Canonical Voices

Mark Baker

We are pleased to announce a seriously good addition to the our product team: Ratnadeep (Deep) Bhattacharjee. Deep joins Canonical as Director of Cloud Product Management from VMware where he led its Cloud Infrastructure Platform effort and has a solid understanding of customer needs as they continue to move to virtual and cloud infrastructure.

Ubuntu has fast become the operating system of choice for cloud computing and Ubuntu is the most popular platform for OpenStack. With Deep’s direction, we plan to continue to lead Ubuntu OpenStack into enterprises, carriers and service providers looking for new ways to deliver next generation infrastructure without the ‘enterprise’ price tag and lock in. He will also be key in building out our great integration story with VMWare to help customers who will run heterogeneous environments. Welcome Deep!

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Mark Baker

In April at the OpenStack Summit, Canonical founder Mark Shuttleworth quipped “My OpenStack, how you’ve grown” as a reference to the thousands of people in the room. OpenStack is indeed growing up and it seems incredible that this Friday, we celebrate OpenStacks’ 3rd Birthday.

Incredible – it seems like only yesterday OpenStack was a twinkle in the eyes of a few engineers getting together in Austin. Incredible that OpenStack has come so far in such a short time. Ubuntu has been with OpenStack every day of the 3 year journey so far which is why the majority of OpenStack clouds are built on Ubuntu Server and Ubuntu OpenStack continues to be one of the most popular OpenStack distributions available.

It is also why we are proud to host the London OpenStack 3rd Birthday Party at our HQ in London. We’d love to see you using OpenStack with Ubuntu and even if you don’t, you should come and celebrate OpenStack with on Friday, July 19th.

http://www.meetup.com/Openstack-London/

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Mark Baker

Ubuntu developer contest offers $10,000 for the most innovative charms

Developers around the world are already saving time and money thanks to Juju, and now they have the opportunity to win money too. Today marks the opening of the Juju Charm Championship, in which developers can reap big rewards for getting creative with Juju charms.

If you haven’t met Juju yet, now’s the ideal time to dive in. Juju is a service orchestration tool, a simple way to build entire cloud environments, deploy scale and manage complex workloads using only a few commands. It takes all the knowledge of an application and wraps it up into a re-usable Juju charm, ready to be quickly deployed anywhere. And you can modify and combine charms to create a custom deployment that meets your needs.

Juju is a powerful tool, and its flexibility means it’s capable of things we haven’t even imagined yet. So we’re kicking off the Charm Championship to discover what happens when the best developers bring Juju into their clouds — with big rewards on offer.

The prizes

As well as showing off the best achievements to the community, our panel of judges will award $10,000 cash prizes to the best charmed solutions in a range of categories.

That’s not all. Qualifying participants will be eligible for a joint marketing programme with Canonical, including featured application slots on ubuntu.com,  joint webinars and more. Win the Charm Championship and your app will reach a whole new audience.

Get started today

If you’re a Juju wizard, we want to see what magic you’re already creating. If you’re not, now’s a great time to start — it only takes five minutes to get going with Juju.

The Charm Championship runs until 1 October 2013, and it’s open to individuals, teams, companies and organisations. For more details and full com

petition rules, visit the Charm Championship page.

Charm Championship page

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Mark Baker

“May you live in interesting times.” This Chinese proverb probably resonates well with teams running OpenStack in production over the last 18 months. But, at the OpenStack Summit in Portland, Ubuntu and Canonical founder Mark Shuttleworth demonstrated that life is going to get much less ‘interesting’ for people running OpenStack and that is a good thing.

OpenStack has come a long way in a short time. The OpenStack Summit event in April attracted 3000 attendees with pretty much every significant technology company represented.

Only 12 months ago, being able to install OpenStack in under a few hours was deemed to be an extraordinary feat. Since then deployment tools such as Juju have simplified the process and today very large companies such as AT&T, HP and Deutsche Telekom have been able to rapidly push OpenStack Clouds into production. This means the community has had to look into solving the next wave of problems – managing the cloud in production, upgrading OpenStack, upgrading the underlying infrastructure and applying security fixes – all without disrupting services running in the cloud.

