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Scott Kitterman: Thanks Canonical (reallly)

Planet Ubuntu - Wed, 2014-10-08 15:49

Some of you might recall seeing this insights article about Ubuntu and the City of Munich.  What you may not know is that the desktop in question is the Kubuntu flavor of Ubuntu.  This wasn’t clear in the original article and I really appreciate Canonical being willing to change it to make that clear.

Ubuntu Kernel Team: Kernel Team Meeting Minutes – October 07, 2014

Planet Ubuntu - Tue, 2014-10-07 17:15
Meeting Minutes

IRC Log of the meeting.

Meeting minutes.


20141007 Meeting Agenda

Release Metrics and Incoming Bugs

Release metrics and incoming bug data can be reviewed at the following link:


Status: Utopic Development Kernel

The Utopic kernel has been rebased to the v3.16.4 upstream stable
kernel. This is available for testing as of the 3.16.0-21.28 upload to
the archive. Please test and let us know your results.
Also, Utopic Kernel Freeze is this Thurs Oct 9. Any patches submitted
after kernel freeze are subject to our Ubuntu kernel SRU policy. I sent
a friendly reminder about this to the Ubuntu kernel-team mailing list
yesterday as well.
Important upcoming dates:
Thurs Oct 9 – Utopic Kernel Freeze (~2 days away)
Thurs Oct 16 – Utopic Final Freeze (~1 weeks away)
Thurs Oct 23 – Utopic 14.10 Release (~2 weeks away)

Status: CVE’s

The current CVE status can be reviewed at the following link:

Status: Stable, Security, and Bugfix Kernel Updates – Trusty/Precise/Lucid

Status for the main kernels, until today (Sept. 30):

  • Lucid – Testing
  • Precise – Testing
  • Trusty – Testing

    Current opened tracking bugs details:


    For SRUs, SRU report is a good source of information:



    cycle: 19-Sep through 11-Oct
    19-Sep Last day for kernel commits for this cycle
    21-Sep – 27-Sep Kernel prep week.
    28-Sep – 04-Oct Bug verification & Regression testing.
    05-Oct – 08-Oct Regression testing & Release to -updates.

Open Discussion or Questions? Raise your hand to be recognized

No open discussion.

Ubuntu Podcast from the UK LoCo: S07E27 – The One with Five Steaks and an Eggplant

Planet Ubuntu - Tue, 2014-10-07 17:09

The full team assemble (that’s Laura Cowen, Mark Johnson and Alan Pope, joined by a returning Tony Whitmore) in Studio L for Season Seven, Episode Twenty-Seven of the Ubuntu Podcast!

 Download OGG  Download MP3 Play in Popup

In this week’s show:-

We’ll be back next week, when we’ll have some mystery content and your feedback.

Please send your comments and suggestions to:
Join us on IRC in #uupc on Freenode
Leave a voicemail via phone: +44 (0) 203 298 1600, sip: and skype: ubuntuukpodcast
Follow us on Twitter
Find our Facebook Fan Page
Follow us on Google+

Michael Hall: The Open Source community is wonderful

Planet Ubuntu - Tue, 2014-10-07 16:25

But it isn’t perfect.  And that, in my opinion, is okay.  I’m not perfect, and neither are you, but you are still wonderful too.

I was asked, not too long ago, what I hated about the community. The truth, then and now, is that I don’t hate anything about it. There is a lot I don’t like about what happens, of course, but nothing that I hate. I make an effort to understand people, to “grok” them if I may borrow the word from Heinlein. When you understand somebody, or in this case a community of somebodies, you understand the whole of them, the good and the bad. Now understanding the bad parts doesn’t make them any less bad, but it does provide opportunities for correcting or removing them that you don’t get otherwise.

You reap what you sow

People will usually respond in kind with the way they are treated. I try to treat everybody I interact with respectfully, kindly, and rationally, and I’ve found that I am treated that way back. But, if somebody is prone to arrogance or cruelty or passion, they will find far more of that treatment given back and them than the positive ones. They are quite often shocked when this happens. But when you are a source of negativity you drive away people who are looking for something positive, and attract people who are looking for something negative. It’s not absolute, nice people will have some unhappy followers, and crumpy people will have some delightful ones, but on average you will be surrounded by people who behave like you.

Don’t get even, get better

An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind, as the old saying goes. When somebody is rude or disrespectful to us, it’s easy to give in to the desire to be rude and disrespectful back. When somebody calls us out on something, especially in public, we want to call them out on their own problems to show everybody that they are just as bad. This might feel good in the short term, but it causes long term harm to both the person who does it and the community they are a part of. This ties into what I wrote above, because even if you aren’t naturally a negative person, if you respond to negativity with more of the same, you’ll ultimately share the same fate. Instead use that negativity as fuel to drive you forward in a positive way, respond with coolness, thoughtfulness and introspection and not only will you disarm the person who started it, you’ll attract far more of the kind of people and interactions that you want.

