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Posts tagged with 'ubuntu'

Nicholas Skaggs

Wily Final Image Testing!


Wily is almost here! The summer has past us by (or is arriving for our Southern hemisphere friends). Thus, with the change of the seasons, it's time for another release of ubuntu. Wily will release the final image this Thursday, 22 Oct 2015. It's time to find and squash and last minute bugs in the the installer.

How can I help? 
To help test, visit the iso tracker milestone page for final beta.  The goal is to verify the images in preparation for the release. Find those bugs! 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.

How long is this going on?
The testing runs through Thursday, 22 Oct 2015, when the the images for Wily will be released. 

Thanks and happy testing everyone!

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Daniel Holbach

We promised more Snappy Clinics and Monday, 19th October 2015 16:00 UTC is going to be our next one.

This time we are going to have two of the main Snapcraft developers, Sergio Schvezov and Ted Gould around, who are going to

  • give an introduction to what snapcraft is,
  • talk about what’s new in the 0.3 release,
  • show how we can use a custom plugin from upstream snapcraft for a new project and
  • put together a snap from scratch.

Of course we’ll be there to answer all your questions as well.

Catch us on http://ubuntuonair.com for the show and let’s chat on IRC afterwards.

If you haven’t heard of snapcraft yet: it’s a beautiful way to get your software out to users on Ubuntu Snappy Core and it’s super easy!

 

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Daniel Holbach

I guess most of you saw the post on Fridge or the post on the Community team mailing listNominations for the Community Council are still open until Friday, 16th October.

We already received a number of good nominations so far, but I thought it’d be good to try to convince a few more of you to nominate yourself or nominate a friend of yours. If flavours and other important teams would get some more representation on the CC, that’d be great.

What I love about the CC is that you get to hear from many parts of the community first-hand what’s happening, what’s new and that you can often help out by connecting people in various parts of the community. This is one of the many things I always enjoyed the most.

Of course there are also disputes and conflicts to deal with at times. In the past some of them were harder (and took longer) to resolve, but they provided a learning experience for us as a community and everyone individually. So while this is probably nothing you would immediately be looking forward to, it’s an important part of keeping our community working well.

I’m grateful for the time I spent on the CC and everyone who worked together with me here. I look forward to seeing how many nominations we have by Friday. (Read all the details in either of the two posts mentioned at the top.)

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Victor Palau

My first steps into snappifying, I have publish a RestApi for PiGlow (glowapi 0.1.2). I though it might be a good first step and mildly useful for people wanting to set up build notifications, twitter mentions, whatever you fancy!

You can find it in the webdm store…
Code is here: https://code.launchpad.net/~vtuson/+junk/glowapi

And here is how it works:
PiGlow Api exposes PiGlow in your board port 8000, so you can easy accessing by POST in port 8000.

remeber to do the hardware assign, something like: sudo snappy hw-assign glowapi.vtuson /dev/i2c-1

API calls , method POST:

v1/flare
turns all the leds on to max brightness
v1/on
turns all the leds on to med brigthness
v1/clear
turns off all leds
v1/legs/:id
turns all the leds in a leg (:id) to a given brightness
(if not specify it uses a default setting)
parms: intensity , range 0 to 1
eg: http://localhost:8000/v1/legs/1?intensity=0.3
v1/legs/:id/colors/:colid
turns on one led (colid) in a leg (:id) to a given brightness
(if not specify it uses a default setting)
parms: intensity , range 0 to 1
eg: http://localhost:8000/v1/legs/1/colors/green?intensity=0.3
v1/colors/:colid
turn on all leds for a color across all legs
if not specify it uses a default setting)
parms: intensity , range 0 to 1
eg: http://localhost:8000/v1/colors/green?intensity=0.3

ID ranges
legs range : 0 – 2
colors:
green
white
blue
yellow
orange
red


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Nicholas Skaggs

It's finally here! We've been working on a way to allow those who have a ubuntu phone to participate more directly in testing the software that runs on their device. This includes things like helping test OTA updates before they are shipped and to verify and look for bugs in applications like the core apps and system services.

Introducing Pilot, a new application you can find today in the ubuntu store. The application utilizes checkbox as a way of distributing tests to you on the phone. This first round of testing includes tests from 4 of your favorite core applications including dekko, clock, music, and weather.

To help test, search for Pilot in the store and install it.

Start the app, and click the Start Testing button once it's loaded.



Select a test plan to run. Right now you can choose to test specific features of the different core apps.



Select the tests to run. You can choose to run all of tests for that feature, or just one if you wish.



