news aggregator

Ubuntu LoCo Council: New Logos Announced!

Planet Ubuntu - Sat, 2014-01-11 18:25

As many of you know, we opened a contest to find the new logos for the LoCo Teams and LoCo Council. After a while, we have finally decided that the winner is…

Sam Hewitt!

You should be seeing the new logos in place in a couple minutes on the ~locoteams and ~ubuntu-locouncil teams on Launchpad. You can check the logo set on SVG format here. We should remind you that the set is licensed under a CC-BY-SA 3.0 License. Thanks to all people who participated with their logos, and make sure to expect more news from us soon!

Ubuntu Classroom: 2nd Call for Instructors: Ubuntu User Days on Jan 25-26th 2014

Planet Ubuntu - Sat, 2014-01-11 06:32

The Classroom Team is proud to announce that we’ll be hosting our next Ubuntu User Days on Saturday January 25th, 14:30 UTC – Sunday the 26th 2014, 3:00 UTC.

“User Days was created to be a set of courses offered during a one day period to teach the beginning or intermediate Ubuntu user the basics to get them started with Ubuntu”

In order for this event to be a success, we need instructors to lead sessions.

To volunteer to lead a session, you can contact a member of the Ubuntu User Days Team by sending an email to myself (jose at ubuntu.com), the ubuntu-classroom at lists.ubuntu.com mailing list or by contacting us on IRC by stopping by #ubuntu-classroom-backstage on irc.freenode.net. We still have plenty of slots open for the two days, so make sure to grab yours now!

If you are unsure of a topic for your session, you can visit the Course Suggestions page:

https://wiki.ubuntu.com/UserDaysTeam/CourseSuggestions

If you are unsure about expectations for class instructors, please ask! You may also visit the logs from past Ubuntu User Days:

We are always keen on seeing new instructors around, if you have any doubts on how all of this is ran you can visit us on our IRC channel (#ubuntu-classroom-backstage on irc.freenode.net). Please be sure to pass this announcement along to any of your friends who might be interested in leading a session.


Lubuntu Blog: Lots of LX updates

Planet Ubuntu - Fri, 2014-01-10 15:43
The coder of the entire desktop LXDE, PCMan, was busy these days. He was updating the main core libs and app (pcmanfm / libfm 1.2.0), the image viewer (gpicview 0.2.4) and the appearance config tool (lxappearance 0.5.5), getting improved with bug fixes and new features: pcmanfm: dual pane view pcmanfm: create symlinks lxappearance: fix creating themes lxappearance: compression use xz format

Colin King: cppcheck - another very useful static code analysis tool

Planet Ubuntu - Fri, 2014-01-10 12:30
Over the past months I have been using static code analysis tools such as smatch and Coverity Scan on various open source projects that I am involved with.  These, combined with using gcc's -Wall -Wextra have proved useful in tracking down and eliminating various bugs.

Recently I stumbled on cppcheck and gave it a spin on several larger projects.  One of the cppcheck project aims is to find errors that the compiler won't spot and also try to keep the number of false positives found to a minimum.

cppcheck is very easy to use, the default settings just work out of the box. However, for extra checking I enabled the --force option to check of all configurations and the --enable=all to report on checks to be totally thorough and pedantic.

The --enable option is especially useful. It allows one to select different types of checking, for example, coding style, execution performance, portability, unused functions and missing include files.

Even though my code has been through smatch and Coverity Scan, cppcheck still managed to find a few issues using --enable=all

1. unused functions
2. a potential memory leak with realloc(), for example:

buf = realloc(buf, new_size);
if (!buf)
     return NULL;

if realloc() fails, buf can be leaked.  A potential fix is:

tmp = realloc(buf, new_size);
if (!tmp) {
     free(buf);
     return NULL;
} else
     buf = tmp;

3. some potential sscanf buffer overflows
4. some coding style improvements, for example, local auto variables could be moved to a deeper scope

So cppcheck worked well for me.  I recommend referring to the cppcheck project wiki to check out the features and then subjecting your code to it and seeing if it can find any bugs.

Jono Bacon: Community Leadership Summit 2014 Announced!

Planet Ubuntu - Fri, 2014-01-10 06:10

I am delighted to announce the Community Leadership Summit 2014, now in it’s sixth year! This year it takes place on the 18th and 19th July 2014, the weekend before OSCON at the Oregon Convention Center. Thanks again to O’Reilly for providing the venue.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the CLS, it is an entirely free event designed to bring together community leaders and managers and the projects and organizations that are interested in growing and empowering a strong community. The event provides an unconference style schedule in which attendees can discuss, debate and explore topics. This is augmented with a range of scheduled talks, panel discussions, networking opportunities and more.

The heart of CLS is an event driven by the attendees, for the attendees.

