Canonical Voices

Posts tagged with 'canonical'

John Pugh

Chronic Logic’s award winning game, Bridge Construction Set, is officially for sale in the Ubuntu Software Center. In Bridge Construction Set you build a bridge that hopefully does not break, however having a train plunge into the depths below may be fun for some!

You must use your physics knowledge to build a bridge then test your skills by running a test vehicle over the bridge. If it makes it across you know you have constructed a good bridge. With 40 unique levels one can build suspension bridges, draw bridges, and others with many different types of materials. Bridge Construction Set allows you to test your creation with 15 different test vehicles.

Check out the Bridge Construction Set trailer:

Now go buy it from the Software Center today!

Have a game or application you want to host on Ubuntu? Head over to the Developer pages to see how to add your creation! Contact John Pugh (john dot pugh at canonical dot com) for details on selling your application on the Ubuntu Software Center.

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John Bernard

Next week, Canonical will present an executive briefing on developments in Ubuntu Desktop, Cloud and Server. Christopher Kenyon, Canonical EVP, will be sharing developments in Ubuntu, including:

  • Introducing Ubuntu 11.04 with critically acclaimed interfaces and developer APIs
  • How phone manufacturers are delivering converged devices like the Motorola Atrix with Ubuntu
  • What Ubuntu Core means for the home, automotive and device industry
  • Ubuntu Cloud – why an open cloud matching Amazon Web Services APIs is changing the industry

The Ubuntu Showcase will take place at Room 201A (2nd Floor), in the Taipei International Convention Center on May 31st, from 3:00 – 4:30.

Agenda :

  • 3:00 – Welcome and demos
  • 3:30 – Executive briefing
  • 4:00 – Demos and refreshments

Key members of the Canonical team will also be on hand to answer questions.

Please contact john.bernard@canonical.com now to secure your place.

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John Bernard

Canonical can give details of more machines coming online from Lenovo in the Chinese consumer market.

There are now over 30 Lenovo ThinkPads certified with Ubuntu, with many of these being completed in the first half of 2011. The great work with Lenovo continues. .

Click here to access the link for the latest certified hardware.

The ThinkPads, pre-installed with Ubuntu 10.10 on Intel and AMD processors are available to purchase today in China. The model list includes the Lenovo ThinkPad Edge 14, the latest consumer and small business-oriented ThinkPad from Lenovo.

Having hardware certified through Canonical provides consumers and corporate user the assurance of a high-quality, user-friendly, maintainable operating system on every device. The key benefits of combining Ubuntu with Lenovo Thinkpads is the hassle free operation and a fast reliable performance.

See Lenovo’s link for Linux certified hardware online here. You can currently purchase a device in China from a Lenovo store directly or online from 360buy.com.

Contact oem@canonical.com to find out more about certifying and pre-installing devices with Ubuntu.

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Gerry Carr

One of the benefits of the direction that’s been taken with the next release of Ubuntu is that there is no longer a need for a separate netbook edition. The introduction of the new shell for Ubuntu means that we have a user interface that works equally well whatever the form factor of the PC. And the underlying technology works on a range of architectures including those common in netbook, notebooks, desktops or whatever you choose to run it on. Hence the need for a separate version for netbooks is removed.

To be clear, this is the opposite of us withdrawing from the netbook market. In fact looking at the download figures on ubuntu.com interest in netbooks is not only thriving but booming. It’s us recognising that the market has moved on and celebrating that separate images are no longer a requirement as the much anticipated convergence of devices moves closer.

A return to the Ubuntu name

Which actually got us thinking about our naming conventions in totality. ‘Ubuntu Desktop Edition’ arose in 2005 as a response to the launch of Ubuntu Server Edition and our desire to distinguish between the two. But desktops are no longer the pre-eminent client platform. And actually naming the the ‘edition’ after any target technology is going to have us chasing the trend. Also we were tying ourselves to some ungainly product titles – Ubuntu 10.04 LTS Server Edition for instance. User feedback also told us that people thought the edition was not for them as they had a laptop and spent time looking for a ‘Laptop Edition’.

