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Ubuntu and Canonical: Mir, Moves, and Layoffs

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  • Why Mir

    Mir currently works with mesa-kms graphics, mesa-x11 graphics or android HWC graphics (work has been done on vulkan graphics and is well beyond proof-of-concept but hasn’t been released).

    Switching the driver support doesn’t impact the shell or applications. (Servers will run unchanged on mesa, on X11 and android.) Mir provides “abstractions” so that, for example, user input or display configuration changes look the same to servers and client applications regardless of the drivers being used.

  • Mir Developer Pleads The Case "Why Mir"

    Canonical developer Alan Griffiths has been blogging a lot in recent days about the Mir display server. He's been trying to get the community to support Mir and even potentially add native Wayland client support. His latest post is entitled "Why Mir" with many still wondering why they should care about Mir when Wayland has proven to be the tested and widely-adopted path forward.

    Griffiths talks up Mir's abstractions, Mir's support for Mesa KMS/X11 and Android HWC graphics (though they too are all capable with Wayland), "beyond proof of concept" Vulkan support even though that isn't public yet and Wayland Vulkan support is, and Mir as a display server provides "sensible defaults."

  • A new vantage point

    I joined Canonical as COO in 2004, excited by the vision of Ubuntu and the possibilities that could unfold from the software, the collaboration with the open source community, the energy of an international, distributed start-up and the impact it could have on the world. When Mark asked me to become CEO in 2010, I added the challenge of driving commercial success to that list. The intervening years, and the adjective/animal pairs, have flown by and I’m still excited by Canonical and those very same things.

  • Canonical sharpens post-Unity axe for 80-plus Ubuntu spinners

    More than 80 Canonical workers are facing the axe as founder Mark Shuttleworth has taken back the role of chief executive officer.

    The number, revealed today by The Reg, comes as Shuttleworth assumed the position from CEO of eight years Jane Silber, previously chief operating officer.

    The Reg has learned 31 or more staffers have already left the Ubuntu Linux maker ahead of Shuttleworth's rise, with at least 26 others now on formal notice and uncertainty surrounding the remainder.

Mark Shuttleworth Is Indeed Taking Back Over As Canonical CEO

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Last week we were the first to exclusively report that Jane Silber would be out as Canonical's CEO with Mark Shuttleworth returning to the role as CEO. Today, Jane Silber has publicly announced she's indeed stepping down.

Jane Silber announced today she's indeed stepping down as Canonical enters "a new phase of accelerated growth."

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Leftovers: Ubuntu

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Canonical's Snappy Team Releases Snapd 2.24 with Many Cross-Distro Improvements

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Canonical's Michael Vogt is pleased to announce today, April 11, 2017, the release and immediate availability for download of the Snapd 2.24 Snappy daemon for Ubuntu Linux and other supported GNU/Linux distributions.

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Open hacker board takes aim at Raspberry Pi 3

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The $30 Orange Pi Prime combines a quad Cortex-A53 Allwinner H5 SoC with 2GB RAM, wireless, MIPI-CSI, GbE, and a 40-pin expansion header.

Another Orange Pi has shaken loose from Shenzhen Xunlong’s highly productive Orange Pi tree in the form of an Orange Pi Prime that matches up nicely with the Raspberry Pi 3. There were already a half dozen distinct Orange Pi models by our year-end Linux hacker SBC roundup, and in only about three months, that tally has almost doubled if you include every new variant. Within a few years, the company’s engineers will no doubt have tested out every possible combination of size, RAM, I/O, and hacker board layout possible with an Allwinner processor.

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Snap support lands in Fedora 24, 25 & 26

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Red Hat

As part as our mission to get snaps running everywhere, we are pleased to announce that support for snaps has now officially landed in Fedora, starting with Fedora 24 and up.

