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Nekhelesh Ramananthan: BQ Phone Insiders Edition

Planet Ubuntu - Sun, 04/19/2015 - 04:05

Canonical hosted the insider's Ubuntu Phone Launch Event on February 6th where they handed over BQ devices to the people who were invited to the event. I was invited to the event but couldn't make it unfortunately due to personal reasons. A few days back I got around to emailing Canonical with the necessary details to get it shipped to my house. I received the package by post the next day!

In the past few years, we have seen the rise of Android and iOS amongst other mobile OSes like Symbian, Blackberry, Windows Phone etc. They have all been around for some time to become what they are today. Do note that they all started small. Hell the first release of iOS didn't even support 3rd party apps until 6 months later! Even Android acquired by Google in 2005, was shipped by HTC only in 2008. Keeping that in mind, Ubuntu Touch 1.0 is a great release!

I am honoured to have been a part of Ubuntu Touch from the beginning by being the clock app developer. It has been a long journey, but things are only going to get better from here on.

As such I was really excited to receive the phone and also see the package, enclosed letter all having distinct suru styles that I have come to like on the phone UI.

I have attached a few screenshots below showing the packaging,

It is really nice to see Canonical put this amount of polish and attention to detail for the Insiders event. A few years down the line, I will still remember my experience with the world's first Ubuntu Phone.

I have added my day-to-day SIM and intend on using the Ubuntu Phone as my daily device. Sure I will miss Whatsapp, but I have a secondary phone just for that purpose. Otherwise, Ubuntu Touch covers pretty much all my use cases.

Stuart Langridge: Why I Play The Lottery

Planet Ubuntu - Sun, 04/19/2015 - 03:54

There is a persistent meme that lotteries are a tax on people who can’t do maths and are stupid. I don’t think I’m stupid1 and I’m OK2 at maths, and I play the lottery. This is why.

Basically, my desire for money is not linear, because I’m not homo economicus.3 My laws of desire for money are more Einsteinian than Newtonian: linear desire for money works at small amounts, but as they get higher it gets weird. I might desire £4 twice as much as £2, true enough; small amounts, Newton’s sensible laws. But I don’t desire £2 million twice as much as £1 million, because having a million would be enough and what would I do with the second million? I desire a million quite a lot more than a hundred times as much as £10,000, because a million quid is amazing and ten grand is a new car. The lottery gives me, for a negligible outlay, an outside chance of having a million quid, which would be radically life-changing (because I’d never have to work again).

There’s no other way I’ll get a million pounds. Sure, my chances of winning the lottery are at pretty adverse odds (roughly, 1 in 14 million chance of winning; when I win I get somewhere in between 2 and 6 million pounds). But having a million quid is a goal I’d like to hit. I can attempt that with almost no work.

Imagine that I wanted a million, and I started with a pound. Perhaps I should play roulette instead, which has a much more favourable edge than the lottery (although it’s still unfavourable; 5 5/19% for the bank and against me). So I stick my quid on black 17, and it comes up; a chance of 1/38, and I get £36 back for a total of £37. I let that £37 ride, and black 17 comes up again, so I now have £1369. Ride again4 for £50653, and again for £1.8 million, which is retirement money and so I stop. The chances of that happening; 1 in 2 million or so. So playing roulette is very roughly equivalent to playing the lottery (chances of getting a million quid: one in some millions). And the lottery is a lot easier to do; you don’t have to put on a dinner jacket and walk to the casino, and you can play for a pound.5

This is the point. I won’t miss the money, it’s very easy to do, and it might end up changing my life, so why not do it? If I were actually good at maths, maybe I’d plot a graph of some sort of quotient made up of “amount spent” vs “effort required” vs “amount won”. I bet the lottery looks quite a lot better than “working for a living”, on that graph.

I should note here that the second part of the meme which is often quoted alongside it is that lotteries are a tax on the poor; that is, people who will miss that hundred pounds a year. This is completely correct. I would not notice the half-a-pint a week that the lottery costs me; this is not the case for others, and lotteries being a tax on the poor is entirely correct.

  1. not all the time, anyway
  2. ish
  3. People aren’t identical and spherical, either
  4. ignore table limits here
  5. there are casinos which will let you put a quid on a roulette wheel spin, but good luck finding a table which allows wagering a quid and allows wagering fifty grand

Nicholas Skaggs: Testing Vivid Vervet final images

Planet Ubuntu - Fri, 04/17/2015 - 06:57
Ubuntu 15.04, otherwise known as the vivid vervet, is nearing release. We are now in the final week before the release on April 23rd. That means it's time to test some images!

