Archive for October, 2007

The way of the Gutsy Gibbon

Posted on October 18, 2007. Filed under: Gutsy Gibbon |

yes pals!!!! the wait is now over. Ubuntu 7.10 is finally out.

Go grab the gibbon now.

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7.10 Beta Official Released

Posted on October 18, 2007. Filed under: Gutsy Gibbon |

The 7.10 Beta Version has been officially released for users to try it out. The Final stable version is due for release today (18 oct, 2007) at 2359 HRS

www.ubuntu.com

7.10 Beta

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dell linux team, ubuntu and retrospection

Posted on October 17, 2007. Filed under: Dell, Interviews, Ubuntu |

LXer had interviewed John Hull, manager of the Dell Linux Engineering Team (DLet) by e-mail. The interview reveals much about DELL`s satisfaction with it`s Ubuntu machines, what all DELL is doing to get Ubuntu running on all their hardware, and also what all has happened in these four months since DELL started vending Ubuntu pre-installed machines in the US. Here, in this post I will summarize the interview. You can find the full interview at LXer on this page.

John Hull

File photo of John Hull, Courtesy LXer

John Hull has been with DELL since the last 7 years and now he heads the Austin-based Linux engineering team of DELL (One team is stationed at Bangalore in India). DELL has been supplying the Poweredge systems with Red Hat and SuSE distros since long. And these teams mak sure that every hardware in the Precision system works under Linux. Now they do the same for systems running Ubuntu. They also work with the open source community to produce drivers and fix kernel and application bugs.

John says that DELL`s decision of selling Ubuntu based PCs to customers has also made them aware of the fact that DELL has been doin Linux since long but only on Servers like the Precision. Before this announcement people hardly knew this business of DELL selling linux based machines. John refused disclose the approx sales figures of Ubuntu based DELL PCs since their inception which he said was against DELL`s policies to release official sales figures. But the market and community estimation is 1% of the total sales, or about 20,000 systems annually. He also said that customers were certainly showing their interest and buying systems preloaded with Ubuntu.

ubuntu_tux

On being asked that why DELL`s linux PCs which were introduced back in 2000 (having Red Hat 6.1) were not a big hit, he said that Linux has improved with time in user friendliness and support from hardware vendors for linux device drivers. Things have certainly canged from they were in 2000. According to me, seven years is hell lot of time for things to change. He also talked about getting all bug fixes in the factory itself and also said stuff about making modifications to the factory-installed image as necessary. Dell, as he said, also adds driver packages and scripts on top of the standard operating system to make sure that the customer experience is as nice as possible. Although, The Ubuntu Factory Images from DELL, as John says, are available for download now. You can find the CD image here and the DVD image here. He also talked about the possibility of DELL adding additional applications for enhancing user experience. He laso informed that how DELL is working hard and tie-ing up with the Engineering teams of other hardware vendors to bring in good collaborated driver support for linux.

On being asked about ubuntu`s future with dell, he spoke about continuing to support Red Hat and SUSE on PowerEdge servers worldwide, support Red Hat on our Precision Workstations worldwide, and delivering Ubuntu Linux on select consumer systems in select markets.

What I feel is that Canonical and DELL should work together more extensively. This will only benefit the Linux community in the form of newer drivers and applications and faster update releases for the drivers.

A very great Support site for UBUNTU from DELL can be found here. Indeed, it is is awsome support site. We expect such commitment from Computer brands towards the Linux community.

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Goobuntu (google`s modified Ubuntu)

Posted on October 17, 2007. Filed under: Google, Ubuntu |

During my random visits on various webpages on the internet, I found here that Google internally uses a Linux Distribution based on Ubuntu and they have named it as Goobuntu. While both Google and Mark have refuted the rumors about Google distributing Goobuntu to the public. And this should not happen either. Google has been innovating things and undertaking new projects, majority of which hae been successful to the height of free softwares. Google has also been porting and rewriting the various windows based Google applications for the Linux platforms. So google distributing an OS based on Ubuntu doesn`t quite go with the image it has created among it`s users. During my further searches relating to goobuntu, I have also found a screenshot which heavily confirms the existence of Goobuntu. An wikipedia entry to the found can be found here.