So we are going back to our roots. From 11.04 the core product that you run on your PC will be simply, Ubuntu. Therefore the next release will be Ubuntu 11.04 and you can run that, my friend, on anything you like from a netbook to a notebook to a desktop. Ubuntu Server will be maintained as a separate product of course and named simply, Ubuntu Server 11.04.

We think this will make things simpler. When we mean Ubuntu for notebooks we will say just that rather than the more confusing, ‘Ubuntu Desktop Edition for notebooks’. We are retaining the concept of ‘remixes’ for community projects and the naming convention therein. And we would love to hear what you think.

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Gerry Carr

One of the most exciting things about the Ubuntu 10.10 release has been the delivery of the Unity ‘shell’ in Ubuntu Netbook Edition. For the uninitiated,  this delivers a very different user experience to that in the main desktop edition. For a start the icons of the most popular applications are permanently featured on the left-hand side of the screen. This borrows more from the smartphone interfaces but is adapted for use on, in this case, netbooks. So there remains a workspace where users still have sufficient room to watch video, edit photos, create documents, play games, read the web, write emails – all of the usual tasks we use a computer for, day to day.

Everything is optimised however for the more limited screen space. It is sub-optimal for instance to simply port an interface from the full-screen world, shrink it and expect it to be a great experience. Unity does away with the bottom bar for example that Windows, Ubuntu and Mac users will be used to. This is actually a radical step, but in my experience at least, it takes no time at all to forget that there ever was a bottom bar. The result is considerably more ‘vertical space’ for to use  – again maximising the useful area on limited screen sizes.

One of the coolest things though is one that will be experienced by the fewest people at this point – touch. Unity is fully touch-enabled – those big icons are screaming out to have a digit poked at them. But as ever, the boys in the lab, or in this case Duncan McGregor‘s  multi-touch team have gone a step further and created a multi-touch ‘gesture’ library. This allows finger combinations to do groovy things like expand and reduce windows, pull up multiple windows in one workspace, and call up the ‘dash’ automatically. These are in 10.10. In 11.04 we will see a lot more.

Because there are a very limited number of touch-enabled devices out there at present, we thought we would create a video to show some of the features. You can see it below. It has turned out rather nicely even with the clumsy paws.

Gerry Carr, Platform Marketing, Canonical

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Cezzaine Haigh

With only three days until Ubuntu 10.10 (a.k.a Maverick Meerkat) is released and available to the world, it seems quite possible that Ubuntu’s 10.04 LTS (a.k.a Lucid Lynx) distribution will seem like a thing of the past.

If we cast our minds back, to about 6 months ago, we recall that one of the features of the Ubuntu 10.04 LTS Desktop Edition was the addition of the Ubuntu One Music store. Music from the world’s largest labels and most popular artists can be bought directly from the Ubuntu One Music Store and stored in Ubuntu One (your ‘personal cloud’).

Around the same time, Canonical announced that they would donate a percentage of sales (for songs) from the Ubuntu One Music Store, as well as from sales of the Lynx plushie toys available on the Ubuntu shop (to a maximum of US$1004) to the SOS Lynx charity in Portugal, to help save the Iberian Lynx. So thanks to your support, we’ve been able to make the contribution on behalf of the Ubuntu community.

The Iberian Lynx

The Iberian Lynx is the most endangered feline species in the world, as few as 220 individuals survive in the wild. The species was once widespread across the Iberian Peninsula but has declined drastically over recent decades, due to habitat loss, reductions in prey and high non-natural mortality from road kills, hunting and predator control.

Canonical got in touch with Dan Ward and Stephen Hugman from SOS Lynx to give them the positive news. They had the following to say:

“We (SOS Lynx) will shortly be releasing a research study on predator control and it’s impact on the Iberian Lynx. We have just prepared material in Portuguese for use in schools, as well as working with conservation groups in Portugal and Spain. We are focusing mainly on educational campaigns and research to raise awareness and support for the Iberian Lynx conservation in Spain, Portugal and across Europe.