With the majority of OpenStack clouds running on Ubuntu, Canonical has been uniquely positioned to work on this. We have spent 18 months building out Juju and Landscape, our service orchestration and systems management tools to solve these problems, and at the Summit, Mark Shuttleworth demonstrated just how far they have come. During a 30 min session, Mark performed kernel upgrades on a live running system without service interruption. He talked about the integrations and partnerships in place with VMWare, Microsoft and Inktank that mean these technologies can be incorporated into an OpenStack Cloud on Ubuntu with ease. This is is the kind of practicality that OpenStack users need and represents how OpenStack is growing up. It also makes OpenStack less “interesting” and far more adoptable by a typical user which is what OpenStack needs in order to continue its incredible growth. We at Canonical aim to be with it every step of the way.

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Mark Baker

If you are interested in either OpenStack or MySQL (or both) then you need to know about 2 meetups running the evening of May 23rd in London.

The London OpenStack meetup.

This is the 3rd meeting to take place and promises to be a good one with 3 talks planned so far:

* Software defined networking and OpenStack – VMWare Nicera’s Andrew Kennedy
* OpenStack Summit Overview – Rackspace’s Kevin Jackson
* An introduction to the Heat API – Red Hat’s Steven Hardy

For a 4th talk we are looking at a customer example – watch this space.

To come along please register at:

http://www.meetup.com/Openstack-London/

The MySQL Meetup.

This group hasn’t met for quite some time but MySQL remains as popular as ever and new developments with MariaDB mean the group has plenty to catch up on. There 2 talks planned so far:

* HP’s database as a service – HP’s Andrew Hutching

* ‘Whatever he wants to talk about’ – MySQL and MariaDB founder Monty Widenius.

 

With David Axmark also in attendance it could be one of the most significant MySQL meetings in London ever. Not one to miss if you are interested in MySQL, MariaDB or related technologies

MySQL meetups are managed in Facebook – please register to attend here:

http://www.meetup.com/The-London-MySQL-Meetup-Group/events/110243482/

 

Of course given the events are running in rooms next to each other you are welcome to register for both and switch between them based on the schedule. We hope to see you there!

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anthony-c-beckley

From our Cloud partner Inktank…

Today marks another milestone for Ceph with the release of Cuttlefish (v0.61), the third stable release of Ceph. Inktank’s development efforts for the Cuttlefish release have been focused around Red Hat support and making it easier to install and configure Ceph while improving the operational ease of integrating with 3rdparty tools, such as provisioning and billing systems. As ever, there have also been a ton of new features we have added to the object and block capabilities of Ceph, as well as with the underlying storage cluster (RADOS), alongside some great contributions from the community.

So what’s new for Ceph users in Cuttlefish?

Ease of installation:

  • Ceph-deploy: a new deployment tool which requires no other tools and allows a user to start running a multi-node Ceph cluster in minutes. Ideal for users who want to do quick proof of concepts with Ceph.
  • Chef recipes: a new set of reference Chef recipes for deploying a Ceph storage cluster, which Inktank will keep authoritative as new features emerge in Ceph. These are in addition to the Puppet scripts contributed by eNovance and Bloomberg, the Crowbar Barclamps developed with Dell, and the Juju charms produced in conjunction by Canonical, ensuring customers can install Ceph using most popular tools.
  • Fully tested RPM packages for Red Hat Enterprise Linux and derivatives, available on both the ceph.com repo and in EPEL (Extra Packages for Enterprise Linux).

Administrative functionality:

  • Admins can now create, delete or modify users and their access keys as well as manipulate and audit users’ bucket and object data using the RESTful API of the Ceph Object Gateway. This makes it easy to hook Ceph into provisioning or billing systems.
  • Administrators can now quickly and easily set a quota for a RADOS pool. This helps with capacity planning management as well as preventing specific Ceph clients from consuming all available data at the expense of other users.
  • In addition, to the pool quotas, administrators can now quickly see the total used and available capacity of a cluster using the ceph df command, very similar to how the generic UNIX df command works with other local file systems.

Ceph Block Device (RBD) Incremental Snapshots

It is now possible to just take a snapshot of the recent changes to a Ceph block image. Not only does this reduce the amount of space needed to store snapshots on a cluster, but forms the foundation for delivering disaster recovery options for volumes, as part of the popular cloud platforms such as OpenStack and CloudStack.

You can see the complete list of features in the release notes are available at  http://ceph.com/docs/master/release-notes/. You can also check out our roadmap page for more information on what’s coming up in future releases of Ceph. If you would like to contribute towards Ceph, you can visit Ceph.com for more information on how you can get started and we invite you to join our online Ceph Development Summit on Tuesday May 7th, more details available at http://wiki.ceph.com.