Know your audience

Your audience isn’t the person or people you are talking to. Your audience is the people who hear you. Many of the defenders of Linus’ beratement of kernel contributors is that he only does it to people he knows can take it. This defense is almost always countered, quite properly, by somebody pointing out that his actions are seen by far more than just their intended recipient. Whenever you interact with any member of your community in a public space, such as a forum or mailing list, treat it as if you were interacting with every member, because you are. Again, if you perpetuate negativity in your community, you will foster negativity in your community, either directly in response to you or indirectly by driving away those who are more positive in nature. Linus’ actions might be seen as a joke, or necessary “tough love” to get the job done, but the LKML has a reputation of being inhospitable to potential contributors in no small part because of them. You can gather a large number of negative, or negativity-accepting, people into a community and get a lot of work done, but it’s easier and in my opinion better to have a large number of positive people doing it.

Monoculture is dangerous

I think all of us in the open source community know this, and most of us have said it at least once to somebody else. As noted security researcher Bruce Schneier says, “monoculture is bad; embrace diversity or die along with everyone else.” But it’s not just dangerous for software and agriculture, it’s dangerous to communities too. Communities need, desperately need, diversity, and not just for the immediate benefits that various opinions and perspectives bring. Including minorities in your community will point out flaws you didn’t know existed, because they didn’t affect anyone else, but a distro-specific bug in upstream is still a bug, and a minority-specific flaw in your community is still a flaw. Communities that are almost all male, or white, or western, aren’t necessarily bad because of their monoculture, but they should certainly consider themselves vulnerable and deficient because of it. Bringing in diversity will strengthen it, and adding minority contributor will ultimately benefit a project more than adding another to the majority. When somebody from a minority tells you there is a problem in your community that you didn’t see, don’t try to defend it by pointing out that it doesn’t affect you, but instead treat it like you would a normal bug report from somebody on different hardware than you.

Good people are human too

The appendix is a funny organ. Most of the time it’s just there, innocuous or maybe even slightly helpful. But every so often one happens to, for whatever reason, explode and try to kill the rest of the body. People in a community do this too.  I’ve seen a number of people that were good or even great contributors who, for whatever reason, had to explode and they threatened to take down anything they were a part of when it happened. But these people were no more malevolent than your appendix is, they aren’t bad, even if they do need to be removed in order to avoid lasting harm to the rest of the body. Sometimes, once whatever caused their eruption has passed, these people can come back to being a constructive part of your community.

Love the whole, not the parts

When you look at it, all of it, the open source community is a marvel of collaboration, of friendship and family. Yes, family. I know I’m not alone in feeling this way about people I may not have ever met in person. And just like family you love them during the good and the bad. There are some annoying, obnoxious people in our family. There are good people who are sometimes annoying and obnoxious. But neither of those truths changes the fact that we are still a part of an amazing, inspiring, wonderful community of open source contributors and enthusiasts.

Andrea Veri: The GNOME Infrastructure is now powered by FreeIPA!

Planet Ubuntu - Tue, 2014-10-07 09:21

As preannounced here the GNOME Infrastructure switched to a new Account Management System which is reachable at All the details will follow.


It’s been a while since someone actually touched the underlaying authentication infrastructure that powers the GNOME machines. The very first setup was originally configured by Jonathan Blandford (jrb) who configured an OpenLDAP istance with several customized schemas. (pServer fields in the old CVS days, pubAuthorizedKeys and GNOME modules related fields in recent times)

While OpenLDAP-server was living on the GNOME machine called clipboard (aka the clients were configured to synchronize users, groups, passwords through the nslcd daemon. After several years Jeff Schroeder joined the Sysadmin Team and during one cold evening (date is Tue, February 1st 2011) spent some time configuring SSSD to replace the nslcd daemon which was missing one of the most important SSSD features: caching. What surely convinced Jeff to adopt SSSD (a very new but promising sofware at that time as the first release happened right before 2010’s Christmas) and as the commit log also states (“New sssd module for ldap information caching”) was SSSD’s caching feature.

It was enough for a certain user to log in once and the ‘/var/lib/sss/db’ directory was populated with its login information preventing the LDAP daemon in charge of picking up login details (from the LDAP server) to query the LDAP server itself every single time a request was made against it. This feature has definitely helped in many occasions especially when the LDAP server was down for a particular reason and sysadmins needed to access a specific machine or service: without SSSD this wasn’t ever going to work and sysadmins were probably going to be locked out from the machines they were used to manage. (except if you still had ‘/etc/passwd’, ‘/etc/group’ and ‘/etc/shadow’ entries as fallback)

Things were working just fine except for a few downsides that appeared later on:

  1. the web interface (view) on our LDAP user database was managed by Mango, an outdated tool which many wanted to rewrite in Django that slowly became a huge dinosaur nobody ever wanted to look into again
  2. the Foundation membership information were managed through a MySQL database, so two databases, two sets of users unrelated to each other
  3. users were not able to modify their own account information on their own but even a single e-mail change required them to mail the GNOME Accounts Team which was then going to authenticate their request and finally update the account.

Today’s infrastructure changes are here to finally say the issues outlined at (1, 2, 3) are now fixed.

What has changed?

