LightDM is a display manager that's mainly used in Ubuntu distributions, but users will find it in other Ubuntu-based distros as well. It's not a visible part of the operating system and it's not something that users interact with at any level.
The LightDM development has been going at a steady pace and its devs have just released a new version that is designed for Ubuntu 14.10 (Utopic Unicorn). It doesn’t have too many changes, but there are a couple of interesting ones.
So who should replace Jono?
My choice, and I hope it’s not el beso de la muerte (that’s the kiss of death, to those who don’t speak Spanish) for me to say it, is California LoCo leader Nathan Haines, who I’ve mentioned in an earlier blog post. Again, I have known Nathan for years and he has been an eloquent advocate and steady leader in the California LoCo for quite some time. There are few in FOSS for which I have as much respect as I do for Nathan, and his leadership skills are top-notch. If Canonical misses the chance to hire Nathan as their Community Leader, they should at least — at the ultimate very least — make him the Community Leader’s monkey boy.
But after thinking about it for awhile, my guess is that Jono’s successor will be Alan Pope, Canonical’s engineering manager, podcaster and all-around good guy. He may not be able to play electric guitar as well as Jono Bacon, but he has the right stuff — for example, a likeable demeanor and a knack for diplomacy for starters, and the same ability to perform the same foot-from-mouth extraction that Jono always performed on Shuttleworth. He would be a good fit for Ubuntu.
So the question becomes this: Are we going to see white smoke from the chimneys at Canonical if they elect Pope?
As you may know, the development of Ubuntu 14.10 Utopic Unicorn has started a few weeks ago. For now, Ubuntu 14.10 is the same system as Ubuntu 14.04, but with some under-development additions.
While Ubuntu 14.10 was initially based on Kernel 3.13 (the kernel used on Ubuntu Trusty), the developers have recently implemented Kernel 3.15 RC5 to power up Ubuntu 14.10 Utopic Unicorn.
For those curious about the impact of running Intel "Haswell" HD Graphics 4600 on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS and then pulling in the latest Mesa 10.3-devel code followed by the Linux 3.15 kernel, it's not entirely a happy story if you are looking to maximize your Intel Linux graphics performance capabilities.
Having done a clean install of Ubuntu 14.04 LTS this week on a Core i7 4770K system I figured I would do the usual graphics driver performance update of comparing Ubuntu 14.04 out-of-the-box (Linux 3.13 + Mesa 10.1) against pulling in the latest Oibaf PPA packages to have xf86-video-intel 2.99.911 DDX and the Mesa 10.3-devel Git master code (a big leap from Mesa 10.1.0). Lastly, with the updated Intel user-space graphics drivers I then updated kernel-space by moving to the Linux 3.15 kernel via the Ubuntu Mainline Kernel PPA.
After this week having carried out benchmarks showing Intel's Windows 8.1 OpenGL driver is outperforming their open-source Linux driver but NVIDIA's driver on Ubuntu Linux is commonly faster than Windows 8.1, the time has come to benchmark several different AMD Radeon graphics cards under Ubuntu 14.04 LTS and Windows 8.1 Pro x64 with all available updates and each OS using the latest Catalyst 14.4 driver.
Red Hat was flush with announcements in conjunction with the OpenStack Summit in Atlanta last week, as we covered here. The company announced that itt is open sourcing the ManageIQ cloud orchestration platform, and it also announced some important new collaboration deals surrounding OpenStack. However, one thing that also became clear in Atlanta is that Canonical's new focus on delivering and supporting private OpenStack clouds is going to create very direct competition with Red Hat.
In the past when comparing the Linux and Windows performance with NVIDIA graphics when using their proprietary drivers, the performance has largely been the same. With the very latest drivers on each platform, Ubuntu 14.04 LTS seems to have an advantage over Windows 8.1 in many of the tests. With Ubuntu 14.04 LTS we were using the NVIDIA 337.19 Beta as the latest publicly available driver at the time of testing while for Windows 8.1 Pro x64 the 337.50 driver was their latest equivalent. As usual for ensuring accuracy and being a fair "out of the box" comparison, the stock settings were used for each operating system.