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Paul Oh

The emergence of public cloud computing has changed the IT landscape for developers and enterprises, making it significantly easier and more cost effective to develop and deploy new applications, services and infrastructure. Enterprises can choose among cloud providers to meet their needs for performance, features, price and flexibility that will support their technology strategy today as well as in the future.

Today, Microsoft Corp. has announced the general availability of Windows Azure Infrastructure Services, its public cloud offering with the ability to create and manage both Windows and Linux virtual machines. As part of Canonical’s Certified Public Cloud Program, Ubuntu on Windows Azure is fully certified and has been tested and optimized by Canonical and Microsoft for excellent performance and reliability. Enterprises that require both Windows and Linux can choose the right operating system for running their workloads based on application performance and availability.

Canonical and Microsoft have been working together to make Ubuntu run seamlessly on Windows Azure. As Bob Kelly, Corporate Vice President, Server and Tools Business at Microsoft commented:

“Windows Azure is committed to openness and interoperability. Having Ubuntu available to Windows Azure users is a big step forward for interoperability in the public cloud. Our customers can deploy mission critical applications on both Windows Server and Linux and across both public and private clouds.”

Ubuntu Server is highly available, secure, built for scale and provides the tools that simplify and reduce the cost of cloud deployments. So, for enterprises looking to deploy demanding cloud oriented workloads such as Hadoop, Cassandra and other scale out type applications,  Ubuntu on Windows Azure will be a familiar and well suited offering that provides maximum deployment flexibility. This includes hybrid clouds where applications and data can remain behind the company firewall for security or compliance reasons, and that are able to access public cloud resources on demand.  As the leading guest OS in most major public clouds, Ubuntu can be deployed across multiple public clouds at scale for pricing and redundancy benefits as well as avoiding lock-in to a single cloud provider.

At Canonical, we invest in the Ubuntu experience to provide the most complete combination of performance, update handling, compliance and reliability in the market. We also extend our commercial offerings of support, systems management, audit compliance and IP assurance to commercial customers using Ubuntu on certified public clouds.

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David Duffey

Today we announced a collaborative support and engineering agreement with Dell.  As part of this agreement Canonical will add Dell 11G & 12G PowerEdge models to the Ubuntu Server 12.04 LTS Certification List and Dell will add Ubuntu Server to its Linux OS Support Matrix.

In May 2012, Dell launched the OpenStack Cloud Reference Architecture using Ubuntu 12.04 LTS on select PowerEdge-C series servers. Today’s announcement expands upon that offering by combining the benefits of Ubuntu Server Certification, Ubuntu Advantage enterprise support, and Dell Hardware ProSupport across the PowerEdge line.

Dell customers can now deploy with confidence when purchasing Dell PowerEdge servers with Dell Hardware ProSupport and Ubuntu Advantage.  When these customers call into Dell, their service tag numbers will be entitled with ProSupport and Ubuntu Advantage, which will create a seamless support experience via the collaborative Dell and Canonical support and engineering relationship.

In preparation for this announcement, Canonical engineers worked with Dell to enable and validate Ubuntu Server running on Dell PowerEdge Servers.  This work resulted in improved Ubuntu Server on Dell PowerEdge support for PCIe SSD (solid state drives), 4K-block drives, EFI booting, Web Services Management, consistent network device naming, and PERC (PowerEdge RAID Controllers).

Dell hardware systems management can be done out-of-band via ipmi, iDRAC, and the Lifecycle Controller.  Dell OMSA Ubuntu packages are also available but it is recommended to use the supported out-of-band systems management tools.  Dell TechCenter is a good resource for additional technical information about running Ubuntu Server on Dell PowerEdge servers.

If you are interested in purchasing Ubuntu Advantage for your Dell PowerEdge servers, please contact the Dell Solutions team at Canonical.  If your business is already using or thinking about using a supported Ubuntu Server infrastructure in your data-center then be sure to fill out the annual Ubuntu Server and Cloud Survey to provide additional feedback.

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login.ubuntu.com-id-hY4GFhr

Ubuntu Phone OS integrates with Orange and Deutsche Telekom in GSMA OneAPI initiative

Mobile World Congress kicks off today and we’re gearing up to show off Ubuntu running on multiple devices. We’ll be demonstrating phones, tablets and desktops at the stand, have Ubuntu developers flashing spare hardware, as well as be showing integration and interoperability with Orange and Deutsche Telekom through the GSMA’s One API initiative.

