21 Apr 2015

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The Fridge: Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 413

Welcome to the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter. This is issue #413 for the week April 13 - 19, 2015, and the full version is available here.

In this issue we cover:

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

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

21 Apr 2015 1:03am GMT

20 Apr 2015

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Matthew Helmke: Build an HTML5 Game

No Starch Press has published a number of programming books that impress me, both in their depth and in their accessibility.

Build an HTML5 Game is intended for people who already have a basic familiarity with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. This book takes you beyond the typical "let's introduce tags and build basic web pages" stuff you usually see and walks the reader through building an entire browser-based game, start to finish. The programming starts immediately in Chapter 1, which is cool. All the important facets are covered from sprite animation, transitions and transforms, game logic, levels and sound, and quite a bit more.

The reader who is most likely to benefit is the one who has at least a little programming experience, but wants to broaden their skills with an entry into game development. To that end, I suggest you already have a little experience making web sites and using JavaScript and jQuery. If you have previous experience developing Flash games and want to move to the present and future with HTML5, you will also find this book useful and an enjoyable way to get started.

I really enjoyed reading Build an HTML5 Game. The writing is clear and easy to follow, the examples are good, and the concepts provide a solid foundation on which you can build. This is not a comprehensive "everything you will ever need or want to know about game programming" sort of book, but rather a clean and enjoyable entry that helps you over the first hurdle of writing that first game. It then gives you ideas and tips to help you know what else is out there so you have a bit of a roadmap to continue learning as you figure out what sorts of games you want to create.

Disclosure: I was given my copy of this book by the publisher as a review copy. See also: Are All Book Reviews Positive?

20 Apr 2015 11:15pm GMT

Nicholas Skaggs: It's Show and Tell Time!

Err, show and tell?
Who remembers their first years of schooling? At least for me growing up in the US, those first years invovled an activity called 'Show and Tell'. We were instructed to bring something in from home and talk about it. This could be a picture or souvenir from a trip or unique life event, something we made, another person who does interesting things, or just something we found really interesting. It was a way for us to learn more about each other in the classroom, as well as share cool things with each other.

Online Summit
Ok, snapping you back to reality, it's nearing time for UOS 15.05. UOS is the Ubuntu Online Summit we hold each cycle to talk about what's happening in ubuntu. UOS 15.05 will be on May 5th - May 7th.

So what does the childhood version of me reminiscing about show and tell have to do with UOS? Well, I'm glad you asked! There is a 'Show and Tell' track available to everyone as a platform for sharing interesting and unique things with the rest of the community. These sessions can be very short (5 or 10 minutes) and are a great way to share about your work within ubuntu.

With that in mind, it's a perfect opportunity for you to participate in 'Show and Tell' with the rest of the community. I encourage you to propose a session on the 'Show and Tell' track. This track exists for things like demos, quick talks, and 'show and tell' type things. It's perfect to spend 5 or 10 minutes talking about something you made or work on. Or perhaps something you find interesting. Or just a way to share a little about the team you work with or a project you've done. For those of you who may have been a part of the 'lightning talks' during the days of the physical UDS, anything that would have been considered a lightning talk is more than welcome in this track.

Cool, where do I signup?
Proposing a session is simple to do, and there's even a webpage to help! If you really get stuck, feel free to contact me, Svetlana Belkin or Allan Lesage who are your friendly track leads for this track. Once it's proposed the session will be assigned a date and time. Myself or another track lead will follow-up with you before UOS to ensure you are ready and the date and time is suitable for you.

Is there another way to participate?
Yes! Remember to checkout the show and tell sessions and participate by asking questions and enjoying the presentations. I guarantee you will learn something new. Maybe even useful!

Thanks for helping make UOS a success. I'll see you there!

20 Apr 2015 9:02pm GMT

Jono Bacon: Announcing Chimp Foot.

I am delighted to share my new music project: Chimp Foot.

I am going to be releasing a bunch of songs, which are fairly upbeat rock and roll (no growly metal here). The first tune is called 'Line In The Sand' and is available here.

All of these songs are available under a Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike license, which means you can download, share, remix, and sell them. I am also providing a karaoke version with vocals removed (great for background music) and all of the individual instrument tracks that I used to create each song. This should provide a pretty comprehensive archive of open material.

