Last week I traveled to Oakland to spend a week with my colleagues at Canonical for the Client Sprint. The aim of the sprint was to ensure the many different teams working on Ubuntu Touch at Canonical are in sync and working as efficiently as possible. This largely involves ensuring that the management teams are planning their work effectively, and that everyone is singing from the same hymn sheet.
To provide a little context, at Canonical we are working consistently to deliver a 1.0 Ubuntu Touch platform that is ready for October so it can then be delivered to customers for deployment on handsets in Q1/Q2 2014. This involves a wide variety of design, engineering, and service-delivery projects that currently involves 15 engineering teams, 5 design teams, and 5 services teams, totaling 150+ people. The aim of the sprint was to ensure these 150+ folks are aligned.
Now, some cynical people (who I suspect may need more hugs) think that the sprint is merely a Canonical-only UDS where we make a bunch of private decisions by explicitly excluding the community. Sorry, drama fans, this is not true. We spend our time discussing and managing Canonical staff and resources, talking about product review documents, staff assignments, hardware/IS requirements, reporting structures, stakeholder and customer requirements, and wading through endless spreadsheets to track all of this. We don’t do this at UDS as UDS is not a good event for this kind of team alignment work as we are all spread across multiple tracks (and most of our community would have little interest in these team discussions anyway), hence we have always had sprints to do this.
The sprint had a very definitive format. Every team has a defined set of responsibilities and projects and each team lead prepared a summary of their work, achievements, and blockers. As an example, one project my team has been working on is the skunkworks and core apps projects, and wider app development community growth. I gave a presentation that summarized this work and it provided an opportunity to update the wider team and identify areas in which we can work more efficiently (e.g. one outcome was opening up a more regular communication between myself and the head of the SDK team).
The good news is that things are running really well. The teams were well prepared, great progress is being made on the road to October, and any inter-team and inter-project issues that we did find were quickly and efficiently resolved. For such a large project with so many inter-connecting parts I was pleasantly surprised with just how coordinated everyone seems to be, and I want to thank the many engineering, design, and services managers and leads for their (often understated) leadership and planning. It is complex to coordinate so many moving parts when everyone works in the same office, let alone for such a widely distributed company working from home with so many different timezones.
Of course, there were many topics and projects discussed at the sprint, but there was one topic that resonated throughout the week: getting Ubuntu Touch into a form in which our community can start dog-fooding as soon as possible. In other words, right now you can download the daily Ubuntu Touch images, but you can’t really use it as your main phone; it still comes with a bunch of dummy data, some radio functions don’t work, and there is no way of saving data when you re-flash the device. In the next few months the teams agreed to expedite their work to make the Ubuntu Touch images ready so we can use them as our daily devices, thus opening more opportunities for testing, feedback, functionality edge cases, and more.
I have another sprint coming up this week (the Cloud sprint), but I have asked a number of people who joined the sprint to blog about their progress and updates. Keep your eyes peeled for more.
In the election that ended last Thursday, the Xubuntu community elected me to continue my term as the Xubuntu Project Lead. The extended term consists two releases and ends with the LTS release in April 2014.
Now it’s time to thank everybody organizing the election, cheering and voting. Thank you!
As a funny detail, I heard the election results while running a Q&A session about Xubuntu at Happy Hacking Day. After the results were announced, there was a round of applauds from the crowd. I can’t think of a better place to be when finding out – surrounded by the community.Get Involved with Xubuntu!
I hope we can improve Xubuntu even further during the two forthcoming cycles, but I can’t do it by myself. Join our team and help us building a better operating system! To read more about contributing, head to the Get Involved section of the Xubuntu website.
Just a quick note… It’s been a while since I last updated my repository for WordPress stuff, but now I’m back with more plugins as well as fixes and new features to old ones!
Most prominently Photoslider now supports even more options. In addition I’ve started to standardize the plugins in an effort trying to use the best possible practices.
Again, all feedback and patches are welcome!
We can now browse our albums, artists and songs (no playlists yet) and play them
GNOME Music application development is reaching the end of phase one (out of three).
