Canonical Voices

Posts tagged with 'ubuntu'


Ubuntu 13.10 is out, get it here!

This release packs some significant punch – we have the first version of Ubuntu for phones, Mir is shipping on the phone images, a new Ubuntu SDK, an entirely new app developer upload experience, new version of Juju, Juju GUI, smart scopes integrated into the desktop and phone, and more.

The build-up to 13.10 has been intense. Although our core values have remained unchanged, Ubuntu has evolved over the years as we have worked to solve the larger scale challenges facing a consumer and cloud Linux operating system. Interestingly, it feels like we have also changed in the intensity and ambition of how we build Ubuntu. Maybe this is hindsight lying to me, but release cycles seem more intense, more focused, and more ambitious than they have ever felt before. When I compare 13.10 with 11.10 it feels like two different beasts in terms of the goals, opportunities, and challenges we are looking to solve. I feel we are more ambitious in approaching the real challenges we need to focus on.

From a personal perspective, release day is always a mix of emotions. We all put our heart and souls into what we do. For most of us Ubuntu is not just a job or a hobby…it is a passion and a lifestyle; we are not just building software here, but building technological change. My passion for Ubuntu has always been connected to making Open Source available to all; Free Software code is interesting and important, but a lot less valuable if regular people can’t use it to enrich and improve their lives. Accessible, easy to use, safe, and secure Free Software helps people to learn, be creative, be productive, and live better lives. At the heart of this opportunity are communities with a shared sense of identity, mission, and belonging. Communities bring out the best in human beings…they teach us to share, to inspire, and to create together.

More than anything, communities make having a passion fun. Working together with others who share your passion is inspiring and motivating, and the Ubuntu community is a wonderful source of inspiration. I feel blessed to work with so many wonderful people every day, all over the world. Thank-you.

As such, release day always feels to me like the world is peeking into our fishbowl to judge how colorful our fins are. I have a pretty thick skin, but I can’t help feeling a little exposed when it comes to feedback about a new release. I care what people think about Ubuntu…I care that people feel as connected and inspired by it as I do. Conversely, given that a global community of volunteers feed into making Ubuntu, I feel somewhat accountable that those looking into our fishbowl appreciate the efforts of everyone who has contributed.

We should never forget that Ubuntu and Open Source is a gift culture. People take time away from their families, friends, and Grand Theft Auto V to help bring their passion to our community via the gift of their contributions. I always want release day to be a celebration of our wider set of efforts. This is one of the things I love about Ubuntu: it is fueled by fundamentally good people. We don’t always agree…but we all share the same gene that makes us want to make the world a better place with Free Software. The only difference is where we draw the lines in the sand about how we do that.

In Ubuntu 13.10 we have delivered the first major milestone in our convergence story of the future…that milestone is Ubuntu for phones. I am hugely proud of the team for what they achieved here. This was a ballsy and ambitious goal and everyone hit it with aplomb. We have work to do, but the core foundation is stable, secure, and very usable as a daily phone. I have been using my Ubuntu phone since May and I love it.

Some have felt that the desktop release of Ubuntu 13.10 feels a little thin on the ground in terms of features apart from smart scopes and a revised set of versions of the software we ship. This is a fair assertion, but remember that everything that went into the phone will ultimate hit the desktop: Unity 8, Mir, image-based updates, the developer platform, SDK, developer portal and more. This was a significant amount of engineering, all of which is laying the groundwork for a single, converged Free Software platform that runs across the phone, desktop, tablet, and TV. As such, while you might not see the technology applied to the desktop yet, we moved the needle significantly forward in achieving this.

On the server and cloud side we have seen significant improvements with Ubuntu 13.10 too. Ubuntu continues to be the most popular guest OS on the cloud and Juju has become more powerful and efficient than ever before. Our charm store has grown significantly in terms of the available charms as well as the capabilities of existing charms, and Juju makes it simple and easy to spin up a complex deployment and scale up and out where needed. This has been eased by Juju GUI which makes transitioning from the service topology on the office white-board to an active running service devilishly simple.

Our community has been at the core of all of these efforts. Just as one example, we had over 140 community members contribute to building the core apps for the phone (Calculator, Calendar, Clock etc). We have also had significant numbers of contributions of auto-pilot tests, countless Juju charms, hundreds of translations, documentation brought up to date, and many events organized to help our community grow and prosper.

Some people have wondered why I have focused members of my team so much on app developers and growing our charmers community. The reason is simple: for Ubuntu to be successful we need awesome content. We need great apps, services, music, videos, search results and more. People don’t use devices, systems and clouds because the shell looks nice, they use these systems to consume, create, and share things. Ubuntu is all about a focus on content, and apps and charms are a key part of this. Every app and charm enriches Ubuntu that little bit more, and as such we need to build a new community of developers who are passionate about Ubuntu being able to deliver their creative ideas and visions.

This work has not just been building buzz on Google+. My team architected much of the new app upload process, we ran the Ubuntu App Showdown to hammer the details out of the developer platform, we built and our support resources, , ran the core apps programme, have been running the Juju charm contest, coordinating charm schools, and working with upstreams and developers to deliver their content. Our goal has been to make the developer experience on Ubuntu world class. We still have work to do, but I am so proud of the efforts of the team so far.

Where this counts strategically is that all of this work will ultimately feed into LoCo teams and elsewhere that may not currently feel we are spending too much time on (although rest assured in 14.04 we will focus on LoCos some more). By building an awesome content community it will give our LoCos a better, more fulfilling platform to share, advocate, and promote. In a world of limited resources, this is how I feel I can best use my team’s time.

Well, today is Thursday 17th October 2013 and we just shipped Ubuntu 13.10 for phones, servers, desktops, and clouds.

Tomorrow is Friday 18th October 2013 and we start work on Ubuntu 14.04. This is going to be our biggest LTS yet. You can join us to help us shape Ubuntu 14.04 at our next Ubuntu Developer Summit on 19-21 November 2013 from 2pm-8pm UTC. Everyone is welcome, our summit is open to all and takes place online.

We have tremendous opportunity on the road ahead of us. We are laying down the foundations for a new future of convergence and cloud service orchestration. Today was an important check-point on our journey. Together as a community we have the opportunity to bring more and more technological change to people than ever before. So, go out tonight, celebrate, and tomorrow, let’s get the Ubuntu 14.04 train on the track and make it roar.

Thank-you everyone for all of your contributions.

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Just to share with my good friends on Planet Ubuntu…with update 90 on the Ubuntu for phone images Mir has been enabled by default.

So far everything is working pretty smoothly on my Nexus 4. There are some bugs, which is to be expected, but nothing major from what I can see. Now the team can continue to focus on integration, performance, and any outstanding issues before we hit the 13.10 release.

Nice work, Mir and Ubuntu integration teams!