Please follow me on SoundCloud and/or on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+.

Shares of this would be much appreciated, and feedback welcome for the music!?

20 Apr 2015 4:22pm GMT

Daniel Pocock: WebRTC video from mini-DebConf Lyon, France

Thanks to the Debian France community for putting on another very successful mini-DebConf in Lyon recently.

It was a great opportunity to meet more people for the first time and share ideas.

On the first day, I gave a talk about the current status of WebRTC and the Debian WebRTC portal. You can now watch the video of the talk online.

Unfortunately, we had some wifi problems that delayed the demonstration but we did eventually see it work successfully towards the end of the talk.

20 Apr 2015 12:15pm GMT

James Page: OpenStack Kilo RC1 for Ubuntu 14.04 LTS and Ubuntu 15.04

The Ubuntu OpenStack Engineering team is pleased to announce the general availability of the first release candidate of the OpenStack Kilo release in Ubuntu 15.04 development and for Ubuntu 14.04 LTS via the Ubuntu Cloud Archive.

Ubuntu 14.04 LTS

You can enable the Ubuntu Cloud Archive for OpenStack Kilo on Ubuntu 14.04 installations by running the following commands:

 sudo add-apt-repository cloud-archive:kilo
 sudo apt-get update

The Ubuntu Cloud Archive for Kilo includes updates for Nova, Glance, Keystone, Neutron, Cinder, Horizon, Ceilometer and Heat; Ceph (0.94.1), RabbitMQ (3.4.2), QEMU (2.2), libvirt (1.2.12) and Open vSwitch (2.3.1) back-ports from 15.04 development have also been provided.

Note that for Swift we're still at version 2.2.2 - we're currently reviewing whether to include 2.3.0 for release.

Ubuntu 15.04 development

No extra steps required; just start installing OpenStack!

New OpenStack components

In addition to Trove, Sahara and Ironic we have now added Designate and Manila to the Ubuntu universe pocket.

Neutron Driver Decomposition

As of Kilo RC1, Ubuntu are only tracking the decomposition of Neutron FWaaS, LBaaS and VPNaaS from Neutron core in the Ubuntu archive; we expect to add additional packages for other Neutron ML2 mechanism drivers and plugins early during the Liberty/15.10 development cycle - we'll provide these as backports to OpenStack Kilo users as and when they become available.

OpenStack Kilo Release

We have the slightly exciting situation this cycle in that OpenStack Kilo releases a week after Ubuntu 15.04; The Ubuntu OpenStack Engineering team will be working on a stable update for all OpenStack projects as soon as OpenStack Kilo is released. I'd anticipate that these updates should be available around a week after the kilo release date.

Reporting bugs

Any issues please report bugs using the 'ubuntu-bug' tool:

 sudo ubuntu-bug nova-conductor

this will ensure that bugs get logged in the right place in Launchpad.

Thanks and have fun!

20 Apr 2015 9:49am GMT

Forums Council: Ubuntu Phone and Tablet support on the forum

Now that the BQ phone is on the market and people are actually posting technical support questions regarding it, the Forum Council felt that there was a real need to create a venue to target this specific variant of Ubuntu.

Therefore a new sub-forum has been created in the Ubuntu Specialised Support area of the Forums, Ubuntu Phone and Tablet, providing support for smartphones, tablets, and anything to do with Ubuntu mobile technology.

The old Mobile Technology Discussions sub-forum will remain live for the time being, while the Forum Council decides how the needs of the forum membership is best met in the chat areas of the forum.

20 Apr 2015 9:07am GMT

Stephen Michael Kellat: Beyond The Tracks

As strange as it feels to wind up really writing this: Yes, I still exist.

Circumstances are not playing in my favor right now. Work is still a not very happy place. My involvement in Xubuntu had to be curtailed to mostly ISO testing on live hardware as that was what I could spend off-duty hours on. My involvement in Ubuntu Ohio has been set back quite a bit as I have been in a very difficult work environment with some new anomalous happenings as of late to still rectify. Losing my home this month, though, resulted in my having to make some changes.