Everyone can help!
For the final images, I'd like to extend the call for testing beyond those brave souls willing to run alpha and beta software. I encourage everyone to make a backup (as always!) and upgrade / install vivid. Then report your results on the tracker. Positive results are extremely helpful for this milestone, so please report those too. As a bonus, you can enjoy vivid a few days before the rest of the world (there's no need to re-install the final image), and avoid the upgrade rush after release.

How can I help? To help test, visit the iso tracker milestone page for the final milestone.  The goal is to verify the images in preparation for the release. The information at the top of the page will help you if you need help reporting a bug or understanding how to test. 
Isotracker? There's a first time for everything! Check out the handy links on top of the isotracker page detailing how to perform an image test, as well as a little about how the qatracker itself works. If you still aren't sure or get stuck, feel free to contact the qa community or myself for help.
Thanks and happy testing everyone!

Marcin Juszkiewicz: Running VMs on Fedora/AArch64

Planet Ubuntu - Fri, 04/17/2015 - 05:01

There are moments when more than one machine would be handy. But AArch64 computers are not yet available in shop around a corner we have to go for other options. So this time let check how to get virtual machines working.


For this I would use Fedora 22 on APM Mustang (other systems will be fine too). What else will be needed:

  • libvirtd running
  • virt-manager 1.1.0-7 (or higher) installed on AArch64 machine
  • UEFI for AArch64 from Gerd’s Hoffmann firmware repository
  • Fedora or Debian installation iso (Ubuntu does not provide such)
  • computer with X11 working (to control virt-manager)
Is KVM working?

First we need to get KVM working — run “dmesg|grep -i kvm” after system boot. It should look like this:

hrw@pinkiepie-f22:~$ dmesg|grep -i kvm [ 0.261904] kvm [1]: interrupt-controller@780c0000 IRQ5 [ 0.262011] kvm [1]: timer IRQ3 [ 0.262026] kvm [1]: Hyp mode initialized successfully

But you can also get this:

[ 0.343796] kvm [1]: GICV size 0x2000 not a multiple of page size 0x10000 [ 0.343802] kvm [1]: error: no compatible GIC info found [ 0.343909] kvm [1]: error initializing Hyp mode: -6

In such case fixed DeviceTree blob from bug #1165290 would be needed. Fetch attached DTB, store as “/boot/mustang.dtb” and then edit “/etc/grub2-efi.cfg” file so kernel entry will look like this:

menuentry 'Fedora (4.0.0-0.rc5.git4.1.fc22.aarch64) 22 (Twenty Two)' --class fedora --class gnu-linux --class gnu --class os --unrestricted $menuentry_id_option 'gnulinux-4.0.0-0.rc5.git2.4.1.fc22.aarch64-advanced-13e42c65-e2eb-4986-abf9-262e287842e4' { load_video insmod gzio insmod part_gpt insmod ext2 set root='hd1,gpt32' if [ x$feature_platform_search_hint = xy ]; then search --no-floppy --fs-uuid --set=root --hint-bios=hd1,gpt32 --hint-efi=hd1,gpt32 --hint-baremetal=ahci1,gpt32 13e42c65-e2eb-4986-abf9-262e287842e4 else search --no-floppy --fs-uuid --set=root 13e42c65-e2eb-4986-abf9-262e287842e4 fi linux /boot/vmlinuz-4.0.0-0.rc5.git4.1.fc22.aarch64 root=UUID=13e42c65-e2eb-4986-abf9-262e287842e4 ro LANG=en_GB.UTF-8 initrd /boot/initramfs-4.0.0-0.rc5.git4.1.fc22.aarch64.img devicetree /boot/mustang.dtb }

After reboot KVM should work.

Software installation

Next step is installing VM software: “dnf install libvirt-daemon* virt-manager” will handle that. But to run Virt Manager we also need a way to see it. X11 forwarding over ssh to the rescue ;D After ssh connection I usually cheat with “sudo ln -sf ~hrw/.Xauthority /root/.Xauthority” to be able to run UI apps as root user.