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Today I took a short screencast of the winner of the Ubuntu App Showdown, a neat reddit client called Karma Machine.

In the video you can see the app first at the size of a phone as I demonstrate it’s features, and then I re-size it to the size of a desktop app. Karma Machine effortlessly re-sizes and adjusts to make the best use of the space available while exposing the same core functionality…all from the same code-base.

The app was written using the Ubuntu SDK, available from, which makes writing apps for phones, tablets, and desktops simple, and also demonstrates use of the Ubuntu App Design Guidelines to make the app look and feel very Ubuntu.

Please note: the desktop convergence is not finished yet – we will optimize apps running on desktops soon (e.g. toolbars, scrollbars etc), but this video shows already how usable apps are.

See the video below (or here if you can’t see it below):

We recommend you watch the video full screen

Karma Machine is available now from the Applications scope on the Ubuntu phones images.

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The 13.10 cycle has been one of the most hectic I have personally ever experienced with Ubuntu. In this cycle we have built the key ingredients in our convergence story…Unity 8, Mir, the Ubuntu SDK, a full app upload process…and this work is forming a strong foundation for the 14.x releases in which we will complete the first iteration of our full convergence vision.

In Ubuntu 13.10 my team has worked extensively on building our app developer community. I have talked in the past about the importance of app developers to Ubuntu and when we release 13.10 we will see an end-to-end developer story – from browsing, to downloading the Ubuntu SDK, to writing code, to full API and tutorial docs, to packaging an app easily and getting it in the app store where it will run secure and confined on an Ubuntu phone. I am proud of everyone who has invested so much work in this end-to-end story.

Karma Machine, winner of the Ubuntu App Showdown.

We are already seeing the fruits of this developer story with the wonderful apps that are available in the app store as a result of the Ubuntu App Showdown. Read more about the winners of the showdown.

Building Full Convergence

In the 13.10 cycle we got our developer story in shape by flexing the muscles of the platform in a practical way. This was done largely in part by our core apps. As the core apps evolved we would discover bugs or missing pieces in our developer platform and fix them. Real programmers writing code helped us to understand where to fix and resolve issues.

In the Ubuntu 14.04 cycle I want to take this to the next level by flexing the muscles of our platform for writing apps that have both phone and desktop interfaces. This has two benefits:

  1. It helps us make our SDK stronger and more powerful across the full range of converged form-factors.
  2. It starts development of a powerful set of consistent, efficient desktop apps ready for when we are in a position to ship Unity 8 on the desktop.

Just imagine being able to run a slick, efficient, featureful app on your desktop, and be able to use the same app with a similar interface on your phone. Karma Machine, the winner of the Ubuntu App Showdown, is a good example of this:

Karma Machine, running in Desktop mode.

Today the Ubuntu SDK already has the ability to build apps that render differently on desktops, phones, and tablets, and many of the apps submitted in the app showdown already have converged interfaces (Ubuntu Tasks, uNote, OMGUbuntu, CNotes, Memories, Connect4, Reversi, Blackjack, GitHub Client, RamSamSam Reader, Yad, uShopper, SaucyBacon, Karma Machine, Beru, Solitaire Games, uTranslate, Word Chain, StackBrowser, Counters, and uDraw).

I want to work with these and other app developers so we can uncover any bugs, design problems, inconsistencies, and other issues. If you would be interested in working with us on these goals, please get in touch. Thanks!

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I have talked in the past about how critical I feel app developers are to the Ubuntu convergence story. If developers can go from idea to implementation to publishing quickly and easily, it will make the overall Ubuntu platform more attractive and featureful for users, partners, OEMs, carriers and more.

As such, we are working hard to make Ubuntu a platform where you can match your creativity with the tools you need to deliver your creative vision to others. This has included a powerful SDK, a simple and effective app upload process, a new version of that will be landing next week, and more.

Now we are finalizing much of the core infrastructure (SDK, docs, knowledge, support, publishing) I really want to focus more and more on widening the awareness of Ubuntu as a powerful and fun developer platform.

There are all kinds of things we can do – video tutorials, training weeks, local tutorial schools, app contests, and more, and we are really keen to hear your ideas and look for those who want to help spread the word about Ubuntu as a powerful converged developer platform.

How Do I Help?

If you are interested in helping, we are looking for ideas on this pad; you will need to be a member of this team to edit, so be sure to join that team first. Feel free to braindump your ideas for ways in which we can get out to more developers and help them realize their creative ideas. The more ideas the better!

Then, on Tuesday 24th Sep at 3pm UTC, we will be running a live Google+ Hangout meeting on Ubuntu On Air to review the ideas and start making plans. If you add an idea to the pad it would be awesome if you could join the session too.

I would love to encourage you all to join and help build the developer platform of the future across phones, desktops, tablets, and more!

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I believe that in the entire history of Ubuntu we are at the most exciting time we have ever experienced.

With Ubuntu we set out with a clear mission: to build an elegant, beautiful, Free Software platform that brings powerful, easily accessible, technology to all. We are gritted in our determination around this mission.

All the pieces are starting to come together. A powerful converged platform, a beautiful user experience, a new SDK and app upload process, powerful cloud orchestration technologies, and a growing eco-system of users, app developers, and devops.

Awesome technology is not enough though. Silicon Valley is littered with the corpses of many great technologies that didn’t catch on. The key to successful, living, breathing technology is adoption and passionate users and developers.

Building Adoption

LoCo Teams are a critical piece of how we drive this adoption.

LoCo teams are our front-line troops out there living Ubuntu and sharing it with others. If we have successful LoCo teams we will have a successful Ubuntu.

In recent years we have faced some challenges with LoCo Teams though. Fewer people have been participating in teams, we have some rather bureaucratic processes in place for how and where people can form teams, and LoCo teams are not as optimized for success as they could be. Put simple, I feel our LoCo Team community could benefit from stronger and more visible leadership.

I want to change this. I want to re-energize our LoCo community to bring out the best in our wider community and to open doors to more and more people who can be touched by Ubuntu. I am not talking about just welcoming Linux fans to LoCo teams…but app developers, content creators, devops, partners, general users, and more.

The potential is tantalizing.

For us to achieve this though we need a crisp strategy.

At UDS the other day we had a session that I found personally rather frustrating. At every UDS we always have a session about LoCo Teams, and there are always lots of ideas around what LoCo teams should be doing and how we can support them. These ideas are usually expressed as “we should do XYZ” or “the problem with LoCo teams is XYZ and we need to fix that“. We always have lots of ideas but few people are willing to sign up to work items to deliver that work.

Ideas are easy to have, delivering real practical solutions that drive improvements is harder, and we need more of the latter. We need people who are willing to make change happen in a practical way.

There is too much opportunity with Ubuntu and bringing technology freedom to people to let our LoCo Teams wither on the vine.