The GNOME Infrastructure is now powered by Red Hat’s FreeIPA which bundles several FOSS softwares into one big “bundle” all surrounded by an easy and intuitive web UI that will help users update their account information on their own without the need of the Accounts Team or any other administrative entity. Users will also find two custom fields on their “Overview” page, these being “Foundation Member since” and “Last Renewed on date”. As you may have understood already we finally managed to migrate the Foundation membership database into LDAP itself to store the information we want once and for all. As a side note it might be possible that some users that were Foundation members in the past won’t find any detail stored on the Foundation fields outlined above. That is actually expected as we were able to migrate all the current and old Foundation members that had an LDAP account registered at the time of the migration. If that’s your case and you still would like the information to be stored on the new setup please get in contact with the Membership Committee at stating so.

Where can I get my first login credentials?

Let’s make a little distinction between users that previously had access to Mango (usually maintainers) and users that didn’t. If you were used to access Mango before you should be able to login on the new Account Management System by entering your GNOME username and the password you were used to use for loggin in into Mango. (after loggin in the very first time you will be prompted to update your password, please choose a strong password as this account will be unique across all the GNOME Infrastructure)

If you never had access to Mango, you lost your password or the first time you read the word Mango on this post you thought “why is he talking about a fruit now?” you should be able to reset it by using the following command:

ssh -l yourgnomeuserid

The command will start an SSH connection between you and, once authenticated (with the SSH key you previously had registered on our Infrastructure) you will trigger a command that will directly send your brand new password on the e-mail registered for your account. From my tests seems GMail sees the e-mail as a phishing attempt probably because the body contains the word “password” twice. That said if the e-mail won’t appear on your INBOX, please double-check your Spam folder.

Now that Mango is gone how can I request a new account?

With Mango we used to have a form that automatically e-mailed the maintainer of the selected GNOME module which was then going to approve / reject the request. From there and in the case of a positive vote from the maintainer the Accounts Team was going to create the account itself.

With the recent introduction of a commit robot directly on the number of account requests reduced its numbers. In addition to that users will now be able to perform pretty much all the needed maintenance on their accounts themselves. That said and while we will probably work on building a form in the future we feel that requesting accounts can definitely be achieved directly by mailing the Accounts Team itself which will mail the maintainer of the respective module and create the account. As just said the number of account creations has become very low and the queue is currently clear. The documentation has been updated to reflect these changes at:

I was used to have access to a specific service but I don’t anymore, what should I do?

The migration of all the user data and ACLs has been massive and I’ve been spending a lot of time reviewing the existing HBAC rules trying to spot possible errors or misconfigurations. If you happen to not being able to access a certain service as you were used to in the past, please get in contact with the Sysadmin Team. All the possible ways to contact us are available at

What is missing still?

Now that the Foundation membership information has been moved to LDAP I’ll be looking at porting some of the existing membership scripts to it. What I managed to port already are welcome e-mails for new or existing members. (renewals)

Next step will be generating a membership page from LDAP (to populate and all the your-membership-is-going-to-lapse e-mails that were being sent till today.

Other news – /home/users mount on

You will notice that loggin in into will result in your home directory being empty, don’t worry, you did not lose any of your files but is now currently hosting your home directories itself. As you may have been aware of adding files to the public_html directory on master resulted in them appearing on your space. That was unfortunately expected as both master and webapps2 (the machine serving’s webspaces) were mounting the same GlusterFS share.

We wanted to prevent that behaviour to happen as we wanted to know who has access to what resource and where. From today master’s home directories will be there just as a temporary spot for your tarballs, just scp and use ftpadmin against them, that should be all you need from master. If you are interested in receiving or keeping using your’s webspace please mail <accounts AT gnome DOT org> stating so.

Other news – a shiny and new error 500 page has been deployed

Thanks to Magdalen Berns (magpie) a new error 500 web page has been deployed on all the Apache istances we host. The page contains an iframe of and will appear every single time the web server behind the service you are trying to reach will be unreachable for maintenance or other purposes. While I hope you won’t see the page that often you can still enjoy it at Make sure to whitelist on your browser as it currently loads it without https. (as the service is currently hosted on OpenShift which provides us with a * wildcard certificate, which differs from the CN the browser would expect it to be)

Randall Ross: Discount Offer for Ubuntu Members - Get Certified!

Planet Ubuntu - Tue, 2014-10-07 08:33

Are you an Ubuntu Member? Have you ever wanted to get a technical certification?

My buddy Jorge Castro has an offer for you! Please take a look at this page over on Ubuntu Discourse:

In Jorge's words, "Go rock that exam!"

Randall Ross: I'm Back!

Planet Ubuntu - Tue, 2014-10-07 08:05

Greetings Planet! First, I'd like to apologize for not posting in a long while. Life has been, shall we say, interesting!

Up until the end of August, my focus has been on (non-Ubuntu-related) client work as part of my IT cyber-security consulting practice. This has meant that I've been traveling back and forth between San Francisco and Vancouver BC, living and working in both of these beautiful cities. This has also meant that I've been somewhat time-starved to do some of the things I've historically enjoyed doing in the Ubuntu world, blogging being one of those things.

So, what happened at the end of August? That's a bit of *great* news that I'll save that for an upcoming post. ;)

The Fridge: Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 386

Planet Ubuntu - Mon, 2014-10-06 23:04

Welcome to the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter. This is issue #386 for the week September 29 – October 5, 2014, and the full version is available here.

