T – 242d!

August 3, 2015 – 12:21 pm

It’s only 242 days until April 1st, 2016, the month where another great Ubuntu Long Term Support (LTS) release will be born. Ubuntu 16.04 will be the most sophisticated release of Ubuntu so far.

In my old/new role as Canonical’s Shepherd for all things related to Ubuntu Client (meaning Ubuntu, Phones, Tablets and everything related), I wanted to take a few moments and share our current plans for the remaining time until Ubuntu 16.04.

The Ubuntu Community team has invited me to a Q&A session for Tuesday, August 4th, 15:00 UTC. Feel free to get in touch with questions right there.

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Synolocker – damage control

August 15, 2014 – 1:37 am

What happened…

I am doing the walk of shame… I have spent my whole career in Linux OSs and yet I was too convenient (read: lazy) to take appropriate measures to protect a Linux based, internet connected storage device accordingly and appropriately caught the Synolocker ransomware onto my Synology DS213j.

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Doing more with your Unity8 preview session in Ubuntu 14.04

April 17, 2014 – 2:41 am

Ubuntu 14.04 will be released today and you couldn’t resist the itch to go try the Unity 8 preview session on the Desktop. How underwhelming… there are almost no apps, and some don’t even work and overall it’s actually pretty unexciting… let’s change that in the next few chapters.

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Unity 8 on Ubuntu 14.04

April 8, 2014 – 1:10 pm

Stephen Webb & team have lead an effort to bring Unity 8 to Ubuntu 14.04, which was done in parallel of other great work the team has landed for Ubuntu 14.04, e.g. locally integrated menus, hiDPI support and Mir support in SDL.

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Deleting groups in Google Contacts

March 31, 2014 – 12:23 am

Over the years my contacts in Google Contacts got garbled with junk from some applications that added hundreds of contact groups. While it doesn’t really have a big impact on accessing the contacts on my phone it still bugged the neat freak in me and I wanted to eventually ™ get it fixed. Today was the day, finally…

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Mir and Chromium

March 4, 2014 – 10:22 am

Ubuntu’s Display Server Mir is gaining more and more traction and the team is making good progress on the platforms that are at the core of Ubuntu.

Mir is proving itself everyday to be the exact technology that Ubuntu needs to power mobile devices. Mir’s features are on par with the requirements that we put out to run Ubuntu on mobile devices. A few recent highlights include the screencasting API, Sidestage and improved right edge navigation (in concert with Unity 8).

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Updates from the Ubuntu Engineering teams

February 17, 2014 – 7:03 am

With UDS just around the corner (11-13 March 2014, 2pm-8pm UTC) we wanted to give you a quick update where things stand in the 14.04 cycle.

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I have to try this!

August 2, 2013 – 3:15 am

The team is landing Unity 8 in the Ubuntu Universe archive today – great news!


Before you are getting your hopes up too high though, it is worth mentioning that the integration of Unity 8 into Ubuntu Desktop is not scheduled to happen for 13.10 but will only be fully integrated for 14.10. The QML based Unity 8 is currently fully integrated on the Ubuntu Touch images only.

This means that all data providing backends are only hooked into Unity 8 on Ubuntu Touch. On Ubuntu Desktop 13.10 Unity 8 can be started as an application and gives you an idea of where we are going, but is far from the intended user experience we are going to provide by 14.10. Unity 8 on the Desktop consumes some of the Desktop data providers, but the behavior and layout is not yet optimized for the Desktop.

How is it looking?

Simply said: pretty! Regardless of the rough edges. Remember, this is showing the designs which were implemented for the phone first, adoption for the Desktop will come later.

We have put an overlay in place (“Early Alpha, not ready for use”) to clearly state the obvious – don’t try this at home on your Desktop (which had my vote for the overlay text;). If you want to see all the current goodness of Unity 8 you will have to give the Ubuntu Touch images a spin.

the login screen with Infographic, click "Tap to Unlock" to enter Unity8 music_scope
the Music scope, showing some classy music laptop_mode_start
individual tracks vs. Albums music_albums_todo
Music Preview in action, one of the best songs on this album btw music_preview
Home is where my files are home
Access to all my apps on the system, plus some mocked ones apps
The equivalent of "Places" in Nautilus, at least for now. Thumbnails are currently broken (on the Desktop) files
Pictures from our trip to Lake Powell, good times photos

What’s next?

There is a lot of work to be done to converge Unity 8 also on the Desktop. Some of the bigger tasks are:

  • Enable Desktop data providers (scopes)
  • Desktop specific layout & designs
  • Tune the UI for pointer & touch device input
  • Make it a Desktop Shell rather than just an app running in a Shell

More details are and will be captured in the Unity 8 blueprint on launchpad.

Hold my beer… I’d love to help!

As usual, you can find the team in the #ubuntu-unity channel on freenode, on the Ubuntu devel mailing list or at the Unity web pages.

I don’t get it

Yes, you do!

 $> sudo apt-get update
 $> sudo apt-get install unity8 unity8-fake-env unity8-private
 $> unity8

Being edgy

July 22, 2013 – 9:05 am

edg·y (/ˈejē/) – creatively challenging, of bold or provocative quality

Welcome Ubuntu Edge – Canonical is starting a campaign on Indiegogo to crowdfund our vision of future mobile computing. The goal of $32M is bold, the approach of working through crowdfunding provocative.

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First Mir benchmarks

June 28, 2013 – 2:14 pm

The first neutral (i.e. not published by us) benchmark of Mir is out. Michael over at Phoronix has a good write up of the current state of things and also mentions that the install was smoother than anticipated.

The results (~about 10% median, 15% average penalty in FPS, see below) are totally within the expected range for where Mir is at right now and doesn’t have us sweat. Read the rest of this entry »