Canonical Voices

Posts tagged with 'linux'

Michael Hall

My big focus during the week of UDS will be on improving our Application Developer story, tools and services.  Ubuntu 12.04 is already an excellent platform for app developers, now we need to work on spreading awareness of what we offer and polishing any rough edges we find.  Below are the list of sessions I’ll be leading or participating in that focus on these tasks.

And if you’re curious about what else I’ll be up to, my full schedule for the week can be found here:

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Ubuntu 12.04 LTS is here. This is the first time Ubuntu 12.04 LTS (Desktop) will be supported for 5 years.

Torrent is preferred method for me.

Ubuntu 12.04 LTS
Torrent Links Direct Downloads
Ubuntu Desktop 64-Bit Edition Torrent Main Server
Ubuntu Desktop 32-Bit Edition Torrent Main Server
Ubuntu Server Edition 64-Bit Torrent Main Server
Ubuntu Server Edition 32-Bit Torrent Main Server

Other Links:

CD images + Alternative CD.

Ubuntu Core – Just 35 MB  of pure Ubuntu.

Have fun :)

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The recently acquired Instagram is powered by Ubuntu! Instagram was recently acquired by Facebook for $1 Billion. Its a 13 people company almost all of them in their 20s and just 2 years old.

It is not just Ubuntu, the site is completely built on Open Source: Apache Solr, PostgreSQL, Redis and Django.

Read more on the technology underneath.


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Linux is today powering Android phones, TVs, set-top boxes, enterprise data centers, cloud and supercomputers. Here are some stats.

The Linux Foundation has released its  Annual Linux Development Report, here are the excerpts:


  • More than 7,800 developers from almost 800 different companies have contributed to the Linux kernel since tracking began in 2005. Just since the last report, more than 1,000 developers representing nearly 200 companies have contributed to the kernel.
  • Seventy-five percent of all kernel development is done by developers who are being paid for their work. Long believed to be a basement community of developers, the Linux community is a worldwide, professional network of the best software talent in the world. This army of developers together builds the foundation from which innovations such as Android, cloud computing, KVM, Xen, and more are born and succeed.
  • The top 10 organizations sponsoring Linux kernel development since the last report (or Linux kernel 2.6.36) are Red Hat, Intel, Novell, IBM, Texas Instruments, Broadcom, Nokia, Samsung, Oracle and Google.[1] Mobile and embedded companies have been increasing their participation in recent years, not only adding more hardware support to the kernel but also taking responsibility for the advancement of core kernel areas.
  • For the first time, Microsoft appears on list of companies that are contributing to the Linux kernel. Ranking at number 17, the company that once called Linux a “cancer,” today is working within the collaborative development model to support its virtualization efforts and its customers. Because Linux has reached a state of ubiquity, in which both the enterprise and mobile computing markets are relying on the operating system, Microsoft is clearly working to adapt.
  • The rate of change since the last report is high and increasing, with between 8,000 and 12,000 patches going into each recent kernel release every two to three months. That’s nearly 6 new patches per hour since the last release of this report.

Read the full report.


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Michael Hall

Hello Unity is now open for translations!

Please help me make this technology showcase is available to application developers in your native language.  Translations are done through Launchpad, and will be built into the Hello Unity package.

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Android so far has been maintaining its separate kernel from the mainline Linux kernel.  The android kernel forked out of the mainline because of differences in accepting the changes which the android developers were working on.

The good news is now with Kernel 3.3 the android specific changes are accepted in the mainline kernel.

Ubuntu 12.04 scheduled to release next month, will be on Linux kernel 3.2, expect 12.10 to benefit from this.


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Ubuntu Cloud Day is coming to Bangalore on April 4th 2012.

If you are interested you can register here.