In this issue we cover:

The issue of The Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter is brought to you by:

  • Elizabeth K. Joseph
  • Aaron Honeycutt
  • John Mahoney
  • And many others

If you have a story idea for the Weekly Newsletter, join the Ubuntu News Team mailing list and submit it. Ideas can also be added to the wiki!

Except where otherwise noted, content in this issue is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License BY SA Creative Commons License

Svetlana Belkin: Start Planning For 14.11 UOS

Planet Ubuntu - Mon, 2014-10-06 20:53

As it was stated some months ago, the next Ubuntu Online Summit (UOS) is in (almost) a month on November 12th to the 14th.  There will be five (5) tracks: app development, cloud development, community, Ubuntu development, and users.  I will be one of the Community track leads.  Since the UOS is (again almost) a month away, we should start planning for sessions.   For the sessions that don’t need a blueprint, you are welcome to use the “propose a session” button on the UOS homepage.  For the ones that require a blueprint, please use this Google Spreadsheet to add your session idea.  Once we know how to name our UOS blueprints, it will be easy to remember what sessions that still need to be proposed.

Julian Andres Klode: A weekend with the Acer Chromebook 13 FHD (AKA nyan-big)

Planet Ubuntu - Mon, 2014-10-06 16:19

I spent the weekend using almost exclusively my Chromebook 13, on a single charge Saturday and Sunday.


I think I like the keyboard better now than I used to when I first tried it. It gets nowhere near the ThinkPad X230 one, though; appart from the coating, which my (backlit) X230 unfortunately does not have.


While the screen appeared very grainy to me on first sight, having only used IPS screens in the past year, I got used to it over the weekend. I now do not notice much graininess anymore. The contrast still seems extremely poor, the colors are not vivid, and the vertical viewing angles are still a disaster, though.

Battery life

I think the battery life is awesome. I have 30% remaining now while I am writing this blog post and Chrome OS tells me I still have 3 hours and 19 minutes remaining. It could probably still be improved though, I notice that Chrome OS uses 7-14% CPU in idle normally (and up to 20% in exceptional cases).

The maximum power usage I measured using the battery’s internal sensor was about 9.2W, that was with 5 Big Buck Bunny 1080p videos played in parallel. Average power consumption is around 3-5W (up to 6.5 with single video playing), depending on brightness, and use.


While I do notice a performance difference to my much more high-end Ivy Bridge Core i5 laptop, it turns out to be usable enough to not make me want to throw it at a wall. Things take a bit longer than I am used to, but it is still acceptable.

Input: Software Part

The user interface is great. There are a lot of gestures available for navigating between windows, tabs, and in the history. For example, horizontally swiping with two finger moves in history, three fingers moves between tabs; and swiping down (or up for Australian scrolling) gives an overview of all windows (like expose on Mac, GNOME’s activities, or the multi-tasking thing Maemo used to have).

What I miss is a keyboard shortcut like Meta + Left/Right on GNOME which moves the active window to the left/right side of the screen. That would be very useful for mult-tasking situations.


I noticed some performance issues. For example, I can easily get the Chromebook to use 85% of a CPU by scrolling on a page with the touchpad or 70% for scrolling by keeping a key pressed (

While watching Big Buck Bunny on YouTube, I noticed some (micro) stuttering in the beginning of the film, as well as each time I move in or out of the video area when not in full-screen mode ( It also increases CPU usage to about 70%.

Running a “proper” Linux?

Today, I tried to play around a bit with Debian wheezy and Ubuntu trusty systems, in a chroot for now. I was trying to find out if I can get an accelerated X server with the standard ChromeOS kernel. The short answer is: No. I tried two things:

  1. Debian wheezy with the binaries from ChromeOS (they have the same xserver version)
  2. Ubuntu trusty with the Nvidia drivers

Unfortunately, they did not work. Option 1 failed because ChromeOS uses glibc 2.15 whereas wheezy uses 1.13. Option 2 failed because the sysfs interface is different between the ChromeOS and Linux4Tegra kernels.

I guess I’ll have to wait.

I also tried booting a custom kernel from USB, but given that the u-boot always sets console= and there is no non-verified u-boot available yet, I could not see any output on the screen :(  – Maybe I should build a u-boot myself?

Filed under: Uncategorized

Luis de Bethencourt: Building GStreamer for Mac OS X and iOS

Planet Ubuntu - Mon, 2014-10-06 14:18
As part of the 1.4.3 release of GStreamer I helped the team by making the OS X and iOS builds. The process is easy but has a long sequence of steps. So it is worth sharing it here just in case you might want to run your own GStreamer in any of these platforms.