The event provides an opportunity to bring together the leading minds in the field with new community builders to discuss topics such as governance, creating collaborative environments, conflict resolution, transparency, open infrastructure, social networking, commercial investment in community, engineering vs. marketing approaches to community leadership and much more.

The previous events have been hugely successful and a great way to connect together different people from different community backgrounds to share best practice and make community management an art and science better understood and shared by us all.

I will be providing more details about the event closer to the time, but in the meantime be sure to register!

Paul Tagliamonte: Docker in Debian

Planet Ubuntu - Fri, 2014-01-10 02:13

Hello, World!

Docker’s in Debian! Isn’t that great! Let’s all get happy! It’s called docker.io, so go ahead and sudo apt-get install docker.io whenever you want :)

The first two uploads have a few errors, which are 100% my fault. The first were a set of FTBFS bugs, which were a stupid error on my part.

Thanks to olasd for catching the remaining bug, related to stripping the binaries.

I’m so sorry this happened, it slipped through as a result of me having a local docker binary in /usr/local, which I tested completely before uploading a totally different binary. I won’t let it happen again.

It should be fixed now.

However, this comes with a warning. It appears as though systemd (which, for the record I adore) is allowing lxc-start unmount /dev/pts and friends, which causes a bunch of damage to the host.

I’ve filed the bug as bug #734813.

So, if you’re a systemd user, please hold off on using docker.io until we resolve this issue in Debian.

Jo Shields: Here Ye, Here Ye

Planet Ubuntu - Thu, 2014-01-09 21:54

Valve Software’s Steam is the number one digital game distribution service, with more than 65 million registered accounts. Steam runs on Windows, Mac OS, and Linux x86/amd64 computers, and provides access to several thousand games, at varying price points – an enormous growth from less than a dozen games for Windows only about a decade ago. Valve’s latest endeavour has been to bring their storefront into the living room, with a three-pronged attack: a new game controller, a programme of licensed x86 “consoles” to plug into the family TV, and an OS to run on the “Steam Machines” to tie it all together.

December saw the first public release of their “SteamOS” – which, as it turns out, is basically just a preconfigured desktop Linux. Specifically, it’s a Debian Wheezy derivative, comprising a subset of 502 source packages from Wheezy; 8 of Valve’s own source packages; and 51 source packages which have been either patched compared to Wheezy, backported from post-Wheezy, or both. For example, the compiler used by default is gcc-4.7 (rather than Wheezy’s 4.6) and the libc version postdates Wheezy too.

Valve’s official instructions and installer release concerned quite a few people who had planned to try SteamOS on an older PC, by mandating a large (500GB) hard disk and a PC with UEFI firmware. Very quickly a number of instructions started appearing from people trying to fix what people felt were real issues – specifically provision for BIOS-based computers, and installation from optical media.

After being assured that redistribution of derivatives of SteamOS were entirely authorized (and, in fact, encouraged) I decided to produce my own variant, calling upon my own experience with debian-installer modification from past and present jobs, as well as calling upon the skills and experience of the UK Debian community as needed.

The end result is Ye Olde SteamOSe.

This weekend saw the third release of Ye Olde SteamOSe, a derivative designed to greatly widen the pool of computers capable of running Valve’s OS. And unlike the first two releases, the public response this time has been crazy. Like, totally crazy. Combined score across several subreddits totals about 1700. 7 pages of Google search results. Hundreds of tweets. Mentions in dozens of blogs around the world. Coverage on the Linux Action Show. Unilaterally added to Softpedia’s list of distributions. Almost 2000 views of a video installation walkthrough I posted on YouTube. Crazy.

Sadly the idea to try and track visitors to the page didn’t occur to me until long after the initial rush subsided, but 1000 visitors on Tuesday for a news story which landed on Sunday is still pretty hot in my book.

It’s also interesting to observe the demographics of site visitors – the #1 referrer on Tuesday was Dutch PC site Tweakers.net, and StumbleUpon outranks reddit for referrals. About 66% of visitors interested in installing my Debian Wheezy derivative derivative came using Windows (20% using Linux), which suggests there’s a lot of potential Linux users out amongst the Windows gamer masses.

So what’s the purpose of this self-congratulatory blog post? Just dick-waving? Well, there’s an element of that (I’m only human), but I think it might be nice to alert the audience on Planet Debian/Ubuntu, many of whom are not big gamers, to the “next big thing” in “embedded” Linux – except this time a real GNU/X.org/sysVinit distribution, not some NIH thing like Android.

So now you know!

Stuart Langridge: Pretending to type like a Hollywood hacker in Sublime Text 2

Planet Ubuntu - Thu, 2014-01-09 16:34

Christian Heilmann has just drawn my attention to a neat trick for automating typing into a text editor, from William Bamberg at Mozilla. Basically, when you’re doing a screencast, popping up a screen full of code is disorienting and hard for your users to take in, but if you actually type the stuff live on air then everyone gets to see all your typos and your mic makes it sound like a herd of wildebeest sweeping majestically across your keyboard.

