Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category
I’m very happy to announce that today we open-sourced Launchpad. This is the fulfilment of a commitment made a year ago, as well as an experiment in involving the community in the development of a hosted service.
Launchpad has long provided the Ubuntu operating system with an edge up on the competition, giving Ubuntu developers a unified platform for tracking code changes and bug reports in upstream software projects, and giving them convenient ways to package those upstreams for inclusion in Ubuntu. Now Launchpad itself is part of that same ecosystem.
But this is more than just a release of code. Launchpad’s strength is in cross-developer and cross-project communication, including communication even with projects hosted elsewhere (see the code imports and multi-project bugs features). On top of that, Launchpad has rich APIs — you don’t have to talk to Launchpad only through its web user interface, you can write programs to talk to it too. The combination of these two things means that opening up Launchpad gives the free software world the beginnings of an open, programmatic interface to its own infrastructure. I’m very curious to see what a software-savvy user community can do with that.
Going open source also positions Launchpad to be extremely responsive as a hosted platform. New Launchpad features already deploy quickly via the continuous beta-testing system, and a new version of Launchpad is rolled out every month. This regular release schedule ensures that new features reach users while still fresh in the developers’ minds, so that feedback is as effective as possible. Open sourcing Launchpad makes that rapid feedback cycle even more effective: now users can send in changes to the code itself, knowing that what they’re working with is very close to what’s running on the site.
Canonical will continue to run the Launchpad servers, taking care of production and deployment issues; opening up the code doesn’t mean burdening the users with all of that stuff. At the same time, we’ll institute processes to shepherd community-contributed code into the system, so that people who have ideas for how to improve Launchpad can quickly turn these ideas into reality. That’s going to involve some give-and-take — no development community ever has 100% agreement on what direction the codebase should go in, and in this case we have the added complication of running the hosted service at the same time. But I think that’ll work out organically. By this point, Launchpad has a pretty clear identity: it’s the platform that emphasizes cross-project and cross-developer information sharing — a social network with a purpose. We’re looking for improvements that increase the ease with which information (code, bug reports, design documents, etc.) moves between people and projects, and that’s probably what Launchpad’s users are looking for as well.
If you want to join that community, find us in the #launchpad-dev IRC channel at irc.freenode.net, or visit dev.launchpad.net. See you there!
With numerous new government backed Open Source initiatives kicking off in The Netherlands, we’ve decided to lead the way and ensure that Ubuntu training is widely available. Having training locations in every major Dutch city, AT Computing and Ictivity Training will provide authorised Ubuntu training from this summer. The first Ubuntu Certified Professional class is scheduled to commence in July; for additional dates or inquiries about closed sessions, the following 3 addresses are your key: www.ubuntu.com/training; www.atcomputing.nl.; http://www.ictivitytraining.nl/.
UK based Skills Matter will also offer Ubuntu courses from July 2009. With a strong grass roots community and an industry-wide reputation for bringing the latest in open source technology courses to its customers, Ubuntu has all the ingredients to be the next success story. More about the company and available courses can be found here: www.skillsmatter.com
Instructors from all partners will be attending the Canonical run Train The Trainer event at the end of June.
Computex starts on June 2 in Taipei and, as every year, sees the world’s PC industry come together to discuss the development of the next generation of notebooks, netbooks and soon-to-be-released products. Canonical has been attending for the last three years and now, if the announcements are any indication, is very much at the centre of things.
We will be demonstrating the Moblin v2 version of the Ubuntu Netbook Remix (UNR), which is based on the current beta code from Intel. We are also announcing our intention to develop a version based on the full release of Moblin v2, which we expect will be available very shortly.
Screen grab of Ubuntu Moblin Remix (beta technology; not released)
The Intel collaboration does not stop there. We are also announcing the availability of UNR, tuned specifically for the new Intel classmate PC. The new classmate PCs feature swivel-screens that can be laid flat like tablets. They also support touch and automatically adjust for portrait and landscape depending on how the child orientates the PC. UNR supports all these features and is available as a pre-install option immediately, by contract with Canonical.