Here is a discount code to get you 20 percent off. Have Fun :)


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So looking for new ways to extend your laptop battery life??  Just recently I found a great combo that involves using a very cool application called “Jupiter

You can grab Jupiter from the launchpad PPA @

I have yet to find a good application that handles “On Demand” mode relatively well. This app clocks down your processors when on battery to their lowest setting and kicks them back up once A/C power is restored. I have used other linux power mgmt tools but haven’t had a great experience. I have a system76 Pangolin and it’s pretty power hungry, it’s pretty much a mobile desktop and during the Natty / Oneiric releases of Ubuntu I was lucky to get 40 minutes on the beast. But that was because everything was running full power, After installing Jupiter and making some additional changes I managed to turn 40 minutes into 2 hours. Not bad eh?

Some of the additional changes I made involved the following:

Taking /var/log and completely mounting it to tmpfs. This way we are writing straight to memory, not needing to bother the disk constant reads/writes. Take note that this causes your logs to clear out at the end of every reboot/shutdown, but I’ve seen improvement.

So first we need to make some modifications in /etc/fstab

tmpfs /tmp tmpfs defaults,noatime,mode=1777 0 0
tmpfs /var/log tmpfs defaults,noatime,mode=1777 0 0
tmpfs /var/tmp tmpfs defaults,noatime,mode=1777 0 0

Save that off

Then lets carry out the following.

$ sudo service rsyslog status // to check if it’s up and running
$ sudo service rsyslog stop
$ sudo rm -rf /tmp/*
$ sudo rm -rf /var/log/*
$ sudo rm -rf /var/tmp/*
$ sudo mount -a
$ sudo service rsyslog start

Now you will notice all system logs will be directed to /tmp. Give it a try for a week or two and see if you notice any difference in your battery life.

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Epson L200 is a low cost multi-function device which is good for bulk printing. It offers Printing/Scanning and Copying. A similar model L100 is a stand along printer.

First this model works on Ubuntu 11.04 with these instructions. However on Ubuntu 11.10 you require some tweaking.

First go to Epson Linux Download Center.

These instructions work for L100 and L200.

Search for N11, L200 is not yet officially supported hence you search for similar model. The OS drop down below should show Linux.

Download the printer driver. For 32-bit systems the file is


It will require some LSB files which it should download on its own.

Now reboot your system and plug on USB, your printer will get auto-detected and it will install the driver. You will not be able to print yet.

On your browser, type localhost:631  this will bring up cups front end where you need to change a few things.

Click on printers tab on the right, select L200 under Queue Name, you will see two drop down menus.

Select Maintenance in the first one and Modify Printer, Now select the printer and say continue.

It would show Make Generic and Current Driver Generic ESC/P Dot Matrix

Click on Select Another Make/Manufacturer

Select Epson and Click on Continue

Now Select Epson Stylus N10 N11 Series

Now click on the Link below that says Modify Printer

Now if you print a test page you should see it printed.

To install the scanner, This is for L200.

Now  go back to Epson Linux Download Center.

Now search for L200

The OS drop down below should show Linux.

Now accept and download these files for 32-bit systems



Install them and now you can scan from Any application like SimpleScan or use the ImageScan application installed.

My first comments on this printer for Linux/Ubuntu users.

This printer was a pain to install on Ubuntu and to print in the best photo quality you need Windows, on Ubuntu I was able to print in colour but not get the best quality.

Secondly to setup the printer you need Windows, to enter the ink tank codes, you will need this everytime you re-fill the tanks.I have seen some hacks around this on Youtube, yet to try it and those hacks are also Windows only :)

If you have Linux only, you won’t be able to setup this printer and even if you have Windows, its a pain to setup on Linux.

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“Good artists borrow, great artists steal!” — Pablo Picasso said it. So did T.S. Eliot. And, more recently, Steve Jobs. Let’s face it: If something makes sense and succeeds, it gets imitated.

Though Windows 8 and Linux distributions differ greatly from each other in design, ideology and — last but not least — their primary audience, they’re all built on the same basic principles of OS design so there’s bound to be some overlap. And while Microsoft has long been accused of stealing from the open source community, according to some Linux fans, it’s getting to the point where Microsoft simply appropriates good Linux features.