Bamberg’s solution is to have an AppleScript which reads the file of your choice and then sends keypresses to your editor to “type” the file in, and it’s a neat idea. However, that’s Mac-specific so I can’t use it, and it doesn’t (as Chris notes) work in Sublime Text 2 (my editor, and his) because ST2 does autoindenting and so on and that sods you up.

Conveniently, I needed a script to do precisely this for some screencasts I’m about to work on, so I thought: I shall write it as an ST2 plugin. And lo, I have done so. It’s only about 30 lines: in ST2, do Tools > New Plugin, then paste the Python from https://gist.github.com/stuartlangridge/8336771 and save it as TypeFileOut.py in the ST2 User folder (which should be default).

You then need a way of running it: I added a keybinding for it in Preferences > Key Bindings -- User so that file now looks like

[ { "keys": ["ctrl+shift+."], "command": "type_file_out" } ]

so I can press ctrl-shift-fullstop.

What it actually does is: when you run it, it removes all the text in the current editing tab, waits two seconds, and then types it back in, character by character. The two second wait is to give you a cut point for the screencast, so you enter or load the code you want into ST2, then start your screencast showing slides or whatever, switch to ST2, then press ctrl-shift-. and it’ll type the text back in. When you’re editing your screencast, cut the part between switching to ST2 and the 2 second break.

There’s probably a way of packaging this up so other people can download it with a click, but I don’t think I know how to do that.

Canonical Design Team: New year, new website: the new canonical.com

Planet Ubuntu - Thu, 2014-01-09 14:00

We’ve been talking about it for a while and we are now happy to reveal Canonical’s brand new website.

The brief

We thought that it was more than appropriate that, in the year that Canonical commemorates its 10th anniversary, our website got some love, so that’s exactly what we set out to do.

The homepage of the new canonical.com on various devices

The main goal of this redesign was to create a website that clearly communicates what Canonical is and does. To present our services, describe our role in the creation of Ubuntu and to give users an understanding of the principles behind Canonical as a company.

The journey

We set out to distill the Canonical site into its most essential components. This required a huge amount of editing as the site had grown over time. This was not a straightforward task, but there were a few things that we knew would get us very close to that goal:

  • Clearly define canonical.com’s audiences and make sure the new site’s content was created with them in mind
  • Move the content that dates easily (events, news, etc.) from the site to a searchable repository
  • Move all detailed product and service information to www.ubuntu.com to make it more easy to find

We started preparing to move a lot of the content that previously lived on the site a few months ago when we started the Ubuntu Resources project — a place for content such as news, events, press releases, white papers and case studies.

Ubuntu Resources (currently in ‘alpha’) is also our first responsive site, and a lot of the lessons we have been learning from it, code- and design-wise, have been applied to the new canonical.com, like the small screen site navigation and the global Ubuntu sites navigation.

Carla has published a very interesting post on how she used stakeholder interviews to define the website’s key journeys and audiences. This research was instrumental in keeping the content of the site focused and the information architecture as simple as possible.

Before moving onto a digital format, we did a lot of collaborative sketching, churning out ideas on how we could illustrate each page’s message.

Generating ideas: some of our sketches

Even though we were working towards a fairly tight deadline, we went through several content, design and code iterations, with copywriters, designers and developers working closely together and improving as much as possible until we were happy with the results.

Our ever-changing analog status board — sometimes only sticky notes will do!

The visual design borrowed most of the underlying patterns from www.ubuntu.com, such as the grid and font sizes. Ubuntu’s website has been evolving into a more ‘open’ design and the new Canonical website takes that idea even further by removing the main content container and increasing spacing between elements.

We also brought in new patterns, influenced by the design work that is being done on the phone and tablet, like the grid used in small screens, the Ubuntu shape (the squircle) and the folded paper background.

Using the squircle and the folded paper background on the new canonical.com

The result

We’re very happy with the result, and we think it achieves the goals we set out to accomplish. Now that the site is launched though, it’s up to everyone who visits it to let us know how we did: do let us know your thoughts in the comments!

Bryan Quigley: Multiprocess Firefox – An afternoon testing on Ubuntu 12.04

Planet Ubuntu - Thu, 2014-01-09 13:45

What is multiprocess Firefox?They do a much better description here: https://billmccloskey.wordpress.com/2013/12/05/multiprocess-firefox/
But basically it’s the start of having each tab in Firefox isolated from each other and the Firefox drawn UI (referred to as chrome).  Right now it only isolates the “chrome” from the webpages with one process each.