Your very kind donation will contribute to funding education work for the Iberian Lynx and other predators with school children in southern Portugal. This work is essential to build long term support for the Iberian lynx and the wider nature conservation in the country. At present many people still have misunderstandings regarding the natural world – and the Iberian Lynx is still a hunted species. We hope education will help to change that.”

So, yay for Ubuntu!

For further information about the SOS Lynx foundation, the work they are doing, or to make a donation, please visit www.soslynx.org

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Gerry Carr

A few months ago we took on the challenge of building a version of Ubuntu for the dual-boot, instant-on market. We wanted to be surfing the web in under 10 seconds, and give people a fantastic web experience. We also wanted it to be possible to upgrade from that limited usage model to a full desktop.

The fruit of that R&D is both a new desktop experience codebase, called Unity, and a range of Light versions of Ubuntu, both netbook and desktop, that are optimised for dual-boot scenarios.

The dual-boot, web-focused use case is sufficiently different from general-purpose desktop usage to warrant a fresh look at the way the desktop is configured. We spent quite a bit of time analyzing screenshots of a couple of hundred different desktop configurations from the current Ubuntu and Kubuntu user base, to see what people used most. We also identified the things that are NOT needed in lightweight dual-boot instant-on offerings. That provided us both with a list of things to focus on and make rich, and a list of things we could leave out.

Instant-on products are generally used in a stateless fashion. These are “get me to the web asap” environments, with no need of heavy local file management. If there is content there, it would be best to think of it as “cloud like” and synchronize it with the local Windows environment, with cloud services and other devices. They are also not environments where people would naturally expect to use a wide range of applications: the web is the key, and there may be a few complementary capabilities like media playback, messaging, games, and the ability to connect to local devices like printers and cameras and pluggable media.

Unity: a lightweight netbook interface

There are several driving forces behind the result.

The desktop screenshots we studied showed that people typically have between 3 and 10 launchers on their panels, for rapid access to key applications. We want to preserve that sense of having a few favorite applications that are instantly accessible. Rather than making it equally easy to access any installed application, we assume that almost everybody will run one of a few apps, and they need to switch between those apps and any others which might be running, very easily.

We focused on maximising screen real estate for content. In particular, we focused on maximising the available vertical pixels for web browsing. Netbooks have screens which are wide, but shallow. Notebooks in general are moving to wide screen formats. So vertical space is more precious than horizontal space.

We also want to embrace touch as a first class input. We want people to be able to launch and switch between applications using touch, so the launcher must be finger friendly.

Those constraints and values lead us to a new shape for the desktop, which we will adopt in Ubuntu’s Netbook Edition for 10.10 and beyond.

First, we want to move the bottom panel to the left of the screen, and devote that to launching and switching between applications. That frees up vertical space for web content, at the cost of horizontal space, which is cheaper in a widescreen world. In Ubuntu today the bottom panel also presents the Trash and Show Desktop options, neither of which is relevant in a stateless instant-on environment.

Second, we’ll expand that left-hand launcher panel so that it is touch-friendly. With relatively few applications required for instant-on environments, we can afford to be more generous with the icon size there. The Unity launcher will show what’s running, and support fast switching and drag-and-drop between applications.

Third, we will make the top panel smarter. We’ve already talked about adopting a single global menu, which would be rendered by the panel in this case. If we can also manage to fit the window title and controls into that panel, we will have achieved very significant space saving for the case where someone is focused on a single application at a time, and especially for a web browser.

We end up with a configuration like this:

Unity Screenshot

Unity Screenshot

The launcher and panel that we developed in response to this challenge are components of Unity. They are now in a state where they can be tested widely, and where we can use that testing to shape their evolution going forward. A development milestone of Unity is available today in a PPA, with development branches on Launchpad, and I’d very much like to get feedback from people trying it out on a netbook, or even a laptop with a wide screen. Unity is aimed at full screen applications and, as I described above, doesn’t really support traditional file management. But it’s worth a spin, and it’s very easy to try out if you have Ubuntu 10.04 LTS installed already.

