first crack at using smartphones powered by the Linux-based Ubuntu operating system.

    Canonical said Smart Philippines will be among its first partners to ship Ubuntu smartphones manufactured by China-based Meizu.

  57. Smart joins telco global leaders supporting Ubuntu


Linux Deepin/Ubuntu in the Future of China, Showing the Great Power of Debian

Posted in Asia, Debian, GNU/Linux, Ubuntu at 8:28 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Debian 7
Debian 7 supports numerous Chinese languages

Summary: The Far East is gradually moving to Debian-derived distributions of GNU/Linux, creating its own localised versions

ACCORDING TO numerous reports, China is moving to GNU/Linux and its home-bred GNU/Linux distribution, Linux Deepin (recently reviewed in [1,2]), is sort of replacing an old one which was based on Red Hat. Linux Deepin is based on Ubuntu and it represents Canonical’s special partnership and new major source of income (as Canonical recently reported it). Linux Deepin may one day outpace the growth of Ubuntu because China has a vast population and it is the largest base of Internet surfers.

One report says [3] that “China switches on to Ubuntu in hunt for Windows XP successor”, but a lot of media focuses on the demise of Red Flag Linux [4-7], which is basically a loss to Red Hat. It seems like the Debian camp is starting to gain more ground in China (same in North Korea and South Korea) — a promising trend which will probably be debated in the media for a long time to come. China also has COS in he making (Linux-based but focused on mobile).

Debian 7.4 was recently released [8] and despite some hostilities [9,10] (nothing new to Debian) related to the Systemd debate [11,12] there are signs of strength and leadership in the GNU/Linux world. As for Ubuntu, it is following Debian for the most part [13] (although Debian follows Red Hat in this case) and with reduced interest from developers [14] due to controversies [15] such as Canonical’s demand for licence-signing by derivatives (noted the other day and covered here months ago) it will have to work hard on restoring confidence [16], not just by letting the “community” use an SDK [17] or vote on wallpapers [18] but also by opening up the development process, as Debian does. When Ubuntu turned to mobile it notoriously shunned community participation, not just when it comes to development but also voting/steering.

Ubuntu is gaining elsewhere in east Asia [19], so let’s hope it will improve privacy policies. In some Asian countries surveillance by the government can lead to imprisonment and even death.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Linux Deepin is a fringe Linux distribution that could steal your heart

    Jack Wallen digs into Linux Deepin and comes out impressed. See what this fringe Linux distribution has to offer, and discover if its your next platform.

  2. Linux Deepin, Ubuntu systemd and Licensing, and Red Flag Scuttled
  3. China switches on to Ubuntu in hunt for Windows XP successor
  4. Chinese software pioneer Red Flag bites the dust
  5. Chinese Linux Distributor Red Flag Software Disappears Overnight
  6. China shutters Windows ‘rival’ Red Flag Linux
  7. Linux distributor Red Flag Software disappears overnight
  8. Debian 7.4 Rounds Up Stable Updates
  9. Debian Tech Committee Falling Further Into Disarray

    While it was clear that systemd overtook Upstart in this weekend’s Debian init system voting by the Debian technical committee, some fits are still being had over the results. Some committee members are now calling for resignations.

  10. Fake Debian Developers Try To Get Free Linux Games
  11. Debian inches towards new init system decision amid fallout
  12. An Exploit In GNOME Shell With Systemd?

    It looks like there might be a big bug in systemd-using GNOME Shell Linux systems.

  13. Shuttleworth says Ubuntu will switch to systemd

    The head of Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu GNU/Linux distribution and the creator of the upstart init system, has announced that it will switch its init system to the Red Hat-developed systemd.

  14. Ubuntu Is Short On Developer Membership Board Nominations
  15. Ubuntu and Privacy and how it really works now.

    Firstly the Amazon lens is nothing special, and it is perhaps the internet connected lens I am least worried about. I trust Amazon to do what I expect them to do, I am a customer so they know what I bought, sending them random strings like “calcul” and “gedi” and “eclip” does not give them valuable data. It is junk. I am much more concerned about stuff like the Europeana, jstor, grooveshark lenses which do exactly the same thing but I have no idea who those organisations are or what they do. Even things like openweathermap, sounds good, but are they really a trusted organisation?