I have noticed many features in Windows, which came into Linux first and Windows users don’t even know them..

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Michael Hall

One of the most requesting things since I first introduced Singlet was to have a Quickly template for creating Unity Lenses with it.  After weeks of waiting, and after upgrading Singlet to work in Precise, and getting it into the Universe repository for 12.04, I finally set to work on learning enough Quickly internals to write a template.

It’s not finished yet, and I won’t guarantee that all of Quickly’s functions work, but after a few hours of hacking I at least have a pretty good start.  It’s not packaged yet, so to try it out you will need todo the following:

  1. bzr branch lp:~mhall119/singlet/quickly-lens-template
  2. sudo ln -s ./quickly-lens-template /usr/share/quickly/templates/singlet-lens
  3. quickly create singlet-lens <your-lens-project-name>
  4. cd <your-lens-project-name>
  5. quickly package

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How a chef made the move to Linux

Chef Yash Amin, is our guest blogger today. He is greatest chef I have known and has moved to Ubuntu, here is his experience.

Why i made the move from being a slave to windows to open source and Linux.

For years since I’ve been using computers, windows has been the mainstay of things and although I had heard about Linux, was hesistant to try it because for a non-technical person like me. I dabble a lot with computers, but at the end of the day I’m a chef and the maximum that I’m able to do with a laptop is add more RAM. (in terms of hardware). The biggest reason, not to change was quite simple really, noone likes too much of a change in lifestyle / clothes or even their OS.
But with the hundreds upon hundreds of security patches, updates, slow working systems being tied down to paying for new software, was gettting to be too much. After i have switched to Ubuntu/Linux working on the laptop just seems easier, it boots ups faster, the updates are seamless and take a few minutes at the most. it has a  graphic user interface (GUI) so theres easy to click on icons for everything to do and best of all, my favourite open source game nethack is now made for Linux too, so I can play with it as much as I can.
even though 12 years after first starting to play nethack, have still to crack the game and ascend as a demi god!!
Switch to Linux, now and save yourselves endless frustration, virus updates, security patches upon more and more and all in one package. Just download and your good to go.

after so much tech or not so much tech talk, i need to talk something about food.

The art of making a great tasting chocolate mousse

This assumes a few things and is not a DIY for dummies chocolate mousse recipe, but rather aimed at a few people who are passionate about dark chocolate. Dark chocolate is a sinful thing almost and most people will enjoy it as a guilty pleasure. A well made mousse takes that to even more dizzying heights and can be really delicious and smooth and creamy. Enough talking, now lets walk the talk.

For a family sized portion or if you are particularly greedy this is how much you would need.

Dark chocolate broken into small pieces- 200 gms(if you can get one with 50 percent+ cocoa solids then even better). Even Cadbury’s make one called old gold. If not then use Cadbury’s dairy milk and add about 30 gms of the darkest cocoa powder that you can find.

  • Butter – 30 gms
  • Eggs – 3 numbers
  • Sugar- between 60-100 gms (if you want it more or less sweet)
  • Cream – 250 ml
  • Alcohol-(rum/ whisky/ or a liqueur (baileys, kahlua, cointreau or similar)- optional, but adds another hint of wickedness to the final product.- about 20 ml


  • Beat the eggs and sugar over a double boiler (pot with hot water over a low heat). The water should not touch the eggs but just be lightly simmering otherwise you will get sweet scrambled eggs. The consistency to try and achieve is very very fluffy and creamy and when stirred leaves a trail or when poured is ribbony.
  • Melt the chocolate and butter together, just melted about 40 seconds in a microwave is generally enough. This should be done while the eggs are getting beaten. If you are using milk chocolate then add cocoa after the mix is well melted. Add in the alcohol if you like and mix well.
  • Whisk the cream till its almost double in volume and forms soft peaks. Keep chilled. Do not over beat otherwise will split and turn into butter.
  • Mix in the chocolate mixture gently into the eggs and sugar mix.
  • Take of the heat and allow to cool down slightly.
  • Fold in the whipped cream. ie. gently mix it in trying not to lose all the air which has been incorporated while whisking. Taste the mix by dipping in finger and licking clean. Yes this essential quality control measure ;)
  • Put into individual glass bowls and refrigerate until set – about 2-3 hours. It can even be frozen quite successfully and eaten frozen like a rich ice cream or used a filling for a cake/ tart.
  • Enjoy your chocolate mousse and Linux with family and friendsSans Sucre Mousse Mix - Chocolate.