Ubuntu Light

Instant-on, dual boot installations are a new frontier for us. Over the past two years we have made great leaps forward as a first class option for PC OEM’s, who today ship millions of PC’s around the world with Ubuntu pre-installed. But traditionally, it’s been an “either/or” proposition – either Windows in markets that prefer it, or Ubuntu in markets that don’t. The dual-boot opportunity gives us the chance to put a free software foot forward even in markets where people use Windows as a matter of course.

And it looks beautiful:

Ubuntu Light, showing the Unity launcher and panel

Ubuntu Light Screenshot

In those cases, Ubuntu Netbook Light, or Ubuntu Desktop Light, will give OEM’s the ability to differentiate themselves with fast-booting Linux offerings that are familiar to Ubuntu users and easy to use for new users, safe for web browsing in unprotected environments like airports and hotels, focused on doing that job very well, but upgradeable with a huge list of applications, on demand. The Light versions will also benefit from the huge amount of work done on every Ubuntu release to keep it maintained – instant-on environments need just as much protection as everyday desktops, and Ubuntu has a deep commitment to getting that right.

The Ubuntu Light range is available to OEM’s today. Each image will be hand-crafted to boot fastest on that specific hardware, the application load reduced to the minimum, and it comes with tools for Windows which assist in the management of the dual-boot experience. Initially, the focus is on the Netbook Light version based on Unity, but in future we expect to do a Light version of the desktop, too.

Given the requirement to customise the Light versions for specific hardware, there won’t be a general-purpose downloadable image of Ubuntu Light on ubuntu.com.

Evolving Unity for Ubuntu Netbook Edition 10.10

Unity exists today, and is great for the minimalist, stateless configurations that suit a dual-boot environment. But in order embrace it for our Netbook UI, we’ll need to design some new capabilities, and implement them during this cycle.

Those design conversations are taking place this week at UDS, just outside Brussels in Belgium. If you can’t be there in person, and are interested in the design challenges Unity presents for the netbook form factor, check out the conference schedule and participate in the discussion virtually.

The two primary pieces we need to put in place are:

  • Support for many more applications, and adding / removing applications. Instant-on environments are locked down, while netbook environments should support anybody’s applications, not just those favored in the Launcher.
  • Support for file management, necessary for an environment that will be the primary working space for the user rather than an occasional web-focused stopover.

We have an initial starting point for the design, called the Dash, which presents files and applications as an overlay. The inspiration for the Dash comes from consoles and devices, which use full-screen, media-rich presentation. We want the Dash to feel device-like, and use the capabilities of modern hardware.

The Unity Dash, showing the Applications Place

The Unity Dash, showing the Applications Place

The instant-on requirements and constraints proved very useful in shaping our thinking, but the canvas is still blank for the more general, netbook use case. Unity gives us the chance to do something profoundly new and more useful, taking advantage of ideas that have emerged in computing from the console to the handheld.

Relationship to Gnome Shell

Unity and Gnome Shell are complementary for the Gnome Project. While Gnome Shell presents an expansive view of how people work in complex environments with multiple simultaneous activities, Unity is designed to address the other end of the spectrum, where people are focused on doing one thing at any given time.

Unity does embrace the key technologies of Gnome 3: Mutter, for window management, and Zeitgeist will be an anchor component of our file management approach. The interface itself is built in Clutter.

The design seed of Unity was in place before Gnome Shell, and we decided to build on that for the instant-on work rather than adopt Gnome Shell because most of the devices we expect to ship Ubuntu Light on are netbooks. In any event, Unity represents the next step for the Ubuntu Netbook UI, optimised for small screens.

The Ubuntu Netbook interface is popular with Gnome users and we’re fortunate to be working inside an open ecosystem that encourages that level of diversity. As a result, Gnome has offerings for mobile, netbook and desktop form factors. Gnome is in the lucky position of having multiple vendors participating and solving different challenges independently. That makes Gnome stronger.