GSMA’s OneAPI initiative aims to provide application programming interfaces (APIs) that enable applications to exploit mobile network capabilities, such as messaging, authentication, payments and location-finding with a cross-operator reach. For example, a payment network API could be used to add an in-app purchase directly to the user’s mobile phone bill.

Ubuntu is the first smartphone operating system to be able to demonstrate integration and interoperability with a carrier’s authentication and billing systems. Working with Deutsche Telekom and Orange, we’ll show how a single API can be used to instantly log users in with their operator identity and seamlessly link that with Ubuntu One, Ubuntu’s identity and payments services, and provide carrier billing options upon purchase of music and eventually, apps.

This is a massive step forward for the industry as the GSMA and partners such as Canonical, are spearheading an initiative to standardise access to operator facilities via network APIs across all operators. The initiative will benefit operators, developers and consumers:

  • It puts operators in a position to forge stronger relationships with their customers.
  • For developers, OneAPI reduces the time and effort needed to create applications for and content that is portable across mobile operators, increasing reach and ultimately enhancing the consumer experience.
  • For consumers, it makes it really quick and easy to make application purchases directly from their phone. It’s also more secure because it’s not necessary to input credit card details for each purchase.

Also at Mobile World Congress:

  • Mark Shuttleworth, founder of Ubuntu, will participate in a keynote panel discussion alongside Mozilla and Tizen on Tuesday 26th Feb at 18.00 at the MWC Conference Auditorium and broadcast live on Mobile World Live
  • We’ll be taking part in the App Developer Day on Tuesday 26th Feb. Stuart Langridge, technical architect at Canonical will be presenting the Ubuntu phone, SDK, HTML5 and native apps as well as discussing app development for Ubuntu on phones and tablets. We’ll also have engineers available at the event to flash spare handsets with Touch Developer Preview of Ubuntu. This will take place from 9.00-9.30 and 11.40-11.55, and 13.30-14.00 in Hall 8.0, Theatre A.
  • The GSMA Seminar on “Unlocking Value with Network APIs” will run on Thursday 28th from 9am to 10.30 am in Room CC1.1. Canonical’s Stuart Langridge will present and demo the Ubuntu Phone during the session. We’ll also be demonstrating Ubuntu’s OneAPI solution at the GSMA stand daily.
  • Look out for Ubuntu engineers who will flash spare hardware with developer images for phone and tablet throughout the show close to the Ubuntu stand.

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Steve George

Dell announced today an updated XPS 13, preloaded with Ubuntu, which has a full high-definition 1080p display. It will be available for sale in the USA  and Canada, but as part of this update Dell will also be making it available in parts of Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

 

As we reported in November, the Dell XPS 13 is a high-end ultramobile laptop, offering developers a complete client-to-cloud experience. It is the result of Dell’s bold Sputnik initiative which embraced the community and received terrific response from developers around the world.  With Ubuntu 12.04 LTS preloaded, the machine is perfect for developers and anyone who wants high speed, brilliant graphics and smart design.

If you’re keen to get your hands on a new Dell XPS 13 Developer Edition with Ubuntu pre-loaded, check-out our web page for more details and links:

  http://www.ubuntu.com/partners/dell/dellxps

We’ll post more links allowing you to buy in additional countries as soon as we can.

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David Pitkin

Starting today, users can install the Steam Client with a few simple clicks in our Software Center, the fastest and safest way to install thousands of paid and free applications on Ubuntu. Canonical and Valve have worked closely together to make Ubuntu the best performing open platform for gaming and now the ultimate entertainment platform is fully supported.

To celebrate this release Steam has every Ubuntu title on sale for 50-75% off until Thursday, 21 February at 10:00am US Pacific time in what is the first of many Steam sales. Steam also brings with it some amazing Valve titles on Ubuntu, Half-Life, Counter-Strike and the free to play Team Fortress 2. As a launch giveaway and for the hardcore gamers who need every item in Team Fortress, for a limited time when you play Team Fortress 2 on Ubuntu you will get a Tux penguin item to keep or trade.

We welcome all the new Steam users who can now upgrade to Ubuntu. Steam Big Picture running on your Ubuntu computer connected to the living room TV is a great way to experience the future today. Canonical looks forward to the steady progress of games from all our partners on Ubuntu on the desktop and soon on the Ubuntu phone and tablet in due course.