If anybody watches my wiki.ubuntu.com page they might notice it occasionally gets updated. The wiki even allows you to subscribe to pages to watch for updates, too. The absence of any reference to ARM boards like the now-ancient BeagleBoard-xM and the venerable Raspberry Pi Model B simply means that they're in cold storage. I needed firm, reliable software so my laptop was downgraded from testing Vivid Vervet back to 14.04 to have a stable base to work from.

I'm in a temporary yet undisclosed location as I look to secure a new home. For now things are secure. I still go to my day job even. Things are just greatly in flux right now.

Now, if I could just get back to LoCo Council affairs properly...

20 Apr 2015 12:00am GMT

19 Apr 2015

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Aurélien Gâteau: Extensive Source Comments or Extensive Commit Messages?

If you consider yourself as a serious developer, you know writing good commit messages is important. You don't want to be that guy:

XKCD #1296: Git Commit

XKCD #1296

This applies to source comments as well: good comments save time, bad comments can be worse than no comments.

For a long time, I usually favored source comments over commit messages: whenever I was about to commit a change which needed some explanations, I would often start to write a long commit message, then pause, go back to the code, write my long explanation as a comment and then commit the changes with a short message. After all, we are told we should not repeat ourselves.

Recently I was listening to Thom Parkin talking about rebasing on Git Minutes #33 (Git Minutes is a great podcast BTW, highly recommended) and he said this: "Commits tell a story". That made me realize one thing: we developers read code a lot, but we also read a lot of commit histories, either when tracking a bug or when reviewing a patchset. Reading code and reading history can be perceived as two different views of a project, and we should strive to make sure both views are readable. Our readers (which often are our future selves...) will thank us. It may require duplicating information from time to time, but that is a reasonable trade-off in my opinion.

So, "Write extensive source comments or extensive commit messages?" I'd say: "Do both".

Flattr this

19 Apr 2015 9:29pm GMT

Nekhelesh Ramananthan: BQ Phone Insiders Edition

Canonical hosted the insider's Ubuntu Phone Launch Event on February 6th where they handed over BQ devices to the people who were invited to the event. I was invited to the event but couldn't make it unfortunately due to personal reasons. A few days back I got around to emailing Canonical with the necessary details to get it shipped to my house. I received the package by post the next day!

In the past few years, we have seen the rise of Android and iOS amongst other mobile OSes like Symbian, Blackberry, Windows Phone etc. They have all been around for some time to become what they are today. Do note that they all started small. Hell the first release of iOS didn't even support 3rd party apps until 6 months later! Even Android acquired by Google in 2005, was shipped by HTC only in 2008. Keeping that in mind, Ubuntu Touch 1.0 is a great release!

I am honoured to have been a part of Ubuntu Touch from the beginning by being the clock app developer. It has been a long journey, but things are only going to get better from here on.

As such I was really excited to receive the phone and also see the package, enclosed letter all having distinct suru styles that I have come to like on the phone UI.

I have attached a few screenshots below showing the packaging,

BQ Pic 1 BQ Pic 2 BQ Pic 3

It is really nice to see Canonical put this amount of polish and attention to detail for the Insiders event. A few years down the line, I will still remember my experience with the world's first Ubuntu Phone.

BQ Pic 5 BQ Pic 4 BQ Pic 6 BQ Pic 7

I have added my day-to-day SIM and intend on using the Ubuntu Phone as my daily device. Sure I will miss Whatsapp, but I have a secondary phone just for that purpose. Otherwise, Ubuntu Touch covers pretty much all my use cases.

19 Apr 2015 11:05am GMT

Stuart Langridge: Why I Play The Lottery

There is a persistent meme that lotteries are a tax on people who can't do maths and are stupid. I don't think I'm stupid1 and I'm OK2 at maths, and I play the lottery. This is why.

Basically, my desire for money is not linear, because I'm not homo economicus.3 My laws of desire for money are more Einsteinian than Newtonian: linear desire for money works at small amounts, but as they get higher it gets weird. I might desire £4 twice as much as £2, true enough; small amounts, Newton's sensible laws. But I don't desire £2 million twice as much as £1 million, because having a million would be enough and what would I do with the second million? I desire a million quite a lot more than a hundred times as much as £10,000, because a million quid is amazing and ten grand is a new car. The lottery gives me, for a negligible outlay, an outside chance of having a million quid, which would be radically life-changing (because I'd never have to work again).