This is my experience using it for one afternoon on Ubuntu 12.04.   I disabled all add-ons because I don’t think it’s ready for my add-on collection…

What doesn’t work
  • AppTabs don’t come back on a restart (expected)
  • Password management doesn’t autofill (you can still access passwords though and copy/paste them). (expected)
  • Flash doesn’t work (click to play doesn’t seem to work either…) (expected)
  • Accepting no third-party cookies doesn’t work (seems to just disable all cookies)
  • Scrolling is a bit jumpy at times
  • Embedded content issues
    • Salesforce widget fails with “Content Encoding Error” because it doesn’t define a mime type?
    • My TinyTinyRSS installation doesn’t work only when loading slashdot pages (they embed ads)
  • Opening a new tab from the new tab page using middle click. (It does work if you do it via right click open new tab, with middle click it loads in the same window)
  • Zoom works on some pages but not others…
  • Trying to print crashes the page process (expected)
  • It’s one process for all tabs right now, so when one crashes, they all do
  • WebGL isn’t detected at all (expected)
  • Downloads seem to freeze (was downloading a Zentyal 700 MB image..)
  • Can’t attach files.. (this is what ended my testing :/)
What does work

(that seems surprising, most sites just worked as usual)

  • Saving a page
  • HTML5 Vidoe works (youtube), but fullscreening is two steps (one in the window and then hit F11)

One nice item is when you give up and disable it.. your previous session is restored from before you started..

I’m going to keep trying it ever month or so to see how it progresses (I’m already a nightly user)..

Gerfried Fuchs: Clawfinger

Planet Ubuntu - Thu, 2014-01-09 12:39

It's almost a month since I last blogged something, and one of my new year's resolution is to change that, a bit. Let's see how it goes.

I've been listening a lot to this great band from Sweden recently again, put all their songs onto my mobile phone. It might sound weird because they have a rather aggressive style, both soundwise but also lyricswise, but it helps me to get things off my chest and stay relaxed in the rest of my life.

The band I want to present to you was already twice mentioned in some other articles of my blog I noticed, but this is the proper post about them: I'm talking about Clawfinger. They came up in the nineties during the crossover phase and did blend in pretty well, but it's mostly their direct and political statements they carry in their lyrics that did let them stand out.

One warning though: the direct language they use might be considered blunt and maybe even offensive by some. The message behind it though should rather get you thinking of your own doings if you consider it to be offensive. Here are the songs:

  • What Are You Afraid Of: Most people would have probably gone with their first hit for the topic, but I think this song transports the point extremely well too: It's just a color and I'm color blind, the only color I know is the color of my mind. There's only one race and that's the human race, and every human being's got the right to feel save.
  • The Faggot In You: Well, it's like Coyote Too twittered or Andy Singer drew it. Get over it and think about what actually stirs these emotions in you. If you're so sure and you feel secure about yourself and your reality, then why do you need reject and refuse where other people stand sexually?
  • Life Will Kill You: Let's face the fact, it will. ... and given the choice between your own life and death I suggest that you cherish the time you have left 'cause time waits for noone and we're all growing older. Life for today, not for a future that might never come.

Like always, enjoy! And maybe also think about it a bit. :)

/music | permanent link | Comments: 1 |

Elizabeth Krumbach Joseph: Linux Conf AU 2014 Continues!

Planet Ubuntu - Thu, 2014-01-09 10:46

After all of the OpenStack stuff I discussed in my last post, I presented two more times at linux.conf.au, on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Tuesday morning the keynote by Kate Chapman on the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT). I haven’t paid a lot of attention to OpenStreetMap over the years because there are only so many hours in a day, but it was very interesting to learn that the work they’re doing to map developing countries is really making a difference for disaster relief, urban development and more for regions in need. I can’t make time to participate in their program right now, but you should! A copy of her talk is already available on Tuesday’s mirror of talks.

My second talk of the conference came in the form of a Haecksen talk on Tuesday. It was really exciting to have my talk accepted and it was one I was particularly looking forward to it, where I was talking about myths of public speaking. There were several revolutionary points in my learning to do speaking, so I tried to summarize them into a 20 minute presentation, slides here. My main points were:

  • Myth: The audience won’t like you
  • Myth: You have to know everything
  • Myth: Good speakers don’t need to practice
  • Myth: Good speakers don’t get nervous
  • Myth: Shy people make poor speakers
  • Myth: Your talk must be completely original
  • Myth: I can’t because <insert any excuse here>

I also really enjoyed the Q&A during this session, so thanks to everyone who attended and participated with questions and helpful responses to the comments from others. In Haecksen I also learned about Robogals and it was great to hear a talk about giving talks by Alice Boxhall, who I saw speak at OSCON last year on automated testing for accessibility. I was in such great company!