Run through the test, following each step. If everything works as listed in the test, press the Pass button. Otherwise press Fail.



You can also add comments about the test or skip the test using the buttons at the top of this page.


Finally, submit your results back to the QA team by pressing the Submit Results to Community Practitest button. You'll need to supply your ubuntu SSO information to do so. You may also view your submitted results on this screen by pressing the corresponding button.



It's that easy. Over time, we'll push new tests via application updates, so you can help test new things as they are developed. As the number of devices grows, we want to ensure every device has the same level of quality. With your help, we can make sure ubuntu gets better with each update. Thanks for your help!

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Hardik Dalwadi

In this edition i will demonstrate how to assemble your own Ubuntu Orange Matchbox: Ubuntu Branded Pibow for Raspberry Pi 2 & PiGlow. As shown below.

Ubuntu Orange Matchbox: Ubuntu Branded Pibow for Raspberry Pi 2 & PiGlow.

Basically, at the end of this blog i will demonstrate how to assemble your own Ubuntu Orange Matchbox: Ubuntu Branded Pibow for Raspberry Pi 2 & PiGlow. Flash it with latest Snappy Ubuntu Core, which has support for  Raspberry Pi 2’s GPIO & I2C. I will also managing Snap packages from Ubuntu Phone Browser & Snappy Scope (Beta). I will also share tips & tricks to enable WiFi on Snappy Ubuntu Core. At the end, i will demonstrate Snappy Ubuntu Core + Raspberry Pi 2 + PiGLow in action. PiGlow will blink LEDs, as per the CPU Resource Utilization by  Snappy Ubuntu Core.

We have divided this post in four different part:

  • Make In India: Ubuntu Orange Matchbox: Ubuntu Branded Pibow for Raspberry Pi 2 & PiGlow
  • Install Snappy Ubuntu Core @ Ubuntu Orange Matchbox: Ubuntu Branded Pibow for Raspberry Pi 2 & PiGlow
  • Tips & Tricks to enable WiFi @ Snappy Ubuntu Core
  • CPU Resource Utilization Demonstration @Snappy Ubuntu Core

Make In India: Ubuntu Orange Matchbox: Ubuntu Branded Pibow for Raspberry Pi 2 & PiGlow:

Here are the list of ingredients which i have used to cook my own Ubuntu Orange Matchbox. I have also share the link from where you can procure those stuffs in India.

  1. Raspberry Pi 2 with USB WiFi Dongle  & 5V, 2A USB Power Adapter
  2. Tangerine Pibow for Raspberry Pi 2
  3. PiGlow, It is small add on for Raspbeery Pi that provides 18 Individually controllable LEDs.
  4. Mixed Ubuntu Stickers

[1] http://www.amazon.in/Raspberry-Pi-Starter-Kit-Basic/dp/B00U7KAG98/

[2] https://shop.pimoroni.com/products/raspberry-pi-2-pibow

[3] https://shop.pimoroni.com/products/piglow

[4] http://shop.canonical.com/product_info.php?products_id=718

 

 

Assemble Raspberry Pi 2 with Tangerine Pibow.  Remove white laminate plastic sheet of closing cover of Tangerine Pibow.  This actions will give you transparent Pibow for Raspberry Pi 2.

 

Now, it’s time to give Ubuntu Branding. Just stick transparent Ubuntu Logo sticker on  transparent Pibow closing cover. You can also install PiGlow before closing the cover.  If you know any laser engraving service provider for metal / plastic, consult them and get your Ubuntu Branding engraving on transparent Pibow closing cover. But my trick will give you Ubuntu Orange Logo 😉

 

Final Version:

 

Install Snappy Ubuntu Core @ Ubuntu Orange Matchbox: Ubuntu Branded Pibow for Raspberry Pi 2 & PiGlow:

Recently, Snappy Ubuntu Core get latest updated for Raspberry Pi 2, which has latest updates & upgrades. Please follow this page Getting Started with Snappy Ubuntu Core for Raspberry Pi 2. It is having latest info and procedure to play with Snappy Ubuntu Core @ Raspberry Pi 2. You can even build your own image.

Here is sort summary to do the same. Get 4 Gb Class 10 micro SDHC Card. Format it and flash it with latest Snappy Ubuntu Core image.