Help Us Lead

Recently the LoCo Council announced a re-election for seats on the next council. The LoCo Council is the most natural place for this leadership to occur, and I want to encourage those of you who are willing to commit the time and effort to bring change to LoCo Teams to apply to join.

I want to transition the mental model of how the LoCo Council works from merely joining meetings and reacting to agenda items and tending to the business of the week. I want to see the council bring leadership, challenge the norms, challenge our bottlenecks, and build a culture of innovation and change around our LoCo Teams.

Our community is laden with great people who can bring this kind of leadership, and I want to encourage you to join the council.

We need people who are willing to commit more than providing +1 and -1 votes on our LoCo Council meetings, but people who want to think about the next generation of LoCo Teams and what work needs to be completed to achieve that vision, and commit to driving it forward. I would ask that only those of you willing to (a) lead and (b) commit time to actively participate in the strategy the council focuses on should apply. If you can only commit to joining the LoCo Council meetings and not driving strategy and leadership forward, please don’t apply to join.

This is not to suggest our existing and previous LoCo Councils has and have not been doing great work; I am tremendously thankful for their remarkable contributions. I just think we need to amp up our game, in much of the same way we have been amping up the Ubuntu platform. Now is our opportunity and we need to grasp it with both hands.

This is a tremendous opportunity for great leaders to have a real world-changing impact on Ubuntu and Free Software in general.

If you are excited about the opportunity of re-energizing LoCo Teams, bringing leadership, and challenging the norm, I strongly encourage you to apply. Please share your ideas for leadership and change in your application.

I am doggedly committed to helping to make our LoCo Teams successful and I have some ideas around how we do this when the new council is formed. I am looking forward to working with our new generation of leaders to help our LoCo Teams to do incredible world-changing work with an incredible world-changing platform.

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This article is part of a series of blog posts covering the many different areas of work going on in Ubuntu right now. See the introduction post here that links to all the articles.

Unity is the graphical environment that we ship in a default Ubuntu installation. Released for the first time about three years ago, Unity is focused on simplicity and consistency across multiple devices. In this article I am going to cover the history of Unity and how Unity 8 is driving a new era of code and design convergence in Ubuntu.

Although Unity is a single graphical experience, you can think of it in three broad buckets:

  1. Design – the visual design and interaction experience.
  2. Platform – the core Unity platform software.
  3. Services – a set of functions that Unity makes available to applications for integration and for content to be viewed.

Back when the design team started working on Unity the goal was to solve a key set of problems in the user experience of Linux and build a simple and efficient user interface, but to also build a set of design patterns that could scale across multiple form-factors.

Design is a complex process, and a process inspired by ideas but defined by practical real-world testing. As the team developed ideas, tested them, and iterated on them, these ideas were boiled into a set of common design patterns that were not merely intended for a desktop…but that could be applied to other form-factors too. This was a challenging prospect: to a reasonable extent, building design around a specific form-factor is much easier than producing scalable designs across these different form factors, and the level of design work that went into Unity was and continues to be incredible.

It is important to remember that this design effort was not limited to the launcher, panel, indicators and other common visible pieces that we associate as the building blocks of Unity; it was also the gestures, login manager, toolkit components, dash components, and more. The goal has always been to have a consistent design story across everything we do: Unity, Juju, conference booths, websites, and more, and thus the Unity work needed to be able to exist within this wider design story.

As the designs formed for Unity the development team kicked into action.

Back in the early days we had two different code-bases for Unity; a 3D and 2D code-base. The simple reason for this is that some OEMs wanted to ship Unity on hardware without 3D acceleration, so we decided to have two different branches and share as much code as possible between these branches so we could serve all potential OEMs.

These branches were quite different though. Unity 3D was written with Compiz and a graphical toolkit we created called NUX, and Unity 2D was written in Qt/QML. As you can imagine, this resulted in some duplication of effort and some deltas between 3D and 2D. The teams worked their socks off, but these technical limitations were causing some headaches.

As the goals to spin up our full convergence story across TV, Mobile, Tablet, and Desktop became more important it was clear that we needed to make a decision about these two different code-bases. After an extensive amount of discussion it was decided to focus explicitly on Qt/QML as our primary code-base, a decision that also matched our decision to focus on Qt/QML as the core of our Ubuntu SDK.

This now brought technical consistency across our engineering teams: Qt/QML would form the bases for Unity, the Ubuntu SDK, new application development, our app developer community growth and more. I had been lobbying for a focus on Qt/QML for some years, so speaking personally I was delighted by this move. :-)

A core benefit of Unity is the rich range of services that it provides. This includes services such as:

  • The Launcher – showing running apps, progress bars, number pills, quicklists etc.
  • The Messaging Menu – all of your messages in one place, irrespective of source or network.
  • The HUD – search enabled for all your apps so you can find exactly what you need by finger or voice.

Another very significant service is The Dash. In previous versions of Unity the dash provided a place to search your local system and a limited set of online services. For Ubuntu 13.10 the dash has been extended to search 50+ services all from the home scope. The dash provides a consistent place to find and search for content, apps, information and more.

Again, it is important to remember that these services are not just useful for the desktop…they apply to all the different form-factors we are focusing on. This, tied together with our convergence-ready SDK means you can consume these services in your app and they run across all these different devices.

Unity 8

Earlier I mentioned the decision to focus on Qt/QML as our core development focus, but that was not the only decision moving forward with Unity however. The goal was also to build true convergence into the core Unity code-base too. Our goal was to have a single Unity code-base and when you run it on a Desktop you get one experience, and when you run it on Phone you get another experience. This boils the full convergence story down into a single code-base, which also means that if you fix a bug in that code-base, the bug fix applies to all devices too.

This is true convergence: a single code-base with a scalable set of design patterns that can be deployed on a wide range of devices.

This focus has materialized in Unity 8; the next generation of Unity that is currently running in the Ubuntu Phone and Ubuntu Tablet images. On the desktop we are still running Unity 7 (based on Compiz and Nux) until Unity 8 has desktop features baked in.

If you want to see this convergence working, install Unity 8 on your Saucy desktop with:

sudo apt-get install unity8

Then run it with:

export UBUNTU_ICON_THEME=ubuntu-mobile
unity8 -mousetouch

This will load what looks like Ubuntu Phone on your desktop in a window. It should look like this:

Remember, Unity changes how it operates based on the screen size. To see this in action, increase the size of the window and you will now see something that looks like LightDM:

Re-size it smaller again and it looks like the phone interface again.

Another fun test is when at the phone size, slide from the left of the window to show the Launcher and click the Ubuntu button. Now click the ‘Search’ button and the search box takes up the full width of the window:

Now re-size the window to be much bigger and click the ‘Search’ button again; the search box now appears to the right of the window:

This is a subtle example of how Unity 8 adjusts the experience based upon the screen size and the goal is that we will make many such changes to optimize the Unity experience across these different form factors, but the core ingredients, technology, and focus on content is the same, just visible from different perspectives.