For more recipes see Yash Amin’s blog.

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Dropping the “L” Word

The root cause is branding. “Linux” (the brand) is muddy, confusing, and unfriendly to the mainstream computer user: those on the other side of the chasm. They are the exact people that we need to embrace Ubuntu and they don’t *get* “Linux”. They don’t know what it is. They get a negative connotation when they hear the word. Don’t believe me? Ask your non-techie friend or loved one. (I just asked the person beside me and the response I got was less than flattering.)

Read more on Randall’s blog.

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Desktop Linux gains market share

As per PC World, Desktop Linux gains market share of more than 1 percent.

After dipping to 0.97 percent in July, Linux rose to 1.07 percent in August, 1.11 percent in September, 1.19 percent in October, and 1.31 percent in November, Net Applications reports, followed by the new high of 1.41 percent last month.

W3Counter, for instance, puts non-Android Linux at 1.64 percent in December.

Wikimedia’s Traffic Analysis Report for last October pegged Linux at 3.48 percent, while news site The H-online which also reported on the new Net Applications data–noted that Linux users now account for 25.36 percent of its own traffic.

Our own stats shows 34 percent of users coming to Cityblogger are using Linux. I am glad people are finally realising the benefits of Linux on the Desktop.

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Yesterday Canonical announced the first UI concept for the Ubuntu TV. Together with the announcement, the first code drop was released, so we could read and understand better the technologies used, and how this will behave on an ARM environment, mostly at a Pandaboard (that we already have OpenGL ES 2 and video decode working).

Getting Ubuntu TV to work

If are still using Oneiric, you can just follow the guide presented at, where you’ll find all needed steps to try Ubuntu TV at your machine.

As it’s quite close with Unity 2D (similar code base), and also based on Qt, I decided to follow the steps described at wiki page and see if it should work correctly.

First issue we found with Qt, was that it wasn’t rendering at full screen when using with latest PowerVR SGX drivers, so any application you wanted to use with Qt Opengl would just show itself on a small part of the screen. Luckily TI (Nicolas Dechesne and Xavier Boudet) quickly provided me a new release of the driver, fixing this issue (version that should be around later today at the Linaro Overlay), so I could continue my journey :-)

Next problem was that Qt was enabling brokenTexSubImage and brokenFBOReadBack for the SGX drivers based on the old versions available for Beagle, and seems this is not needed anymore with the current version available at Pandaboard (still to be reviewed with TI, so a proper solution can be forwarded to Qt).

Code removed, patch applied and package built (after many hours), and I was finally able to successfully open the Ubuntu TV interface at my Panda :-)

UI Navigation on a Pandaboard, with Qt and OpenGL ES2.0

Running Ubuntu TV is quite simple if you’re already running the Unity 2D interface. All you need to do is to make sure you kill all unity-2d components and that you’re running metacity without composite enabled. Other than that you just run ”unity-2d-shell -opengl” and voilà ;-)

Here’s a video of the current interface running on my Panda:

As you can see from the video, I didn’t actually play any video, and that’s because currently we’re lacking a generic texture handler for OpenGL ES with Gstreamer at Qtmobility (there’s only one available, but specifically for Meego). Once that’s fixed, the video playback should behave similarly as with XBMC (but with less hacks, as it’s a native GST backend).