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anthony-c-beckley

We are exhibiting at this year’s CeBIT event on March 5-9th, 2013 in Hannover Germany, in conjunction with our partner in the region, Teuto.net and we’re giving away number of free tickets to selected customers and partners. If you are interested in one of these tickets, please contact me at anthony.beckley@canonical.com for more information.

The Canonical/Teuto.net stand will be in the Open Source Arena (Hall 6, Stand F16, (030) and we will be showcasing two enterprise technology areas:

  • The Ubuntu Cloud Stack – demonstrating end user access to applications via an OpenStack cloud, powered by Ubuntu,
  • Ubuntu Landscape Systems Management – demonstrating ease of management of desktop, server and cloud nodes.

We will be running hourly demonstrations on our stand and attendees have the chance to win a Google Nexus 7 tablet! Simply come to out stand and watch a short demo or your chance to win If you would like to pre-register for a demonstration, email me at anthony.beckley@canonical.com

We look forward to seeing you at the show!

CeBIT draws a live audience of more than 3,000 people from over 100 different countries. In just five days the show delivers a panoramic view of the digital world’s mainstay markets: ICT and Telecommunications, Digital Media also Consumer Electronics.
To learn more about CeBIT click here.

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Jane Silber

Today’s inauguration of Barack Obama to his second term provides a good opportunity to look back at last year’s campaign and appreciate it in a bit more detail. We’ll skip discussion of the adverts, polls, photo ops, sound bites, political theatre and even the much appreciated informed debate on the issues, and focus instead on the interesting stuff – the IT infrastructure that powers something as dynamic as a presidential campaign. You can imagine the demands placed on such an infrastructure – scalability, reliability, cost effectiveness, manageability, openness, cloud. Once you have those requirements in mind, the clear choice for meeting those demands is Ubuntu. And so it’s no surprise that the Obama campaign reached the same conclusion.  We recently spoke with Harper Reed, the CTO of the Obama campaign, about the challenges he faced and solutions he and his team put in place during the campaign. We’ve published that piece in honour of today’s inauguration; you can find it on our new Insights blog.

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Jane Silber

Today we’re announcing our latest and, in my opinion, our most important ever product: Ubuntu is coming to the phone.

 

When we began developing Unity a few years ago, the aim was to create a single family of interfaces that work the same way on different devices. This means that unlike most of our rivals, we are able to use a single underlying OS across all the devices which people use, be they PCs, phones or any other device.

 

With the arrival of Ubuntu on smartphones, we can reveal the extent to which that work has paid off. It’s not just that it boasts a beautiful phone interface (which it does). What is remarkable about the Ubuntu phone interface is the extent to which it is instantly recognisable as Ubuntu in terms of how everything looks and works, yet it is perfectly designed for its form factor. Ubuntu makes finding and switching between apps and content easier than any other mobile OS I’ve ever used.

 

This focus on usability has always been a driving principle of the Ubuntu project, and it’s wonderful to seeing our multi-platform vision in action. But there’s another way in which Ubuntu changes the game – and that’s in the way that apps are developed.

 

We introduced the concept of installable web apps in the 12.10 desktop release, last October. But they really come into their own on the phone. Developers can re-purpose web applications for the phone, using the very same web app API, or they can adapt HTML5 apps they’ve already written for other mobile platforms. Both require minimum effort, which should ensure that we have plenty of new apps coming to the platform in the coming months. It’s the development of native apps, however, where things really get interesting.

 

By using the new QML-based Ubuntu SDK, it’s possible to develop a native app in such a way that makes it available for both the desktop and the phone – not to mention any further form factors we address in the future. As long as you create the right interfaces, you can deliver an app for all Ubuntu form factors, but build once and upload once to the same single store, the Ubuntu Software Centre. It’s this point that I hope really enthuses the developers in the Ubuntu community – not to mention all those developers around the world who work on the web or in mobile and who already use Ubuntu on their desktops.

 

Ubuntu phones aren’t yet available for purchase, but we are ready to start working with partners with an aim to releasing phones before the end of 2013. You can see Ubuntu for phones demonstrated at the Ubuntu booth at CES next week and we’ll be showing it again at MWC in Barcelona in February. We’ve got more interesting things to come in the first half of the year but, for the time being at least, my lips are sealed. So watch this space.