# Note: replace /dev/sdX with the device name of your SD card (e.g. /dev/mmcblk0, /dev/sdg1 ...)
wget http://people.canonical.com/~platform/snappy/raspberrypi2/ubuntu-15.04-snappy-armhf-rpi2.img.xz
xzcat ubuntu-15.04-snappy-armhf-rpi2.img.xz | sudo dd of=/dev/sdX bs=32M
sync

Now, boot your Ubuntu Orange Matchbox with Snappy Ubuntu Core. Default Username / Password is ubuntu / ubuntu. You can manage Snappy Ubuntu Core web store through Webdm, by pointing your browser to Ubuntu Orange Matchbox IP:4200 or webdm.local. Make sure that you are connected to LAN.

Tips & Tricks to enable WiFi @ Snappy Ubuntu Core:

Snappy Ubuntu Core has inbuilt support for Ethernet port, So, connecting your Raspberry Pi 2 to LAN will get LAN IP from Router. Since, this is headless device, you can always do SSH from your host machine if you do not want to connect it with separate monitor.

It does not have support for WiFi. Here are the steps to enable WiFi and add support for USB wi-fi adapter, having Ralink RA5370 chipset. I got this with my Raspberry Pi 2 kit, please check chipset for your USB wi-fi Adapter, you may need different firmware.

Please follow this solution @ Enable WiFi with Snappy Ubuntu Core. You may need to get below package instead of  – wpasupplicant_0.7.3-6ubuntu2.3_armhf.deb

wget -c http://ports.ubuntu.com/pool/main/w/wpasupplicant/wpasupplicant_0.7.3-6ubuntu2.4_armhf.deb

I would also prefer to install nano for better modification of WiFi SSID configuration in future. Get it from here.

http://ports.ubuntu.com/pool/main/n/nano/nano-udeb_2.2.6-3_armhf.udeb

 

CPU Resource Utilization Demonstration @ Snappy Ubuntu Core:

Now, it’s time to demonstrate CPU Resource Utilization through PiGlow.  It is small add on for Raspbeery Pi that provides 18 Individually controllable LEDs. We will feed CPU Resource Utilization such a way that it will glow more when we have more CPU Resource Utilization. As i said erlier, recently we got GPIO & I2C support on Snappy Ubuntu Core, it is possible to do the same. And we have snap package available from the same, called PiGlow Top.

Access your Snappy Ubuntu Core from WebDM or CLI through SSH and install PiGlow Top snap available from Snappy Ubuntu Core Web Store. After installation, we need to grant access to I2C hardware, do the same over SSH.

sudo snappy hw-assign piglowtop.kyrofa /dev/i2c-1

Now it’s time for the demonstration, grab your Ubuntu Phone, access the Snappy Ubuntu Core Webdm from your Ubuntu Phone Browser, Do some activity to increase CPU Utilization, for example Install / Remove any snap from Snappy Ubuntu Core Web Store. I have prepared small video Demonstration for your reference.

 

http://hardik.in/category/canonical/feed/

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Dustin Kirkland


I delivered a presentation and an exciting live demo in San Francisco this week at the Container Summit (organized by Joyent).

It was professionally recorded by the A/V crew at the conference.  The live demo begins at the 25:21 mark.


You can also find the slide deck embedded below and download the PDFs from here.


Cheers,
:-Dustin

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Nicholas Skaggs

Some of you may remember the birth of the ubuntu font family during the 10.10 cycle. The time has come to finish that work as well as fix a few issues with the current font set. To start with, the design team has been working on Arabic, and is ready for some feedback on how the font looks and interacts.

To help gather your feedback, we've made a simple survey. It contains the information you need to get the font, as well as the opportunity to leave feedback.

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/ubuntuarabicfonttesting

We would love to hear from you! If you encounter any issues trying to test or use the survey, feel free to get in touch, but otherwise leave your feedback on the font in the survey. Thanks again for your help!

For those of you who don't happen to speak Arabic or a related language, an opportunity to test the full ubuntu font family is coming up soon. Get ready!


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Daniel Holbach

I have some very exciting news, but wanted to share some thoughts I had earlier today.

Since I joined the Ubuntu community I’ve always had to do with people who want to ship their software in Ubuntu and as I’m a generally excitable guy I always thought “finally, it became so much easier – we’re there”! Over the past years we got better documentation, PPAs in Launchpad, the dh command, bzr-builddeb, daily builds in Launchpad, pkgme, the ARB process, translated documentation and lots of other initiatives which always felt like we made the world a better place for ISVs, third party app developers, upstream developers and whoever else wanted their software to be in Ubuntu.