  16. Why do you need license from Canonical to create derivatives?
  17. Ubuntu Planning For HTML5, SDK Improvements

    Jono Bacon of Canonical has shared some new details after a developer sprint was held last week in Florida for the platform, SDK, and security teams along with desktop and design stakeholders. Those developers focusing upon Ubuntu’s next-generation platform can find all of the details in full via Jono’s blog post but some of the key takeaways include:

  18. Everybody Can Submit Wallpapers For The Trusty Tahr Wallpaper Submision Contest

    The wallpaper contest for Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr is taking part right now, everybody being able to submit their photos until the 5th of March 2014.

  19. After Vodafone, Smart Communications Has Also Joined The Ubuntu’s Carrier Advisory Group (CAG)

    Recently, Smart Communications, a mobile carrier from Philippines, has joined Ubuntu’s Carrier Advisory Group (CAG), in order to support Ubuntu Touch, the mobile version and Ubuntu, and sell phones with Ubuntu for phones pre-installed.


Historical Week for Debian and Ubuntu (a Look Back)

Posted in Debian, GNU/Linux, Ubuntu at 6:34 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: A roundup of news about Debian, Ubuntu, and derivatives of Ubuntu


  • Updated Debian 7: 7.4 released

    The Debian project is pleased to announce the fourth update of its stable distribution Debian 7 (codename “wheezy”). This update mainly adds corrections for security problems to the stable release, along with a few adjustments for serious problems. Security advisories were already published separately and are referenced where available. Please note that this update does not constitute a new version of Debian 7 but only updates some of the packages included. There is no need to throw away old “wheezy” CDs or DVDs but only to update via an up-to-date Debian mirror after an installation, to cause any out of date packages to be updated.

Systemd in Debian

  • Systemd Is The Future Of Debian

    Since this weekend we have known that systemd was winning the Debian init system battle, but now it’s official: systemd has prevailed over Upstart in Debian.

    After a very heated fight between the Debian technical committee and also Debian stakeholders, Bdale Garbee as the chairman of the tech committee has announced systemd will be used in Debian 8.0 Jessie.

  • Finally, Debian chose* systemd as default init systemd, bye bye upstart

    systemd already has a wide adoption withing the GNU/Linux distribution with all major distros including openSUSE, Fedora, Arch Linux, etc using it as their default init system. Upstart was either way not getting much support from the free software community due to the restrictive CLAs Canonical requires which is often criticized by the community. With Debian going* for systemd, it will get even more developer power whereas Canonical will be left alone to deal with Upstart along with many more project that it’s trying to do on its own – including the recently discussed File Manager which may replace Nautilus (Files).

Systemd in Ubuntu


  • Broken by design: systemd

    My view is that this idea is wrong: systemd is broken by design, and despite offering highly enticing improvements over legacy init systems, it also brings major regressions in terms of many of the areas Linux is expected to excel: security, stability, and not having to reboot to upgrade your system.

  • systemd analysis: a personal perspective

    As usual in these cases, not just Lennart, but many of those who supported him, also those who sponsored these efforts, has suffered all kind of attacks. Sadly not just for technical, I mean ATTACKS. Even journalists have been involved. Yes, Free Software is also mature enough to have “yellow (technical) press” associated, political and business interests and people in different communities willing to use them against anybody who threaten the current status quo.


Licence Agreement




  • Forward Momentum in the Ubuntu App Developer Platform

    Last week I was in Orlando sprinting with my team as well as the platform, SDK, and security teams and some desktop and design folks. As usual after a sprint, I have been slammed catching up with email, but I wanted to provide a summary of some work going that you can expect to see soon in the Ubuntu app developer platform.

  • The Next Ubuntu Developer Summit: 11-13 March 2014

    The Ubuntu Developer Summit is the primary place where we discuss, debate, and plan the future of Ubuntu. The entire event takes place online, is open and accessible to all, and every session is recorded so everyone can see how decisions are made. It is a useful, fun, and rewarding event to join.

Ubuntu Variants

Bodhi Linux

  • Interview: Jeff Hoogland Talks About Bodhi Linux

    We are huge fans of Jeff Hoogland’s work as a Software Developer and his efforts with Bodhi Linux. So we invited Jeff for a quick chat with Unixmen Australia. We were privileged when Jeff accepted our invitation. Here is what he had to say.

