Starting his presentation with an introduction to the fifth LTS release, 14.04 LTS, Shuttleworth proudly announced that statistics suggest that enterprises using Linux are fast moving towards Ubuntu and LTS releases. Moreover, some of the largest desktop deployments are also running on LTS releases.
It has been almost exactly one year since Canonical announced Mir, a replacement for the X window system. Mir was originally planned to become the default system in the Ubuntu desktop for the 13.10 (October 2013) or 14.04 (April 2014) releases, but it was delayed due to compatibility problems in multi-monitor setups. Those problems were with XMir, an X11 compatibility layer that ensures that Mir can work with existing applications built for X.
It made sense to not turn Mir on by default in the upcoming Ubuntu 14.04 because that's a Long Term Support release that must be stable for five years. But instead of saying that he intends to flip the switch later this year or in 2015, Canonical founder Mark Shuttleworth this week said he expects to do that by the 16.04 release in April 2016. Shuttleworth's comments don't necessarily rule out turning Mir on by default before 16.04, but it's not something Shuttleworth is ready to promise.
At this week's virtual Ubuntu Developer Summit besides saying Mir will be the default on the Ubuntu desktop by 16.04 LTS and also saying systemd will be used when it's hardened (again by the 16.04 LTS time-frame) Mark had some other interesting comments.
Canonical is making it really hard not to like Ubuntu 14.04 LTS. Last week, I discussed about the improvements and new features which has landed in Ubuntu 14.04. Since then, two new features have been added. Both of them have been previewed in earlier development cycles but never made it to a release build, until now.
Now Canonical is introducing brand new lock screen in Ubuntu 14.04, which is simply gorgeous. We have seen glimpses of this lock screen in the past. The proposal for this change was given way back in 2011.The bug report can be found here. The new lock screen is handled by LightDM and so it resembles the login screen. Unlike the previous lock screen, it now integrates well with the rest of the OS. Some of the system indicators such as sound, calendar (no meetings requests are displayed), user switching menu and language indicator are accessible while the screen is locked. Locking the screen does not stop music or video playback.
While the Mir display server isn't being relied upon by the desktop in Ubuntu 14.04 LTS, it is being used right now by Ubuntu Touch and Canonical developers are still working on its development in a steadfast manner for deployment in a future Ubuntu Linux release. Here's some of the latest commits to Mir.
Not put off by his encounter with Unity, Wil goes on to mention that he opted to run the lightweight XFCE desktop on his Chromebook. Not his favourite, but one whose speed he appreciates and that evokes a nostalgia within him.
Continuing the new trend of adding community wallpapers to the default Ubuntu installation, Ubuntu devs released today 11 community contributed wallpapers to be included in the latest iteration of Ubuntu, 14.04 LTS. These 11 wallpapers were chosen from a community wallpaper contest which ended on 5th March. Shortly after releasing the community wallpapers, the default wallpaper was also released.
It was a bit slow today, but have no fear, I was able to find several interesting stories. First up is Ubuntu and OMG!Ubuntu! reports on the new Ubuntu theme. Katherine Noyes puts her ear to the tracks for this week's bug reports. And finally, Bryan Lunduke says "Linux is like a cheese quesadilla."
Smartphones on Canonical’s Ubuntu operating system will cost between $200 and $400, according to the firm’s chief executive Mark Shuttleworth.
Speaking at CeBIT, he said: “Ours will come out in the mid-higher edge, so $200 to $400. We’re going with the higher end because we want people who are looking for a very sharp, beautiful experience and because our ambition is to be selling the future PC, the future personal computing engine.”
The Ubuntu project aims to produce hardware that can act as a smartphone and also work as a PC when plugged into a monitor, something Shuttleworth said many audiences found attractive.
Canonical teamed up with phone makers Meizu and BQ earlier this year to produce the devices, following what Shuttleworth called the “spectacular failure” of the firm’s efforts to raise $32m for the Ubuntu Edge smartphone. But he also called it a “spectacular success” because of the amount of attention it drew and the influence it could have on the industry.
As for the feelings of the Linux community in general, the consensus is that it felt like GNOME was somehow being slighted or ignored. Remember early on, Ubuntu was a GNOME-centric experience. While today, Ubuntu is most definitely Unity-centric instead. Obviously alternative desktop environments are a mere "apt-get install" away, but most people will use Ubuntu because they're fans of the entire experience – end to end.