Our work with Intel is reasonably well-known so it is an encouraging sign of growth to be included in a number of other announcements from major players in the industry. We will announce the results of collaborative work with SanDisk on its new solid state drives. Our engineering teams have worked to optimise the Ubuntu experience on these drives, which are a key component in the netbook space and increasingly the notebook space too. The seek times we have seen are very impressive compared with the most common hard disk drives found on most notebooks today.
Real Networks is announcing the availability of its Real Player for Mobile Devices for Ubuntu. This media player and codec pack is available to original equipment manufacturers planning to ship Ubuntu on any machine type. A marquee name media player shows the progress Ubuntu has made towards becoming a mainstream choice. There are no plans currently to make this available for consumer purchase.
So, Computex is going to be fun. Our Taiwanese office (based in the rather-tall Taipei 101 building) continues to grow as do our activities on the island and, indeed, in the People’s Republic of China. It’s going to be a busy show but one that I think will see more progress towards Ubuntu becoming the open platform of choice for industry and consumers alike.
Gerry Carr - Head of Platform Marketing
The Linux Professional Institute (LPI) has recently (April 1st) updated its LPIC1 objectives significantly to come in line with advancements made over the past four years. This provides Canonical with the opportunity to readdress the Ubuntu Certified Professional (UCP) certification. As such, new UCP certification objectives have been finalised and the two courses, Ubuntu Professional courses 1 and 2, which prepare students to achieve the certification, are being condensed from two five-day courses to one five-day course. The five-day course will focus solely on the Ubuntu elements of the certification and preparation for the Ubuntu 199 exam.
UCP is designed for junior-to-intermediate-level system administrators working in organisations that are about to deploy, or have already deployed, Ubuntu desktops and servers in the office. The condensed (and focused) course will further assist students in quickly acquiring the skills they need to deploy Ubuntu in a corporate environment.
Ubuntu Training Partners will offer classroom-based training for this course from May 2009. An Elearning version of the course will be available from June. If you have been waiting for the right opportunity to get your staff trained on Ubuntu, this is it! For more detailed information about both courses, check out the Ubuntu Training site.
Microsoft, FUD and the netbook market
Brandon Le Blanc from Microsoft posted an interesting post about Netbooks and Linux last week. While we agreed with his comments about customers wanting choice and looking for outstanding hardware options, we disagree with much of his analysis and unsurprisingly the overall ‘spin’ of the post.
While FLOSS software has been improving year on year, the launch of the Asus eeePC with Linux in late 2007 sparked a extraordinary chain of events. We saw an increase in the number of models of computers shipping with Linux, the acceleration of the PC industry’s knowledge of how to work in a non-Windows environment and the repeated extension of XP’s shipping life.
The launch of Windows 7 this year will see the beginning of new chapter in the competition to deliver choice and great customer experiences on standard PC hardware. That is the future – it is worth sharing our perspective on what has happened to date.
Customers welcome choice
We all know that customers like choice and we also know that competition is always good for consumers. We are humble enough as an open source project and company to know that not everyone will want to use Ubuntu. However here is an interesting fact – when customers are offered choice on equally well-engineered computers around a third will select Ubuntu over XP.
- a safe, virus free environment without having to run expensive anti-virus software that slows PCs down
- great open source software like Firefox and OpenOffice.org
- an operating system that boots quickly and stays responsive after years of use
Of course there is a significant benefit for users who do not select Ubuntu or another Linux distribution. The price of XP crashed last year due to competition. So even if you bought a netbook last year with XP – feel free to smile when you see an Ubuntu PC. It’s amazing what an open market can achieve.