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More Reactions to 'Ubuntu’s Unity Bombshell'

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  • How Linux Figures Reacted to Ubuntu’s Unity Bombshell

    This list is by no means exhaustive. If you’ve spotted a tweet, blog post or other rant from someone who should be on this list, let me know via the Tip Form and I’ll add it in.

  • System76 Isn’t Giving Up On Ubuntu

    So, for a company as intrinsic to the Ubuntu community as purple wallpapers, Alan Pope and unmaintained wiki pages, last week’s Unity-shaped bombshell must’ve landed like a lead balloon at their HQ in Denver, Colorado, USA.

    And yup; it did. Mark Shuttleworth’s announcement that Unity is being discontinued left them feeling ‘shocked and surprised’.

  • UBports to Provide Legacy Support for BQ Ubuntu Phones, Create Their Own Store

    Following on the shocking news that Canonical stopped the development of the Unity 8 user interface, along with its Ubuntu Phone, Ubuntu Tablet, and Ubuntu Convergence visions, UBports Marius Gripsgård prepared a Q&A on YouTube.

    We already told you last week that the UBports founder made the very bold decision of taking over the development of Unity 8 to provide better support for various of the devices on which users can install the Ubuntu Touch mobile operating system.

Ubuntu 17.04 (Zesty Zapus) Launches April 13 with Unity 7 Desktop by Default

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Taking a step back from the whole thing about Canonical no longer developing the Unity 8 user interface and switching Ubuntu to the GNOME desktop environment next year with the release of Ubuntu 18.04 LTS, it's time to take a look at what's coming to Ubuntu 17.04.

In only two days from the moment of writing this article, on April 13, 2017, Ubuntu 17.04 (Zesty Zapus) will become the 26th release of the popular Linux-based operating system, which Canonical will support with security and software updates for only nine months, until January 2018.

Ubuntu 17.04 has been in development for the past six months, and it's currently in its Final Freeze period, during which all Ubuntu developers are preparing for the final release of the operating system, making sure they have yet another uneventful launch on Thursday afternoon.

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Ubuntu, GNOME, and Mint

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Ubuntu GNOME Is Becoming Default, Mark Shuttleworth Insults, and New Ubuntu GNOME Video

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  • Ubuntu GNOME Is Becoming Default Flavor, Unity 7 Will Be Installable from Repos

    A lot is happening in the Ubuntu world these days after Canonical founder Mark Shuttleworth shocked the entire Linux community when he announced that the Unity 8 user interface would no longer be developed.

    Unity 8 was the latest vision of Canonical for the future of the Ubuntu desktop, along with convergence. It was supposed to give Ubuntu a bump by acting the same on both mobile and PCs, something that no other GNU/Linux distribution does, at least not at the moment of writing this article.

  • Mark Shuttleworth says some free software folk are 'deeply anti-social' and 'love to hate'

    Ubuntu founder Mark Shuttleworth has labelled some members of the free software community habitual, hateful and reflexive contrarians.

    Shuttleworth added a comment to his own Google+ post thanking those who worked on Ubuntu's recently-abandoned Unity Project.

    But as he read the comments on that post, his mood changed and he soon added a comment about past debate on the Mir windowing system.

  • [Video] Ubuntu Gnome - The Future is Now
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today's howtos

Security Leftovers

Leftovers: Debian, Ubuntu and Derivatives

  • Debian Developers Make Progress With RISC-V Port
    Debian developers continue making progress with a -- currently unofficial -- port of their Linux operating system to RISC-V. There is a in-progress Debian GNU/Linux port to RISC-V along with a repository with packages built for RISC-V. RISC-V for the uninitiated is a promising, open-source ISA for CPUs. So far there isn't any widely-available RISC-V hardware, but there are embedded systems in the works while software emulators are available.
  • 2×08: Pique Oil
  • [Video] Ubuntu 17.04 KDE
  • deepin 15.4 Released, With Download Link & Mirrors
    deepin 15.4 GNU/Linux operating system has been released at April 19th 2017. I list here one official download link and two faster mirrors from Sourceforge. I listed here the Mega and Google mirrors as well but remember they don't provide direct download. The 15.4 provided only as 64 bit, the 32 bit version has already dropped (except by commercial support). I hope this short list helps you.

