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FOSS Linux App Development In Decline, Canonical Promotes Snap Using Proprietary Software

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Ubuntu
  • Is Native Linux App Development In Decline?

    A blog like mine thrives, in part, on there being a steady supply of good quality native Linux apps to write about.

    We do news too of course, and tutorials, how tos, lists, eye candy, and even the odd opinion piece (like this post). But I know you like reading about new and updated Linux apps, and, to be fair, I like writing about them.

    And yet… Where have all the Linux apps gone?

    Bear with me as what follows is more of a ramble than a coherent essay. For background, I’m writing this on day four of an enthusiasm drought.

  • Slack launches on Linux
  • Slack gets the Linux treatment: New snap available for Mint, Ubuntu, Debian, and more

    Slack is now available as a snap, which means Linux users can take advantage of the workplace collaboration platform, Canonical announced last week.

    Slack has recently debuted a number of features that make it more appealing to businesses, including Shared Channels and Private Shared Channels, which allow employees from different companies to work together on projects in private if they so choose. With more than 9 million weekly active users, Slack has gained a lot of traction in the enterprise, as noted by our sister site ZDNet.

    Back in October 2017, Linux overtook MacOS for the first time in terms of global operating system market share—which means the move opens up even more users to the Slack platform.

  • Canonical slaps Slack snap onto stack

    As the ‘company behind’ Ubuntu, Canonical has brought forward the first iteration of Slack as a snap on its software platform.

    Slack is a cloud-based set of proprietary team collaboration tools and services that go some way beyond core ‘messaging’ functionality into areas including project management.

Review: Ubuntu MATE 17.10

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Reviews
Ubuntu

Ubuntu MATE 17.10 is a solid release with a few minor caveats about the Mutiny layout. The Traditional MATE layout is very nice, but Mutiny still needs some work. For users who want the classic GNOME 2 look-and-feel, Ubuntu MATE is an excellent choice. However, Unity users looking for a Unity-like experience should still give Ubuntu MATE with the Mutiny layout a try, but need to be aware that it does have some issues and it won't work exactly like Unity. The Contemporary layout is also an option for Unity users, but is even further removed from the Unity experience than Mutiny is.

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Our Favourite Apps for Ubuntu

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Ubuntu

We enjoy using Ubuntu mainly for gaming, writing, listening to music and browsing the web. (Lots and lots of browsing the web.) There are other apps that we would love to have on Ubuntu like Affinity Photo, a stunning image editor that’s on par with Adobe’s Photoshop that’s available on Windows and Mac as well as Bear, a beautifully designed note taking app that we do most of our writing on that’s only available for macOS.

However, the Ubuntu platform has moved forward in leaps and bounds in recent years when it comes to the official availability of popular apps and we are confident that this trend will continue.

What’s your favourite Ubuntu apps?

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Debian and Ubuntu: TLCockpit, Google, ROS and Ubuntu Core

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Debian
Ubuntu
  • TLCockpit v0.8

    Today I released v0.8 of TLCockpit, the GUI front-end for the TeX Live Manager tlmgr. I spent the winter holidays in updating and polishing, but also in helping me debug problems that users have reported. Hopefully the new version works better for all.

  • Google's Linux workstations are switching from Ubuntu to Debian

    Like many companies, Google uses a variety of operating systems in-house. macOS and Windows are used by a large number of employees, a modified build of Debian Linux is used on its servers (as of 2014, at least), and Chrome OS and Android devices are commonplace. In work environments where Linux is needed, Google uses a customized version of Ubuntu 14.04 called 'Goobuntu,' which has never been released publicly.

  • Your first robot: Introduction to the Robot Operating System [2/5]

    This is the second blog post in this series about creating your first robot with ROS and Ubuntu Core. In the previous post we walked through all the hardware necessary to follow this series, and introduced Ubuntu Core, the operating system for IoT devices. We installed it on our Raspberry Pi, and used it to go through the CamJam worksheets. In this post, I’m going to introduce you to the Robot Operating System (ROS), and we’ll use it to move our robot.

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Slack as a Snap

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Software
Ubuntu
  • In a Snap, Slack Comes to Linux. Here's How To Install It

    While binaries for Slack have been available for Ubuntu and Fedora, other Linux operating systems are not so lucky. To overcome this, Canonical has released Slack as a Snap, which allows Slack to be installed and used on a greater variety of Linux distributions.