This phase consists of:
- Set basic infrastructure (done)
- Implement Grilo Querying (done)
- Implement Albums View (done)
- Implement Songs View (done)
- Implement Artist View (done)
- Implement Playback support (done)
- Clean up and port to Glade (in progress)
If you feel like hacking along please don’t mind to help out:
- Get the code from https://git.gnome.org/browse/gnome-music
- Report bugs https://bugzilla.gnome.org/browse.cgi?product=gnome-music
- Join the development on IRC #gnome-music on irc.gimp.net
- To check out our vague plan visit: https://live.gnome.org/Music
Thanks for everybody who has been helping out.
Thanks to Guillaume Quintard and the potential SoC students for posting to glade and fixing some of the UI issues. Also Vadim Rutkovsky started working on some unittests (which kicks ass).
And now to leave you with some screenshots…
Congratulations to Debian on their most recent release, Debian 7.0 ("wheezy"). Debian 7.0 has been in development for over two years and is the product of almost a thousand volunteer developers and other contributors from around the world. We wish them many more successful releases in the years to come. Congratulations!
Wallpaper-tool is here.
As you can see it's a really simple app only a few fields and so.
After you have set all up you press create and you are done. For artists or people who want to upload that wallpaper. The folder you want is in ~/.kde/wallpaper/
You can get it via git clone git://anongit.kde.org/scratch/kolberg/wallpaper-tool
I hope you can enjoy it
One of the aspects of this work is to get to a really good story with protocol stacks in general -- that is to say, bluetooth, WiFi, and the fun things behind connectivity on a mobile device. How can I get my files on the device? How can I copy the pictures that I've just taken back to my computer?
On the way back home from Oakland I've had quite a lot of time to reflect on what we've done so far. I've seen really cool demos of things you could get done on Touch and how things are going to look like in the near future. It makes me very proud to be part of getting Ubuntu to a large number of people through a solid Desktop system, but also stellar mobile devices support.
So, we did get bluetooth to work pretty okay so far on Touch. It seems like the current baddest issue is really just UI, but fortunately people are already hard at work fixing that, too. Keyboards can be discovered, and so can mice (I've uploaded a video to YouTube about that before). Bluetooth headsets should follow soon, but when I last tried I was running into issues with pulseaudio on the Nexus 7... If you're interested in bluetooth and know a little about BlueZ and the command line, by all means, let me know on IRC and let's get this to be really awesome.
For WiFi, we also have indicator-network in the archive, all rewritten, received tons of love, and soon to be ready to shine on both the desktop and mobile phones or tablets. Don't get me wrong, there's still a long way to go, but it feels to me like one thing we can pretty quickly ramp up to converge and essentially be the same experience no matter what form factor it is running on.
That covers WiFi -- but what about mobile data? (3G / 4G, but I rather speak of it in the most general terms) Well, that's being actively worked on as well. We're not too far off from having working 3G data on the "officially supported" devices (Galaxy Nexus, Nexus 4, Nexus 7); and from there it seems like it may not be too much trouble for people to ramp up that support for other devices. Sure, it's complicated work because of how technical it is, but I think it's still approachable.
For mobile data, I've lately been working on teaching NetworkManager to speak to oFono; which are the two stacks we're decided, at UDS, to use to handle networking and telephony. The code itself isn't too pretty yet, but I'll add just a bit more meat to it and provide it as a test bzr branch for people to experiment with, until it's stable enough to make it into the archive altogether.
All this to mention that I'm really excited about the current progress for Touch, and although my progress on my own work items wasn't exactly stellar, I'm thrilled about what's to come. So thrilled I'll contact my cell provider to get the right SIM card size to start using Touch on a Nexus 4 as my main phone next week.
See you all at virtual UDS, looking forward to lots of constructive discussions about networking and connectivity!
Greetings from Ashtabula. My name is Mike Kellat and I am the owner of Erie Looking Productions. I am recording this on Saturday, May 4, 2013. This is for immediate release.
Stephen has received dispatch orders from the Director of the Ashtabula County Board of Elections herself this very morning. As you may or may not be aware, Stephen is thoroughly involved in local democracy by serving as a substitute precinct election official. We have a local election coming up on Tuesday and Stephen has been ordered to a new precinct to take up duty to serve the public by helping conduct the vote. Stephen first served as a poll judge during the November 2012 Presidential General Election.