UEFI firmware

Next phase is UEFI which allows us to boot virtual machine with ISO installation images (compared to kernel/initrd combo when there is no firmware/bootloader possibility). We will install one from repository provided by Gerd Hoffmann:

hrw@pinkiepie-f22:~$ sudo -s root@pinkiepie-f22:hrw$ cd /etc/yum.repos.d/ root@pinkiepie-f22:yum.repos.d$ wget https://www.kraxel.org/repos/firmware.repo root@pinkiepie-f22:yum.repos.d$ dnf install edk2.git-aarch64

Then libvirtd config change to give path for just installed firmware. Edit “/etc/libvirt/qemu.conf” file and at the end of file add this:

nvram = [ "/usr/share/edk2.git/aarch64/QEMU_EFI-pflash.raw:/usr/share/edk2.git/aarch64/vars-template-pflash.raw" ]

Restart libvirtd via “systemctl restart libvirtd“.

Running Virtual Machine Manager

Now we can connect via “ssh -X” and run “sudo virt-manager“:

Next step is connection to libvirtd:

Now we are ready for creating VMs. After pressing “Create a new VM” button we should see this:

And then creation of VM goes nearly like on x86 machines as there is no graphics only serial console.

But if you forgot to setup UEFI firmware then you will get this:

In such case get back to UEFI firmware step.

Installing Fedora 22 in VM

So let’s test how it works. Fedora 22 is in Beta phase now so why not test it?

2GB ram and 3 cpu cores should be more than enough ;D

And 10GB for minimal system:

But when it went to serial console it did not look good :(

I realized that I forgot to install fonts, but quick “dnf install dejavu*fonts” sorted that out:

Go for VNC controller installation.

After installation finish system runs just fine:


As you can see Fedora 22 has everything in place to get VM running on AArch64. UEFI firmware is the only thing out of distribution but that’s due to some license stuff on vfat implementation or something like that. I was running virtual machines with Debian ‘jessie’ and Fedora 22. Wanted to check Ubuntu but all I found was kernel/initrd combo (which is one of ways to boot in virt-manager) but it did not booted in VM.

All rights reserved © Marcin Juszkiewicz
Running VMs on Fedora/AArch64 was originally posted on Marcin Juszkiewicz website

Related posts:

  1. Let’s install Debian on AArch64
  2. How to install Fedora 21 on APM Mustang with just HDD?
  3. Let’s install Fedora 21 on AArch64

Michael Terry: Snapifying Normal Ubuntu Packages

Planet Ubuntu - Thu, 04/16/2015 - 12:32

I’ve been playing with Ubuntu Snappy and wanted a way to bundle up traditional Ubuntu programs into a snap package.

So I wrote a script to do so! Introducing deb2snap. It isn’t perfect, but it can do some neat stuff already.

Full instructions and examples can be found on the homepage, but to whet your appetite:

./deb2snap fortune
./deb2snap --mir mir_demo_client_fingerpaint
./deb2snap --xmir xfreerdp

Daniel Pocock: Debian Jessie release, 100 year ANZAC anniversary

Planet Ubuntu - Thu, 04/16/2015 - 10:48

The date scheduled for the jessie release, 25 April 2015, is also ANZAC day and the 100th anniversary of the Gallipoli landings. ANZAC day is a public holiday in Australia, New Zealand and a few other places, with ceremonies remembering the sacrifices made by the armed services in all the wars.

Gallipoli itself was a great tragedy. Australian forces were not victorious. Nonetheless, it is probably the most well remembered battle from all the wars. There is even a movie, Gallipoli, starring Mel Gibson.

It is also the 97th anniversary of the liberation of Villers-Bretonneux in France. The previous day had seen the world's first tank vs tank battle between three British tanks and three German tanks. The Germans won and captured the town. At that stage, Britain didn't have the advantage of nuclear weapons, so they sent in Australians, and the town was recovered for the French. The town has a rue de Melbourne and rue Victoria and is also the site of the Australian National Memorial for the Western Front.

Its great to see that projects like Debian are able to span political and geographic boundaries and allow everybody to collaborate for the greater good. ANZAC day might be an interesting opportunity to reflect on the fact that the world hasn't always enjoyed such community.

Ubuntu Podcast from the UK LoCo: S08E06 – Leonard Part 6 - Ubuntu Podcast

Planet Ubuntu - Thu, 04/16/2015 - 10:38

It’s Episode Six of Season Eight of the Ubuntu Podcast! Alan Pope, Martin Wimpress & Laura Cowen (but this time, no Mark Johnson) are connected and speaking to your brain.

In this week’s show:

That’s all for this week, please send your comments and suggestions to: show@ubuntupodcast.org
Join us on IRC in #ubuntu-podcast on Freenode
Follow us on Twitter
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Mattia Migliorini: How to Create Responsive WordPress Web Design?