Relationship to FreeDesktop and KDE

Unity complies with freedesktop.org standards, and is helping to shape them, too. We would like KDE applications to feel welcome on a Unity-based netbook. We’re using the Ayatana indicators in the panel, so KDE applications which use AppIndicators will Just Work. And to the extent that those applications take advantage of the Messaging Menu, Sound Indicator and Me Menu, they will be fully integrated into the Unity environment. We often get asked by OEM’s how they can integrate KDE applications into their custom builds of Ubuntu, and the common frameworks of freedesktop.org greatly facilitate doing so in a smooth fashion.

Looking forward to the Maverick Meerkat

It will be an intense cycle, if we want to get all of these pieces in line. But we think it’s achievable: the new launcher, the new panel, the new implementation of the global menu and an array of indicators. Things have accelerated greatly during Lucid so if we continue at this pace, it should all come together. Here’s to a great summer of code.

Mark Shuttleworth, Canonical

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admin

On Wednesday Dell announced a comprehensive overview of its enterprise strategy. Significant in its announcement, was the addition of Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud (UEC) as an infrastructure solution, joining the proprietary offerings from VMWare and Microsoft. This is the first major offering of a true open source Cloud solution backed by a major corporate vendor.

Dell will offer a series of ‘blueprint’ configurations that have been optimised for different use cases  and scale. These will include PowerEdge-C hardware, UEC software and full technical support – you will be able to buy these straight from Dell or you can use the ‘blueprints’ as a base to create your own bespoke solution. The Dell team have great strength and experience here and will provide detailed guidance on all the ‘blueprint’ solutions, as well as enterprise class deployments.

Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud leads the Linux field with integration of cloud capabilities directly into the OS. UEC is based on Eucalyptus which builds on the de facto cloud API standards of Amazon EC2 and S3. The relationship between Canonical and Eucalyptus Systems ensures that you have one escalation path to resolve any issues with the OS or the cloud service. Offering the same APIs as the dominant public cloud offering, Amazon EC2, you can build your applications to run on either platform. The Dell solution will be based on Ubuntu 10.04 LTS – which is released on April 29th.

Behind the scenes we’ve worked with Dell’s DCS team for over six months to test and validate the integration of the cloud stack on their new PowerEdge-C series. Within the industry, the DCS team has an excellent reputation for full design, integration, installation anddeployment. It has been both challenging and exciting working to meet and exceed their expectations, a result of excellent cooperation between the Dell core team, our Cloud & Server team and Eucalyptus.

Mark Murphy, Global Alliances Director

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Gerry Carr

We are delighted to welcome Matt Asay to the Canonical fold, taking up the role of Chief Operating Officer with immediate effect. The details can be found in the press release. Matt has also written about the new challenge in his Open Road blog.

So all that remains to say here is how much the whole company is looking forward to working with and learning from Matt in the months and years to come.

Jane Silber

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Larry Poon

The cloud is getting a lot of attention. Understandably and rightly so – it is one of the hottest topics around. An on-line panel discussion on how businesses can incorporate cloud computing into their existing datacenter operations will take place in a webinar hosted by rPath on 24 September 2009. You’ll hear from the some of the most experienced experts in the field:

Michael Crandell, Chief Executive Officer of RightScale

Erik Troan, founder and Chief Technology Officer of rPath

Dr. Rich Wolski, Chief Technology Officer of Eucalyptus Systems

Matt Zimmerman, Chief Technology Officer of Canonical

David Berlind , Chief Content Officer of TechWeb

We’re looking forward to participating on this webinar, so please join us on 24 September 2009 at 11:00 a.m. PST.

For more information and registration please go to the the rPath registration page.

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johnpugh

Next week (31 August through 3 September) VMorld 2009 kicks off in San Francisco at the Moscone Center. For the second year, Canonical has a booth to demonstrate Ubuntu’s virtualization and cloud computing capabilities.

Last year VMWorld 2008 was in sunny Las Vegas. We talked to thousands of people throughout the show, and only found a handful who hadn’t used Ubuntu – don’t worry we sent every one away with a free CD so they could put that right! It was a great show with lots of interest in Ubuntu following on from the 8.04 LTS release, and our virtualization solution.