Our producer continues to be away on medical leave and that is beginning its fourth week. Between that and the requirements placed upon Stephen between now and Tuesday to avoid taking positions on ballot questions which include library issues, I am suspending production of LISTen and the Burning Circle at this time. I am also factoring in the Ubuntu Developer Summit as part of this production suspension so that time is spent appropriately on that.
There shall be no episodes released on Monday, May 6th, or Monday, May 13th. Normal production releases shall resume on Monday, May 20th, which is the Victoria Day holiday in Canada.
Thank you for your patience and understanding. We'll see you on the other side of this production suspension.
The Ubuntu Developer Summit should have been this week but got cancelled in order to increase transparency. But you wouldn't want to let an expensive hotel booking go to waste so there seems to have been a meeting of Canonical engineers this week anyway just without the community. Twitter says some grumpy things. Well two can play at that game: I've been to every UDS except the Mataro Sessions back in 2004 so this week I'm down the road from Mataro with a dozen KDE and Kubuntu people to discuss what we're all working on. So far mgraesslin has shown his plans for KWin (including no small part of slagging off Mir and the instability of X in Ubuntu) and now Kevin is talking about the status of KDE Frameworks 5.
Some time ago I got a phone call saying Canonical were stepping back from their support of Kubuntu. But Free Software doesn't like to quietly disappear and I've been spending the last year getting back what went missing. Last week I had a meeting to get the last bit in place, commercial support. A nice guy called Niall from Emerge spent a lot of time and energy getting an agreement from Canonical to be able to provide the commercial support then found a company to actually provide that. So I drove down to a part of England called Huddersfield to visit the offices of With Support, a small company doing Linux support. Their office has a fresh cut wood smell coming from all the fresh cut wood. Tariq is the head man having built up the business from scratch. He started off doing Linux desktop support but has moved away from that due to lack of business, hopefully being an official Kubuntu partner will fix that.
We installed Kubuntu to take a look from a user support point of view and found a bunch of issues. The main one was krfb not working to share the desktop, this is important as a way to get access to the user's computer. We didn't look at Kiosk but he considers it important to be able to lock down KDE's settings for companies that want it, I think this should still work but it'll need testing. Muon was a lovely package manager but no good if it doesn't know about packages which if you install without a network connection is the case until the cron job runs, ug. QApt seemed to not be doing what it needs to either installing .deb packages or working with the directory share plugin to install samba. And then he had some features he thought the users would expect like new applications highlighted in the application menu.
Then we had a conference call to talk business. The important thing about this deal is all profits go to the Kubuntu Council to spend on things to help Kubuntu. We'll need to set up a Paypal account or other way to pay and a transparent way to split money between us. And it'll need putting that on the website in some suitably clear marketing talk. I'm very excited.
If you don’t know .. the one on the left …. I’ve backed it up a bit because this is one of the best metal riffs of all time, and it’s tough to appreciate both Jeff and Kerry unless you listen to them together.
Liquid error: undefined method `’ for nil:NilClass
Over the last couple of weeks the better part of the Kubuntu team has been working on bringing KDE SC 4.7.1 to Kubuntu.
Especially the last week we started to backport it to Kubuntu 11.04. We’ll need some more time since 4.7.1 need a lot being backported to natty.
Of course we would not be in that good a position for the 4.7.1 release without the excellent team of Kubuntu Ninjas, the elite release packagers working in the dungeon of our IRC channel.
Together they prepared 130 source packages for upload. And improved the scripts and added zsh completion they will be merged into our official repository soon.
A big thank you goes to:
- Romain Perier – french reinforcement for the ninjas, though he is becoming a knight who says ni at the court of Phonon (or so someone told me)
- Rohan Garg – he did quite a few packages and had nearly no time to do so
- Michał Zając – who merged in nearly all the stuff I packaged (thanks mate)
- Philip Muškovac – not much of a blogger but a really good mate
- Felix Geyer – who did only one package, but reuploaded all our packages to enable our new translation handling for desktop files
- Scott Kitterman – the man who actually gets new stuff into the archive, or not, depending on whether he gets enough cookies, sometimes proper licensing also helps
- Harald Sitter – who uploaded the translation packages, since my bandwidth is not sufficent
- Myself – the new Kubuntu member who did lots of packages :P
There is nothing more awesome in life than to watch technology fail people. Here’s the UI to my sprinkler system to my lawn:
Here’s what a 45 node deployment on OpenStack on Ubuntu looks like:
So at some point running a Linux cloud became easier than managing water coming out of tubes in the ground.