Planet Ubuntu - Wed, 04/15/2015 - 12:18

WordPress is the content management system preferred by most designers. A responsive design is a design which will help you in displaying your site on the different kinds of device that is used for browsing the web. So, if you are looking at a website on a phone or a tablet or a laptop the design should be able to do it perfectly.

Of course if you are creating a new site it is a lot easier to make it a responsive one than modifying an existing one.
So, if you are creating a new site ensure that it is a responsive one from the start. If you are planning to create one from scratch then here are some tips to help you out.

  • Write down or better still make a flowchart of all the things you want on the website.
  • Always design a site keeping in mind the restrictions of a mobile phone. Once you get around that getting around the restrictions of other devices should be easy.
  • Use software that allows you to build prototypes of sites.
  • Programs like Photoshop can help you in designing a mock layout of your site. You can export this to Prototype software like Reflow.
  • As much as possible use themes which are already available.
  • There are some plug-ins available which can add more to your design.
  • Take care of the navigation. This is really important for responsive design.
  • Be careful when using images. On the one hand it makes a site look great but they also take a long time to load. Try and use a combination of CSS and image to get the look you want.
  • Test the site thoroughly before you launch it on the net.

The advantage of using WordPress is that you can get a lot of themes for free so that you don’t have to waste time developing new ones. All you have to do is find the theme that suits you.
Here are some things to keep in mind when looking for responsive design:

  • The look of the theme is important. You should not have to modify it much; just a few tweaks should be enough. If it needs a lot of modification then start looking at other themes.
  • If the theme is such that it takes a lot of time to load then, don’t go for it. Therefore avoid themes that need a lot of files or files of large sizes.
  • You should be able to customize it to your satisfaction without too much trouble. This is especially true if you are looking at free ones.

Take care of your security aspects too while designing sites. A good idea is to get a password manager to keep track of all the passwords and the associated problems that comes with having many passwords.

If you already have a site that works on a laptop or PC and just want to make it responsive

  • Understand the different screen sizes and pixel sizes.
  • Images can be a problem. Modify the coding to solve this problem.
  • Some goes for text sizes and other elements like sidebar, content, footer, etc.
  • Navigation should not be a problem.

The post How to Create Responsive WordPress Web Design? appeared first on deshack.

Nekhelesh Ramananthan: Podbird v0.6 Beta - Call for testing

Planet Ubuntu - Wed, 04/15/2015 - 06:54

Podbird v0.6 is taking shape nicely and brings a boat load of features. However due to the large amount of changes, there is a still lot of work to be done before it ships officially. At the moment, we need testers to take it for a ride and report bugs here. It has already undergone a good amount of internal testing, so it should be relatively safe to test.

I will keep updating this post with newer click packages as and when reported bugs are fixed.

19th April Update: Strings have been frozen meaning we are ready for translations at https://translations.launchpad.net/podbird. Speak a different language? Help us translate Podbird to your language :-)

Download Link

19th April: v0.6.beta4 click package (Ready for translation)
17th April: v0.6.beta3 click package
16th April: v0.6.beta2 click package
15th April: v0.6.beta1 click package

Warning: This is a beta and as such proceed with caution. It will affect your current podbird database.

Installation Instructions adb push com.mikeasoft.podbird_0.6_armhf.click /tmp phablet-shell cd /tmp pkcon install-local --allow-untrusted com.mikeasoft.podbird_0.6_armhf.click v0.6 Beta 4 Changelog
  • Indeterminate download progress are now shown via a bouncing progress bar to indicate its status clearly.
  • Web links colors have been fixed to look more pleasant in the dark theme
  • Web links shown anywhere in Podbird are now clickable and redirect you to the browser
  • Invalid episode duration are now hidden correctly instead of showing NaN:NaN or 00:00 in the episodes page.
  • Pull to refresh now correctly indicates the status and hides only when the refresh operation is completely done.
  • Fixing a race issue where the listmodels in the WhatsNew Page refreshes before the local database has finished updating.
v0.6 Beta 3 Changelog
  • Search Page is now informative and shows you the podcast description. It also indicates which podcasts you have already subscribed to.
  • Shortened "Download all episodes" to "Download all" to avoid truncation in the header menu
v0.6 Beta 2 Changelog
  • Fixed download status not being shown clearly in the What's New and Episodes Page
  • Moved add podcast by url feature to the Search Podcast page
  • String corrections in the welcome wizard
  • Fixed issue where the OSK shows up for a split second and then hides in the Podcasts Page
  • Clickable links in the welcome wizard now redirect the user to the web browser correctly.
  • Removed only download on wifi option as it doesn't work on BQ devices due to upstream bug.
v0.6 Beta 1 Changelog
  • App redesign (Thanks to Kevin Feyder)
  • Support for user metrics (welcome screen)
  • Welcome wizard to introduce the app to a new user
  • What's new page which aggregates the latest unheard episodes that aired this week
  • Auto-download new episodes
  • New podcast card view (Taken from the music app)
  • Ability to mark an episode as listened/unheard
  • Optimized certain model operations to avoid unnecessary listview refreshes