 

You can learn more about Ubuntu on phones at ubuntu.com/devices/phone

To start developing your first Ubuntu mobile app, go to developer.ubuntu.com/phone

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David Pitkin

The Humble Indie Bundle 7 is in the Ubuntu Software Center and just in time for some holiday gaming. The masterful indie games coming to Ubuntu this time are Closure, Shank 2, Snapshot and Legend of Grimrock.

These games debut in Ubuntu thanks to the Humble Indie Bundle 7 which is our favorite cross platform, pay-what-you-want, DRM-free bundle that also includes donations to great charities. Game delivery on Ubuntu with the bundle is powered by the Ubuntu Software Center which brings easy installs that are kept up to date with all of Ubuntu just like all of the other thousands of apps available. Enjoy this latest bundle, we will.

The Humble Indie Bundle 7

If you are curious about the current indie gaming trend, this bundle is for you because it includes the award winning documentary Indie Game: The Movie no matter what you pay.

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Mark Baker

As clouds for IT infrastructure become commonplace, admins and devops need quick, easy ways of deploying and orchestrating cloud services.  As we mentioned in October, Ubuntu now has a GUI for Juju, the service orchestration tool for server and cloud. In this post we wanted to expand a bit more on how Juju makes it even easier to visualise and keep track of complex cloud environments.

Juju provides the ability to rapidly deploy cloud services on OpenStack, HP Cloud, AWS and other platforms using a library of 100 ‘charms’ which cover applications from node.js to Hadoop. Juju GUI makes the Juju command line interface even easier, giving the ability to deploy, manage and track progress visually as your cloud grows (or shrinks).

Juju GUI is easy and totally intuitive.  To start, you simply search for the service you want on the Juju GUI charm search bar (top right on the screen).  In this case I want to deploy WordPress to host my blog site.  I have the chance to alter the WordPress settings, and with a few clicks the service is ready.  Its displayed as an icon on the GUI.

I then want a mysql service to go alongside.  Again I search for the charm, set the parameter (or accept the defaults) and away we go.

Its even easier to build the relations between these services by point and click. Juju knows that the relationship needs a suitable database link.

I can expose WordPress to users by setting expose flag  - at the bottom of a settings screen – to on. To scale up WordPress I can add more units, creating identical copies of the WordPress deployment, including any relationships.  I have selected ten in total, and this shows in the center of the wordpress icon.

And thats it.

For a simple cloud, Juju or other tools might be sufficient.  But as your cloud grows, Juju GUI will be a wonderful way not only to provision and orchestrate services, but more importantly to validate and check that you have the correct links and relationships.  Its an ideal way to replicate and scale cloud services as you need.

For more details of Juju, go to juju.ubuntu.com.  To try Juju GUI for yourself, go to http://uistage.jujucharms.com:8080/

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Cristian Parrino

The Ubuntu 12.10 release saw the Dash take another important step towards fulfilling its intended purpose of being an online, global search tool that helps users find anything, instantly, right from their home environment. There are a number of exciting improvements planned for 13.04 that will make the Dash more comprehensive, more online and as a result – slicker and even more useful. Here’s a snapshot of what is likely to land in the next release:

Smart Scopes – Scopes are the daemons capable of presenting local or remote information right in the Dash. In 13.04, we will increase the number of scopes installed by default in Ubuntu (including many existing community developed scopes) and introduce the ability to automatically light up the right ones based on their relevancy to a user’s search query. For example, a search for “The Beatles” is likely to trigger the Music and Video scopes, showing results that will contain local and online sources – with the online sources querying your personal cloud as well as other free and commercial sources like YouTube, Last.fm, Amazon, etc. To achieve this, the Dash will call a new smart scope service which will return ranked online search results, which the Dash will then balance against local results to return the most relevant information to the user. Scopes are becoming a really interesting contribution area for our developer community – and we can’t wait to see what people will submit to make the Dash an even richer experience.

Instant Purchasing – being able to purchase music or apps directly from the Dash, without opening a browser or a separate client. In 13.04, we expect to enable instant payments, powered by Ubuntu One, for both applications from the Software Center and music from the Music Store – to deliver the fastest possible purchasing experience directly from the Dash.

More Suggestions and User Controls – the More Suggestions scope, which currently returns relevant commercial content available from the Ubuntu One Music Store and Amazon, will expand to include more retailers. We are also testing a few additional user controls like filters for local and global searching – more to come on this front as we learn from those sessions. In the meantime, users can already focus a search to local files only with a simple super-f keystroke.