Linux Mint

  • Why Did Linux Mint Ax mintConstructor?

    It’s no great secret that our organization Reglue uses Linux Mint on many of our outgoing computers. I run Mint on one of my work computers and at home as well. Linux Mint has given us the opportunity to create a respin for educational purposes within our non profit, largely due to an app named mintConstructor. It provides a fairly simple method of making custom systems using Linux Mint as the base.

  • Revisited: Linux Mint 16 “Petra” KDE + Xfce


Recent News From the World of Ubuntu

Posted in News Roundup, Ubuntu at 7:52 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Ubuntu 12.04.4, Mobile, Tips, File Manager, CLA, and Decoupling


  • Ubuntu 12.04.4 LTS (Precise Pangolin) Officially Released by Canonical

    Canonical has just announced that Ubuntu 12.04.4 LTS (Precise Pangolin) has been officially released for its Desktop, Server, Cloud, and Core products.

  • Ubuntu 12.04.4 LTS Performance Benchmarks

    The benchmarks in this article are some straightforward tests done on the same HP EliteBook (Intel Core i5 2520M, 4GB RAM, Intel 160GB SSD, HD Graphics 3000) when comparing clean installs of Ubuntu 12.04.2, 12.04.3, and 12.04.4. Unfortunately the mirrors of the original Ubuntu 12.04 LTS release and the first point release have vanished, so the testing was limited to these three past point releases for the Linux distribution that originally shipped in 2012 and will be maintained through 2017.


  • After Tizen, Vodafone puts a foot in the Ubuntu camp

    Ubuntu Touch devices might be some time away yet, but its parent company Canonical is gradually building carrier support with Vodafone becoming its latest addition supporter.

  • Vodafone signs as Ubuntu backer

    Vodafone Group became the latest member of the Ubuntu Carrier Advisor Group, although there has been no further detail on when smartphones powered by the platform will reach the market.

    According to a statement from Ubuntu: “Vodafone Group will join national and multi-national carriers in decisions that influence the development of Ubuntu for smartphones.

  • Vodafone is the latest carrier to support Ubuntu
  • Vodafone backs Ubuntu – but no sign of smartphone yet

    Canonical’s carrier advisory group allows operators to have a say in Ubuntu’s development on mobile.

  • Expect something Ubuntu flavoured at Mobile World Congress

    Mark Shuttleworth’s Canonical has confirmed that they will be at the annual Mobile World Congress (MWC) event in Barcelona at the end of next month to show off the Ubuntu OS in all its glory. Last year Canonical used MWC as a springboard to launch Ubuntu for tablets and smartphones so they’re no stranger to announcing big things at the event.


File Manager

  • Ubuntu’s convergence plan starts with File Manager

    For the past year, Ubuntu and Canonical’s founder, Mark Shuttleworth has been talking about full convergence i.e., the same OS and its applications can be run on desktops, servers and mobile devices. Canonical plans to start the converge from its Ubuntu 14.10 release cycle. However, no activity has been seen on the development front, until now.

  • Ubuntu Could Get a New File Manager as Development Model Shifts
  • Ubuntu Developers Planning To Develop Their Own File-Manager For Ubuntu 14.10

    Ubuntu is planning to develop its own file manager which will be introduced with their QT5 powered Unity8 desktop environment from Ubuntu 14.10 onwards. Ubuntu is currently using Nautilus File manager (also known as ‘Files’), developed by GNOME developers.Ubuntu users & developers are growing increasingly unhappy with the direction at which Nautilus file manager is leading. There are many necessary features which are missing in latest Nautilus, forcing users to replace Nautilus with their favourite file manager like feature-rich nautilus fork, Nemo or the popular Thunar – which is inarguably one of the best file managers.

  • Ubuntu Developers to Drop Nautilus Soon and Replace It with Their Own File Manager – Update

    “With the planned switch to unity8 in 14.10 it is most likely that we will also start using the converged QML apps that are developed today. With all the complaints and unhappiness about Nautilus upstream ripping out things like dual pane and other beloved and helpful features I expect we can do better,” said Ubuntu developer, Oliver Grawert.

  • Ubuntu Planning To Develop Its Own File Manager

    The latest piece of the desktop Linux stack that Ubuntu developers are planning to replace with their own home grown solution is a file manager.