Kubuntu Wire: OMG! UBUNTU! Previews KDE Plasma 5.3 Beta

Planet Ubuntu - Wed, 04/15/2015 - 06:06

Their review highlights the improved Power Management features, because they are hoping to distract their readers from the QR code

Rhonda D'Vine: HollySiz

Planet Ubuntu - Wed, 04/15/2015 - 03:57

Sometimes one stumbles upon stuff that touches one deeply. Granted, the topic of the first video from the artist I want to present you now did touch me naturally. But it made me take a closer look. This is about HollySiz. Yes, yet another French singer, but fortunately (for me) she sings mostly in English. :)

So here are the songs:

  • The Light: At first I wasn't even aware it's a music video. And the story is strong. I'm uncertain on the story of Nils Pickert did inspire the video, but it's lovely to see people getting it right. The parents job is to support their kid in finding their own identity instead of defining it for them.
  • Better Than Yesterday: In the light of The Light everything else looks antique. So what's better as a video that actually does look antique. ;)
  • Tricky Game (feat. Sianna): I somehow like this version of the song better because it contains rap. But that might be just me. A catchy beat anyway.

Like always, enjoy! And take good care of your kids if you happen to have some.

/music | permanent link | Comments: 0 |

Ubuntu App Developer Blog: Retrospective and roadmap of the UI Toolkit

Planet Ubuntu - Wed, 04/15/2015 - 03:28
14.04 - 1.0 release

The 1.0 release of the UITK was built mostly for demonstrative purposes, but works well to a certain extent, it is the LTS release after all. Available from the Trusty archive (0.1.46+14.04.20140408.1-0ubuntu1) and from the SDK PPA (0.1.46+14.10.20140520-0ubuntu1~0trusty2). The “demonstrative purpose” in this context is a pretty serious thing. This release was the ultimate proof of concept that the Qt (5.2 by then) and QML technology with our design and components provides a framework for a charmingly beautiful and killing fast user interface. Obviously there is no commercial touch device with this UITK release, but it is good to make a simple desktop application with the UX of a mobile app. If your desktop PC is running 14.04 LTS Ubuntu and you have installed the Ubuntu SDK then the IDE is using this release of the UITK.

The available components and features are documented either online https://developer.ubuntu.com/api/qml/sdk-14.04/Ubuntu.Components/ or offline under the file:///usr/share/ubuntu-ui-toolkit/doc/html local directory if the ubuntu-ui-toolkit-doc is installed.

14.10 - 1.1 release

It was the base for the first real Ubuntu phone. Most mission critical components and toolkit features were shipped with this edition.  The highlights of the goodies you can see on the Utopic edition of the UITK (version 1.1.1279+14.10.20141007-0ubuntu1):

  • Settings API

  • Ubuntu.Web

  • ComboButton

  • Header replaces bottom toolbar

  • PullToRefresh

  • Ubuntu.DownloadManager

  • Ubuntu.Connectivity

The focus of the UITK development was to complete the component set and achieve superb performance. It is important to note that these days, this exact version you can find only on very few community ported Ubuntu Touch devices, and even those early adaptations should be updated to 15.04.  The most common place to meet this edition of the UITK is the 14.10 Ubuntu desktop. This UITK can be indeed used to build pretty nice looking desktop applications. The Ubuntu specific UI extensions of the QtCreator IDE are built on our very own UITK. So, the UITK is ported and available for desktop app development with some limitations since 14.04.

14.09  - the RTM release

The development of the RTM (Ready To Market) branch of the UITK  was focusing on bugfixes and final polishing of the components. Dozens of functional, visual and performance related issues were tackled and closed in this release.