Are We There Yet?

Today Unity 8 is running on the phone and tablet. Currently the vast majority of engineering focus is going into making everything work for Ubuntu Phone, but all of this engineering going into Unity 8 is built within the context of working on other devices too. As an example, although Unity 8 running on a full sized desktop screen looks like a mobile device running on a monitor (a native desktop UI will be added later), the core of the dash and all the system services will be desktop ready: they just need to be extended to support that screen profile.

In other words, although it might feel we are not working on the desktop, everything the engineering teams are working on is work we would need to do for the desktop in Unity 8 anyway, so it is all valuable work heading in a consistent direction.

Not only this but there is a far greater level of continuous integration and testing in Unity now than ever before. Every four hours there is a battery of tests run against the trunk code-base and if the tests pass a new package appears in the Ubuntu archive, giving you the opportunity to test it and keep up to date with the very latest in Unity. All feature planning and tracking is done publicly in blueprints and discussed at our Ubuntu Developer Summits.

The goal is that the phone user interface in Unity 8 will be mostly complete for Ubuntu 13.10, and then the focus will be on Desktop between 13.10 and 14.10 with the goal of shipping Unity 8 on the desktop in Ubuntu 14.10, thus spanning full convergence across all form-factors with this single Unity code-base and set of scalable design patterns.

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This week from Tues 27th – Thurs 29th August 2013 from 2pm – 8pm UTC we will be running our online Ubuntu Developer Summit. This is an event we run every three months to discuss, debate, and plan the next three months of Ubuntu as well as wider goals.

All sessions will run using a combination of Google+ streaming video hangouts and IRC, and you can see the full schedule on Consequently, for those who cannot attend or might miss certain sessions, all sessions will be available pre-recorded from the session pages when the session is complete.

We will kick off at 2pm UTC with my normal intro and a keynote from Mark Shuttleworth, founder of Ubuntu.

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This article is part of a series of blog posts covering the many different areas of work going on in Ubuntu right now. See the introduction post here that links to all the articles.

In my last article I talked about the new app upload process, but today I am going to talk about how developers write apps in the first place.

For a long time our app developer story in Ubuntu has been quite fragmented. This has been due to a number of reasons:

  • We have not had a single consistent platform that we ask developers to write to. We have traditionally supported GTK, Qt, and anything else that lives in the archive. This not only presents a inconsistent developer experience, but also an inconsistent user experience too.
  • We lacked app design guidelines around how developers should build apps that look consistent on the platform.
  • We didn’t have a single consistent developer portal and support network to provide the support and guidance app developers need to build awesome apps and get them into the platform.
  • We also didn’t have a good answer for writing an app that can work across multiple form factors.
  • Finally, we didn’t have a single consistent SDK that developers could use to write apps: they had to pick from a plethora of tools, with varying degrees of quality.

We tried to rectify some of these issues by recommending people write apps with Python and GTK, and we wrote a tool called Quickly to optimize this process. Quickly would generate a project and help with tasks such as editing, creating your UI, and generating a package, but quickly was a somewhat primitive and incomplete solution to the problem.

The work on Quickly also showcased some limitations in our tooling. At the time we recommended people write apps using GEdit, Glade, and GTK. Unfortunately, this collection of tools just didn’t compare favorably to the developer experience on Apple and Google’s platforms, despite the best efforts of the respective upstreams. We needed to provide an end-to-end SDK for developers that would take a developer from a new project through to submitting the app into the Ubuntu Software Center.

Choosing a Technology

We set out to resolve these issues and build a consistent Ubuntu SDK.

The first decision we made was around which frameworks we wanted to support when developers write their apps. These frameworks needed to be highly efficient and able to converge across multiple devices. We finalized this list as:

  • Qt/QML – native applications that can be run on any of the devices and adapt to the screen size.
  • HTML5 – web applications that can also adapt to the device with deep integration into the system services (e.g. messaging menu, launcher etc).
  • Online Services – integration of web apps into the system services (e.g. messaging menu and unity integration).
  • OpenGL – full OpenGL support for games.

Some time ago we decided to focus on Qt as a platform for not only building our SDK but building our convergence story too. Qt has many benefits:

  • It provides a fast C++ library and toolkit as well as a neat higher-level declarative technology in the form of QML. This means that we have the power of C++ for system software (e.g. writing Unity) but app devs can write apps using a high-performance higher level technology that is easier to learn and faster to write apps with.
  • Qt provides an awesome set of tools – an integrated IDE, debugger, designer and more.
  • The Qt Creator IDE is very pluggable which means we could use it for our main IDE and use it for writing apps in HTML5 and OpenGL.
  • Qt and QML documentation is fantastic.
  • Qt has a strong eco-system surrounding it and lots of companies in that eco-system. This makes contracting out work and hiring much easier.
  • Qt is a healthy upstream and very keen to work with those who consume it.

We also started looking into the best way in which we could support HTML5 developers. While the IDE decision had been made (Qt Creator) we also decided to invest in building Apache Cordova support into our SDK to make writing HTML5 as flexible as possible. This way you can either write a stock HTML5 app or use the cordova functionality…all accessible within the same IDE.

The Ubuntu SDK

We formed the SDK team and started work. This work was broken into two areas.

Firstly, we started work on the app developer platform. This is largely identifying the needs of app developers for writing apps for Ubuntu devices, and ensuring we have support for those needs (which largely requires integrating that support and creating APIs). This has included:

  • Building the Ubuntu Component set – a set of widgets that are usable in QML and HTML5 that developers can use to construct their apps.
  • Application lifecycle (suspending apps to preserve battery life).
  • Location Services.
  • Multimedia and Music.
  • Alarms.
  • Calendar Integration (using Evolution Data Server).
  • Sensor services (e.g. accelerometer).

This work is currently on-going and in various stages of completeness, but all of these platform APIs will be ready by the end of August and many apps are already consuming them. Remember, these services will be made available across all form factors.

The second piece was the SDK itself. This is tuning the Qt Creator IDE for our needs and ensuring it can be used to create QML, HTML5, and OpenGL apps. This work has touched on a number of different areas and has resulted in the following features:

  • We have project templates for QML, HTML5 (Cordova), HTML5 (Stock), and Scopes – here you can easily generate a project to get started with.
  • Source control integration for Bazaar and Git – this makes collaboration around an app easier.
  • Device integration – with just a click of a button you can run your app on an Ubuntu device to test that it works correctly.
  • Click package generation – generate a click package that you can use to upload to the Ubuntu Software Center.
  • Ubuntu Component Showcase – browse all the different Ubuntu components and see the code for how to use them.
  • Integrated documentation, IRC, design guidelines, and Ask Ubuntu support.