For some reason my sprinkler is running at 6pm instead of 6am. I don’t know how to fix it because:
- The UI is so terrible I want to punch someone in the neck.
- The clock is wrong. I don’t know how to set the clock manually without having to go through point #1. Why I’m setting a clock manually in 2013? No clue.
If Nest made a lawn sprinkler system it would show a brown patch in the UI. If I turned the knob to the right it would turn greener and greener until it matched my cheapness-to-green ratio. It would check the weather so it wouldn’t water my lawn when it’s raining like this thing does. It’s raining, why are you on? Because some sprinkler company bolted on the world’s worst UI to what amounts to a … cron job.
For bonus points it would also check Google Maps and compare how green my lawn is to my neighbors, so I can keep up with the Joneses without spending too much. It would know when there’s a water shortage and talk to my neighbor’s sprinklers and the water company to Do The Right Thing for the neighborhood.
I love that my Nest is so smart that people think it’s just a dumb knob. What it’s doing in the background is the real brains, and I love that I don’t have to think about it. I hope they move on from thermostats and bring this kind of stuff to other household appliances. You should see the buttons on my dishwasher.
Today at O’Reilly Media, save 50% on all Ebooks and Videos to celebrate Day Against DRM, including one of my books, VMware Cookbook.
1) Could you provide a bit of background about yourself?
Hi! My name is Sergio Andrés Meneses as you can figure it out by my nickname (SergioMeneses), I am 24 years old, I am from Cúcuta/Colombia and I belong to the LocoCouncil and the Ubuntu QA-team.
2) How did you become invovled with the Ubuntu community?
I began with Ubuntu 7.10 and my first contact was in my university, Francisco de Paula Santander University. And later I met Ubuntu-Colombian team (My LocoTeam), where I learned a lot and especialy about how to work in community.
3) What attracted you to the quality team?
I always liked to work on testing, I have been really interesting about the quality in free software or open source projects, so this was an amazing oportunity to learn and help to do Ubuntu better. But in the Raring-cycle (13.04), I was more involved with another things like: Bugs, Reports, Test-cases, Testing-applications and as always: Testing-isos. This was my first contact officially with the ubuntu QA-team.
Contributing to the manual tests project4) What would you say to folks new to ubuntu and/or testing?
An interesting question, let me think!... If you like technology, If you like to learn a lot and you want to share with amazing people. You're place is in the Ubuntu-Community. and why do you have to be in the testing team?... because we are the best team! we are not only users or IT engineers, we are friends with jokes, having a good time and the most important thing: we work to do Ubuntu better!
5) How would you describe the community and the experience of using ubuntu?
About the community I have the right word: Friendship, wherever you see friendship is the bigger characteristic in all the teams and it makes that your contributions on ubuntu are a good run. About my experience of using ubuntu: it's the best, I use Ubuntu in computers, its performance is amazing, as programmer and sysadmin I dont have any issue with it... I always recommend it. :)
6) What would you like to see in the future for ubuntu?
There are interesting things in the future but I'm going to put emphasis on two things: the rolling release system and ubuntu-touch especially phones, and why this? - because we had a passionate discussion in several mailinglists, blogs, forums, IRC... everybody was crazy! literally. But I like to see in the future something less technical: "I would like to see more young people working in the community, especially people from LatinAmerica"
Sergio mapping out a testcase for the software center
7) Do you have a favorite experience to share from being a part of ubuntu?
While I was doing my first merged, I didn't upload my code into my personal branch but I uploaded into +junk and I didn't what was wrong. Editors Note: uploading the branch to +junk means Sergio wouldn't be able to submit it in a merge request to the project he was contributing to. In other words, he made a contribution, but got lost trying to contribute it :-)
8) What is your favorite activity or interest outside of computing (including ubuntu!)?
I really like soccer! My favorite team is Manchester United (UK), I see many soccer games on tv and sometimes I play, when I have time enough.