Next steps, enabling proper video decode

Looking at what would be needed to finally be able to play the videos, and to make it something useful at your Pandaboard, the first thing is that we need to improve Qtmobility to have a more generic (but unfortunately still specific to Omap) way handle texture streaming with Gstreamer and OpenGL ES. Rob Clark added a similar functionality at XBMC, creating support for ”eglImage”, so we just need to port the work and make sure it works properly with Qtmobility.

Once that’s ported, the video should be streamed as a texture at the video surface, making it also work transparently with QML (the way it’s done with Ubuntu TV).

If you know Qt and Gstreamer, and also want to help getting it to work properly on your panda, here follows a few resources:

As soon video decoding is working properly, a new blog post should be around explaining the details and how to reproduce it at your own Panda with Ubuntu LEB :-)


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Michael Hall

By now you should have heard that Canonical is branching out from the desktop and has begun work on getting Ubuntu on TVs.   Lost in all the discussion of OEM partnerships and content distribution agreements is a more exciting (from my perspective) topic: Ubuntu TV shows why Unity was the right choice for Canonical to make.

The Unity Platform

Ubuntu TV doesn’t just look like Unity, it is Unity.  A somewhat different configuration, visually, from the desktop version, but fundamentally the same.  Unity isn’t just a top panel and side launcher, it is a set of technologies and APIs: Indicators, Lenses, Quick Lists, DBus menus, etc.  All of those components will be the same in Ubuntu TV as they are on the desktop, even if their presentation to the user is slightly different.  When you see Unity on tablets and phones it will be the same story.

The Developer Story

Having the same platform means that Ubuntu offers developers a single development target, whether they are writing an application for the desktop, TVs, tablets or phones.  There is only one notifications API, only one search API, only one cloud syncing API.  Nobody currently offers that kind of unified development platform across all form factors, not Microsoft, not Google, not Apple.

If you are writing the next Angry Birds or TweetDeck, would you want to target a platform that only exists on one or two form factors, or one that will allow your application to run on all of them without having to be ported or rewritten?

The Consumer Story

Anybody with multiple devices has found an application for one that isn’t available for another.  How many times have we wanted the functionality offered by one of our desktop apps available to us when we’re on the go?  How many games do you have on your phone that you’d like to have on your laptop too?  With Ubuntu powered devices you will have what you want where you want it.  Combine that with Ubuntu One and your data will flow seamlessly between them as well.

A farewell to Gnome 2

None of this would have been possible with Gnome 2.  It was a great platform for it’s time, when there was a clear distinction between computers and other devices.  Computers had medium-sized screens, a keyboard and a mouse.  They didn’t have touchscreens, they didn’t change aspect ratio when turned sideways.  Devices lacked the ability to install third party applications, the mostly lacked network connectivity, and they had very limited storage and processing capabilities.

But now laptops and desktops have touch screens, phones have multi-core, multi-GHz processors.  TVs and automobiles are both getting smarter and gaining more and more of the features of both computers and devices.  And everything is connected to the Internet.  We need a platform for this post-2010 computing landscape, something that can be equally at home with a touch screen as it is with a mouse, with a 4 inch and a 42 inch display.

Unity is that platform.

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If you want to test drive your own private cloud, try Ubuntu Cloud Live. It’s a 600 MB image, just download, burn to USB drive, boot your system with it and you have a cloud setup.

Download the image from here:

Note: This is a 64-bit mage.

Recommended to have atleast a 4GB pen drive.

Use the ‘dd’ command to copy the image over to your USB drive. For example, if your USB drive is connected to /dev/sdb,  then run `dd if=ubuntu-11.10-cloud-live-amd64.img of=/dev/sdb`. WARNING: THIS COMMAND WILL ERASE ALL DATA PREVIOUSLY STORED ON THE TARGET DEVICE. MAKE SURE YOU HAVE THE CORRECT DEVICE WHEN FLASHING.

Have fun :)

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Ubuntu 11.10, code named Oneiric Ocelot,  is now available. It has loads of new functions, which puts other operating systems to shame! Here are a few cool features of this new release.