Fast-forward to Ubuntu on the phone and click. Suddenly it became SUPER easy, even easier to ship software. Write a manifest, run “click build“, upload it to the store where it gets auto-reviewed and you’re golden. This was possible because apparmor and friends were so tightly integrated into the phone experience and confinement fully worked, so we could trust apps to be safe and trust our automatic reviews. Finally!

snappy

snappy, the evolution of click, has a much broader scope and is finally moving into the center of attention of many and will at some stage also get on the phone and elsewhere. It shares the concept of a central software store with confined apps but brings atomic upgrades, rollbacks and lots of other goodness.

From the point of view of somebody who’s shipping software some things were still missing though. How do you easily do repeatable builds, especially if they involve bundling other software?

Enter snapcraft. A thing of beauty. Finally you can specify all relevant meta-data in one file, define which parts make up your app and snapcraft’s plugins (Go, Java, autotools, etc.) will take care of pulling and building sources and binaries, which files to ship exactly and everything else. It’s magic.

We just shipped 0.2 of snapcraft and the amount of new tests, bug fixes and goodness which landed is staggering. Even more importantly: the syntax of snapcraft.yaml is now very likely going to be stable.

I have more good news:

we are going to have our first of many Ubuntu Snappy Clinics brought to you by Sergio Schvezov, Michael Vogt and myself. The topics of these clinics are going to change, but will always be centered around snappy and the technologies around it and will give enough opportunities to ask your questions and work on things together.

Now is a brilliant time to involved with snapcraft.

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Nicholas Skaggs

Final Beta Testing for Wily


Another cycle draws to a close, and it's time to test our images and make sure Wily is in good shape. We're entering crunch time.

How can I help? 
To help test, visit the iso tracker milestone page for final beta.  The goal is to verify the images in preparation for the release. Find those bugs! 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.

How long is this going on?
The testing runs through tomorrow, Thursday September 24th, when the the images for final beta will be released. If you miss the deadline we still love getting result Test against the daily image milestone instead.

Thanks and happy testing everyone!

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Michael Hall

Photo from Aaron Honeycutt

Nicholas Skaggs presenting at UbuCon@FOSSETCON 2014

Thanks to the generous organizers of FOSSETCON who have given us a room at their venue, we will be having another UbuCon in Orlando this fall!

FOSSETCON 2015 will be held at the Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista‎, from November 19th through the 21st. This year they’ve been able to get Richard Stallman to attend and give a keynote, so it’s certainly an event worth attending for anybody who’s interested in free and open source software.

UbuCon itself will be held all day on the 19th in it’s own dedicate room at the venue. We are currently recruiting presenters to talk to attendees about some aspect of Ubuntu, from the cloud to mobile, community involved and of course the desktop. If you have a fun or interesting topic that you want to share with, please send your proposal to me at mhall119@ubuntu.com

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Prakash

Users who are running licensed versions of Windows 7 or 8.1 on their PCs get a free upgrade to Windows 10, but those running Windows XP or Vista will have to buy Windows 10. Well, Ubuntu is a free user-friendly Linux based operating system. Yes, absolutely free, including future updates.

Secondly , it is extremely light on PC hardware, so you can even install it on computers that are 3-4 years old, and it will run smoothly . Besides, if you buy a brand new PC without an OS, you could consider running Ubuntu on that too. Ubuntu lets you do everything you can do on Windows, and just as easily…

You can edit documents, work on spreadsheets, create presentations and more with LibreOffice – a fully functional productivity suite. It comes with the Ubuntu installation and supports Microsoft file formats.

You can play music files on its Rhythmbox player and install software like VLC Player from the Ubuntu Software Center to watch movies.

Read More: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/tech/tech-news/Why-Ubuntu/articleshow/49020547.cms

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Daniel Holbach

Tomorrow is a special anniversary: 2005-09-05 I joined Canonical – that’s right: It’s going to be a decade.

A lot of what we as Ubuntu Community experienced and went through I wrote up some time ago and it’s well-documented in blog posts, articles, LoCo event reports and pictures from Ubuntu Allhands events, so don’t expect any of that here.

For me personally it’s been a ride I could never have expected like this. A decade in a single company doesn’t seem to happen very often these days and I would also never have dreamed what we are delivering to the world today. I’m happy and proud to have been part of this all.

I still remember the days when I joined. I had just finished my studies and working next to people who could all easily be described as a wunderkind, it made me feel like I had quite a healthy impostor syndrome. It’s easy to underestimate how much I learned here – not just technically or in terms of other abilities, but also as a person. I got to work on things I never imagined I could do and am happy I was involved in so many different projects.

One thing made this whole ride even more special: the people. I made lots of friends along the way – that’s one of the primary reasons I still feel like I work at a very very special place.

