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A business plan for Ubuntu

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Red Hat

Back in 2010 I wrote a post about Canonical’s business direction, in response to something Bradley Kuhn had posted. Both he and I were worried about Canonical becoming reliant on an “open core” business model – worried not just from the perspective that it would dilute the principle of Ubuntu, but that frankly every time I have seen this executed before it has been a dismal failure.

The posts are worth re-reading in the context of Mark Shuttleworth’s announcement today that Ubuntu will be dropping a number of their in-house technologies and, more importantly, abandoning the explicit goal of convergence. I would also say, read the comments on the blogs – both Bradley and I found it deeply strange that Canonical wouldn’t follow the RHEL-like strategy, which we both thought they could execute well (and better than an open core one).

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Ubuntu Touch and Unity 8 Are Not Dead, UBports Community Will Keep Them Alive

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UBports' Marius Gripsgård is well known in the Ubuntu Phone community for porting Ubuntu Touch mobile operating system to a bunch of devices that we wouldn't even dream to request from Canonical.

In early February, the developer announced that he and his team at UBports managed to successfully port Canonical's Ubuntu OS to the Fairphone 2 modular smartphone, joining the OnePlus One and Nexus 5 ports. Fairphone 2 Ubuntu Phone devices were showcased at MWC (Mobile World Congress) 2017 in Barcelona.

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End of an Era at Ubuntu

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  • A Look Back At The Desktop & X.Org/Wayland/Mir Milestones Of Ubuntu

    With Unity 8 (and Mir) being years behind schedule, Mark Shuttleworth today made the surprise announcement of abandoning Unity 8 and shifting back to GNOME while also stopping their Ubuntu Phone efforts. This was the biggest Ubuntu shock in years and as such I've thrown together today a bit of a tribute or look back at the various desktop milestones of Ubuntu since its first release covered by Phoronix back in 2004. Check it out if you are a relatively new Linux user or just wish to relive the old screenshots of GNOME2, Ubuntu Netbook Remix, Ubuntu TV, the early Unity days, the ambitious Mir plans, and more.

  • Ubuntu switches to GNOME desktop and gives up smartphone hopes

    Canonical is re-shifting its priorities to its strong suit: The cloud and the Internet of Things.

  • Ubuntu Rejoins the GNOME Fold

    Today we all read the announcement of Ubuntu's decision to refocus on cloud and IoT activities, dropping Unity 8 to move back to a GNOME-based desktop for the 17.04 LTS. This marks a return to the fold, with Ubuntu having originally shipped GNOME all those years ago, and lest we forget, having contributed to early Wayland discussions.

Leftovers: Ubuntu

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Growing Ubuntu for Cloud and IoT, rather than Phone and convergence

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We are wrapping up an excellent quarter and an excellent year for the company, with performance in many teams and products that we can be proud of. As we head into the new fiscal year, it’s appropriate to reassess each of our initiatives. I’m writing to let you know that we will end our investment in Unity8, the phone and convergence shell. We will shift our default Ubuntu desktop back to GNOME for Ubuntu 18.04 LTS.

I’d like to emphasise our ongoing passion for, investment in, and commitment to, the Ubuntu desktop that millions rely on. We will continue to produce the most usable open source desktop in the world, to maintain the existing LTS releases, to work with our commercial partners to distribute that desktop, to support our corporate customers who rely on it, and to delight the millions of IoT and cloud developers who innovate on top of it.

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Also: Canonical to Stop Developing Unity 8, Ubuntu 18.04 LTS Ships with GNOME Desktop

Ubuntu to switch back to GNOME, drop Unity

Canonical Releases Snapd 2.23.6 Snappy Daemon for Ubuntu 16.10, 16.04, and 14.04

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Canonical's Jamie Bennett announced today the availability of a new maintenance update for the major Snapd 2.23 release of the Snappy daemon implementation for Ubuntu Linux.

Snapd 2.23.6 is now the latest stable version of the daemon, available for all supported Ubuntu releases. It brings robustness improvements to the configuration hook system by implementing a 5-minute timeout for the configure hook, along with the ability to report any failure.

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Is Ubuntu 17.10 Named ‘Acrobatic Aardvark’?

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Has the Ubuntu 17.10 been accidentally revealed?

Maybe — but also-very-much-possibly-maybe-not.

But before we speculate any further I need you to go to your kitchen to grab some salt (a large pinch should do fine).

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Also: Why is Ubuntu Linux so popular?

Leftovers: Debian, Ubuntu and Derivatives

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  • Debian LTS report for March 2017

    March 2017 was my seventh month as a Debian LTS team member.

  • My Free Software Activities in March 2017

    Welcome to Here is my monthly report that covers what I have been doing for Debian. If you’re interested in Android, Java, Games and LTS topics, this might be interesting for you.

  • online

    just to let you know that the Devuan's bug tracking system is finally
    available online at:

    The system is compatible with the BTS used by Debian (we are actually
    using the same code base), and shares the same workflow.