There's no other way I'll get a million pounds. Sure, my chances of winning the lottery are at pretty adverse odds (roughly, 1 in 14 million chance of winning; when I win I get somewhere in between 2 and 6 million pounds). But having a million quid is a goal I'd like to hit. I can attempt that with almost no work.

Imagine that I wanted a million, and I started with a pound. Perhaps I should play roulette instead, which has a much more favourable edge than the lottery (although it's still unfavourable; 5 5/19% for the bank and against me). So I stick my quid on black 17, and it comes up; a chance of 1/38, and I get £36 back for a total of £37. I let that £37 ride, and black 17 comes up again, so I now have £1369. Ride again4 for £50653, and again for £1.8 million, which is retirement money and so I stop. The chances of that happening; 1 in 2 million or so. So playing roulette is very roughly equivalent to playing the lottery (chances of getting a million quid: one in some millions). And the lottery is a lot easier to do; you don't have to put on a dinner jacket and walk to the casino, and you can play for a pound.5

This is the point. I won't miss the money, it's very easy to do, and it might end up changing my life, so why not do it? If I were actually good at maths, maybe I'd plot a graph of some sort of quotient made up of "amount spent" vs "effort required" vs "amount won". I bet the lottery looks quite a lot better than "working for a living", on that graph.

I should note here that the second part of the meme which is often quoted alongside it is that lotteries are a tax on the poor; that is, people who will miss that hundred pounds a year. This is completely correct. I would not notice the half-a-pint a week that the lottery costs me; this is not the case for others, and lotteries being a tax on the poor is entirely correct.

  1. not all the time, anyway
  2. ish
  3. People aren't identical and spherical, either
  4. ignore table limits here
  5. there are casinos which will let you put a quid on a roulette wheel spin, but good luck finding a table which allows wagering a quid and allows wagering fifty grand

19 Apr 2015 10:54am GMT

17 Apr 2015

feedPlanet Ubuntu

Nicholas Skaggs: Testing Vivid Vervet final images

Ubuntu 15.04, otherwise known as the vivid vervet, is nearing release. We are now in the final week before the release on April 23rd. That means it's time to test some images!

Everyone can help!
For the final images, I'd like to extend the call for testing beyond those brave souls willing to run alpha and beta software. I encourage everyone to make a backup (as always!) and upgrade / install vivid. Then report your results on the tracker. Positive results are extremely helpful for this milestone, so please report those too. As a bonus, you can enjoy vivid a few days before the rest of the world (there's no need to re-install the final image), and avoid the upgrade rush after release.

How can I help?
To help test, visit the iso tracker milestone page for the final milestone. The goal is to verify the images in preparation for the release. The information at the top of the page will help you if you need help reporting a bug or understanding how to test.

There's a first time for everything! Check out the handy links on top of the isotracker page detailing how to perform an image test, as well as a little about how the qatracker itself works. If you still aren't sure or get stuck, feel free to contact the qa community or myself for help.

Thanks and happy testing everyone!

17 Apr 2015 1:57pm GMT

Marcin Juszkiewicz: Running VMs on Fedora/AArch64

There are moments when more than one machine would be handy. But AArch64 computers are not yet available in shop around a corner we have to go for other options. So this time let check how to get virtual machines working.


For this I would use Fedora 22 on APM Mustang (other systems will be fine too). What else will be needed:

Is KVM working?

First we need to get KVM working - run "dmesg|grep -i kvm" after system boot. It should look like this:

hrw@pinkiepie-f22:~$ dmesg|grep -i kvm
[    0.261904] kvm [1]: interrupt-controller@780c0000 IRQ5
[    0.262011] kvm [1]: timer IRQ3
[    0.262026] kvm [1]: Hyp mode initialized successfully

But you can also get this:

[    0.343796] kvm [1]: GICV size 0x2000 not a multiple of page size 0x10000
[    0.343802] kvm [1]: error: no compatible GIC info found
[    0.343909] kvm [1]: error initializing Hyp mode: -6