Heres `s the screenshot (Image Coutesy Flickr)

goobuntu

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Google`s Linux Software repository

Posted on October 17, 2007. Filed under: Google, Ubuntu |

Google has a repository for distributing it`s own Linux applications. It also helps to stay up-to-date with the current releases of the various applications. It is good as in I could install picasa for linux through the apt. Here`s the Link to the repo:

http://www.google.com/linuxrepositories/index.html

On Ubuntu, the repository can be added by issuing the following command in a terminal:

wget -q -O – https://dl-ssl.google.com/linux/linux_signing_key.pub | apt-key add –
apt-get update

A screenshot of the page:

Google_linux_repo_screenshot

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Ubuntu codenames demystified : Part 1

Posted on October 16, 2007. Filed under: Code Names |

Canonical releases a new version of Ubuntu every 6 months and gives it a an unique codename. Till now all these code names have been something or the other related to animals and birds. So, lets have an insight into what actually do these codenames mean.

1)

The very first version of Ubuntu to be released was 4.10. It was codenamed “Warty Warthog” . Warthog is a wild animal belonging to the pig family. It has 4 large wart-like tusks on it`s head.

A Warthog (Photo Courtesy : Wikipedia)

2)

The next release was version 5.04, codenamed “Hoary Hedgehog”. A Hedgehog is a small spiny mammal found through parts of Europe, Asia, Africa, and New Zealand.

A Hedgehog (Photo Courtesy : Wikipedia)

3)

Ubuntu codenamed the 5.10 release as “Breezy Badger”. This was when Ubuntu made big news and was the hor topic of discussion in the linux world. This happened due to the constant support from canonical that ubuntu was receiving. Ubuntu became the first Linux Distro to have a Startup Splash Screen called USplash (a graphical bootloader) like the Windows and unlike other Linux Distros. Coming back to the codename, Badger is the common name for any animal of three subfamilies, which belong to the family Mustelidae: the same mammal family as the ferrets, the weasels, the otters, and several other types of carnivore. There are eight species of badger, in three subfamilies: Melinae (the Eurasian badgers), Mellivorinae, (the Ratel or honey badger), and Taxideinae (the American badger).

A Badger (Image and Description Courtesy : Wikipedia)

4)

The next version, 6.06 that is, became the first ever release of Ubuntu bearing Long Term Support officially from canonical and ubuntu. By Now Ubuntu had lambasted all common myths about linux that it is user unfriendly. It had managed to create a “Linux is Use-Friendly” image among various linux fanatics and Evangelist alike. 6.06 was codenamed “Dapper Drake”. A Drake refers to a Male Duck.

A duck and a Drake (Photo Courtesy : Wikipedia)

Read the second part of this article

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Gutsy Desktop (First-Look)

Posted on October 16, 2007. Filed under: Gutsy Gibbon |

The Wallpaper has changed. As you see in this image, it has become kind of dark, chocolat-ish. I did not like the colour though. The Default Wallpapers from vista are awsome. May be Ubuntu should have a few such sexy wallpapers as default. There has been two new additions on the taskbar – the user switcher and the desktop search button. Here`s the image:

Image courtesy : Wikipedia

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Ubuntu 8.04 codenamed Hardy Heron

Posted on October 16, 2007. Filed under: Code Names, Hard Heron |

The 8 series of Ubuntu, Ubuntu 8.04 is scheduled for release in the Month of April 2008. As usual, it has a animal-istic code name, Hardy Heron (A heron is a kind of a bird) this time. To be precise, the Beta version releases on March 27, 2008 and the Final Version releases on 24th april, 2008. It is supposed to be released with an LTS tag that is, Ubuntu 8.04 will have Long Term Support. This includes 3 yrs of Official security and update support for desktop versions and 5 years for server versions respectively.