Return rates on Linux – Separating fact from FUD
The really big news for the industry is that well-engineered Linux netbooks have similar return rates to XP. What makes a real difference to return rates is not whether it’s Linux or not, but the quality of the device’s hardware and the ability to fully partake in web and media experiences, such as:
- Adobe Flash player being pre-installed
- Basic media codecs being pre-installed (these add a few dollars to the cost of a PC)
- Extensive hibernate and resume cycle testing (many OEMS have had to develop and implement new QA processes to work with Linux)
Customers have every right to expect these basics in their netbooks and we recommend them to manufacturers. Even with Ubuntu’s philosophical and technical opposition to proprietary software, we are clear about the importance of these plug-ins to average consumers. Hey, we even recommend the purchasing of Windows Media Audio and Video codecs to OEMs!
The PC industry learning how to ship with Linux / Ubuntu
Not too long ago, not a single PC manufacturer was shipping Ubuntu. As we go into 2009 – we have never had as many manufacturers nor as many devices being prepared to launch as we do now.
Dell, HP, and Toshiba are all shipping Ubuntu. In Taiwan and China, the extraordinary chain of suppliers who make computers at under $500 possible are learning how to work efficiently with high levels of quality assurance on Linux.
People shouldn’t expect every manufacturer in the market to ship with Linux. It takes time and investment to learn how to do well. Slowly but surely those numbers are growing meaning more units with Ubuntu.
Brandon proudly boasts to an admittedly impressive level of peripheral support for Microsoft – the clear implication being that Linux does not match it. Ubuntu and most Linux distributions support over 3000 printers over 1000 digital cameras, and over 200 webcams. It also supports them without the need to search for drivers on dubious websites or load drivers from a CD. Just plug and play.
We are tremendously excited about the netbook category, about launching PCs based on the next version of Ubuntu 9.04 – wow they boot fast. We see continued innovation with the launch of products that support multi-touch, continue to extend battery life and integrate 3G connectivity and GPS functionality.
Most of all – we look forward to continuing to deliver great product to customers who value choice. We are not saying that all of the world should or will use Ubuntu, however the suggestion that customers don’t like Linux is the sort of oversimplification that a great data-driven company like Microsoft might want to steer clear of.
Chris Kenyon – Canonical, OEM Services
P.S Continually repeating that we ‘confirmed’ a 4x return over XP when we did nothing of the sort is really not worthy of a great company like Microsoft. If we are going to compete, let’s do it on real facts and actual statements. You’re better than that, Redmond
Moving Ubuntu into the enterprise, especially on the server, has been a significant undertaking. While the Ubuntu Server Edition has been around since late 2005, it really came into its own in mid 2006 with Ubuntu 6.06LTS — the first Long Term Supported version. The LTS versions are released every two years and supported for a full five years on the server.
Since then the product has been enhanced significantly, shipping with the best open source tools. For those wishing to take advantage of the latest kernel builds and utilities the Server version tracks the regular Ubuntu’s six-month cadence. It is proving to be a very popular platform with hundreds of thousands of corporate and SMB users globally. If you have not seen the most recent server statistics then you should. Registration required.
With the current economic crisis, we’re seeing more enterprises looking for greater value and lower costs in their server infrastructures. One of the interesting findings from a recent survey (see figure below) is the range of hardware technologies on which Ubuntu finds itself. Just last week we spoke to a Chicago-based finance house that runs entirely on Ubuntu server and runs their open and proprietary stack on Ubuntu on Hewlett Packard machines mostly, with some Dell in the mix. These heterogeneous environments are pretty common and the range of software it is run on pretty wide. Our survey also indicted that hardware support is very important to our users.
Which is why it is great news that HP are partnering with us to move towards full certification of Ubuntu on Proliant servers – more about this over the next few months. This will give another layer of assurance to users and customers – particularly in the enterprise – with market leader HP recognizing the growing importance of Ubuntu to enterprise and SMB customers. The certification means HP will list Ubuntu as a supported operating system and verify the work undertaken by Canonical to ensure full certified compatibility. Furthermore both companies are fully co-operating at the engineering level to provide full underlying confidence for HP customers using the certified servers.
This is great news for users who’ve adopted Ubuntu as their enterprise class server software and even better new for those using HP Proliant servers.