A few of relevant changes in the RTM branch:

  • Internationalization related improvements

  • Polishing the haptics feedback of components

  • Fixes in the ActivityIndicator

  • UX improvements of the TextField/TextArea

  • Dialog component improvements

This extended 1.1 release of the UITK is what is shipped with the bq Aquaris E4.5 devices. This is pretty serious stuff. Providing the very building rocks for the user experience is a big responsibility. During the development of this  release one of the most significant changes happened behind the scenes. The release process of the UITK was renewed and we have enforced very strict rules for accepting any changes.

To make sure that with the continuous development of the UITK we do not introduce functional problems and do not cause regressions we not only force to run about 400 autopilot test cases on the UITK, but an automatic test script validates all core and system apps with the release candidates. It means running thousands of  automatic functional tests before each release.

15.04 - 1.2 release

After the 14.09 aka RTM release was found good and the bq devices started to leave the factory lines the UITK development started to focus on two major areas. First of all we brought back to the development trunk all the fixes and improvements landed on the RTM branch and we merged back the whole RTM branch to the main line. The second area was to open the 1.2 queue of the toolkit and release the new features:

  • ListItem

  • New UbuntuShape rendering properties

  • New Header

Releasing the 1.2 UITK makes the first big iteration of the toolkit development complete.  In the last three cycles the Ubuntu application framework went through three minor Qt upgrades (5.2 - 5.3 - 5.4) and continuously adapted to the improving design and platform.

15.10 - 1.3 release

The upcoming cycle the focus is on convergence. We have shipped a super cool UI Toolkit for touch environment, now it is time to make it offer as complete and as fast toolkit for other form factors and for devices with other capabilities. The emphasis here is on capability. Not only form factor or device mode. The next release (1.3) of the UITK will adopt to the host environment according to its capabilities. Like input capabilities, size and others.

The highlights of the upcoming features:

  • Resolution independence

  • Improve visual rendering (pixel perfectness at any device ratio)

  • Improve performance (CPU and GPU wise)

  • Convergence

    • Tooltips

    • Key navigation - Tab/Shift+Tab

    • Date and Time Pickers

    • Menus

      • Application and

      • context menus

  • Support Sub-theming

  • Support of ListItem expansion

  • Text input magnification on selection

  • Simplified Popovers

  • Text input context menu

  • Deprecate Dialer (Ubuntu.Components.Pickers)

  • Deprecate PopupBase (Ubuntu.Components.Popups)

  • Focused component highlight

  • Support for OSK to keep the focus component above the key rectangle

  • Integrate scope toolkit from Unity with the UI Toolkit

The 1.3 version of the UITK will be the first with the promise that application developers can create both fully functional desktop and phone applications. In practice it means that the runtime UITK will be the same as in the build environment.

16.04 - 2.0 release

Looking forward to our next LTS release our ambition is to polish together all the features and tune the UI Toolkit for the next major release. This edition of the toolkit will serve app developers for long time. The 2.0 will be the “mission completed”.  We expect few features to move from our original 15.10 plans to the 16.04:

  • Clean up deprecated components

  • Rename ThemeSettings to Theme

  • Toolbars for convergence

  • Modal Dialogs

  • Device mode (aka capability) detection

  • Complete scopes support

  • Backend for Alarm services

  • Separate service components from UI components

Raphaël Hertzog: Looking back at the Debian Long Term Support project

Planet Ubuntu - Wed, 04/15/2015 - 01:46

On Sunday I gave a talk about Debian LTS during the Mini-DebConf in Lyon. Obviously I presented the project and the way it’s organized, but I also took the opportunity to compute some statistics.

You can watch the presentation (thanks to the video team!) or have a look at the slides to learn more.

Here are some extracts of the statistics I collected:

The number of the uploads per “affiliation” (known affiliations are recorded in the LTS/Team wiki page) is displayed on the graph below. “None” corresponds to packages maintainers taking care of their own packages, “Debian Security” corresponds to members of the security team who also contributed to LTS, “Debian LTS” corresponds to individual members of the LTS team without any explicit affiliation. “Freexian” represents in fact 29 financial sponsors (see detail here).

Top 12 contributors (in number of uploads):

  • Thorsten Alteholz: 66
  • Holger Levsen: 27
  • Raphaël Hertzog: 14
  • Raphaël Geissert: 13
  • Thijs Kinkhorst: 8
  • Kurt Roeck: 7
  • Christoph Biedl: 7
  • Nguyen Cong: 6
  • Ben Hutchings: 6
  • Michael Vogt: 5
  • Moritz Mühlenhoff: 4
  • Matt Palmer: 4

The talk also contains explanations about the current funding setup. Hopefully this clears things up for people who were still wondering how the LTS project is working.