  • Not all CLAs are equal

    Contributor License Agreements (“CLAs”) are a mechanism for an upstream software developer to insist that contributors grant the upstream developer some additional set of rights. These range in extent – some CLAs require that the contributor reassign their copyright over the contribution to the upstream developer, some merely provide the upstream developer with a grant of rights that aren’t explicit in the software license (such as an explicit patent grant for a contribution licensed under a BSD-style license).


  • Vacant Developer Membership Board seats: Second call for nominations
  • Canonical Seeks Even More Independence for Ubuntu Linux

    Canonical’s Ubuntu Linux already does many things differently from other leading open source operating systems. And it may soon diverge in yet another respect, with Ubuntu developers in the midst of discussions over replacing Nautilus—the file browser that has long been a core part of many Linux distributions—with something home-grown.

  • An Exciting Future

    We are growing a world-class community and app developer eco-system, fuelled by Open Source and open collaboration. We are putting the core pieces in place and I am delighted to be working with such a wonderful team:


Links 31/01/2014: Ubuntu News

Posted in GNU/Linux, Ubuntu at 2:35 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: News for the day and the week, covering various aspects of Ubuntu and Canonical

  • New Kernel Vulnerability Affects Ubuntu 13.10

    On January 30, Canonical announced in a security notice that a new Linux kernel update was available for its Ubuntu 13.10 (Saucy Salamander) operating system, fixing a security issue found recently in the Linux kernel packages.

  • On Planet Ubuntu

    I think the gist of Stuart’s view is that the personal stories on Planet Ubuntu is a wonderful part of being in a community. Ubuntu is not just about Ubuntu, it is about the stories and the lives of the people who contribute to our community. I agree with Stuart here too.

  • Ubuntu’s Juju Wins the Best Cloud Automation Solution Award
  • 7 Things We Expect from Ubuntu in 2014

    2013 was a milestone year for Canonical. Not only did Ubuntu expand its wings to other arenas like tablets and smartphones, it also propelled itself into the world of gaming. With major milestones like Steam, Ubuntu Edge, and Ubuntu Touch under its belt, Ubuntu has its eyes set on convergence in 2014. That said, you won’t get to see a convergent desktop this year. 2014 is just a setting stage for Shuttleworth’s ambitious plans to spread the reach of Ubuntu to every device.

  • Ubuntu 13.04 Is No Longer Supported, Upgrade to Ubuntu 13.10 Now

    As we reported at the beginning of the month, the Ubuntu 13.04 (Raring Ringtail) Linux operating system was supposed to reach end of life (EOL) today, January 27, 2014.

  • Unity To Have Anti-Aliased Corners, Full GTK3 Theming

    Unity 7 in Ubuntu 14.04 LTS will be picking up some new features even though Canonical’s major focus is on Unity 8 that will come past this next Long-Term Support release.

  • Latest Unity7 Update in Ubuntu 14.04 Features Anti-aliased Windows & Full GTK3+ Theming Support.

    Currently the default Ubuntu desktop is shipped with Unity7, even though Canonical developers are working on upcoming major iteration Unity8 (a.k.a Unity Next) which is based on Mir display server targeting convergence, there is clear announcement that Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr LTS will be shipped with Unity7 & not Unity8. Recently, unity7 stacks were upgraded in Ubuntu 14.04 LTS with including features of full GTK3+ theming support & windows with anti-aliased corners.

  • Sable Complete All-in-one Ubuntu Linux Pre-installed PC Released By System76.

    System76, the computer manufacturer well-known and highly appreciated for their support of opensource software has released new Sable Complete All-in-one PC with Ubuntu Linux pre-installed. The U.S based company, in last few months has already released several models of Laptops & Desktop-PCs based on latest fourth generation ‘Haswell’ Intel core processors & with other hardware which is capable of offering best possible support to Ubuntu.

  • Yet Another Ubuntu Powered Supercomputer: System76′s Sable Complete All-In-One Computer

    Hello Linux Geeksters. As you may know, System76 is computer manufacturer, creating Ubuntu computers, laptops and servers. They choose wise the hardware components, in order to have full support on the Ubuntu Linux systems. In November 2013, the System76 Sable Touch, All-in-One Touchscreen computer has been announced.