We rolled all of these features into the first Beta of the SDK which was released about a month ago and you can get started with it on

Speaking of, we have invested significantly in making the site a central resource for all of your development needs.

Currently the site provides tutorials for building apps, API documentation, and a cookbook that brings together the top rated questions from Ask Ubuntu. The site provides a good spring-board for getting started.

We are however in the process of making a number of improvements to This will include:

  • Revised site navigation and structure to make it easier to use.
  • Better and more clearly integrated API documentation.
  • Wider API coverage.
  • Cookbooks for all of the different app templates.
  • Full integration of Juju Charm documentation and API.

We are expecting to have many of these improvements in place in the coming weeks.

Are We There yet?

As we stand today we now have a powerful Ubuntu SDK with support for writing convergent apps in Qt/QML, HTML5, OpenGL, and writing Scopes that fit into the dash. You can go to to find out more, install the SDK, and fine tutorials for getting started.

We are only just gettin started though. The 1.0 of the SDK will be released in October and expect to find more refinements, better integration, and more features as we understand the needs of our developers better and expand the platform.

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Onwards and Upwards

As many of you will have seen, unfortunately the Ubuntu Edge campaign did not reach our goal of $32million. The final total reached was $12,812,776. I am hugely proud and thankful to everyone who pledged, supported the campaign, wrote about it, and helped to spread the word.

Some have described us not meeting the goal as a “failure”. I don’t see it that way. Let’s be honest: $32million was always an incredibly ambitious target. We would have liked to have done it for less money, but building a F1 superphone doesn’t come cheap (and remember that the $32million didn’t include any costs for software engineering and project management…Canonical were providing that for free). It was an ambitious target, but disrupting an industry is ambitious in itself, and we gave the crowd-funding campaign our best shot. The story does not end here though.

I am not surprised that we didn’t hit this ambitious $32million target, but I am surprised at what we did achieve. We broke all the crowd-funding records, garnered media attention across CNBC, Engadget, The Independent, TechCrunch, the BBC, T3, Stuff, The Verge, The Guardian, Wired, pandodaily, Fast Company, Forbes, The Telegraph and more. Every single person who put their support into the Ubuntu Edge campaign should be proud of their achievements and we are all thankful for your tremendous and inspiring support.

One thing to be critically clear about is that the Ubuntu convergence story does not end here. We are as voraciously excited and committed to bringing this Free Software convergence story to the world as ever before; our work with OEMs, Carriers, and ISVs continues apace. We have fantastic work going on across all fronts, and we are on track to have a 1.0 release of the Ubuntu Phone platform in October.

What this experience demonstrated to me more than anything was the passion and commitment of the Ubuntu family. We are a global and diverse family all united by a dream of what the future can look like, a future in which powerful, elegant technology is freely available to all, available in the devices people care about and use to learn, create, and live better lives. Our Ubuntu family is what makes us strong, and while we didn’t hit the $32million we saw yet another example of our family coming together as one and the wider industry getting a peek into our world and the technology we have to offer.

Onwards and upwards!

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This article is part of a series of blog posts covering the many different areas of work going on in Ubuntu right now. See the introduction post here that links to all the articles.

In this article I am going to discuss some improvements we making to significantly simply and speed up how app devs get their apps into Ubuntu.

You can think of an Ubuntu system as two layers of software:

  1. The System – the core Operating System includes the system software itself that is required to boot the device, bring up services (e.g. networking/bluetooth/sound), and display the user interface.
  2. The Applications – these are the applications that run on top of the system where you spend most of your time as a user.

When we started working on Ubuntu back in 2004 the system and the applications where closely intermingled. We basically synced the Debian archive with Ubuntu, applied a bunch of patches, and whatever was in the Debian and Ubuntu archives was available as applications.

There were some inherent problems with this approach:

  • To get an app into Ubuntu you need to create a .deb file (a Debian package). Debian packages are really designed to be used by people who build Operating Systems, and not regular app developers.
  • This approach meant that you could write an app with any software toolkit/platform that was in the archive. Unfortunately this results in a really inconsistent end-user experience – we have tried our best to support GTK and Qt apps, but these apps look and work quite differently, and it spreads the development team thinl trying to cater to all tastes.
  • If an app developer wants to get an app into Ubuntu they have to either (a) be an Ubuntu developer with upload access or (b) convince a developer to get their app in. This doesn’t scale.

With these issues we tried to remedy the problem by creating the Application Review Board; a community group who would review packages with a simplified criteria. Unfortunately, despite the best efforts of the ARB, they were never really set up for success due to the technical limitations in the platform.

The primary technical limitation the ARB faced is that the Ubuntu system has traditionally lacked sand-boxing to protect it from naughty applications doing something…well, naughty. This meant that every app they reviewed would need a full code review for every version submitted. So, an app developer could release 1.0 and then release 1.1 a few weeks later and this would require two full code reviews. Not only this, but Debian packages have something called maintainer scripts that can theoretically do anything as root, so the packaging needed checking too.

For a group of volunteers with a growing list of submitted apps the ARB quickly fell behind. This resulted in frustration all around – for the ARB, for app devs, and for those of us working to refine and improve Ubuntu.

The New App Upload Process

So, the previous system had the following primary limitations:

  • Packaging was complicated.
  • No app sandboxing, so apps needed a full code review.
  • Maintainer scripts can do naughty things, so they needed a full review.
  • Apps took a long time to be reviewed due to the technical limitations above.

We started building a new specification for the new process some time ago. My team wrote the initial spec with input from a range of teams, and this has formed the foundation for the work that is reaching maturity now. Let’s cover how it works.

There are three primary pieces to this work, click packages, sand-boxing, and uploading.

Click Packages

Firstly, remember how earlier I mentioned two layers in an Ubuntu system:

  1. The System – the core Operating System includes the system software itself that is required to boot the device, bring up services (e.g. networking/bluetooth/sound), and display the user interface.
  2. The Applications – these are the applications that run on top of the system where you spend most of your time as a user.

The Debian packaging format provides a remarkable range of features that are really designed for the former, for building Operating Systems. For the latter, app devs who simply want to package their code into something that can be loaded by users, we have created a new, simplified format for packages. It is called the click package format.

Click packages are simple to create: when you have your project open in the Ubuntu SDK you can press a button to generate a click package. Done! Click packages also don’t include maintainer scripts: they are simply not needed for the vast majority of apps, so, that already removes a security risk and something that needs reviewing.

A key benefit of click packages also is that they don’t include full dependency resolution. Many of you will be familiar with running apt-get update on your system. Well, this syncs the list of packages from the archive and figures out all the dependencies and how they map out (e.g. knowing that GIMP requires GTK, which in turn requires X). This takes quite some time and doesn’t scale to thousands of packages that getting updated all the time.