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Adam Stokes: LDS 15.01.1 with AutoPilot VMWare image

Planet Ubuntu - Tue, 04/14/2015 - 18:37

The landscape team has created a VMWare image preinstalled with Ubuntu 14.04 LTS and Landscape Dedicated Server 15.01.1. If you wish to try out Landscape OpenStack Autopilot a MAAS server is still required and that the hardware requirements are still met per the official install documentation.

From the README:

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12Landscape Dedicated Server in a VMWare Image ============================================ This VMWare image contains a simple installation of Landscape Dedicated Server (LDS) in quickstart mode running on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS ("trusty"). This means that all needed services are installed on just one VM. It is best suited for demonstrations and quick trials. The bundled license is enough to register 10 bare metal machines and 10 virtual machines. This is NOT meant for production usage! Download

This is the first time they’ve done anything like this so please download, try it out, and report any issues to the ubuntu-openstack-installer@lists.ubuntu.com or visit the archive.

David Planella: The Ubuntu Community Donations Program in review

Planet Ubuntu - Tue, 04/14/2015 - 12:54

Nearly two years ago, the Ubuntu Community Donations Program was created as an extension to the donations page on ubuntu.com/download, where those individuals who download Ubuntu for free can choose to support the project financially with a voluntary contribution. In doing so, they can use a set of sliders to determine which parts of the project the amount they donate goes to (Ubuntu Desktop, Ubuntu for phone, Ubuntu for tablet, Ubuntu on public clouds, Cloud tools, Ubuntu Server with OpenStack, Community projects, Tip to Canonical).

While donations imply the trust from donors that Canonical is acting as a steward to manage their contributions, the feedback from the community back then was that the Community slider required a deeper level of attention in terms of management and transparency. With community being such an integral part of Ubuntu, and with the new opportunity to financially support new community projects, events or travel, it was just logical to ensure that the funds allocated to them were managed fairly and transparently, with public reporting every six months and a way for Ubuntu members to request funding.

Although the regular reports already provide a clear picture where the money donated for community projects is spent on, today I’d like to give an update on the bigger picture of the Community Donations Program and answer some questions community members have raised.

A successful two years

In a nutshell, we’re proud to say that the program continues to successfully achieve the goals it was set out for. Since its inception, it has given the ability to fund around 70,000 USD worth of community initiatives, conferences, travel and more. The money has always been allocated upon individual requests, the vast majority of which were accepted. Very few were declined, and when they were, we’ve always strived to provide good reasoning for the decision.

This process has given the opportunity to support a diverse set of teams and projects of the wide Ubuntu family, including flavours and sponsoring open source projects and conferences that have collaborated with Ubuntu over the years.

Program review and feedback

About two years into the Program, we felt a more thorough review was due: to assess how it has been working, to evaluate the community feedback and to decide if there are any adjustments required. Working with the Community Council on the review, we’ve also tried to address some questions from Ubuntu members that came in recently. Here is a summary of this review.

The feedback in general has been overwhelmingly positive. The Community Donations Program is not only seen as an initiative that hugely benefits the Ubuntu project, but also the figures and allocations on the reports and are a testament to this fact.

Criticism is also important to take, and when it has come, we’ve addressed it individually and updated the public policy or FAQ accordingly. Recently, it has arrived in two areas: the uncertainty in some cases where the exact cost is not known in advance (e.g. fluctuating travel costs from the date of the request until approval and booking) and the delay in actioning some of the requests. In the first case, we’ve updated the FAQ to reflect the fact that there is some flexibility allowed in the process to work with a reasonable estimate. In the second, we’ve tried to explain that while some requests are easy to approve and actioned in a matter of a few days (we review them all once a week), some others take longer due to several different factors: back and forth communication to clarify aspects of the requests, the amount of pending requests, and in some cases, the complexity of arranging the logistics. In general, we feel that it’s not unreasonable to expect sending a request at least a month in advance to what it is being planned to organize with the funds. We’re also making it clear that requests should be filled in advance as opposed to retroactively, so that community members do not end up in a difficult position should a request not be granted.

One of the questions that came in was regarding the flavour and upstream donation sliders. Originally, there were 3 community-related sliders on ubuntu.com/download: 1) Community participation in Ubuntu development, 2) Better coordination with Debian and upstreams, 3) Better support for flavours like Kubuntu, Xubuntu, Lubuntu. At some point during the 14.04 release sliders 2) and 3) were removed, leaving 1) as Community projects. Overall, this didn’t change the outcome of community allocations: since its beginning, the Community Donations Programme amounts have only come from the first slider, which is what the Canonical Community team are managing. From there, money is always allocated upon request fairly, not making a difference and benefiting Ubuntu, its flavours and upstreams equally.