We expect the 2009 show to be just as much fun. Ubuntu has been on the top of the VMWare charts as a base OS for many virtual machine images, so we hope that the new virtualization features coming in 9.10 will be well received. In 9.04 we previewed Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud (UEC) our private or on-premises cloud. This gives anyone who has their own servers the ability to set-up a cloud similar to Amazon’s EC2.

We’ll be presenting a talk for enterprises on how cloud computing can help them at the Solution Exchange Theatre on Wednesday 2nd September at 11:50 am. Entitled “The Clear Path to a Cloudy Enterprise”, it will be given by John Pugh, one of Canonical’s Partner Managers. If you would like to hear about the future of cloud computing, how open source offers a real alternative, and how Ubuntu can be used in this scenario then this talk should be informative and fun.

If you are going to be at VMWorld then please come along to the Canonical booth (#2403) and say hello to us. We would love to talk to you about Ubuntu, how you’re using it, and how you can get more from it – see you
in San Francisco!

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kendrachnik

Today we are announcing the Landscape Dedicated Server Edition — a stand alone version of Landscape that users can install on-site giving them complete control of their Ubuntu environment. This is one of our most requested features so we modified the Hosted version of landscape, keeping all the management, auditing and monitoring features, packaging it as a software appliance you install on your systems. Now Landscape can operate locally so all your information transfers over your local network and all system configuration, policies and profiles are stored on your infrastructure.

New features available with the Dedicated Server and Hosted edition in the October release include:

  • Manage your Cloud and physical systems in one console – including server, desktop and Amazon EC2 Cloud instances.
  • Scheduled package updates – Now you can schedule package updates and machine restarts for maintenance windows or when network usage is low minimizing the impact to your users.
  • Administrator Delegation – Group your systems to meet your needs then assign permissions to different administrators enforcing work rules and enhancing security.

To be the first to know about availability of the Landscape Server, get informed about upcoming Webinars and download the brochure.

Of course we will continue to offer the Hosted version of Landscape along side the Dedicated Server giving users a choice in how they want to manage their Ubuntu systems. All the new features mentioned above are planned to be available in October when we release the next major update of Landscape and Ubuntu Karmic Koala. The Landscape Dedicated Server is available for order now, but installation will not be available until late September / early October.

Click for detailed information on Landscape, Support and our Training products and services.

Ken Drachnik, Landscape Manager

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kendrachnik

Announcing the release of Landscape 1.3 – the next version of Canonical’s management and monitoring software that lets you manage multiple Ubuntu systems as easily as one. In addition, Landscape enables you to monitor all your systems from a single Web interface reducing the complexity of managing multiple systems. The theme of 1.3 is Cloud and scalability.

Cloud Computing: EC2 Support
Landscape 1.3 introduces support for Amazon’s EC2 Cloud service. Users can now start, stop and manage their Ubuntu instances on Amazon EC2 from within Landscape.  Just enter your EC2 credentials directly through Landscape to start, stop and manage one of our pre-configured versions of Ubuntu that include the Landscape Client.  We have both 32 and 64 bit server versions available in both the US and EU regions. Once you started, you can use Landscape to manage and monitor them as you would your physical systems. Landscape saves you time by allowing you to manage your physical, virtualized and Amazon EC2 instances from one page.

New Custom Graphs
Users can now create and store trends of key system parameters allowing them to view and act on issues before they impact system performance. This gives System Administrators the flexibility of writing a script to monitor any machine readable parameter that is important to them such as temperature, memory and disk usage.

Knowledge Base
We’ve taken the experience our support engineers have gained with Landscape and created a library of articles that are now available in our knowledge base. There are hundreds or articles that you can search through that will save you time by allowing to quickly find and learn about common procedures and fixes.

The Landscape 1.3 client is available today and is included with Ubuntu 9.04 server edition (Jaunty Jackalope). Read more at the Landscape blog or get product details here

Ken Drachnik – Landscape

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