Due to the size of the Xubuntu ISOs starting from Raring (13.04) they no longer fit on a standard CD. This guide will help you if your BIOS doesn’t support booting off of USB drives by showing you how to use Plop boot manager.Getting Plop
You can download the most recent version here (plpbt-*). At the time of writing, the newest version is plpbt-5.0.14.zip (2012-02-11).Executing Plop
The burning process is similar as documented on the Ubuntu wiki.
Main contents of the downloaded archive should be:1README.TXT Instructional Readme. plpbt.bin Boot manager binary plpbt.img Boot manager floppy disk image plpbt.iso Boot manager CD ISO plpbtrom.bin Boot manager ROM file for the BIOS doc/ Documentation experimental/ Experimental versions pcmcia/ PCMCIA version of the boot manager Linux/ Linux related programs Windows/ Windows related programs
You will then have to create your bootable USB device (flash drive) as documented in the installation section of the Ubuntu wiki.
After you create both the bootable USB device and Plop CD, place the CD in the CD drive, and power off the computer. After you power off, place the USB device in the computer and turn the computer on, you may need to go into the BIOS settings and configure it to boot from CD first.
After you boot into Plop from the CD, you should see a “USB” item on the menu that will appear (as pictured to the right), select it with the Down arrow key, then hit Enter to boot.
If everything has gone as expected, Xubuntu live desktop should boot from USB. Enjoy!
Recently I took some time to work on implementing container clones through the lxc API. lxc-clone previously existed as a shell script which could create snapshot clones of lvm and btrfs containers. There were several shortcomings to this:
1. clone was not exportable through the API (to be used in python, lua, go and c programs). Now it is, so a Go program can create a container clone in one function call.
2. expanding the set of supported clone types became unsavory
3. overlayfs was only supported as ‘ephemeral containers’, which could be made persistent through the use of pre-mount hooks. They were not first class citizens. Now they are.
The result is now in upstream git as well as in the packages at the ubuntu-lxc/daily ppa. Supported backing store types currently include dir (directory), lvm, btrfs, overlayfs, and zfs. Hopefully loop and qemu-nbd will be added soon. They each are somewhat different due to the nature of the backing store itself, so I’ll go over each. However in my opinion the coolest thing you can do with this is:
# create a stock directory backed container
sudo lxc-create -t ubuntu -n dir1
# create an overlayfs snapshot of it
sudo lxc-clone -s -B overlayfs dir1 s1
The -s argument asks for a snapshot (rather than copy) clone, and -B specifies the backing store type for the new container. When container s1 starts, it will mount a private writeable overlay (/var/lib/lxc/dir1/delta0) over a readonly mount of the original /var/lib/lxc/dir1/rootfs.
Now make some changes to start customizing s1. Checkpoint that state by cloning it:
sudo lxc-clone -s s1 s2
This will reference the same rootfs (/var/lib/lxc/dir1/rootfs) and rsync the overlayfs delta from s1 to s2. Now you can keep working on s1, keeping s2 as a checkpoint. Make more changes, and create your next snapshot
sudo lxc-clone -s s1 s3
sudo lxc-clone -s s1 s4
If at some point you realize you need to go back to an older snapshot, say s3, then you can
sudo lxc-clone -s s1 s1_bad # just to make sure
sudo lxc-destroy -n s1
sudo lxc-clone -s s3 s1
and pick up where you left off. Finally, if you’re happy and want to tar up what you have to ship it or copy to another machine, clone it back to a directory backed container:
sudo lxc-clone -B dir s1 dir_ship
sudo tar zcf /var/lib/lxc/dir_ship.tgz /var/lib/lxc/dir_ship
So far I’ve shown dir (directory) backing store and overlayfs. Specific to directory backed containers is that they cannot be snapshotted, except by converting them to overlayfs backed containers. Specific to overlayfs containers is that the original directory backed container must not be deleted, since the snapshot depends on it. (I’ll address this soon, marking the snapshotted container so that lxc-destroy will leave it alone, but that is not yet done)
To use btrfs containers, the entire lxc configuration path must be btrfs. However since the configuration path is flexible, that’s not as bad as it used to be. For instance, I mounted a btrfs at $HOME/lxcbase, then did
sudo lxc-create -t ubuntu -P $HOME/lxcbase -n b1