  • 3 Reasons Why Ubuntu Smartphone Will Succeed


Ubuntu Links: Security, OpenJDK, Mobile, Desktop, and CLA

Posted in Ubuntu at 10:33 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz






  • Linus Torvalds Says All Contributor License Agreements Are Broken

    A controversy regarding Canonical’s CLA has been going on for a couple of days, and now even Linus Torvalds has entered the discussion, although in a more peaceful manner.

    CLA stands for Contributor License Agreement and it basically allows the distributor of your software (Canonical, Apache, and almost all the big distributors out there) to defend the application in case it needs defending, in a copyright issue for example.

  • Linus Torvalds: Any CLA is fundamentally broken

    Canonical is often criticized for its CLAs – Contributor License Agreements – by the larger Open Source community. Ironically Canonical is not the only company which requires CLAs, even communities like FSF or ASF require CLAs. Since Canonical is not a community, but a for-profit company, what makes their CLAs so bad considering that companies like Google don’t get the same criticism for their CLAs? What makes Canonical’s CLA so bad whereas when everyone else is also doing the same thing?

Why a Deletion of Pear OS From the Web (Including SourceForge) is Mysterious

Posted in GNU/Linux, Ubuntu at 10:19 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: A rising star among Ubuntu derivatives abruptly shuts down and some believe that Apple may have caused it

LAST month it was Linux Mint, a popular derivative of Canonical’s Ubuntu (there are many such flavours [1,2], including new ones [3]), which received “distro of the year” honours, not just the top position at DistroWatch. Judging by journalists’ affinity towards it [4], as well as various positive new reviews [5-8], we are living in a Mint world [9] and Mint may be the world’s most popular (depending on how it’s measured) GNU/Linux distribution [10]. I use it myself sometimes. No wonder Canonical starts making things harder for Mint, in a similar fashion to what Red Hat did to CentOS back in the days. Canonical can also be quite aggressive with trademarks, but nowhere as aggressive as Apple, which has a history of shutting down clones, critics, and even news sites that reveal Apple “secrets”.

Among the popular distributions of Ubuntu there is a Chinese derivative, there is Kubuntu (which I use a lot along with Debian), the rising star Bodhi [11,12] (looking to raise funds right now), and several other independent-from-Canonical ‘flavours’, some of which we no longer hear about. One that we have been hearing about increasingly is this “French Ubuntu-based desktop Linux distribution” called Pear Linux or Pear OS. People have been speculating that Apple’s legal team would harass it.

According to the reports that say Pear OS is gone [13-16] there is also speculation that Apple might have had something to do with it [17]. We previously wrote about Pear OS as it had been rising in popularity and becoming very similar to OS X (like Elementary). Jim Lynch, who thinks that Apple may have had something to do with it, says “[t]he developer mentions that it was bought by another company but doesn’t say who nor does he give specific reasons on why they purchased it.” Curious to say the least. Softpedia, which has a copy of the distro, says [18]: “It looks like Pear OS also disappeared from many of SourceForge’s mirrors.” It remains to be know if Apple had something to do with the acquiring party. If we never find out who the buyer is, then maybe, as Lynch insinuates, it was a shell.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Xubuntu 13.10 – Same again please bartender
  2. Ubuntu flavours release Trusty Tahr Alpha 1
  3. Ubuntu Mini Remix 13.10 Is A Tiny Ubuntu 13.10 Unofficial Respin

    Hello Linux Geeksters. As you may know, Ubuntu Mini Remix 13.10 provides a minimal version of Ubuntu 13.10 Saucy Salamander, enabling the users to install the preferred desktop environment and all the main packages that will get installed.

  4. The Remarkable Intel NUC

    My unit had Win 8.1 pre-installed on the SSD, but I could easily install various versions of Linux. I’m currently playing with the MINT distro. The NUC easily booted from any of the USB CD Drives I had laying around the house and quickly into Linux Mint. The machine immediately recognized all the weird USB devices I had hooked to a hub connected to the little box.

  5. Linux Mint 16: No Surprises, but Plenty of Solid Improvements

    Linux Mint 16, also known as “Petra,” is a very solid release that fixes a lot of annoying traits left behind in previous versions.

  6. Linux Mint 16 “Petra” Cinnamon, KDE and MATE review

    Linux Mint 16, code-named Petra, is the latest edition of the popular desktop edition that is based on Ubuntu Desktop.