On Tuesday night I attended the speakers dinner and sat between two spouses who I got to talk to about their tag-along status at the conference. Dinner was enjoyable, if a bit slow, and the view from the venue was really nice:

Wednesday morning my final (and primary, not miniconf) talk was first up at 10:40, on Systems Administration in the Open. This is a modified version of my Code Review for Systems Administrators talk where I instead focused on the benefits of projects and organizations open sourcing their operations – or at least making it more available to others in their organization to submit changes to. Working on the OpenStack Infrastructure team continues to be a great experience for me, and it’s funny how I’m feeling about how other projects manage their infrastructure now that I’m so used to how we do it. Submit a ticket to fix something and wait? Can’t I pitch in? I do see more open source projects moving to a more open model, but I’d like to see more. My slides are here.


Thanks to Clark Boylan for taking this photo

And then my talks were done! I could relax and enjoy the rest of the conference.

One of the highlights of the day was a talk on The changing Linux kernel development process by Jonathan Corbet. It was particularly interesting to see a general view of how the ecosystem has changed in relation to folks working on core Linux kernel components vs the mobile-specific changes that support so many new devices today. It was also noteworthy to see that the companies working on the core are largely static, whereas many of the newer commits in new kernels are coming from the mobile-specific vendors.

Karen Sandler did a great talk on the Outreach Program for Women. I’ve heard bits and pieces about this program and have met several participants (one of whom now works with me!) but I hadn’t seen the statistics and successes that Karen shared in this talk. The increase in applications from women in the Google Summer of Code went from 1 to 7 in some projects following the launch of the GNOME program, and this was not an outlier. What this really drove home for me was that there are women out there who are interested in open source and participating, but there are still perception barriers preventing many from applying themselves to a project (“it’s not for me” “I am not good enough”). There were also other things the program does, which she outlined:

  • Offer internships for non-students and non-coders
  • Connect applicants with pool of mentors
  • Require a contribution as part of the application
  • Provide small, manageable tasks throughout the internship rather than one big project
  • Require participants to blog regularly about their work and join project planets if possible
  • Sponsored travel when possible to collaborate with project members in person (conference, summit, sprint, etc)

I’m excited to see such a program be so successful, and look forward to seeing the number of women in our communities continue to rise as a result.

And a highlights post wouldn’t be complete without mentioning Marc MERLIN’s Live upgrading many thousands of servers from an ancient RedHat 7.1 to a 10 year newer Debian. It was as crazy as it sounds, and was super interesting to listen to. More about the talk, including detailed slides here (a link to the paper for a more thorough read is also in that directory).

Tomorrow is the last day of the conference and I’m looking forward to seeing talks by several of my colleagues, Clark Boylan on Processing Continuous Integration Log Events, James Blair talking about Zuul, Robert Collins doing a deep dive into Diskimage-builder and Devananda van der Veen on Provisioning Bare Metal with OpenStack.

Jono Bacon: Ask Me Anything on Monday

Planet Ubuntu - Thu, 2014-01-09 01:36

On Monday 13th Jan starting at 6pm UTC (10am Pacific / 1pm Eastern) I will be doing an AMA on Reddit. For those unfamiliar with this – this is where you can ask me anything on Reddit, and the most popular questions and responses are up/down voted.

The post will go live about 30mins before that time so you can start adding questions.

I welcome questions about absolutely anything to do with Ubuntu, Canonical, community management, working in the Open Source industry, writing books, podcasting, free culture, heavy metal, moving from England to America, or anything else. Let’s have some fun!

For those of you who are unfamiliar with my work, I work at Canonical as the Ubuntu Community, I am the author of The Art of Community by O’Reilly, founder of the annual Community Leadership Summit, and have spoken around the world about community leadership and encouraging people to get together to create awesome things.

Outside of my work, I co-founded the Bad Voltage, Lugradio, and Shot Of Jaq podcasts, founded the Creative Commons metal band Severed Fifth, wrote an archive of Creative Commons music, built the BBQ website BBQpad, write for various magazines (Linux Format / Ubuntu User), and have contributed to various Open Source projects.

I will follow up on Twitter/Google+ with a link to the thread when it is published.