Leftovers: OSS and Sharing

  • Overlayfs snapshots
    At the 2017 Vault storage conference, Amir Goldstein gave a talk about using overlayfs in a novel way to create snapshots for the underlying filesystem. His company, CTERA Networks, has used the NEXT3 ext3-based filesystem with snapshots, but customers want to be able to use larger filesystems than those supported by ext3. Thus he turned to overlayfs as a way to add snapshots for XFS and other local filesystems. NEXT3 has a number of shortcomings that he wanted to address with overlayfs snapshots. Though it only had a few requirements, which were reasonably well supported, NEXT3 never got upstream. It was ported to ext4, but his employer stuck with the original ext3-based system, so the ext4 version was never really pushed for upstream inclusion.
  • Five days and counting
    It is five days left until foss-north 2017, so it is high time to get your ticket! Please notice that tickets can be bought all the way until the night of the 25th (Tuesday), but catering is only included is you get your ticket on the 24th (Monday), so help a poor organizer and get your tickets as soon as possible!
  • OpenStack Radium? Maybe…but it could be Formidable
    OK the first results are in from the OpenStack community naming process for the R release. The winner at this point is Radium.
  • Libreboot Wants Back Into GNU
    Early this morning, Libreboot’s lead developer Leah Rowe posted a notice to the project’s website and a much longer post to the project’s subreddit, indicating that she would like to submit (or resubmit, it’s not clear how that would work at this point) the project to “rejoin the GNU Project.” The project had been a part of GNU from May 14 through September 15 of last year, at which time Ms. Rowe very publicly removed the project from GNU while making allegations of misdeeds by both GNU and the Free Software Foundation. Earlier this month, Rowe admitted that she had been dealing with personal issues at the time and had overreacted. The project also indicated that it had reorganized and that Rowe was no longer in full control.
  • Understanding the complexity of copyleft defense

    The fundamental mechanism defending software freedom is copyleft, embodied in GPL. GPL, however, functions only through upholding it--via GPL enforcement. For some, enforcement has been a regular activity for 30 years, but most projects don't enforce: they live with regular violations. Today, even under the Community Principles of GPL Enforcement, GPL enforcement is regularly criticized and questioned. The complex landscape is now impenetrable for developers who wish their code to remain forever free. This talk provides basic history and background information on the topic.

  • After Bill Gates Backs Open Access, Steve Ballmer Discovers The Joys Of Open Data
    A few months ago, we noted that the Gates Foundation has emerged as one of the leaders in requiring the research that it funds to be released as open access and open data -- an interesting application of the money that Bill Gates made from closed-source software. Now it seems that his successor as Microsoft CEO, Steve Ballmer, has had a similar epiphany about openness. Back in 2001, Ballmer famously called GNU/Linux "a cancer". Although he later softened his views on software somewhat, that was largely because he optimistically claimed that the threat to Microsoft from free software was "in the rearview mirror". Not really: today, the Linux-based Android has almost two orders of magnitude more market share than Windows Phone.
  • New Open Door Policy for GitHub Developer Program
    GitHub has opened the doors on its three year old GitHub Developer Program. As of Monday, developers no longer need to have paid accounts to participate. "We're opening the program up to all developers, even those who don't have paid GitHub accounts," the company announced in a blog post. "That means you can join the program no matter which stage of development you're in,"
  • MuleSoft Joins the OpenAPI Initiative: The End of the API Spec Wars
    Yesterday, MuleSoft, the creators of RAML, announced that they have joined the Open API Initiative. Created by SmartBear Software and based on the wildly popular Swagger Specification, the OpenAPI Initiative is a Linux Foundation project with over 20 members, including Adobe, IBM, Google, Microsoft, and Salesforce.