1. First, you need to download CMake

2. Add CMake to your PATH
$ export PATH=$PATH:/Applications/

3. Prepare the destination (as root)
$ mkdir /Library/Frameworks/GStreamer.framework
$ chown user:user /Library/Frameworks/GStreamer.framework

4. Check out the GStreamer release code
$ git clone git://
$ cd cerbero
$ git checkout -b 1.4 origin/1.4

5. Pin the commits to build
edit config/osx-universal.cbc to have the following:


recipes_commits = {
'gstreamer-1.0' : '1.4.3',
'gstreamer-1.0-static' : '1.4.3',
'gst-plugins-base-1.0' : '1.4.3',
'gst-plugins-base-1.0-static' : '1.4.3',
'gst-plugins-good-1.0' : '1.4.3',
'gst-plugins-good-1.0-static' : '1.4.3',
'gst-plugins-bad-1.0' : '1.4.3',
'gst-plugins-bad-1.0-static' : '1.4.3',
'gst-plugins-ugly-1.0' : '1.4.3',
'gst-plugins-ugly-1.0-static' : '1.4.3',
'gst-libav-1.0' : '1.4.3',
'gst-libav-1.0-static' : '1.4.3',
'gnonlin-1.0' : '1.2.1',
'gnonlin-1.0-static' : '1.2.1',
'gst-editing-services-1.0' : '1.2.1',
'gst-rtsp-server-1.0' : '1.4.3',

6. Run the bootstrap
$ ./cerbero-uninstalled bootstrap
$ echo "allow_parallel_build = True" > ~/.cerbero/cerbero.cbc

7. Run the build for OS X. Patience, it needs to build ~80 modules.
$ ./cerbero-uninstalled -c config/osx-universal.cbc package gstreamer-1.0

8. Run the build for iOS. Some extra steps are necessary for this build.
$ ./cerbero-uninstalled -c config/cross-ios-universal.cbc buildone gettext libiconv
$ ./cerbero-uninstalled -c config/cross-ios-universal.cbc package gstreamer-1.0
$ ./cerbero-uninstalled -c config/cross-ios-universal.cbc buildone gstreamer-ios-templates

Fabián Rodríguez: Help FACIL improve MultiSystem with UEFI support and produce up to 350 Live USB keys including multiple GNU/Linux systems

Planet Ubuntu - Mon, 2014-10-06 14:11

FACIL, pour l’appropriation collective de l’informatique libre (FACIL), a Quebec-based non-profit, has decided to crowd-fund the development production of a 16 GB USB key bearing the FACIL logo and capable of booting from a selection of free-software operating systems (such as GNU/Linux and BSD) on a large set of target computers, specifically those using UEFI.

Modern systems often won’t boot some Live USB keys created by traditional methods, specially when wanting to combine several systems on one large-capacity USB key. This is a very useful item to add to your advocacy/testing toolkit.

The FACIL key will serve to propagate free software on the computers of ordinary Quebecers all the while providing FACIL with a better source of financing than only selling T-shirts and stickers. This can also be used by any other organization producing their own keys once the project has completed.

The project first consists in developing the prototype of a 16 GB USB key capable of booting different free-software operating systems. The key will be developed using, MultiSystem, an excellent free software application designed to do just that. MultiSystem will have to be modified to allow booting on computers with either a classic BIOS or the more recent UEFI.

The resulting improvements to MultiSystem source code will be integrated into the project itself, meaning any other organization or individual using it will also be able to produce their own custom USB keys and benefit from this.

The next step will be to mass duplicate the USB key image on good quality devices that will bear the FACIL logo.

For more details on the funding needs and how the money will be used if this succeeds, see the project page at Goteo.

We need your support! Please consider donating any amount you can, and share this information with anyone interested in GNU/Linux and in general free open source software advocacy.

I am posting this as the acting president of FACIL, I can relay / answer any questions about the project to those directly involved.

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Valorie Zimmerman: Good Notes

Planet Ubuntu - Mon, 2014-10-06 08:24
Final lovely quote from Creativity, Inc. by Ed Catmull. Please get the book for yourself if you want to know how to foster creativity in a community or company.
In the very early days of Pixar, John, Andrew, Pete, Lee, and Joe made a promise to one another. No matter what happened, they would always tell each other the truth. They did this because they recognized how important and rare candid feedback is and how, without it, our films would suffer. Then and now, the term we use to describe this kind of constructive criticism is "good notes." A good not says what is wrong, what is missing, what itsn't clear, what makes no sense. A good note is offered in a timely moment, not too late to fix the problem. A good note doesn't make demands; it doesn't even have to include a proposed fix. But if it does, that fix is offered only to illustrate a potential solution, not to prescribe an answer. Most of all, though, a good note is specific. "I'm writhing with boredom," is not a good note.Catmull quotes Andrew Stanton at length explaining the difference between criticism, and constructive criticism, ending with: It's more of a challenge. "Isn't this what you want? I want that too!" [103]

I think this bit is the key: good criticism focuses on the common goal: a great product. It inspires, rather than creating defensiveness.

I read Reviewboard feedback in a sort of random way, and see a lot of "good note" behavior. But that timely part is sometimes missing. We have some Reviewboard requests languishing, along with patches in bug reports. Fortunately, the Gardening project has sprung up to improve this part of the community. Help out if you have time! and

Scarlett Clark: Kubuntu: KDE Plasma 5 beta 1 in next ppa ready for testers. Please read on for known issues.

Planet Ubuntu - Mon, 2014-10-06 01:29

We have finished packaging Plasma 5 beta 1 and it is in
I am pleased that kactivities are once again operational!