Joel Leclerc: How to set up WineASIO

Planet Ubuntu - Thu, 2014-01-09 00:10

Step 1: Install WineASIO

If you use ubuntu, run this in a terminal:

sudo apt-get install software-properties-common wget sudo add-apt-repository ppa:kxstudio-debian/kxstudio sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install kxstudio-repos sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install wineasio

If you use arch linux (like real men do):

Add the Arch Audio repository, then run in a terminal:

sudo pacman -Sy wineasio

Step 2: Register WineASIO

If you have a 32-bit WINE prefix, or you have a 64-bit one, and you want to run a 32-bit ASIO application (e.g. a DAW), run this:

regsvr32 wineasio

If you have a 64-bit WINE prefix, and you want to run a 64-bit ASIO application:

wine64 regsvr32 wineasio

If everything went smoothly, you should see a message similar to:

Successfully registered DLL wineasio.dll

However, you may receive:

Failed to load DLL wineasio.dll

In my case, the reason why this message occurred, is that wineasio.dll was installed to the wrong location. I had 2 problems, actually. It was first installed to /usr/lib/wine, not /usr/local/lib/wine (I have a custom-built version of WINE), and second, even if it had been installed to /usr/local/lib/wine, it wouldn’t have worked, because, in my case, WINE loaded 64-bit libraries only from /usr/local/lib64/wine, and 32-bit libraries only from /usr/local/lib/wine. The package had installed the 32-bit version of wineasio to /usr/lib32/wine, and the 64-bit version to /usr/lib/wine.

Try moving the wineasio .so’s to these places:

  • 64-bit wineasio .so: /usr/lib64/wine
  • 32-bit wineasio .so: /usr/lib/wine

Then try again. If you still have problems, leave a comment below, and I’ll try my best to help =)

Step 3: Setup JACK

WineASIO uses JACK as the backend for the audio, so, not surprisingly, JACK has to be setup correctly for WineASIO to function correctly. I wrote an article a while back about how to do this.

Step 4: Profit!

It’s that simple! Now all you have to do is to load up the application you want, and set the ASIO driver to WineASIO =)


Joel Leclerc: How to use WoW64 WINE under Ubuntu and Arch Linux

Planet Ubuntu - Wed, 2014-01-08 20:59

No, it isn’t World of Warcraft 64 (it’s only at version 5 at the time of writing). WoW64 allows you to run 32- and 64-bit applications on a 64-bit WINE prefix (well, not exactly, WoW64 is for windows, and WINE adopted it). While it may not be as fun as World of Warcraft 64 would be, it’s definitely much more useful (and heck, it might even help you run it, so don’t get all disappointed! XD).

Alright, so joking aside, you’ll, of course, need a 64-bit OS to run it (if you have a 32-bit OS on a 64-bit processor, it won’t work). So, first of all, run this in a terminal:

wine wmic os get osarchitecture

If you see “64-bit” (which is what will happen if you use Arch Linux… if you installed the “wine” package), then you can skip this tutorial! If not, then if you have ubuntu, run this in a terminal:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ubuntu-wine/ppa sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install wine1.7

If WINE has been updated (say to version 1.8 or 1.9 or something… you can check this at http://www.winehq.org/ … look at “Latest Releases” “Development” … at the time of writing, it’s 1.7.10), install wine1.8 or 1.9 or whatever the new version is, instead of wine1.7.

Once that’s done, you will need to create a new WINE prefix. To do this, simply run this in a terminal:

WINEPREFIX=new/wine/prefix/path winecfg

For example, if I wanted to have my 64-bit WINE prefix at ~/.wine-64 (~ is the home directory), I would run this:

WINEPREFIX=~/.wine-64 winecfg

You have to realize that every time you want to run something using that WINE prefix, you’ll always need to prefix the command with WINEPREFIX=~/.wine-64 (or wherever you put your WINE prefix). For that reason, I simply renamed my old 32-bit prefix to ~/.wine-old, then created my new 64-bit one at ~/.wine (which is the default path for the prefix). That way, I don’t have to prefix each command with that (unless I want to access my old 32-bit one).


Joel Leclerc: Creating an Orchestral track under Ubuntu REDUX – Part 1: Choosing a DAW

Planet Ubuntu - Wed, 2014-01-08 18:38

So, I originally thought this series was useless, and, well, since I didn’t cover some of the more important sections, it pretty much was =P

But one person asked me to finish it, which was the first time I saw that it was useful, to at least someone, so I decided maybe it’d be a better idea if I make a redux of it, because the first one had many issues (and I’ve learned a lot since then).

One of the issues was that it took LMMS as the base DAW (Digital Audio Workstation), which, as I have learned since, is definitely not the best DAW for orchestral music production (IMHO). Since I have tried a couple of DAWs, I’ll share my thoughts on each one =) Next part will focus on setting them up.