With a click package the software simply depends on the Ubuntu SDK. This means we don’t need to worry about all that complex dependency resolution: we know the dependency, the Ubuntu SDK. Additional dependencies can simply be bundled into the package. Also, instead of maintaining a list of packages on the system…they are on a web service. You need a connection to download the package anyway, so why not ask a service which packages are available?


With a simple and efficient package format all set we next have the issue of sand-boxing.

This is more work than you might imagine. The team identified a big list of sand-boxing requirements that were needed for us to be sure an app could be run without a code review. This is not only protecting the system from inappropriate calls, but also handling issues with other components (e.g. sniffing keyboard events in X apps).

Well, the awesome Ubuntu Security Team has been working on full sand-boxing throughout the system and most of this work has been completed. This has also influenced some other design decisions: as an example, Mir (our new display server) is designed to not expose the keyboard event sniffing issue X has faced.

The basic result of this work is that the security team have an app called evil app that does a series of naughty things, and the sand-boxing protects the system from such naughtyness.

With this sand-boxing in place it essentially mitigates the need for a full code review, which was the primary bottleneck previously. This combined with click packages not having maintainer scripts and complex dependency chains makes reviews much easier and more efficient.


The process for uploading an app to Ubuntu is going to remain largely the same as it works generally pretty well. As before you can select a package to upload, set information about the app, add screenshots and more and then it will hit a review queue before it appears to Ubuntu users.

The good news is that because the review only really require a check of permissions, meta-data, and a few other simple bits (thanks to click packages and sand-boxing), the review can be done in under 15 minutes as opposed to multi-day code reviews. This means apps should go in more quickly.

Once your app is in the archive you will be able to search for it across all Ubuntu devices. Currently all apps will be displayed, but we are adding features to only show apps that will work on that device (e.g. only show apps with a phone UI on the phone).

Are We There Yet?

So where do we stand with all this goodness? Fortunately, we are getting close.

The click package format is largely complete and we have tools for creating click packages in the SDK and installing them on a system.

Much of the sand-boxing work has been largely completed, although one caveat is that because we are working on Mir as our new display server, we are not investing in fixing keyboard sniffing in X (which would be a huge amount of work). This means that we won’t release this system on the desktop until Mir is on by default (around 14.10). Our existing system will be in place until then.

The app upload piece is online and largely complete (although going through a series of reviews), and the scope for browsing new click packages is on the mobile images although isn’t quite yet hooked up.

You can see an early video demo of this working below:

Can’t see it? See it here!

Our goal is to have this full system in place for mobile in 13.10, and for desktop in 14.10. This will all make getting apps into Ubuntu quicker, easier, and more rewarding than ever before.

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There is some really awesome work going on right now in Ubuntu, and much of it is fixing and resolving issues and bottlenecks that have been an issue in Ubuntu for many years. Not only are we building an awesome convergence platform and cloud orchestration story, but we are re-building much of the core foundations to make these efforts more successful.

One of the challenges we have with all this great work is that even though everything is out in the open, some folks don’t have a crisp summary of the different pieces. So, I am kicking off a blog series that will summarize many of these different efforts as they stand.

My goal is to provide a overall summary of the work (not a huge wall of text) and when we expect it to be completed. I will regularly update this first post with a link to all the articles as I write them, so folks can point people to this post which will link to them all.


The Articles

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Some time ago we announced Mir; a thin, efficient, multi form-factor display server that will form the foundation of Ubuntu moving forward across desktops, phones, tablets, and TVs.

Our goal has been clear that in Ubuntu 13.10 we will include Mir by default for cards that support it and fall back to X for cards that don’t (primarily those that require proprietary graphics drivers). In 14.04 we will deploy Mir but not provide the X fallback mode, and we are in active discussions with GPU manufacturers for them to support Mir in their drivers.

I wanted to provide an update on the progress we have been making with Mir.

Mir is in Ubuntu 13.10

The Mir team have been working hard to get Mir ready and in the archive ready for Feature Freeze on the 29th August. I am pleased to report that Mir is now available in the Ubuntu 13.10 Saucy archive and available for use.

Now, there are a few caveats here:

  • Multi-monitor support has not fully landed yet, as such you will only see mirrored displays and possibly some bugs. This support should land around the 22nd August. Keep up to date with the blueprint for this feature.
  • Although performance in Mir is very usable, the team are working on composite bypass support that will bring enhanced performance benefits. This should also land around the 22nd August.
  • Mir is naturally still under heavy development, so don’t consider it finished quite yet. ;-) The team will be focusing on bug-fixing and performance optimizations when the primary feature development is completed.

Good progress is being across all fronts with Mir and we are on track for our Ubuntu 13.10 commitment. As part of this work we have also been providing weekly Mir engineering updates as part of our Weekly Ubuntu Update videocast, so you can get a clear weekly idea of current status.

Mir in Ubuntu Touch

With the furious progress being made, we are expecting Mir to land in the daily Ubuntu Touch images in the next week. This means that those of you using Ubuntu Touch on your phones and tablets will have Mir running on your device soon. To get this, simply upgrade as normal.

Test Mir in Ubuntu 13.10 Desktop

Anyone is able to run the development version of Ubuntu 13.10 by installing the latest daily ISO and although Mir isn’t switched on by default yet, it is available you can test it by running:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install mir-demos unity-system-compositor

Now to be clear: if Mir is working you should see no graphical difference from your normal system. Mir exists underneath your desktop environment, so you should just see your desktop as normal.

We are going to be kicking off a series of Mir testing campaigns in the coming weeks, but right now I would like to encourage you folks to install Mir and start your system as normal and test it is running with:

ps ax | grep "unity"

You should see a line with unity-system-compositor listed. If you see this you are running Mir! If you see this and your desktop works as normal, this is considered a success.

If you have a proprietary graphics driver (e.g. some Nvidia/ATI cards) and you run the above command and don’t see a unity-system-compositor entry then the system correctly fell back to X and this is considered a success.

If the system doesn’t display graphics or you see a line with unity-system-compositor and you see significant performance or tearing issues, this is considered a failure.

I created this wiki page to track how Mir works on different graphics cards. Please add your graphics card (if it isn’t already covered) and whether Mir was a success or failure.

If you do have problems with Mir and want to start a normal X server, simply edit /etc/lightdm/lightdm.conf.d/10-unity-system-compositor.conf and comment out the second and third lines:


Now restart LightDM and you are good to go. Uncomment these lines to go back to Mir.