There are several principles around the Dash that are also worth reiterating:

Its raison d’etre is to provide Ubuntu users the fastest, slickest way to find things right from their home environment – independent of whether those “things” are on your machine, available online, free or commercial.  The music and video lenses in the Dash have queried online sources since their introduction, and we will continue to expand our online sources over the next releases. Our testing has overwhelmingly shown that this integrated and unified search feature is the best experience for the vast majority of users – and the best user experience will always be included as a default on Ubuntu.

 
Privacy is extremely important to Canonical. The data we collect is not user-identifiable (we automatically anonymize user logs and that information is never available to the teams delivering services to end users), we make users aware of what data will be collected and which third party services will be queried through a notice right in the Dash, and we only collect data that allows us to deliver a great search experience to Ubuntu users.  We also recognize that there is always a minority of users who prefer complete data protection, often choosing to avoid services like Google, Facebook or Twitter for those reasons – and for those users, we have made it dead easy to switch the online search tools off with a simple toggle in settings.

Onwards and upwards.

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Mark Murphy

Ubuntu has long been a favourite with developers – especially in the worlds of web and cloud development. We’re excited that, from today, serious (and not-so-serious) developers will be able to get their hands on the super-sleek Dell XPS 13 Developer Edition, preloaded with and fully optimised for Ubuntu.

The Dell XPS 13 is a top spec, high-end ultramobile laptop, offering developers a complete client-to-cloud experience. It is the result of the Dell’s bold Sputnik initiative, which embraced the community and received terrific response from developers around the world. The community has spoken – and they said, “give us power, give us storage, give us a really ‘meaty’ machine – that also looks GREAT. And Dell has delivered.

The XPS 13 with Ubuntu allows developers to create ??microclouds? on the local drive, simulating a proper, at-scale environment, before deploying seamlessly to the cloud using Juju, Ubuntu’s service orchestration tool. That’s something you simply can’t do with a standard installation of any other OS.

With Juju now supporting 103 charms and counting, it covers the world’s most popular open source cloud services, all from the Ubuntu desktop.

I’d like to call out the drive and energy of Barton George and Michael Cote at Dell for making the XPS 13 launch possible. And of course, the team within Canonical for the fine tuning of this great product (mine ‘cold’ boots to desktop in under 11 seconds!) I’d also like to call out the dev community for their incredible support, helping us getting this from drawing board to factory ship – get buying!

Combining Ubuntu with the power of Dell hardware gives developers the perfect environment for productive software development, whatever their sector. The Dell XPS 13 Developer Edition is available from http://www.dell.com/us/soho/p/xps-13-linux/pd in America and Canada today.

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John Pugh

The Unity cross-platform development tool version 4 has been released from beta into the growing world of Ubuntu game development. Every Unity developer is now only a few clicks away from publishing in the Ubuntu Software Center with Unity 4.0’s new Linux Deployment Preview. You can download a 30-day preview of all the Pro features, Linux export will always be in the free version.

Cubemen and Rochard are two examples of games built using the Unity game engine and available today through the Ubuntu Software Center. Millions of Unity developers now have the ability to easily deploy games to the most exciting open platform, Ubuntu.

If you just upgraded to Unity 4.0 or are starting out, load up your game, open the Build Settings, and choose the target “Linux” under PC, Mac, Linux Standalone. Then visit the Ubuntu MyApps developer portal, create your new account, and upload.

You say you are not using Unity 4.0 to build your applications? Geez…go get your free download today and get coding!

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Sonia Ouarti

You have critical decisions ahead as you take your first steps into cloud computing.

One of them will be whether to build a private cloud infrastructure in your own data centre, make use of one of the public cloud services offered by vendors like Amazon, Rackspace and HP, or combine the two in a ‘hybrid cloud’ approach.

You can get closer to the right decision by considering the right questions now:

  • Budget - How much do you have (or how much don’t you have) to support your cloud strategy?
  • Speed - When do you need this done? Tomorrow, next year, yesterday…
  • Demand - How many users will you need to support? And will they call come at once?
  • Resources - What kind of resources do you have in-house? And how many can you realistically get your hands on?
  • Privacy -How sensitive is your data? Where are you doing business?

This short, sharp checklist takes you through the process that points you in the right direction and ensures your investments pay off from the start. Download it today.

 

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