Touch support

The new Unity interface works well with mouse, keyboard and even touch. The dash allows you to quickly search for files, music, applications and everything in your computer. The launcher allows you to quickly launch your commonly used applications. The ‘must-have’ feature for music lovers is the Music Lens, which allows you to browse and find your music on your computer quickly and easily. You can sort music in folders by author, album or song wise. Similarly any new lenses or filters can be developed to have a multidimensional view of your data.

Mozilla Thunderbird is now the default email application, which happens to also be my favourite. Thunderbird supports all email standards and can manage thousands of emails in a breeze. It also has very good filters to quickly search through your emails.

Firefox 7 is the default browser. Firefox has seen vast improvements over its earlier versions and is now faster and has a much lower memory footprint. For people who prefer other browsers such as Chrome/Chromium, they can easily install those from the Ubuntu Software Centre. Skype, Flash, Acrobat and other popular applications can also be installed from there too.

The Ubuntu Software Centre is your place to install new applications, both free and paid for. With this release it also has application ratings, which makes it easy for you to decide which application to install. The Software Centre has a large collection of applications from education, games, science to development tools and more.

Ubuntu goes social

Ubuntu’s best kept secret is social networking. The Empathy IM client allows you to chat with your Facebook friends as well as integrates the usual suspects such as Google Talk, Yahoo Messenger, Windows Live (MSN), Jabber, ICQ and many others. The Gwibber social networking client collates all of your social messages from Facebook and Twitter. This is integrated with your desktop, so you can see your updates. You can also post your own updates straight from Gwibber.

With Shotwell, you can easily manage your photos, crop them, edit them and publish them on Flickr, Picasa or Facebook. OpenShot Video Editor makes it easy to edit, clip and resize your videos. It supports many effects and file formats. 3D has attracted the attention of OpenShot developers and they have enabled the functionality to add 3D animated titles to your videos.

Data backup

Data back up is also a key feature in Ubuntu 11.10, and you realise how important it is when you don’t back up and lose data! To make your backup activity easy, Ubuntu bundles Ubuntu One which can automatically backup all the files to the cloud. If you need external backup, you have Déjà Dup, which means you can backup to external media.

Ubuntu One gives you 5GB of free online storage, it can synchronise your data between Ubuntu PCs as well as Windows. It also has clients for iOS (iPhone and iPad) and Android so you can access your files on the go. Ubuntu One mobile client also gives you an option to backup your photos automatically. For example if you take a photo on your mobile, it would get backed up automatically to the cloud. It also allows you to stream your music to your mobile device. If you have tons of music and don’t want to carry all of it with you, you can keep it on Ubuntu One and stream it to your mobile phone when you want to listen to them.


This article was first published on Digit.

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Michael Hall

(Update 1: There seems to be some confusion about what I’m saying in this post, so let me be absolutely clear from the start: I am not questioning or criticizing Distrowatch’s data.  Their data is, as far as I know, 100% accurate.  What I’m questioning is whether or not this data is a measure of the “popularity” of any given distro, as so many news stories are claiming it is.)

(Update 2: If anybody else wants to run a story about this post, please contact me before making it sound like my blog article is somehow an official Canonical response.  I’m more than happy to have a conversation with you for the sake of accuracy.)

It seems that the tech blogs both inside and outside the Linux sphere have picked up on a graph supposedly showing a decline in the popularity of Ubuntu based on statistics from Distrowatch.  I’m not going to point out all of the flaws in these reports, or the basis of the graph in general, that has been done already here and here (especially in their comment threads).

Instead I want to take a step back for a moment and examine what the statistics are actually counting, and what that actually means for both Ubuntu and LinuxMint.