  • LMMS:
    • Pros:
      • It’s somewhat easy to install (you might need to compile it though)
      • Linux-native
      • Very intuitive at first, and good for beginners
    • Cons:
      • Very buggy (minor bugs, but still annoying)
      • I personally hate the automation
      • Multiple MIDI inputs for a VSTi is very hard (I haven’t managed to ever make it work)
      • VSTi’s take a loooong time to load (though this is most likely an issue with having a linux-native DAW using windows VSTi’s)… especially Kontakt, which is probably the most important VSTi you’ll need for orchestral music production
    • Conclusion: Good for beginners, not good for orchestral music production
  • QTractor:
    • Pros:
      • Simple
      • Minimalistic
      • Logical
      • Intuitive
      • Consistent
      • Fast (the program is fast)
    • Cons:
      • More work to install and setup than LMMS (especially with setting up windows VST support)
      • Buggy
      • Crashes a lot
      • Piano Roll is pretty bad (IMO)
      • Not as pretty as most others (though, tbh, that isn’t too important XD)
      • Though the workflow is very consistent and intuitive, the word “fast” would definitely not be the best to describe it
      • I have never been able to successfully load a windows VST on it yet (when I was actually able to _find_ the VST, it crashed while loading it)
    • Conclusion: I like this one a lot, but its cons make it only really useful at a conceptual stage (IMHO, at least)
  • I will skip a lot of other Linux-native DAWs, because I haven’t had enough time with them to give a somewhat decent Pro/Con list to. However, I find that OpenOctaveMidi – though it never worked for me – seems to be (from the features list) the most promising linux DAW so far (sadly, it hasn’t been updated in 2 years).
  • REAPER:
    • Pros:
      • Free (kinda … the trial never really ends)
      • Well maintained (updates pretty much every week or 2)
      • Works almost flawlessly under linux
      • Very customizable
      • Piano roll has a _really_ useful time-stretching feature (when multiple notes are selected, CTRL+Drag on the edge of any of the selected notes, and it will time stretch it)…. something I really miss with other DAWs
    • Cons:
      • It isn’t actually free… but you can keep on using it as long as you like for free (the trial isn’t enforced)
      • (I’ll have to update this later… I know I’m missing a few, but I haven’t used it for so long that I forget >.<)
      • It might have frozen a lot, that may be why I don’t use it anymore (as I said, I forget)
    • Conclusion: It’s great, but I forget what I didn’t like about it…  TODO: FIX THIS!!
  • Ableton Live:
    • Pros:
      • As its name suggests (“Live”, not “Ableton” =P), it’s great for live performances, due to its really neat session view (basically, you can put a lot of 1 bar patterns in it, then play them at different times)
      • Its macro feature is _really_ useful, as it basically (AFAICS, I’ve never used it, but I’ve seen people use it) an automation that automates multiple other automations. Though its use in orchestral music is not that prominent, it’s very useful in electronic music (and since my style usually has a mix of both electronic and orchestral, I would use this a lot, if I still used Live).
      • Automations are really well made
      • CTRL+Drag. Seriously, it’s probably one of my favourite features from it… so simple, but so powerful (while dragging moves a clip or note, CTRL+Drag will duplicate it and move the duplicate… very useful!!)
      • Close integration with Max, a tool that kind of lets you create your own synths or effects
    • Cons:
      • Midi CC automations are terrible, and sometimes don’t even work! This is the main reason why I don’t use it, as in orchestral music, Midi CC automations are pretty much one of the most important things you’ll use.
      • The display is very buggy under linux
      • The Midi editor needs work (it’s workflow is rather slow)
      • It doesn’t bridge VSTs. So if you’re using the 64-bit version, you can’t use 32-bit VSTs.
      • It crashes a lot
    • Conclusion: Though it’s really great for electronic music, it’s not so great for orchestral music
  • Studio One:
    • Pros:
      • Best DAW for Midi CC automation that I’ve used so far (it works both on clips, and on the timeline!)
      • Automation is pretty good (you can create square, triangle, and sine waves really easy on it)
      • Very intuitive (I picked it up really quickly, compared to nearly all other DAWs I’ve used so far)
      • Its plugin browser is also really neat (you can organize it by vendor, category, folder, or just flat)… best one I’ve seen so far
      • Close integration with Melodyne, an apparently really cool audio editor (I still haven’t figured it out though XD)
    • Cons:
      • The display is very buggy under linux (sometimes the timeline time vertical bar indicator [for lack of a better word] doesn’t even show! Also, the rectangle selection doesn’t show either)
      • It’s buggy all-around (I don’t think this is linux-related)
    • Conclusion: Best DAW I’ve used so far for orchestral music production, but it’s very buggy!

I would have included the setup part in this one, but I realized that it would have probably taken 2 more articles (plus this one), so I decided to just give a quicker article at first, to kick off the new tutorial “series” =)

Oh, and, if I may add… I’m working on my own DAW right now, which is fully modular, so if there is something that isn’t quite right, then it’s easy to change it =) It’s kind of a precursor to SythOS (same concept…. 3D virtual environment, network-enabled, fully modular, timelines, timeline branches, etc…), but it’s much simpler (since it’s only an audio workstation). I’m planning on releasing it sometime by the end of this year =)


Barneedhar: Ask Ubuntu – In the year 2013

Planet Ubuntu - Wed, 2014-01-08 17:20

Before I get anywhere, let me convey my thanks to slhck for his help with the data visualization and his awesome R skills.