Mark Murphy – Alliances Manager, Canonical
Hardware Profile - CLICK TO ENLARGE
We have just announced our beta of Ubuntu Server Edition for cloud computing. It uses Amazon’s established cloud service EC2. We’re supplying customised images that are quick to deploy and efficient in production. The images are based on Ubuntu Server Edition so have the same great security, performance, reliability and range of applications. Since they use the EC2 service it means that you can have a new server up and running with a few mouse clicks.
There’s been a lot of interest in cloud computing by developers and cutting edge users for a while. When unlimited processing power is available at the flick of a switch there are lots of intriguing possibilities from an application development perspective. With IT budgets under substantial pressure, new and cost effective ways of deploying services are coming to the centre stage. Deploying server instances in the cloud could offer real benefits to business users as it’s fast, and utility pricing means you’re only paying for the resources you use. I’m sure we’ll see cloud computing continue to grow in importance very quickly.
Ubuntu Server Edition is an ideal fit for cloud computing as it’s modular, efficient and designed to be easy to manage in large deployments. During the beta programme we’ll be providing a set of official Ubuntu 8.10 images for EC2 with maintenance updates and security updates. The intention is to make Ubuntu server available on EC2 as a supported deployment platform in the future.
We’d love as many people as possible to take part in the beta and give us feedback. If you’d like to sign-up you’ll need an Amazon Web Services (AWS) account and you should be aware that Amazon will charge you for your usage of EC2. There’s no additional charge for using the Ubuntu images, the maintenance is completely free. So if you’d like to take part in the beta programme please register on the Ubuntu on Amazon page.
Steve George – Director, Corporate Services
When we released Ubuntu 8.04 LTS we announced that we would soon have more enterprise ready applications that solve real business problems. This year’s Linuxworld Expo will see us working with our partners to demonstrate exactly why Ubuntu is now firmly in the sights of IT Managers and architects in many businesses.
Gerry Carr, our marketing manager has written about the ‘coming out’ party that is LinuxWorld next week. But you might be more interested in the solutions themselves, and how they help in the decision to choose Ubuntu.
My role is primarily focused on the server side, and facilitating ISVs that want to deploy on the Ubuntu platform, specifically 8.04 in recent months. This week sees the fruition of a lot of this work so it’s worth looking at what they actually bring to the Ubuntu user base. I will be updating this entry as the products become available in the repositories during the week with pointers to how to get them.
Alfresco are known for their leading enterprise information management and are announcing that Alfresco Labs 3 will be available for download from the Ubuntu Partner repository. We know that many businesses are trying the Alfresco / Ubuntu combination already, and this is the first step to making the entire enterprise solution available through the Ubuntu repositories. This will be made available later in the year with the new version of Alfresco.
We will also be making IBM Lotus Symphony available too, packaged up for an easy install through the Ubuntu Add / Remove software tool. Symphony is IBM’s driver for acceptance of a free and open alternative to the ubiquitous Microsoft Office. Many us already know that OpenOffice is absolutely suitable for many users: with IBM’s extra developments, they are positioning Symphony towards the existing Lotus user base who are looking for a low cost alternative to the incessant upgrade cycle. Symphony is also perfect for smaller businesses or workgroups, who have already discovered the ease of use and maintenance of Ubuntu.
IBM also has the Open Client Collaboration Solution (OCCS), which includes Symphony with the Lotus Notes client : a combination that will appeal to those companies using Lotus Notes as their prime collaboration application. We will be making this available through the repositories shortly.
Zimbra has also been building on their success recently, and are delivering their Zimbra Desktop Client to the Ubuntu repository this week. When it is released in a few weeks, we will have that too.
We are also looking forward to having the Zimbra Collaboration Suite 5.5 available later this year which will be a big boon for our corporate users.
Unison will be announcing its Unison Integrated Communications Suite. We have been working closely with Unison to make sure that we can deliver the suite through the Partner repository too. They also have a stand at the Expo.