Some things to be aware of while upgrade/installing:

I had run into an issue on my desktop, I have a Nvidia card and to resolve this bug:
Bug 1377321

You absolutely have to have lightdm installed or you will end up without nvidia drivers. Resulting in a black or no screen.
Evidently, sddm is not supported yet with nvidia, I filed the bug in hopes this will get resolved..
In order to get a functional system I had to chroot into my system from a livecd and reinstall nvidia-331 and allowing it to install
alot of unity/gnome stuff (apparently for lightdm?) and it then booted fine. I hope it gets fixed soon..
Some good instructions to repair your system via livecd chroot can be found here:

Other users that installed new systems (not upgrades) have run into:
Bug 1377269
You will need to force overwrite with:
sudo dpkg -i --force-overwrite /var/cache/apt/archives/libkf5sysguard5-data_4%3a5.0.95-0ubuntu1~ubuntu14.10~ppa4_amd64.deb
I am completely baffled as to how new installs are affected and upgrades are not.

Please, if you are affected by either of these bugs go to the bug and select This bug affects you. Especially the Nvidia one, as we do not have
any control over Nvidia drivers.

My laptop install was relatively pain free. I had to run individual apt-get install on a couple of held packages.
So with that said, the joys of testing software!
If you would like to assist us in making this a great release, please join us in #kubuntu-devel and help us test!

John Baer: 2014 Chromebook Survey

Planet Ubuntu - Mon, 2014-10-06 00:08

Welcome and thank you for your interest in the 2014 Chromebook survey. The goal of this survey is to gather data on the two most discussed Chromebook topics; features and price.

With that goal in mind, the survey is divided into the following six (6) subjects.

  1. Design
  2. Performance
  3. Visual Experience
  4. Usability
  5. Connectivity
  6. Value/Price

A word of caution about about value and price. Manufactures have done a fantastic job in bringing the price of Chromebooks down but lets be real and agree every feature has a cost. In the circumstance where all of the advanced chromebook features and the lowest price are checked the data only states we want everything at the lowest possible price. However, in the circumstance where key advanced chromebook features and a reasonable corresponding price are checked gives real and valuable data. Do not be concerned about setting a price which may exceed the manufacturer sales target? In that scenario the data would show there is an appreciation for quality and paying extra for quality is acceptable.

The survey is valuable for both Chromebook owners and new buyers.

Other links you may find useful in acquiring additional Chromebook knowledge are as follows.

Start Chromebook Survey

The results will be interesting – enjoy!

The post 2014 Chromebook Survey appeared first on john's journal.

John Baer: Chromebook Survey

Planet Ubuntu - Sun, 2014-10-05 11:52

Welcome and thank you for your interest in the Chromebook survey. The goal of the survey is to shine some light on the two most discussed Chromebook topics; features and price.

With that goal in mind, the survey is divided into the following six (6) subjects.

  1. Design
  2. Performance
  3. Visual Experience
  4. Usability
  5. Connectivity
  6. Value/Price

A word of caution about about features and price. Manufactures have done a fantastic job in bringing the price of Chromebooks down but every feature has a cost. The circumstance where all of the advanced features and the lowest price are checked doesn’t really tell much other than we want everything at the lowest possible price. In the circumstance where key advanced features and a mid-tier price are checked sets the bar at a level which may be obtainable. But what if we set the bar too high? That is to say we price the Chromebook we want at a price which exceeds the manufacturer sales target? Competition will resolve this scenario.

The survey is valuable for both Chromebook owners and new buyers.

Other useful links.

Take the survey

The results will be interesting – enjoy!

The post Chromebook Survey appeared first on john's journal.

Mattia Migliorini: Ubuntu dual boot: grub doesn’t start

Planet Ubuntu - Sat, 2014-10-04 17:47

When you want to install Ubuntu in dual boot with Windows 8, you need to take into account that you can encounter some problems. Today I’ll tell you an anecdote and explain how you can fix the following problem: grub doesn’t start on a Ubuntu 14.04 dual boot with Windows 8.1.

The story

A week ago I installed Ubuntu 14.04, codenamed Trusty Tahr, alongside Windows 8.1 on a friend of mine’s computer. I did not install the available updates upon installation, to make it faster. Everything worked well: UEFI did not cause any trouble, both Ubuntu and Windows started as expected. I then installed the Italian locale packages and postponed the updates.

Today I finally found the time to update the installed packages. Once installed, I restarted the computer in order to apply and test the update. And here comes the surprise: grub didn’t start, the pc booted Windows directly.

Solve the problem: grub doesn’t start

We have a problem, but fortunately Windows is not compromised. So, let’s go and fix the problem.

What you need

If grub doesn’t start, we can’t access Ubuntu directly. Here’s what you need:

  • a live Linux distribution either on a CD/DVD or on an USB stick;
  • a little bit of patience.

Nothing else? Exactly, that’s it.

First try: Boot Repair

The first thing you can do is using Boot Repair to reinstall grub with all the options you need. You can find instructions about how to install and use Boot Repair in the Ubuntu Community Help Wiki.

How to solve the problem

Most probably the first attempt with Boot Repair didn’t solve the problem. But we are Linux users, so we can find a solution by searching in the Web and with a little bit of luck.