  • Cloud Computing Leader OVH Joins the Ubuntu Certified Public Cloud Programme

    Today, April 3, 2017, Canonical announced that OVH, the leading and fastest-growing cloud computing company offering VPS and dedicated servers, as well as other web services, joined the company's Ubuntu Certified Public Cloud program.

    The new Canonical and OVH partnership will benefit OVH customers running public or private clouds, VPS, and bare metal servers on their infrastructures, minimizing the downtime and bandwidth costs. Being an Ubuntu Certified Public Cloud partner, OVH will now be able to distribute Ubuntu guest images to all of their users.

Leftovers: Ubuntu

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  • Nutty – A Network Diagnostic Tool for Ubuntu

    Nutty is a simple third party app that provides essential information on your system’s network-related aspects by displaying them in tabs.

    Being an app that was developed for elementary OS, Nutty network diagnostics features a clean Graphical User Interface and appropriately-titled tabs that aid its intuitive workflow.

  • The MirAL Story

    I’m Alan Griffiths and I’m a software developer. Being a software developer means I deal with a lot of problems that are rarely appreciated by non-developers. This is a story about dealing successfully with one of these problems.

    Software developers often talk about “technical debt”. This phrase comes from a metaphor that tries to explain the issue without being “too technical”. I think the term was first used by Ward Cunningham, but I could be wrong.

    The metaphor describes the effect of doing things in a way that meets the immediate goals but introduces future costs. For example, using fixed English text in an application can get it working for a demo or even an initial release, but if it needs to work in other languages there will be a lot of changes needed. Not just to text, but to assumptions about layout.

  • The Story of Ubuntu's Mir Abstraction Layer (MirAL)

    More and more recently we have found ourselves talking about Mir's abstraction layer, MirAL. It turns out that this set of interfaces to Mir has advanced from being a hobby project by a Canonical developer to now being a formal project within the organization and more of Unity 8 is making use of MirAL's API/ABI.

  • The Papirus Icon Theme Needs YOUR Help

    It’s the icon theme we use on our own desktops, and the icon theme that we often recommend to new users looking to give their Ubuntu desktop a “fresher” look than stock (sorry Ubuntu Mono Dark, but you’re so 2010).

    But it seems that this set, arguable one of the most popular Linux icon sets currently available, is in trouble — and it needs your help.

Ubuntu 17.04 beta FACT: It's what's on the inside that matters, not looks

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Download Ubuntu 17.04 beta preview, recently released, and visually speaking you might be a little disappointed.

Unity is almost entirely the same with some minor updates for a few core apps. Most of what's new comes from the move to GNOME 3.24 for a few apps and core components.

Looks it’s said are not as important as what’s inside that counts, and with the 17.04 beta it couldn’t be more true. Under the hood of his software update there's enough new stuff that to make the final version well worth the update.

With 17.04 Ubuntu's Software Center gains some new powers, thanks to the underlying GNOME Software apps' new support for Snap URLs. The URL support means that if you'd like to tell someone to install a Snap application you can simply give them a URL. That makes sharing Snap applications considerably easier.

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Red Hat After Graphics People


  • Desk Changer is a Wallpaper Slideshow Extension for GNOME
    Have you been looking for a GNOME wallpaper slideshow extension? If so, you can stop. In the comments to our recent post on the way GNOME handles wallpapers a number of readers asked whether GNOME had an image slideshow feature built in, without the need for third-party apps and the like. The answer is yes, GNOME does. Sort of.
  • Minwaita: A Compact Version of Theme Adwaita for Gnome Desktop
    As you may already know that Ubuntu is switching back to Gnome, this is the transition time for Ubuntu to switch back. Some creators are motivated and creating themes for Gnome desktop, which is a good thing and hopefully we shall see plenty of Gnome themes and icons around soon. As its name shows "Minwaita" it is minimal/compact version of Adwaita theme, the theme is available after some enhancements to make Gnome more sleek and more vanilla Gnome experience without moving to away from Adwaita's design. This theme is compatible with Gnome 3.20 and up versions. This theme was released back in November, 2016 and still in continuous development that means if you find any problem or bug in the theme then report it to get it fixed in the next update. Obsidian-1 icons used in the following screenshots.
  • Gnome Pomodoro Timer Can Help You Increase Productivity
    If you are struggling with focus on something, it could be your work or study then try Pomodoro technique, this method developed by Francesco Cirillo in the late 1980s. The technique uses a timer to break down work into intervals, traditionally 25 minutes in length, separated by short breaks. You can read more about Pomodoro here.
  • Widget hierarchies in GTK+ 4.0
    In GTK+3, only GtkContainer subclasses can have child widgets. This makes a lot of sense for “public” container children like we know them, e.g. GtkBox — i.e. the developer can add, remove and reorder child widgets arbitrarily and the container just does layout.

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Leftovers: Ubuntu and Debian