(The ‘-P’ argument chooses a custom ‘lxcpath’, or lxc configuration path, than the default /var/lib/lxc. You can also specify a global default other than /var/lib/lxc in /etc/lxc/lxc.conf.) lxc-create detects the btrfs and automatically makes the container a new subvolume, which can then be snapshotted
sudo lxc-clone -s b1 b2
For zfs, a zfsroot can be specified in /etc/lxc/lxc.conf. I created a zfs pool called ‘lxc’ (which is actually the default for the lxc tools, so I did not list it in /etc/lxc/lxc.conf), then did
sudo lxc-create -B zfs -t ubuntu -n z1
sudo lxc-clone -B zfs dir1 z1
This created ‘lxc/z1′ as a new zfs fs and mounted it under /var/lib/lxc/z1/rootfs. Next I could
sudo lxc-clone -s z1 z2
Now lxc-destroy needs some smarts still built-in to make zfs backed containers easier to destroy. That is because when lxc-clone creates z2 from z1, it must first create a snapshot ‘lxc/z1@z2′, then clone that to ‘lxc/z2′. So before you can destroy z1, you currently must
sudo lxc-destroy -n z2
sudo zfs destroy lxc/z1@x2
Finally, you can also use LVM. LVM snapshot container clones have been supported longer than any others (with btrfs being second). I like the fact that you can use any filesystem inside the LV. However, the two major shortcomings are that you cannot snapshot a snapshot, and that you must (depending at least on the filesystem type) choose a filesystem size in advance.
To clone LVM conatiners, you either need a vg called ‘lxc’, or you can specify a default vg in /etc/lxc/lxc.conf. You can create the initial lvm container with
sudo lxc-create -t ubuntu -n lvm1 –fssize 2G –fstype xfs
sudo lxc-clone -B lvm dir1 lvm1
Then snapshot it using
sudo lxc-clone -s lvm1 lvm2
Note that unlike overlayfs, snapshots in zfs, btrfs, and lvm are safe from having the base container destroyed. In btrfs, that is because the btrfs snapshot is metadata based, so destroying the base container simply does not delete any of the data in use by the snapshot container. LVM and zfs both will note that there are active snapshots of the base rootfs and prevent the base container from being destroyed.
We’re back with the tenth episode of Season Six of the Ubuntu Podcast from the UK LoCo Team! Alan Pope, Mark Johnson, Tony Whitmore, Laura Cowen and The Podcats are all set in Studio A with cake and an interview.Download OGG Play in Popup Download MP3 Play in Popup
In this week’s show:-
- We interview Ivanka Majic, Creative Strategic Lead on the Canonical Design Team about designing in the open.
- We share some Command Line Lurve: btsync
- We chat about publishing an article on opensource.com, playing with juju, taking sweets from strangers, and being experimented on…
- And, of course, we go over your marvellous feedback, including this video from Dave Jeffrey.
Please send your comments and suggestions to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Join us on IRC in #ubuntu-uk-podcast on Freenode
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Leave us some segment ideas on the Etherpad
Today, I am pleased to announce that Windows Azure Cloud Image dailies are now being published for Ubuntu Server 12.04 LTS, 12.10, 13.04 and the current development version 13.10. Due to the way that Windows Azure image publication works, these images will appear with in a three or four hours of the EC2 images and will be published to all Windows Azure regions.
However, the daily images will not be available in the Windows Azure Gallery; these images are published to API users. In the coming weeks, we'll throw up some pages to help our API users find the current images, but for now, you can use the API Query tools to find the images.
The initial daily images are:
While we make every effort at maintaining quality, daily images are not officially supported and may have issues as they are not rigorously QA'ed. As part of our release process, we take a daily, put it through QA and then promote the image. If you see any problems with any of the daily builds, please head over to Launchpad.net and file us a bug.
For those who need a primer on using the Azure CLI Tool, our friends over at Microsoft have a really good explanation here. After you get it all setup, you should see all versions of the released Ubuntu Cloud Images and the dailies.
Finally, our daily image publishing will be restricted to the last five images for any one series. Like on EC2, all versions of Ubuntu Server released Cloud Images will remain indefinitely, with the exception of the pre-Windows Azure GA images (i.e. images with a serial of less than 20130414).