Big hugs everyone and thanks for accompanying me this far! :-)

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Daniel Holbach

Thanks to Nathan Haines and José Antonio Rey we have the Ubuntu Free Culture Showcase again. It’s Ubuntu’s way of acknowledging that there’s not just “free software”, but a wider movement which wants to make sharing the fruits of our labour an obvious and straight-forward reality.

You still have some time to submit your works for the competition. The winners are going to get their free culture works included in Ubuntu itself. Please share this with all your producer and artist friends who are into free culture.

Submission groups are as follows:

Find all other relevant information here.

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Daniel Holbach

In the flurry of uploads for the C++ ABI transition and other frantic work (Thursday is Feature Freeze day) this gem maybe went unnoticed:

snapcraft (0.1) wily; urgency=low

  * Initial release

What this means? If you’re on wily, you can easily try out snapcraft and get started turning software into snaps. We have some initial docs available on the developer site which should help you find your way around.

This is a 0.1 release, so there are bugs and there might be bigger changes coming your way, but there will also be more docs, more plugins and more good stuff in general. If you’re curious, you might want to sign up for the daily build (just add the ppa:snappy-dev/snapcraft-daily PPA).

Here’s a brilliant example of what snapcraft can do for you: packaging a Java app was never this easy.

If you’re more into client apps, check out Ted’s article on how to create a QML snap.

As you can easily see: the future is on its way and upstreams and app developer will have a much easier time sharing their software.

As I said above: snapcraft is still a 0.1 release. If you want to let us know your feedback and find bugs or propose merges, you can find snapcraft in Launchpad.

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Dustin Kirkland


Canonical is delighted to sponsor ContainerCon 2015, a Linux Foundation event in Seattle next week, August 17-19, 2015. It's quite exciting to see the A-list of sponsors, many of them newcomers to this particular technology, teaming with energy around containers. 

From chroots to BSD Jails and Solaris Zones, the concepts behind containers were established decades ago, and in fact traverse the spectrum of server operating systems. At Canonical, we've been working on containers in Ubuntu for more than half a decade, providing a home and resources for stewardship and maintenance of the upstream Linux Containers (LXC) project since 2010.

Last year, we publicly shared our designs for LXD -- a new stratum on top of LXC that endows the advantages of a traditional hypervisor into the faster, more efficient world of containers.

Those designs are now reality, with the open source Golang code readily available on Github, and Ubuntu packages available in a PPA for all supported releases of Ubuntu, and already in the Ubuntu 15.10 beta development tree. With ease, you can launch your first LXD containers in seconds, following this simple guide.

LXD is a persistent daemon that provides a clean RESTful interface to manage (start, stop, clone, migrate, etc.) any of the containers on a given host.

Hosts running LXD are handily federated into clusters of container hypervisors, and can work as Nova Compute nodes in OpenStack, for example, delivering Infrastructure-as-a-Service cloud technology at lower costs and greater speeds.

Here, LXD and Docker are quite complementary technologies. LXD furnishes a dynamic platform for "system containers" -- containers that behave like physical or virtual machines, supplying all of the functionality of a full operating system (minus the kernel, which is shared with the host). Such "machine containers" are the core of IaaS clouds, where users focus on instances with compute, storage, and networking that behave like traditional datacenter hardware.

LXD runs perfectly well along with Docker, which supplies a framework for "application containers" -- containers that enclose individual processes that often relate to one another as pools of micro services and deliver complex web applications.

Moreover, the Zen of LXD is the fact that the underlying container implementation is actually decoupled from the RESTful API that drives LXD functionality. We are most excited to discuss next week at ContainerCon our work with Microsoft around the LXD RESTful API, as a cross-platform container management layer.

Ben Armstrong, a Principal Program Manager Lead at Microsoft on the core virtualization and container technologies, has this to say:
“As Microsoft is working to bring Windows Server Containers to the world – we are excited to see all the innovation happening across the industry, and have been collaborating with many projects to encourage and foster this environment. Canonical’s LXD project is providing a new way for people to look at and interact with container technologies. Utilizing ‘system containers’ to bring the advantages of container technology to the core of your cloud infrastructure is a great concept. We are looking forward to seeing the results of our engagement with Canonical in this space.”
Finally, if you're in Seattle next week, we hope you'll join us for the technical sessions we're leading at ContainerCon 2015, including: "Putting the D in LXD: Migration of Linux Containers", "Container Security - Past, Present, and Future", and "Large Scale Container Management with LXD and OpenStack". Details are below.
Date: Monday, August 17 • 2:20pm - 3:10pm
Title: Large Scale Container Management with LXD and OpenStack
Speaker: Stéphane Graber
Abstracthttp://sched.co/3YK6
Location: Grand Ballroom B
Schedulehttp://sched.co/3YK6 
Date: Wednesday, August 19 10:25am-11:15am
Title: Putting the D in LXD: Migration of Linux Containers
Speaker: Tycho Andersen
Abstract: http://sched.co/3YTz
Location: Willow A
Schedule: http://sched.co/3YTz
Date: Wednesday, August 19 • 3:00pm - 3:50pm
Title: Container Security - Past, Present and Future
Speaker: Serge Hallyn
Abstract: http://sched.co/3YTl
Location: Ravenna
Schedule: http://sched.co/3YTl
Cheers,
Dustin