All that said the lack of communication regarding the removal of the slider was something that was not intended and should have been communicated with the Community Team and the Community Council. It was a mistake for which we need to apologize. For any future changes in sliders that affect the community we will make sure that the Community Council is included in communications as an important stakeholder in the process.

Questions were also raised about the reporting on the community donations during the months in 2012/2013, between the donations page going live and the announcement of the Community Donations Program. As mentioned before, the Program was born out of the want to provide a higher level of transparency for the funds assigned to community projects. Up until then (and in the same way as they do today for the rest of the donation sliders) donors were trusting Canonical to manage the allocations fairly. Public reports were made retroactively only where it made sense (i.e. to align with fiscal quarters), but not going back all the way to the time before the start of the Program.

All in all, with these small adjustments we’re proud to say we’ll continue to support community projects with donations in the same way we’ve been doing these last two years.

And most especially, we’d like to say a big ‘thank you’ to everyone who has kindly donated and to everyone who has used the funds to help shaping the future of Ubuntu. You rock!

The post The Ubuntu Community Donations Program in review appeared first on David Planella.

The Fridge: Announcement: New Ubuntu Membership Board Members

Planet Ubuntu - Tue, 04/14/2015 - 10:36

Following the recent call for nominations to the Ubuntu Membership Board and the consequent Community Council vote on the nominees, we’re happy to announce the 7 people who have been added to the board!

In no particular order:

Thanks to the outgoing members for their work on the board, and to Raja Genuplas, Eleanor Chen and Philip Ballew for putting their names forward for consideration, we appreciate your continued work in the community and interest in participation in the board.

Originally posted to the ubuntu-news-team mailing list on Tue Apr 14 17:29:32 UTC 2015 by Elizabeth K. Joseph, on behalf of the Ubuntu Community Council

Announcement: New Ubuntu Membership Board Members

The Fridge - Tue, 04/14/2015 - 10:36

Following the recent call for nominations to the Ubuntu Membership Board and the consequent Community Council vote on the nominees, we’re happy to announce the 7 people who have been added to the board!

In no particular order:

Thanks to the outgoing members for their work on the board, and to Raja Genuplas, Eleanor Chen and Philip Ballew for putting their names forward for consideration, we appreciate your continued work in the community and interest in participation in the board.

Originally posted to the ubuntu-news-team mailing list on Tue Apr 14 17:29:32 UTC 2015 by Elizabeth K. Joseph, on behalf of the Ubuntu Community Council

Jono Bacon: Open Source, Makers, and Innovators

Planet Ubuntu - Tue, 04/14/2015 - 08:59

Recently I started writing a column on opensource.com called Six Degrees.

They just published my latest column on how Open Source could provide the guardrails for a new generation of makers and innovators

Go and read the column here.

You can read the two previous columns here:

Raphaël Hertzog: Freexian’s report about Debian Long Term Support, March 2015

Planet Ubuntu - Tue, 04/14/2015 - 01:37

Like each month, here comes a report about the work of paid contributors to Debian LTS.

Individual reports

In February, 61 work hours have been equally split among 4 paid contributors. Their reports are available:

The remaining hours of Ben and Holger have been redispatched to other contributors for April (during which Mike Gabriel joins the set of paid contributors). BTW, if you want to join the team of paid contributors, read this and apply!

Evolution of the situation

April has seen no change in terms of sponsored hours but we have two new sponsors in the pipe and May should hopefully have a few more sponsored hours.

For the need of a LTS presentation I gave during the Mini-DebConf Lyon I prepared a small graph showing the evolution of the hours sponsored through Freexian:

The growth is rather slow and it will take years to reach our goal of funding the equivalent a full time position (176 hours per month). Even the intermediary goal of funding the equivalent of a half-time position (88h/month) is more than 6 months away given the current growth rate. But the perspective of Wheezy-LTS should help us to convince more organizations and hopefully we will reach that goal sooner. If you want to sponsor the project, check out this page.

In terms of security updates waiting to be handled, the situation looks similar to last month: the dla-needed.txt file lists 40 packages awaiting an update (exactly like last month), the list of open vulnerabilities in Squeeze shows about 56 affected packages in total (2 less than last month).

Thanks to our sponsors

The new sponsors of the month are in bold (none this month).

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