All of these relationships are based on the opportunities for us and our partners to generate new revenue, so expect to see more announcements through the next few months. Our partners and us are all psyched about using the Debian package management system for installing and maintaining these packages. We believe that users, particularly new users, will be blown away by just how easy it is to get everything you need in a single click and not search for drivers and dependencies. A good sys admin is a lazy sysadmin and removing complexity, time and risk is a big plus that we inherit from our architecture choice.Bringing this further into the mainstream will have uses wondering how and why they ever did it any other way.
This, in combination with further work with Virtual Appliances and the cloud, we hope will see Ubuntu as the platform for ISVs to develop on, and Ubuntu as the choice for deployment for a wide range of businesses.
ISV Alliance Manager
Good news for the British, or at least those Brits who are looking to take up Ubuntu training – QA-IQ, the UK’s largest I.T. training provider are adding Ubuntu to their roster with the first classes kicking off in London in September. The initial scheduled courses, Ubuntu Professional courses 1 & 2, aim to equip System Administrators with the skills to set up and work with Ubuntu in the office environment. At the end of the two courses, students will also be prepared to sit the exams required to become Ubuntu Certified Professionals. You can find a list of the course 1 availability here and course 2 here.
QA-IQ have another 20 training centres in the UK, so if you don’t find a course near you and you can fill a class with at least 6 students, they will open up one especially. They can also do on site training if you prefer.
These courses were developed by Canonical and are available in classroom format exclusively through our authorised Ubuntu training partners. There are also online versions of these courses. All the information about global partners, classes and online courses can be found here.
For the ordinary user (sysadmins are extraordinary people as we know),we have also designed an online course at the very affordable price of $100. So if you have persuaded a new user onto Ubuntu, and don’t want to spend a long time showing them the ropes then this might be the ideal solution. You can access it here and there is some free previews to whet the appetite.
It’s a no brainer that sound training is an enabler for smooth adoption of any new technology and as the demand for Ubuntu deployments increases, so too is the demand for training. Our students seem to be pretty satisfied, so if you are about to deploy Ubuntu or have just started using it, check out the training sections of Ubuntu as above.
Training Programmes Manager
The very beautiful desktop training
Canonical is attending LWE next week in the Moscone Centre in San Francisco. We have taken one of the big booths, #716 so it should be hard to miss us if you are in attendance. One of the things we have been working very hard on over the last couple of years is establishing Ubuntu as a platform for users both as individuals and as corporates. Ubuntu 8.04 LTS was a big step in advancing that process but LWE will show how far we have gone in achieving that goal. We are being joined on the stand and hosting presentations from a plethora of the great and good of the ISV world including (in the order the list was given to me)
Alfresco: Open Source ECM Made Easy: Alfresco and Ubuntu
IBM Lotus Software: Be Free, Work Smart with Lotus Symphony
Savoir-Faire Linux Inc: SFLphone, An Open Source Desktop Phone for Professionals
Zimbra: Next Generation Messaging on Ubuntu: Zimbra Desktop and Zimbra Collaboration Suite
ZSL: Empowering Enterprise 2.0 Computing Model
Centrify: Integrating Ubuntu into Microsoft Active Directory
IBM Informix: IBM Informix Information Management
LikeWise Software: How to Achieve Secure Integration of Ubuntu and MS Active Directory Without Breaking the Bank
Linagora: Apt-Get Install OBM, The New Killer Groupware Solution for Ubuntu
MySQL: What’s New in MySQL
Openbravo: Openbravo ERP, The Web Based Solution Designed Around Your Business Needs
Parallels: The Business Value of Server Virtualization for Linux Environments
Unison: Unified Communications on Linux – The Killer Application We Have All Been Waiting For
Untangle: Trade-Offs in Building Entire Networks in Software
Zmanda: Open Source Backup for Ubuntu
This is an incredible list featuring many of the most exciting technologies around today and it is very pleasing to be at the heart of it all. You can read the full abstracts here. We will do our best to make these presentations available online for those that cannot make the event itself. For those that can attend, We encourage you visit the Ubuntu stand to say hi and to see many of the most interesting presentations at the show.
Gerry Carr – Marketing Manager, Canonical