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Daniel Holbach

If you haven’t heard of it yet, every Tuesday we have the Ubuntu Community Q&A session at 15:00 UTC. It’s always up on http://ubuntuonair.com and you can watch old sessions on the youtube channel. For the casual Ubuntu users it’s a great way to get to know people who are working in the inner circles of Ubuntu and can answer questions, clear up misunderstandings or get specialists on the show.

Since Jono went to XPRIZE, our team at Canonical has been running them and I really enjoy these sessions. What I liked even more were the sessions where we had guests and got to talk about some more specific topics. In the past few weeks we had Olli Ries on, quite a few UbuCon organisers, some testing/QA heroes and many more.

If you have anyone you’d like to see interviewed or any specific topics you’d like to see covered, please drop a comment below and we’ll do our best to get them on in the next weeks!

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Dustin Kirkland

The Golden Ratio is one of the oldest and most visible irrational numbers known to humanity.  Pi is perhaps more famous, but the Golden Ratio is found in more of our art, architecture, and culture throughout human history.

I think of the Golden Ratio as sort of "Pi in 1 dimension".  Whereas Pi is the ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter, the Golden Ratio is the ratio of a whole to one of its parts, when the ratio of that part to the remainder is equal.

Visually, this diagram from Wikipedia helps explain it:


We find the Golden Ratio in the architecture of antiquity, from the Egyptians to the Greeks to the Romans, right up to the Renaissance and even modern times.



While the base of the pyramids are squares, the Golden Ratio can be observed as the base and the hypotenuse of a basic triangular cross section like so:


The floor plan of the Parthenon has a width/depth ratio matching the Golden Ratio...



For the first 300 years of printing, nearly all books were printed on pages whose length to width ratio matched that of the Golden Ratio.

Leonardo da Vinci used the Golden Ratio throughout his works.  I'm told that his Vitruvian Man displays the Golden Ratio...


From school, you probably remember that the Golden Ratio is approximately ~1.6 (and change).
There's a strong chance that your computer or laptop monitor has a 16:10 aspect ratio.  Does 1280x800 or 1680x1050 sound familiar?



That ~1.6 number is only an approximation, of course.  The Golden Ratio is in fact an irrational number and can be calculated to much greater precision through several different representations, including:


You can plug that number into your computer's calculator and crank out a dozen or so significant digits.


However, if you want to go much farther than that, Alexander Yee has created a program called y-cruncher, which as been used to calculate most of the famous constants to world record precision.  (Sorry free software readers of this blog -- y-cruncher is not open source code...)

I came across y-cruncher a few weeks ago when I was working on the mprime post, demonstrating how you can easily put any workload into a Docker container and then produce both Juju Charms and Ubuntu Snaps that package easily.  While I opted to use mprime in that post, I saved y-cruncher for this one :-)

Also, while doing some network benchmark testing of The Fan Networking among Docker containers, I experimented for the first time with some of Amazon's biggest instances, which have dedicated 10gbps network links.  While I had a couple of those instances up, I did some small scale benchmarking of y-cruncher.

Presently, none of the mathematical constant records are even remotely approachable with CPU and Memory alone.  All of them require multiple terabytes of disk, which act as a sort of swap space for temporary files, as bits are moved in and out of memory while the CPU crunches.  As such, approaching these are records are overwhelmingly I/O bound -- not CPU or Memory bound, as you might imagine.