    This edition is different from Linux Mint Debian Edition (LMDE), which is also from the Linux Mint project, but is based on Debian, not Ubuntu.

    The Linux Mint line of this distribution has support for the Cinnamon, KDE, MATE and Xfce desktop environments. The Cinnamon edition, which is the main edition, is typically released before the others, but as at the time of writing this review, installation images for all four desktop environments have been released.

    This article presents a review of the Cinnamon, KDE and MATE desktops, starting with aspects that are common to all three.

  7. A minty fresh start

    We’re into a new year, so isn’t it time you thought about a fresh new start? Mint 16 is out and it’s easily the best version of Mint to date, packing Cinnamon 2.0 as its desktop. To celebrate its launch we’ve got eight pages dedicated to how the Mint community pushed through these key features, bug fixes, taking Mint 14 from what it was, to today; making Mint 16 a truly awesome Linux desktop experience. We also look forward to Mint 17, which creator Clement “Clem” Lefebvre and the Mint community have huge
    plans for.

  8. Linux Mint 16 Xfce Desktop Review

    We have all the highlights of Linux Mint 16 Xfce, so you can see if this is the right distribution for you. Users will not find a long list of new features, but thankfully the desktop is more stable than ever. The Mint 16 Cinnamon desktop release will likely get all of the publicity, so I decided it was time to revisit Xfce.

  9. Minty Day in the Linuxsphere

    Jim Lynch’s post “Is Linux Mint the most popular distro?” was the first article to catch my wandering eye today as I perused the newsfeeds. He was actually prompted by an article by David Hayward originally published in Linux Format and posted at www.techradar.com. In it, Hayward asked “What makes Linux Mint so awesome?” Then he answers it – in detail. But check out the rest of Lynch’s post too as he discusses more on Mint’s popularity.

  10. Is Linux Mint the most popular desktop distro?

    Who knew when Linux Mint started out that it would give Ubuntu itself a run for its money? The article notes the negative reaction to Ubuntu’s Unity desktop, and the many dissatisfied Ubuntu users that switched to Linux Mint.

    Think I’m kidding about that? Take a look at the screenshot below from DistroWatch’s rankings. Linux Mint is listed in the number one spot, beating out Ubuntu itself. I know a number of people who abandoned Ubuntu immediately when Unity was released, and they haven’t looked back since switching to Linux Mint.

  11. Bodhi Linux could easily become a desktop distribution contender
  12. Bodhi Linux powered Chromebook Raffle

    Something you may not know about Bodhi Linux is that we are 100% funded by user donations. We do not plaster our home page or user forums with ad content like so many distros do. We are very thankful to all of the folks that donate to keep our package servers running. Towards the tail end of 2011 we raffled off a Dell Netbook to a random person who donated at least five dollars during a set period of time.

  13. Bodhi Linux could easily become a desktop distribution contender
  14. Bodhi Linux powered Chromebook Raffle

    Something you may not know about Bodhi Linux is that we are 100% funded by user donations. We do not plaster our home page or user forums with ad content like so many distros do. We are very thankful to all of the folks that donate to keep our package servers running. Towards the tail end of 2011 we raffled off a Dell Netbook to a random person who donated at least five dollars during a set period of time.

  15. Pear OS downloads removed
  16. Pear OS Is No Longer Available for Download

    We are extremely sorry to inform all users of the Pear OS Linux operating system that David Tavares, the creator of Pear OS, has announced a few minutes ago on Google+ that the Pear OS distribution will no longer be available for download.

  17. Pear Departure, Bodhi Fundraiser, and Mageia 4 RC
  18. Mysterious Disappearance Of PearOS

    A distro with GUI resembling MacOS and known for distribution of multimedia codecs has suspended downloads. That could violated GPL licensing unless the new owners appear promptly.“Its future is now in hands of a company who wants to remain anonymous for the moment. The concept has pleased them it and now wants to continue and improve the system for their own products. I can not give a name but it is a very large company well known …”

  19. Was Apple involved in the death of Pear OS?

    Was Apple involved in any way with the death of Pear OS? The conspiracy-minded among us probably think that might be a real possibility, particularly if Apple acted behind the scenes via a shell company. Apple has been known to do just that in years past when it wanted to negotiate for something without having its real identity known.

  20. Pear OS Is No Longer Available for Download

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