    Snapcraft is a command line tool that allows you to install containerised applications called Snaps on many different Linux distribution. As these Snap containers contain all the required dependencies that a program needs to run, it makes it very easy to create and distribute a single container that works on a variety of Linux versions.

  • Linux Users Can Now Download Slack as a ‘Snap’

    Slack is one step closer to becoming the workplace staple for businesses across the globe. The software is now available for use on Linux environments, bundled as a Snap – an application package for opensource systems.

    Tens of millions of users across the world run Linux on their systems, opting for one among its many distribution avatars. In comparison, Slack reported that over 6 million active profiles used the app daily last year, 2 million of them with paid subscriptions. The new release could open Slack up to a whole new set of customers.

  • Slack has arrived on Linux thanks to Canonical Snap

    CANONICAL HAS made the wishes of its users come true again as it brings another major app to Linux users for the first time.

    This time it's popular team platform Slack. The secret sauce is Ubuntu's "Snap" packages, a form of containerisation which puts an app into a little bubble that makes it run in the Linux environment. At Christmas, the technique was used to bring a desktop Spotify to Linux for the first time.

    The important thing here is that Snaps, first launched in 2016, run on any Linux distro, not just Canonical's own Ubuntu. Named specifically were Linux Mint, Manjaro, Debian, ArchLinux, OpenSUSE and Solus. Not only that, they work across desktop, server, cloud and IoT.

Proprietary Slack as Canonical's Showcase of Snap

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Ubuntu
  • Slack comes to Linux as a snap

    Slack’s ambition to become the default, go-to place for employees chat to each other and link into hundreds of other applications to get work done is getting one more step up today by becoming available on a new platform. From today, Slack will be available as a Snap, an application package that’s available across a range of open-source-based Linux environments.

  • Slack now available as a Snap for Linux

    At the end of last year, the Linux desktop scored a huge win when Spotify became available as a Snap. If you aren't familiar with Snaps, please know that they are essentially software packages designed to run as a container on any Linux distro. Not only does it make installing software packages easier for users, but it makes things simpler for developers too. Ultimately, Snaps have the potential to solve the big fragmentation problem in the Linux desktop community.

  • Slack Is Now Available as a Snap for Ubuntu and Other Linux Distros

    Canonical and Slack announced today that the popular Slack team collaboration and communication platform is now available as a Snap for Ubuntu and other Snappy-enabled GNU/Linux distributions.

    With the promise of making your working life simpler, more productive and pleasant, Slack is used by numerous organizations and businesses to increase the productivity of their employees. It's an all-in-one platform that offers messaging, planning, calendaring, budgeting, code reviewing, and many other tools.

    "Slack brings team communication and collaboration into one place so you can get more work done, whether you belong to a large enterprise or a small business. Check off your to-do list and move your projects forward by bringing the right people, conversations, tools, and information you need together," reads project's page.

  • Canonical brings Slack to the snap ecosystem

    Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu, today announced the first iteration of Slack as a snap, bringing collaboration to open source users.

    Slack is an enterprise software platform that allows teams and businesses of all sizes to communicate effectively. Slack works seamlessly with other software tools within a single integrated environment, providing an accessible archive of an organisation’s communications, information and projects.

    In adopting the universal Linux app packaging format, Slack will open its digital workplace up to an-ever growing community of Linux users, including those using Linux Mint, Manjaro, Debian, ArchLinux, OpenSUSE, Solus, and Ubuntu.

  • Want to Install Slack on Ubuntu? It’s Now Easier Than Ever

    You can easily install Slack on Ubuntu as a Snap application from the Ubuntu Software app. The popular app lets people chat and collaborate in realtime.

Ubuntu Patches

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Ubuntu
  • Ubuntu Preparing Kernel Updates With IBRS/IBPB For Spectre Mitigation

    Canonical has rolled out Spectre Variant One and Spectre Variant Two mitigation to their proposed repository with updated kernels for Ubuntu 14.04 LTS / 16.04 LTS / 17.10. These kernels with IBRS and IBPB added in will be sent down as stable release updates next week.

  • Canonical Invites Ubuntu Users to Test Kernel Patches for Spectre Security Flaw

    Canonical has released preliminary kernel updates to mitigate both variants of the Spectre security vulnerability in all supported Ubuntu Linux operating systems, including all official flavors.