After a variety of tests, I settled on the AWS d2.2xlarge instance size as the most affordable instance size to break the previous Golden Ratio record (1 trillion digits, by Alexander Yee on his gaming PC in 2010).  I say "affordable", in that I could have cracked that record "2x faster" with a d2.4xlarge or d2.8xlarge, however, I would have paid much more (4x) for the total instance hours.  This was purely an economic decision :-)


Let's geek out on technical specifications for a second...  So what's in a d2.2xlarge?
  • 8x Intel Xeon CPUs (E5-2676 v3 @ 2.4GHz)
  • 60GB of Memory
  • 6x 2TB HDDs
First, I arranged all 6 of those 2TB disks into a RAID0 with mdadm, and formatted it with xfs (which performed better than ext4 or btrfs in my cursory tests).

$ sudo mdadm --create --verbose /dev/md0 --level=stripe --raid-devices=6 /dev/xvd?
$ sudo mkfs.xfs /dev/md0
$ df -h /mnt
/dev/md0 11T 34M 11T 1% /mnt

Here's a brief look at raw read performance with hdparm:

$ sudo hdparm -tT /dev/md0
Timing cached reads: 21126 MB in 2.00 seconds = 10576.60 MB/sec
Timing buffered disk reads: 1784 MB in 3.00 seconds = 593.88 MB/sec

The beauty here of RAID0 is that each of the 6 disks can be used to read and/or write simultaneously, perfectly in parallel.  600 MB/sec is pretty quick reads by any measure!  In fact, when I tested the d2.8xlarge, I put all 24x 2TB disks into the same RAID0 and saw nearly 2.4 GB/sec read performance across that 48TB array!

With /dev/md0 mounted on /mnt and writable by my ubuntu user, I kicked off y-crunch with these parameters:

Program Version:       0.6.8 Build 9461 (Linux - x64 AVX2 ~ Airi)
Constant: Golden Ratio
Algorithm: Newton's Method
Decimal Digits: 2,000,000,000,000
Hexadecimal Digits: 1,660,964,047,444
Threading Mode: Thread Spawn (1 Thread/Task) ? / 8
Computation Mode: Swap Mode
Working Memory: 61,342,174,048 bytes ( 57.1 GiB )
Logical Disk Usage: 8,851,913,469,608 bytes ( 8.05 TiB )

Byobu was very handy here, being able to track in the bottom status bar my CPU load, memory usage, disk usage, and disk I/O, as well as connecting and disconnecting from the running session multiple times over the 4 days of running.


And approximately 79 hours later, it finished successfully!

Start Date:            Thu Jul 16 03:54:11 2015
End Date: Sun Jul 19 11:14:52 2015

Computation Time: 221548.583 seconds
Total Time: 285640.965 seconds

CPU Utilization: 315.469 %
Multi-core Efficiency: 39.434 %

Last Digits:
5027026274 0209627284 1999836114 2950866539 8538613661 : 1,999,999,999,950
2578388470 9290671113 7339871816 2353911433 7831736127 : 2,000,000,000,000

Amazing, another person (who I don't know), named Ron Watkins, performed the exact same computation and published his results within 24 hours, on July 22nd/23rd.  As such, Ron and I are "sharing" credit for the Golden Ratio record.


Now, let's talk about the economics here, which I think are the most interesting part of this post.

Look at the above chart of records, which are published on the y-cruncher page, the vast majority of those have been calculated on physical PCs -- most of them seem to be gaming PCs running Windows.

What's different about my approach is that I used Linux in the Cloud -- specifically Ubuntu in AWS.  I paid hourly (actually, my employer, Canonical, reimbursed me for that expense, thanks!)  It took right at 160 hours to run the initial calculation (79 hours) as well as the verification calculation (81 hours), at the current rate of $1.38/hour for a d2.2xlarge, which is a grand total of $220!

$220 is a small fraction of the cost of 6x 2TB disks, 60 GB of memory, or 8 Xeon cores, not to mention the electricity and cooling required to run a system of this size (~750W) for 160 hours.

If we say the first first trillion digits were already known from the previous record, that comes out to approximately 4.5 billion record-digits per dollar, and 12.5 billion record-digits per hour!

Hopefully you find this as fascinating as I!

Cheers,
:-Dustin

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Timo Jyrinki

I recently obtained the newest Dell's Ubuntu developer offering, XPS 13 (2015, model 9343). I opted in for FullHD non-touch display, mostly because of better battery life, the actual no need for higher resolution, and matte screen which is great outside. Touch would have been "nice-to-have", but in my work I don't really need it.