Mir Ecosystem

In the last few weeks we have been having some wonderful discussions with those who are actively interested in utilizing Mir. This has included:

  • Active discussions with the GPU manufacturors. These discussions are under NDA so unfortunately I cannot share more at this time, but the discussions are active and on-going.
  • Working with Xubuntu around testing XMir + Mir for their Ubuntu 13.10 release. The Xubuntu team have been awesome as usual to work with and are currently encouraging their community to test the latest ISO images available here. I would like to encourage Xubuntu folks to update the GPU wiki page I mentioned above as part of your testing.
  • We are working with flavors in general to encourage testing. We also encourage flavors to tag Mir bugs with flavormirbug so they appear in this bug search that the Mir team is using.
  • We have also been working with OEMs and ISVs around their needs with Mir and have had some useful and productive discussions. Again, these discussions have been largely private, but we hope to share more soon.

Overall, Mir is making steady and consistent progress, but we need your help to test. Keep your eyes peeled for a number of testing initiatives moving forward. Thanks!

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A fantastic way of supporting the Ubuntu Edge campaign is to embed the campaign widget into your website. It looks like this:

It is as simple as pasting the following code into your site sidebar/widget/page:

<iframe src=""
    width="224px" height="486px" frameborder="0" scrolling="no"></iframe>


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One week ago today we kicked off the Ubuntu Edge Indigogo Campaign; a campaign to raise $32million using the crowd-funding site Indigogo to build the beautiful Ubuntu Edge device that can run Ubuntu Phone and Android and boot a full Ubuntu desktop running off the phone itself. Be sure to see video describing the device and the software running on it.

This campaign is ambitious, but important for a few reasons: it helps us to produce a limited run of devices perfectly crafted around the Ubuntu convergence vision, but also to utilize crowd-funding as a tool to innovate in an entrenched industry.

Currently we have raised over $7million with over 15,000 funders.

In this post I wanted to summarize the progress we have made in our first week…and what a week it was!

Our first day was a record-setter. We were the fastest project in crowd-funding history to reach $2million and the highest-raised campaign in the history of Indigogo. At around 12 hours in we had already raised 10% of our goal.

As the week progressed a flurry of media attention wrapped around the Ubuntu Edge campaign. We have had coverage on a range of media outlets, including:

We also saw OMG! Ubuntu!, one of the most popular Ubuntu sites online, integrate the Ubuntu Edge campaign into their site, providing an up to date ticker of the amount raised and other features.

We saw extensive coverage of the Ubuntu Edge campaign in video form too. I want to highlight two interesting highlights here. Firstly, Jane Silber, Canonical CEO talked about the campaign on CNBC:

Can’t see it? See it here!

I also strongly recommend you see Marques Brownlee’s video overview of Ubuntu Edge, which provides a fantastic overview of the campaign:

Can’t see it? See it here!

As the week progressed we also saw Mark Shuttleworth, Ubuntu Founder, doing a Reddit AMA that covered a lot of ground (including talking about six years of support for Ubuntu Edge) and answered many questions from those following the campaign.

Victor Palau also demonstrated Ubuntu desktop running on a lower-powered Nexus 4 to demonstrate the convergence technology, and a community member even put together a realistic interactive 3D model of the Ubuntu Edge.

Finally, we announced an awesome referral campaign. Whether you’ve contributed $20 or $2,000, you all have the chance to win something extra special: a personalised Ubuntu Edge phone engraved with your name. You can find the details of the campaign here.

Of course, for this prize to exist the campaign has to hit its target, so be sure to spread the word using every possible medium you have access to. Our goal is to make history, and every one of you can help us write that history and get a historical special-edition customized Ubuntu Edge in the process.

Week Two

Arguably our next milestone in the Ubuntu Edge campaign is to beat the crowd-funding record for the highest amount of money that has ever been raised. This currently stands at a shade over $10million and given that we are already over $7million, we are making good progress towards this goal.

One piece of feedback we have received from many of you is a desire for a lower dollar-amount perk for those who can’t afford to purchase an Ubuntu Edge device but still want to support the campaign. We are currently working on this right now, and look forward to announcing this soon.

So, let’s make the magic happen.

Visit the Ubuntu Edge campaign page

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Ever since we announced the Ubuntu Edge campaign, we have seen a remarkable amount of interest in the campaign. Here are some highlights:

I also strongly recommend you see Marques Brownlee’s video overview of Ubuntu Edge, which provides a fantastic overview of the campaign:

Can’t see it? See it here!

Heading Towards History

The highest amount of money raised in crowd-sourcing history is around $10million and as I write this we are currently at $6.6million.

We have already set records for the fastest ever $2million raised and the highest amount of money ever raised on Indigogo, so let’s smash through the $10million figure and bring Ubuntu forward into crowd-funding history. This campaign is not just about funding the beautiful, powerful, converged Ubuntu Edge and having your phone and desktop in your pocket, but also demonstrating how truly disruptive crowd-funding can be.

Be sure to go and pledge!

The Ubuntu Edge Referral Contest

So many of you have been busy spreading the word (helping us to smash through the $6 million mark already) that to keep that momentum going, we want to give you a special incentive.

Whether you’ve contributed $20 or $2,000, you all have the chance to win something extra special: a personalised Ubuntu Edge phone engraved with your name.

Of course, for this prize to exist the campaign has to hit its target, so be sure to spread the word using every possible medium you have access to. Our goal is to make history, and every one of you can help us write that history and get a historical special-edition customized Ubuntu Edge in the process.

How To Enter

  1. Make sure you’re logged in to Indiegogo.
  2. Get your unique Share This Campaign link from the Ubuntu Edge page (just below the video), and share it via social media, email or any other method you can think of. Click the Embed and Email buttons for simple instructions to add an Ubuntu Edge widget to your website or email signature.
  3. Every time someone clicks your link or widget and then contributes money to the campaign, you’ve made a successful referral.

The Rules

You have one week. The person who drives the most money in referral contributions between now and 4.00pm BST on Friday 2 August will win this great prize. (Prize is conditional on the Ubuntu Edge being fully funded.)

Every extra backer takes us closer to our goal, and by taking part you’ll be playing a vital role in getting the Ubuntu Edge made.

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We are about 12 hours into the Ubuntu Edge Indigogo Campaign and we are about to hit 10% of the full goal.


Be sure to go and support the campaign!

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Last week many of you will have seen the teasers that were shared on As you can imagine, our community, the press, and others picked up on this with rampant curiosity of what was to come. I am delighted to see the news is now out there, and boy, is this exciting.

In a nutshell, today we are kicking off an Indigogo crowdfunding campaign to fund a fully converged device called Ubuntu Edge.

Can’t see the video? See it here!

The Ubuntu Edge will dual boot Ubuntu and Android, and will transform into a PC when docked with a monitor, with the full Ubuntu desktop and shared access to all the phone’s files. For this it needs the power of a PC, so Ubuntu Edge will be equipped with the latest, fastest processor, at least 4GB of RAM and a massive 128GB of storage.