Boot into your live Linux distro (from now on we’re going to call it just “Live”) and open GParted or any other partition manager it has. Look for your Ubuntu system partition and write down somewhere its file name (that in the form /dev/sdxn, in my case /dev/sda7) and its filesystem. We’ll call it /dev/sda7, but keep in mind to change it when you type down the commands.

Chroot into your system

First things first: chroot into your system to execute the actions needed to fix the issue. Open the terminal, login as root and mount Ubuntu. Replace /dev/sda7 with your partition, and ext4 with the filesystem of your partition.

sudo su cd / mount -t ext4 /dev/sda7 /mnt mount -t proc proc /mnt/proc mount -t sysfs sys /mnt/sys mount -o bind /dev /mnt/dev

If your /boot directory is on a different partition from your /, you’ll also need to mount that partition with the following command (remember to replace ext4 and /dev/sda2:

mount -t ext4 /dev/sda2 /mnt/boot

Now it’s time to move into the mounted system, which is your Ubuntu installation:

chroot /mnt /bin/bash

If it returns the error chroot: cannot run command '/bin/bash': Exec format error, this usually indicates that you booted with one architecture (e.g. 32bit) and are trying to chroot into another (e.g. x86_64), so you need to use a Live that has the same architecture.

At this point it is useful to add a remainder to the prompt:

source /etc/profile export PS1="(chroot) $PS1"

And make sure /etc/mtab is up to date:

grep -v rootfs /proc/mounts > /etc/mtab Change UEFI boot order

Here the point is to change the order in which UEFI boots the system. First of all, have a look at the current order:

efibootmgr -v

This will output something like this:

BootCurrent: 0005 Timeout: 0 seconds BootOrder: 2002,0004,0000,0001,2003,2001 Boot0000* ubuntu HD(2,e1800,82000,0a543b96-7861-11e2-8d38-d60b12dec0bc)File(\EFI\ubuntu\shimx64.efi) Boot0001* Ubuntu HD(2,e1800,82000,0a543b96-7861-11e2-8d38-d60b12dec0bc)File(\EFI\ubuntu\grubx64.efi)RC Boot0002* EFI Network 0 for IPv6 (7C-05-07-9C-F6-18) ACPI(a0341d0,0)PCI(1c,2)PCI(0,0)MAC(7c05079cf618,0)030d3c000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000004000000000000000000000000000000000RC Boot0003* EFI Network 0 for IPv4 (7C-05-07-9C-F6-18) ACPI(a0341d0,0)PCI(1c,2)PCI(0,0)MAC(7c05079cf618,0)IPv4(,0, 0RC Boot0004* Windows Boot Manager HD(2,e1800,82000,0a543b96-7861-11e2-8d38-d60b12dec0bc)File(\EFI\Microsoft\Boot\bootmgfw.efi)WINDOWS.........x...B.C.D.O.B.J.E.C.T.=.{.9.d.e.a.8.6.2.c.-.5.c.d.d.-.4.e.7.0.-.a.c.c.1.-.f.3.2.b.3.4.4.d.}.................... Boot0005* EFI DVD/CDROM (TSSTcorp CDDVDW SN-208DN) ACPI(a0341d0,0)PCI(1f,2)03120a00020000000000CD-ROM(1,11a6,1680)RC Boot2001* EFI USB Device RC Boot2002* EFI DVD/CDROM RC Boot2003* EFI Network RC

Here you can identify the names of the devices and operating systems that are recognized by UEFI. In the example above, we want to prioritize shim, which is the first signed bootloader for Ubuntu, the component responsible for loading grub.

How can we achieve this? By simply typing the following command into our terminal:

efibootmgr -o 0000

Be sure to replace 0000 with the number in BootXXXX on the same line of the file directive \EFI\ubuntu\shimx64.efi.


We did it! Exit your terminal, reboot the computer. If all went well, you will now be able to see grub at the startup.

If something went wrong, please report it in a comment below.



Photo courtesy of ryneslat

The post Ubuntu dual boot: grub doesn’t start appeared first on deshack.

Jo Shields: The unstoppable march of mobile technology

Planet Ubuntu - Sat, 2014-10-04 16:23

It’s been more than 2 years since my last post about my smartphone. In the time after that post I upgraded my much loved Windows Phone 7 device to Windows Phone 8 (which I got rid of within months, for sucking), briefly used Firefox OS, then eventually used a Nexus 4 for at least a year.

After years of terrible service provision and pricing, I decided I would not stay with my network Orange a moment longer – and in getting a new contract, I would get a new phone too. So on Friday, I signed up to a new £15 per month contract with Three, including 200 minutes, unlimited data, and 25GB of data roaming in the USA and other countries (a saving of £200,000 per month versus Orange). Giffgaff is similarly competitive for data, but not roaming. No other network in the UK is competitive.

For the phone, I had a shortlist of three: Apple iPhone 6, Sony Xperia Z3 Compact, and Samsung Galaxy Alpha. These are all “small” phones by 2014 standards, with a screen about the same size as the Nexus 4. I didn’t consider any Windows Phone devices because they still haven’t shipped a functional music player app on Windows Phone 8. Other more “fringe” OSes weren’t considered, as I insist on trying out a real device in person before purchase, and no other comparable devices are testable on the high street.

iPhone 6

This was the weakest offering, for me. £120 more than the Samsung, and almost £200 more than the Sony, a much lower hardware specification, physically larger, less attractive, and worst of all – mandatory use of iTunes for Windows for music syncing.