The other specifications include i7-5600U CPU, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD [edit: lshw], and of course Ubuntu 14.04 LTS pre-installed as OEM specific installation. It was not possible to directly order it from Dell site, as Finland is reportedly not online market for Dell... The wholesale company however managed to get two models on their lists and so it's now possible to order via retailers. [edit: here are some country specific direct web order links however US, DE, FR, SE, NL]

In this blog post I give a quick look on how I started up using it, and do a few observations on the pre-installed Ubuntu included. I personally was interested in using the pre-installed Ubuntu like a non-Debian/Ubuntu developer would use it, but Dell has also provided instructions for Ubuntu 15.04, Debian 7.0 and Debian 8.0 advanced users among else. Even if not using the pre-installed Ubuntu, the benefit from buying an Ubuntu laptop is obviously smaller cost and on the other hand contributing to free software (by paying for the hardware enablement engineering done by or purchased by Dell).

Unboxing

The Black Box. (and white cat)

Opened box.






First time lid opened, no dust here yet!
First time boot up, transitioning from the boot logo to a first time Ubuntu video.
A small clip from the end of the welcoming video.
First time setup. Language, Dell EULA, connecting to WiFi, location, keyboard, user+password.
Creating recovery media. I opted not to do this as I had happened to read that it's highly recommended to install upgrades first, including to this tool.
Finalizing setup.
Ready to log in!
It's alive!
Not so recent 14.04 LTS image... lots of updates.

Problems in the First Batch

Unfortunately the first batch of XPS 13:s with Ubuntu are going to ship with some problems. They're easy to fix if you know how to, but it's sad that they're there to begin with in the factory image. There is no knowledge when a fixed batch will start shipping - July maybe?

First of all, installing software upgrades stops. You need to run the following command via Dash → Terminal once: sudo apt-get install -f (it suggests upgrading libc-dev-bin, libc6-dbg, libc6-dev and udev). After that you can continue running Software Updater as usual, maybe rebooting in between.

Secondly, the fixed touchpad driver is included but not enabled by default. You need to enable the only non-enabled ”Additional Driver” as seen in the picture below or instructed in Youtube.

Dialog enabling the touchpad driver.

Clarification: you can safely ignore the two paragraphs below, they're just for advanced users like me who want to play with upgraded driver stacks.

Optionally, since I'm interested in the latest graphics drivers especially in case of a brand new hardware like Intel Broadwell, I upgraded my Ubuntu to use the 14.04.2 Hardware Enablement stack (matches 14.10 hardware support): sudo apt install --install-recommends libgles2-mesa-lts-utopic libglapi-mesa-lts-utopic linux-generic-lts-utopic xserver-xorg-lts-utopic libgl1-mesa-dri-lts-utopic libegl1-mesa-drivers-lts-utopic libgl1-mesa-glx-lts-utopic:i386
 
Even though it's much better than a normal Ubuntu 14.10 would be since many of the Dell fixes continue to be in use, some functionality might become worse compared to the pre-installed stack. The only thing I have noticed though is the internal microphone not working anymore out-of-the-box, requiring a kernel patch as mentioned in Dell's notes. This is not a surprise since the real eventual upstream support involves switching from HDA to I2S and during 14.10 kernel work that was not nearly done. If you're excited about new drivers, I'd recommend waiting until August when the 15.04 based 14.04.3 stack is available (same package names, but 'vivid' instead of 'utopic'). [edit: I couldn't resist myself when I saw linux-generic-lts-vivid (3.19 kernel) is already in the archives. 14.04.2 + that gives me working microphone again!] [edit 08/2015: full 14.04.3 HWE stack now available, improves graphics performance and features among else, everything seems good: sudo apt install --install-recommends linux-generic-lts-vivid libgles2-mesa-lts-vivid libglapi-mesa-lts-vivid xserver-xorg-lts-vivid libgl1-mesa-dri-lts-vivid libegl1-mesa-lts-vivid libgl1-mesa-glx-lts-vivid:i386 libegl1-mesa-lts-vivid libwayland-egl1-mesa-lts-vivid mesa-vdpau-drivers-lts-vivid libgl1-mesa-dri-lts-vivid:i386 ]

Conclusion

Dell XPS 13 Developer Edition with Ubuntu 14.04 LTS is an extremely capable laptop + OS combination nearing perfection, but not quite there because of the software problems in the launch pre-install image. The laptop looks great, feels like a quality product should and is very compact for the screen size.

I've moved over all my work onto it and everything so far is working smoothly in my day-to-day tasks. I'm staying at Ubuntu 14.04 LTS and using my previous LXC configuration to run the latest Ubuntu and Debian development versions. I've also done some interesting changes already like LUKS In-Place Conversion, converting the pre-installed Ubuntu into whole disk encrypted one (not recommended for the faint hearted, GRUB reconfiguration is a bit of a pain).

I look happily forward to working a few productive years with this one!

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