Every week on my weekly Q&A many of you ask when you can buy a fully converged Ubuntu device in which you can use it as a phone and boot a desktop, and here it is. Now is the opportunity to not only buy one, but to contribute to showing your support for an Ubuntu converged device by contributing to the campaign.

The Ubuntu Edge is not only functionally powerful though. This beautifully crafted device replaces the traditional glass screen with a pure Sapphire crystal, so tough it could only be scratched by diamond. It will also pioneer the use of long-life silicon anode battery technology. A special dual-LTE solution will allow high-speed roaming with access to 4G-LTE broadband in both Europe and the US.

I know many of you who are reading this will be interested in the technical specs, which are:

  • Dual-boot Ubuntu Edge into either Ubuntu or Android
  • Becomes a fully integrated Ubuntu desktop PC when docked
  • Fast and powerful device with multi-core CPU and at least 4GB RAM
  • 128GB of storage for photos, music, content
  • 4.5in 1,280 x 720 HD display with pure sapphire crystal screen, the hardest natural substance after diamond
  • Cameras made for low-light, fast response and close up pictures: 8mp rear camera, 2mp front
  • Faster connection all over the world with dual-LTE, dual-band 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4, NFC
  • Connect to HDMI TVs and monitors easily with MHL connector, 3.5mm jack
  • GPS, accelerometer, gyro, proximity sensor, compass, barometer
  • Stereo speakers with HD audio, dual-mic recording, Active Noise Cancellation
  • Silicon-anode Li-Ion battery
  • 64 x 9 x 124mm.

(specifications are subject to change)

All in all this is a beautiful powerhouse for running a fully converged Ubuntu experience – not just a phone, but a phone and your desktop all in one package that looks and feels uniquely Ubuntu.

The Campaign

For the next 30 days our goal is to reach $32 million, an unprecedented amount raised in a crowd-sourcing campaign. Fortunately we have an incredible global community, and we are asking each of you to contribute what you can to the campaign.

The idea is simple: by committing $600 (£394) on day one, or $810 (£532) thereafter, you will receive one of these ground-breaking mobile devices in May 2014. This is the lowest price we can deliver this high-powered hardware specification, range of features, and high-quality build quality. We want to ensure Ubuntu supporters get the very best quality device.

If you can’t quite afford to buy an Ubuntu Edge, you can contribute smaller amounts too, and we also have some additional perks too for those of you who want to contribute more widely to the campaign.

The Day One Deal

I just want to stress that for the very first day (which hopefully you are reading this on), you can pick up the Ubuntu Edge for a special lower price of $600. From Day 2 onwards the price will go up to $810.

This $600 offer runs out on Tuesday 23rd July at 16:00 BST, so be sure to get your order in!

So, head to the Indigogo page and grab an Ubuntu Edge, not only reserving a beautiful, powerful convergent Ubuntu device, but also demonstrating your support for Ubuntu converged devices.

Before I wrap up, we want to be very clear about something: his campaign does not mean Canonical has stopped working with OEMs and carriers to bring Ubuntu to other phones and devices; those discussions are productive and on-going.

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If you are going to be in Portland, Oregon in the next few weeks, I wanted to share some of the things I will be doing. If you want a meeting while I am at the Community Leadership Summit and OSCON, please get in touch and we can coordinate.

Community Leadership Summit 2013

I founded the Community Leadership Summit five years ago and the event has grown to become the primary annual meeting place for community managers, leaders, and those interested in the art and science of community management. I am really proud of how CLS has grown and matured over the years, and many thanks to our wonderful attendees who make it so fantastic.

This year’s event is shaping up to be awesome. We have a fantastic set of registered attendees, a full unconference format, enhanced audio and video facilities, and more.

Many thanks to our wonderful sponsors who have helped to support the event:

  • O’Reilly
  • Liferay
  • Microsoft
  • Adobe
  • Mozilla
  • OpenNMS
  • Google

The event is completely free to attend. read more about how it works and how to get there and see the schedule.


Lots going on at OSCON this year.

To begin with I will be running my first community management training workshop at OSCON on Mon 22nd July. This is a full-day workshop, so be sure to come and join me. Details are here.

Then on Tues 23rd July at 9.00am Jorge and Mark M will be running Service Orchestration In The Cloud With Juju – a full workshop that covers using Juju to deliver production services and how Juju charms work.

Next on Wed 24th July at 9.55am Mark Shuttleworth will be giving his keynote.

Wed 24th July is going to be a busy day for me with the following in my schedule:

See the full OSCON schedule.

We will also have a full Ubuntu booth staffed by many members of Ubuntu Oregon talking about Ubuntu for phones, desktops, and tablets, and Ubuntu for the cloud and our Juju orchestration platform.

I hope to see you there!

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Many of you will be familiar with Juju, the powerful cloud orchestration platform we have been building.

Ubuntu has become the most popular Operating System in the world for cloud deployments, and Juju brings a powerful orchestration platform with over 100 services ready to deploy. It enables you to build entire environments in the cloud with only a few commands on public clouds such as Amazon Web Services and HP Cloud, private clouds built with OpenStack, or raw bare metal via Metal As a Service (MAAS).

If you haven’t seen and tried Juju, I strongly recommend you do so. It makes spinning up a service, relating different components (e.g WordPress and MySQL), and scaling up (such as when you get Slashdotted) quick and easy, but powerful enough for comprehensive production services.

Want to give it a try? Click here to get started.

The Juju Charm Championship

Jorge Castro on my team has been working over the last few years to grow our community of Juju charmers, running charm schools online and offline, coordinating tutorials, education weeks, and working with many different upstreams to help them harness Juju.

Recently we kicked off a particularly fun part of our community growth efforts in the form of the Juju Charm Championship.

The idea is simple:

  1. Charm up the individual services in your infrastructure, make something that is cool and repeatable.
  2. Put it together into a Juju bundle.
  3. Submit your stack.
  4. Win money…with over $30,000 USD in prizes!

That’s right…cold hard cash for building an awesome charm.

Let’s talk more about the cash. There are basically three categories:

  • High Availability – represents a full stack of HA-enabled services to accomplish a task.
  • Data Mining – represents a full stack of data mining and “big data” analysis.
  • Monitoring – represents a full stack of monitoring solutions for existing services.

The winner of each category will win $10,000. It doesn’t stop there though. In addition to these prizes, individual charm maintainers of a reviewed charm in the reviewed section of the Charm Store will receive $200 if their charm is included in a winning template. This can be awarded multiple times, to a maximum total of $3,000 per category.

How To Enter

Entering is simple. Just head to this page to get started, which includes a full FAQ. If you need a tutorial for writing a charm, you can find it here. If you have any further questions feel free to post to the Juju mailing list or ask in #juju on Freenode.

Be sure to get started soon though, the competition closes on 1st October 2013!

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