    The company promised last week that it would release new kernel updates on Monday, January 15, 2018, for all supported Ubuntu releases. But it didn't happen as they needed more time to thoroughly test and prepare the patches that would presumably address variant 1 and 2 of the Spectre exploit, which is harder to fix than Meltdown, so that it won't cause any issues.

  • Purism Progress Report, Spectre Mitigation for Ubuntu, Malicious Chrome Extensions and More

    Canonical has made Spectre Variant One and Spectre Variant Two mitigation availble in Ubuntu Proposed with updated kernels for Ubuntu 14.04 LTS, 16.04 LTS and 17.10. Those kernels will be in the stable release updates starting January 22, 2018. See ubuntu insights for more information.

Canonical Wants to Stick to Older Nautilus for Desktop Icons in Ubuntu 18.04 LTS

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Ubuntu

As you may be aware, upstream GNOME team decided to remove the handling of desktop icons from the Nautilus file manager, moving it to the GNOME Shell user interface through an extension. The change will take effect with the upcoming GNOME 3.28 desktop environment, due for release on March 14, 2018.

Now that Ubuntu switched to GNOME as default desktop environment, the change will affect all upcoming releases of the operating system, starting with Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (Bionic Beaver), which is currently under heavy development.

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Debian and Ubuntu: gLinux, arm64, GNOME and Ubucon Europe

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Debian
Ubuntu
  • Google Developing New Debian-Based Linux For Internal Use

    Web giant Google announced at the DebConf17 Linux conference that it will be changing over to a Debian-based distribution of GNU/Linux internally, known as gLinux. One of the key developers involved with Google’s internal specialized Linux distribution efforts took the stage to make the announcement. It’s worth noting that this team member formerly worked for Canonical, the team behind the popular Ubuntu distribution. That is because Google is dumping Ubuntu as its base and moving to Debian, the distribution that Ubuntu is forked from. The move will be gradual; some of Google’s most mission-critical computers, including desktops, laptops, and servers, currently run on Goobuntu, and it will take time to develop gLinux and deploy it across Google’s internal Linux fleet.

  • Google Replaces Its Ubuntu-Based Goobuntu Linux OS with Debian-Based gLinux

    After more than five years of using its in-house built Ubuntu-based Goobuntu Linux distribution internally for various things, Google has decided to replace it with a gLinux, based on Debian Testing.

    It's no secret that Google users Linux a lot. It's Android and Chrome OS operating systems are powered by Linux, so they need to use a GNU/Linux distro to work on its other OSes for laptops and mobile phones. Until now, the company used Goobuntu Linux, which was based on Canonical's very popular Ubuntu Linux operating system.

  • First steps with arm64

    As it was Christmas time recently, I wanted to allow oneself something special. So I ordered a Macchiatobin from SolidRun. Unfortunately they don’t exaggerate with their delivery times and I had to wait about two months for my device. I couldn’t celebrate Christmas time with it, but fortunately New Year.

    Anyway, first I tried to use the included U-Boot to start the Debian installer on an USB stick. Oh boy, that was a bad idea and in retrospect just a waste of time. But there is debian-arm@l.d.o and Steve McIntyre was so kind to help me out of my vale of tears.

  • Why Ubuntu 18.04 LTS Will Use an Older Version of Nautilus

    Ubuntu devs have decided to release Ubuntu 18.04 LTS with Nautilus 3.26 installed so that users are able to put icons on the desktop.

    GNOME removed the option to put icons on the desktop earlier this month. The next release of the file manager, the app which has hitherto handled the job of drawing and managing the ‘desktop’ space, will no longer support this feature.

  • Ubucon Europe: 100 Days to go!

Behind the scenes with Pop!_OS Linux

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GNU
Linux
Interviews
Ubuntu

In October, Linux PC maker System76 released its homegrown version of Linux, Pop!_OS, giving users the choice between its legacy Ubuntu operating system or the new Pop!_OS flavor of Linux. Recently Opensource.com gave away a System76 laptop with Pop!_OS installed, which made me curious about the company and this new version of Linux, so I spoke with Cassidy James Blaede, Pop!_OS's user experience (UX) designer.

Blaede joined System76 in 2014, fresh out of college at the University of Northern Iowa and marriage to his wife, Katie. While in college, he co-founded the elementary OS project and interned at UX consultancy Visual Logic, both of which influenced his work for System76. He started at System76 as a front-end developer and was later promoted to UX architect.

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Also: Linux Journal 2.0 Progress Report

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