Having got that out of the way, let’s look at some stats involving Ask Ubuntu in the year 2013. There is no real purpose in this exercise other than whetting my appetite for numbers.

Let’s start with the big picture. At this point, I should state the data points are not cumulative and represent the state of the site during that period of time.

The total number of questions asked has almost tripled since 2011. Number of questions not being deleted has quite a linear growth as well. Remember, “questions” are deleted on Ask Ubuntu for a variety of reasons, including spam, offensive content and rants among others.

The percentage of questions closed to total questions asked has decreased over the years but the questions closed as duplicates has increased.

Breaking 2013 into months, we can see there are two peaks around 13.04 (2013-05) and 13.10 (2013-10) releases.

And what about the answers?

There is a steep increase in the absolute numbers of questions with zero answers. Questions with accepted answers has taken a hit and so does questions with multiple answers.

In the various months of 2013, yeah.. we have work to do on that. Yet to fully recover from 13.10 release.

How goes voting?

One of the selling points of Ask Ubuntu (being a part of Stack Exchange network of sites) is that it is community regulated (via votes among other means). 2013, however, is not a year of voting on Ask Ubuntu.

Despite having more questions asked compared to 2012, the number of questions with at least a positive score has decreased. Questions with 3 or more votes have decreased sharply as well.

Questions with no positive score have skyrocketed. Guess it’s time to pull our socks and vote more. Want to help?

The monthly breakdown of 2013 seems to suggest a general decrease in votes as well.

Questions and traffic

For a site that is currently getting about 260k views per day, the following might be surprising.

50% of the questions asked in 2013 don’t have more than a 100 views, which is not particularly appeasing. It seems not a lot of questions are getting enough eye balls and are adding to the growing tally of tumbleweeds on the site.

Making the truth more obvious since the 90s.

Scores, views and answers combined

More page views clearly increase the possibility of a question getting either a vote or (hopefully) an answer.

The last couple months of 2013 have a higher number of lowly viewed questions. Guess they need a little time to garner more views.

If any data wiz out there wants to play with the data, here’s the spreadsheet. And that would be all from the numbers department this year.

Victor Tuson Palau: [Ubuntu Touch] Logviewer

Planet Ubuntu - Wed, 2014-01-08 15:55

I have been recently doing some android development for Techfunder, one thing that I have found really useful when testing my app is using CatLog. CatLog allows you to check the app and system logs on the go. This is extremely useful when you have a crash while you are not close to your laptop.

This motivated me to look into writing a similar app for Ubuntu Touch. So here it is: LogViewer!

This app, like CatLog, is for developers and requires unconstrained running. You will need to install it manually:

  • Download click package from launchpad
  • transfer to your device and install:
  1. adb push com.ubuntu.developer.vtuson.logviewer_0.1_armhf.click /home/phablet/
  2. adb shell

  3. su phablet
  4. cd ~
  5. pkcon -p install-local com.ubuntu.developer.vtuson.logviewer_0.2_armhf.click

When you launch the app, you will get a list of .log files in /home/phablet/.cache/upstart/ , if you click on an specific log, it will be displayed in a similar manner to tail -f. You can pause the autoreading, clear the screen and copy to clipboard parts of the logs from the bottom menu.

You can also access other files, change font size of the logs and the size of the text buffered from the settings page.

You can see the code and contribute in launchpad:

https://launchpad.net/logviewer


Valorie Zimmerman: Does your volume keep resetting to zero?

Planet Ubuntu - Wed, 2014-01-08 09:35
I see this question occasionally in #kde, #kubuntu, and #amarok. Tonight I saw the first answer that seems to shed light on it.

Cousin_luigi said in #kde tonight: "I expect the volume to be at the same level I left it." Which is perfectly reasonable! And yet, we often find something else. Axtroz had the answer:
Cousin_luigi, because some systems run "alsactl restore" on startup which restores the volume state saved with "alsactl store" and that tunes the volume for a particular soundcard. Since Pulseaudio and Alsa are working together via plugins, pulse follows. Check your init scripts, or raise the volume to an apropriate level and run alsactl store as root.
I don't have this problem, so I didn't test the solution. However, here it is as a public service. Thanks to Cousin_luigi for asking, and Axtroz for answering.

Tony Whitmore: A message for fans of Sherlock (spoilers!)

Planet Ubuntu - Tue, 2014-01-07 20:36

For fans of Sherlock, I’d just like to make it clear that although I am a wedding photographer, I’m not a psycho murderer dude. And I almost never use flash during the daytime. I just do stuff like this…

These photos are from Stuart and Zoe’s fantastic wedding in Greece last autumn. I will be writing more about it soon!

Pin It

Pages

Subscribe to Free Software Magazine aggregator