Hits per day

The numbers themselves come from the number of page views per day on Distrowatch’s page for each distro.  So if you go to you’ve added to the count for Arch.  Now the first thing this tells us is that the statistic is in no way tied to the actual number of users a distro has, just the number of people looking at that distro’s page on Distrowatch.  Now there are three possible reasons why a user might visit one of these pages:

  1. Curiosity about a distro
  2. Following a link from somewhere else
  3. Attempting to boost the hits-per-day count for a distro

I’m going to disregard #3, because I don’t believe that anybody involved with Mint is doing anything underhanded to boost these numbers.  But an examination of the other two will shed some light on what exactly is happening.

Follow that link

Even though a Distrowatch ranking isn’t connected to number of users, it’s still exciting to see your distro rise in the list, and it’s natural to want to tell people about it.  Mint does it, Ubuntu does it, lots of distros do it.  There’s nothing wrong with this, and if enough people are reading your announcement to impact the ranking, then it most likely deserves to be impacted.

But something all together different happens when 3rd party sources start sending people to your distrowatch page because of your rank.  When the Register and PC World run articles about you being on top, their readers will naturally visit your Distrowatch page, further increasing your rank, which will in turn prompt more stories about it, sending more people to your page, etc.

While I have no doubt that Mint deserves the top spot (more on that below), I think the amount of its increase has been affected by this positive feedback loop.  This cyclic reaction will likely continue for a few weeks until people finally get bored with the story, at which point I expect Mint’s numbers to fall back down into the 2500-3000 range, comfortably at #1, but well below the 7728 it’s at as I’m writing this.

The Buzz

All of which brings us back to the first reason for visiting a distrowatch page: Curiosity.  Distrowatch is a great resource for finding out about a distro, and it’s how a lot of young distros get attention.  When Qimo got a mention there, we saw a huge traffic increase, and we also rose pretty sharply in the ranking (nowhere near #1, but still something I was proud of).

But there comes a point, when a distro has become established, where the vast majority of those curious people will be going directly to the distro’s own website, rather than Distrowatch.  Nobody would deny that Red Hat is one of the most used Linux distros, but it currently ranks at #42 on Distowatch.  Suse ranks at #64.  Even the free-as-in-beer CentOS, which we all know is widely used, is only at #9.  As a general rule then, we can assume that as a distro becomes more established and gains more market and mind-share, fewer people will be going to Distrowatch to learn about it.

So what does that leave us?  I like to call it “Young Buzz”, a large amount of excitement about a relatively new (in terms of mindshare) distro.  This is something that absolutely describes LinuxMint.  As the seemingly anti-Unity distro of choice, it has been getting a lot of talk and attention and, while I disagree with the anti-Unity sentiment, Mint is certainly deserving of attention.  Its user base is growing rapidly and I hope its community is too.  They are doing some interesting work with both Gnome-Shell and the Mate, the Gnome 2 fork.  Every other distro will be keeping an eye on them, seeing what gains traction and what doesn’t, and I expect some of that to make its way upstream and into other distros as well.

What does it all mean?

Is LinutMint more popular that Ubuntu?  No, not by any measure I have seen.  Will it become more popular than Ubuntu?  I don’t know, but my gut says not anytime soon.  But Mint certainly has the most momentum, at least for the moment, and will continue to grow at a faster rate for at least the near future.

But they aren’t the first to be in the position, PCLinuxOS had much the same buzz a few years ago, but wasn’t able to maintain it.  The challenge for Mint is to keep this momentum going, and to do that they’re going to need a strong, open, supporting community that gives new users somewhere to belong in the way the Ubuntu community does.

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Michael Hall

If you’ve been doing anything with Ubuntu lately, chances are you’ve been hearing a lot of buzz about Juju.  If you’re attending UDS, then there’s also a good chance that you’ve been to one or more sessions about Juju.  But do you know it?

The building blocks for Juju are it’s “charms”, which detail exactly how to deploy and configure services in the Cloud.  Writing charms is how you harness the awesome power of Juju.  Tomorrow (Friday) there will be a 2 hour session all about writing charms, everything from what they do and how they work, to helping you get started writing your own.  Questions will be answers, minds will be inspired, things will be made, so don’t miss out.

(Photo courtesy of

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