Apple iPhone 6, press shot from, all rights reserved

The only real selling point for me would be for access to iPhone apps. And, I guess, decreased chance of mockery by co-workers.

Galaxy Alpha

Now on to the real choices. I’ve long felt that Samsung’s phones are ugly plasticy tat – the Galaxy S5 is popular, well-marketed, but looks and feels cheap compared to HTC’s unibody aluminium One. They’ve also committed the cardinal sin of gimping the specifications of their “mini” (normal-sized) phones, compared to the “normal” (gargantuan) versions. The newly released S5 Mini is about the same spec as early 2012’s S3, the S4 Mini was mostly an S2 internally, and so on.

However, whilst HTC have continued along these lines, Samsung have finally released a proper phone under 5″, in the Alpha.

Samsung Galaxy Alpha press shot from, all rights reserved

The Alpha combines a 4.7″ AMOLED screen, a plastic back, metal edges, 8-core big.LITTLE processor, and 2GB RAM. It is a PRETTY device – the screen really dazzles (as is the nature of OLED). It feels like a mix of design cues from an iPhone and Samsung’s own, keeping the angular feel of iPhone 4->5S rather than the curved edges on the iPhone 6.

The Galaxy Alpha was one of the two devices I seriously considered.

Xperia Z3 Compact

The other Android device I considered was the Compact version of Sony’s new Xperia Z3. Unlike other Android vendors, Sony decided that “mini” shouldn’t mean “low end” when they released the Z1 compact earlier this year. The Z3 follows suit, where the same CPU and storage are found on both the big and little versions.

Sony Xperia Z3 Compact press shot from Sony Xperia Picasa album. CC BY-NC-SA 3.0

The Z3C has a similar construction to the Nexus 4, with glass front and back, and plastic rim. The specification is similar to the Galaxy Alpha (with a quadcore 2.5GHz Qualcomm processor about 15% faster than the big.LITTLE Exynos in the Galaxy Alpha). It differs in a few places – LCD rather than AMOLED (bad); a non-removable (bad) 2600 mAh battery (good) compared to the removable 1860 mAh in the Samsung; waterproofing (good); A less hateful Android shell (Xperia on Android vs Samsung Touchwiz).

For those considering a Nexus-4-replacement class device (yes, rjek, that means you), both the Samsung and the Sony are worth a look. They both have good points and bad points. In the end, both need to be tested to form a proper opinion. But for me, the chunky battery and tasteful green were enough to swing it for the Sony. So let’s see where I stand in a few months’ time. Every phone I’ve owned, I’ve ended up hating it for one reason or another. My usual measure for whether a phone is good or not is how long it takes me to hit the “I can’t use this” limit. The Nokia N900 took me about 30 minutes, the Lumia 800 lasted months. How will the Z3 Compact do? Time will tell.

Costales: How is the Lubuntu performance into a Cubieboard 2?

Planet Ubuntu - Sat, 2014-10-04 11:18
Hi! I did a video for appreciating the performance of Lubuntu into a Cubieboard 2.

Cubieboard Pros:
  • Use as server or desktop.
  • As desktop it'll works really good for watching show TVs & movies, listening music, view/edit documents, web browsing and chat.
  • As server I have one  without a reboot in months.
  • Power: Just 5V & 1A! Have your home server all the year for a few dollars!
  • Price: ~60$.
  • Works with Lubuntu Desktop or Ubuntu Server!
  • Totally silent, no fans.
  • Really small.
  • Really fast, because it uses a NAND memory as hard disk.
  • Connect a SATA hard disk directly to the motherboard (you'll need a more powerful adapter that 1A).
  • 4GB for Ubuntu (2GB free with extra codecs & apps), but you can use a microSD as external storage. I'm using a microSD as /home with all documents.
Cubieboard Contras:
  • It's a little computer. Don't forget it isn't a i7 ;P
  • This is a problem of this distro version: As server it works perfect, but as desktop, when you open an application some times the screen blinks. The cubieez distro fixed this. I can't research this problem yet. But do not bother, it's happen once in a great while, it isn't happen with videos.
You can watch here the Lubuntu performance:

The Lubuntu version is 13.04 from this image.

If you have any question, please, leave a comment :) Cheers!

Extra info:

Forums Council: LoCo Forums

Planet Ubuntu - Fri, 2014-10-03 09:41

Up to now we have happily held areas for any LoCo who wishes us to do so.

Some of these are extremely active, notably the Catalan and Argentina teams areas, many though are unused at all and others show no activity at all since the middle of 2013.

Following a discussion with the LoCo Council and in conjunction with other changes we have been making to the forum, many of these LoCo forums have been archived. All of the posts in the archive area are still readable, but no new posts will be allowed in these archived forums.

If the LoCo Contact for any of the closed areas wants to discuss the situation with regard to their own forum we would be happy to do so.


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