More About the release announcement can be found here

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What`s with Gutsy`s Performance?

Posted on October 16, 2007. Filed under: Gutsy Gibbon |

Innumerable Blogs are already up on the web about the new features that are incorporated in the Gutsy Gibbon release of Ubuntu, Ver. 7.10. For a better and clearer picture, you should check the Official Gutsy Beta Page here. What I`ve tried here in this post is to present you readers with how did the new features turn up. The computers on which I installed the Beta Version of Gutsy Gibbon are a Desktop (Core2Duo2.00 Ghz, 2GB RAM, 160 GB Hard Disk and 128 MB nVidia Geforce graphics card) and my DELL Inspiron 6400 Notebook (Core Duo 1.73 Gigs, 1 GB RAM, 120 GB HDD, INTEL Graphics Media Accelerator series 950). I also have an always on Internet Connection.

 

Upgrading from 7.04 to 7.10 was pretty damn hassle-free and took no time. All the upgradation process took place within 15 minutes. This probably might have happened due to the fact that my 7.04 box was fully up-to-date with all critical updates installed. In case you are not prompted to upgrade, you should check this UBUNTU official release. And then I restarted my Computer.

 

Wow! The new GNOME 2.20 really is good, I mean eye-soothing. The new default font is an icing on the cake. Lots others have changed. The disk properties now shows a pie chart information on disk usage as in the windows. The battery management tool has improved drastically. The data that it shows is now much more accurate, than Windows even. It also shows various graphs about battery charging, discharging, Voltage. If you want to know more about Gnome`s 2.20 features, hold on till 18th october and then do-so by installing the Gutsy User Edition. I would recommend not to go for the beta test edition unless you are a geek.

 

Fusion was enabled by default. But there were some start-up hassles on the Desktop, due to the nvidia graphics card. It was re-paired by manually editing the xorg.conf file and including “nv” in the video driver`s list. This must have been addressed in the User Version. On the laptop, having the intel graphics chip, fusion started all hassle free. What a crisp look, dude. I`ve fallen for the looks of Gutsy with Fusion enabled.

 

Desktop Search is not upto the mark. Indexing process goes on smooth, but sometimes it misses the linked photo files, when indexing a saved webpage. If you are an avid desktop search user, then better use or stick to Google Desktop Search. It`s way better. Also, I would recommend Laptop users to avoid any desktop search application. These applications generally do the indexing process when your computer is idle. Thus your hard drive never rests (except when you shut down) and the disk in your HDD is on constant move.

 

The User Switcher applet is awsome piece of addition to the 2.20 Gnome. Really saves time. You can now switch between Root and your user account with just a few clicks, No more logging offs etc.

 

Firefox Extensions are now available on the add/remove program menu. If you use firefox, it`s again good for you that you get the avid no. of plugins right on your desktop.

 

The X Configuration Program now comes in built with the Gutsy. So no more xorg.conf file configurations. You can now use the GUI to change your display type, Screen Resolution, Colour Scheme. You also have the option of manually selecting the driver for your graphics card, in case the default configuration (done by gutsy) doesn`t fully optimise your graphics card. And as the New Feature page of ubuntu gutsy says:

 

Several drivers, including ones for ATI, nVidia, and Intel graphics chips now support the X Resize and Rotate Extension (xrandr). This enables dynamic monitor detection, and resizing and rotating of video output, for no-fuss support for projectors and external monitors.

 

Believe me, all this works.

 

The Automatic Printer wizard, as they say detects all printers and installs the, but in my case, I am still struggling to get my Canon i320 to work. It didn`t work even on the 7.04 Fiesty Fawn. NTFS Partitions are recognised by default and are Read/Write enabled. Thanks to the NTFS-3g and FUSE Utils inclusion in Gutsy.

Gutsy gibbon also includes the SELinux policy, permission editor in form AppArmor. This program is terminal based and to know more about it, you may visit https://help.ubuntu.com/community/AppArmor.

 

Lets keep our fingers crossed for the Release of 7.10 Final Version, on the 18th of this month.

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