In such case fixed DeviceTree blob from bug #1165290 would be needed. Fetch attached DTB, store as "/boot/mustang.dtb" and then edit "/etc/grub2-efi.cfg" file so kernel entry will look like this:

menuentry 'Fedora (4.0.0-0.rc5.git4.1.fc22.aarch64) 22 (Twenty Two)' --class fedora --class gnu-linux --class gnu --class os --unrestricted $menuentry_id_option 'gnulinux-4.0.0-0.rc5.git2.4.1.fc22.aarch64-advanced-13e42c65-e2eb-4986-abf9-262e287842e4' {
        insmod gzio
        insmod part_gpt
        insmod ext2
        set root='hd1,gpt32'
        if [ x$feature_platform_search_hint = xy ]; then
          search --no-floppy --fs-uuid --set=root --hint-bios=hd1,gpt32 --hint-efi=hd1,gpt32 --hint-baremetal=ahci1,gpt32  13e42c65-e2eb-4986-abf9-262e287842e4
          search --no-floppy --fs-uuid --set=root 13e42c65-e2eb-4986-abf9-262e287842e4
        linux /boot/vmlinuz-4.0.0-0.rc5.git4.1.fc22.aarch64 root=UUID=13e42c65-e2eb-4986-abf9-262e287842e4 ro  LANG=en_GB.UTF-8
        initrd /boot/initramfs-4.0.0-0.rc5.git4.1.fc22.aarch64.img
        devicetree /boot/mustang.dtb

After reboot KVM should work.

Software installation

Next step is installing VM software: "dnf install libvirt-daemon* virt-manager" will handle that. But to run Virt Manager we also need a way to see it. X11 forwarding over ssh to the rescue ;D After ssh connection I usually cheat with "sudo ln -sf ~hrw/.Xauthority /root/.Xauthority" to be able to run UI apps as root user.

UEFI firmware

Next phase is UEFI which allows us to boot virtual machine with ISO installation images (compared to kernel/initrd combo when there is no firmware/bootloader possibility). We will install one from repository provided by Gerd Hoffmann:

hrw@pinkiepie-f22:~$ sudo -s
root@pinkiepie-f22:hrw$ cd /etc/yum.repos.d/
root@pinkiepie-f22:yum.repos.d$ wget https://www.kraxel.org/repos/firmware.repo
root@pinkiepie-f22:yum.repos.d$ dnf install edk2.git-aarch64

Then libvirtd config change to give path for just installed firmware. Edit "/etc/libvirt/qemu.conf" file and at the end of file add this:

nvram = [

Restart libvirtd via "systemctl restart libvirtd".

Running Virtual Machine Manager

Now we can connect via "ssh -X" and run "sudo virt-manager":


Next step is connection to libvirtd:


Now we are ready for creating VMs. After pressing "Create a new VM" button we should see this:


And then creation of VM goes nearly like on x86 machines as there is no graphics only serial console.

But if you forgot to setup UEFI firmware then you will get this:


In such case get back to UEFI firmware step.

Installing Fedora 22 in VM

So let's test how it works. Fedora 22 is in Beta phase now so why not test it?




2GB ram and 3 cpu cores should be more than enough ;D


And 10GB for minimal system:



But when it went to serial console it did not look good :(


I realized that I forgot to install fonts, but quick "dnf install dejavu*fonts" sorted that out:


Go for VNC controller installation.

After installation finish system runs just fine:



As you can see Fedora 22 has everything in place to get VM running on AArch64. UEFI firmware is the only thing out of distribution but that's due to some license stuff on vfat implementation or something like that. I was running virtual machines with Debian 'jessie' and Fedora 22. Wanted to check Ubuntu but all I found was kernel/initrd combo (which is one of ways to boot in virt-manager) but it did not booted in VM.

All rights reserved © Marcin Juszkiewicz
Running VMs on Fedora/AArch64 was originally posted on Marcin Juszkiewicz website

Related posts:

  1. Let's install Debian on AArch64
  2. How to install Fedora 21 on APM Mustang with just HDD?
  3. Let's install Fedora 21 on AArch64

17 Apr 2015 12:01pm GMT

16 Apr 2015

feedPlanet Ubuntu

Michael Terry: Snapifying Normal Ubuntu Packages

I've been playing with Ubuntu Snappy and wanted a way to bundle up traditional Ubuntu programs into a snap package.

So I wrote a script to do so! Introducing deb2snap. It isn't perfect, but it can do some neat stuff already.

Full instructions and examples can be found on the homepage, but to whet your appetite:

./deb2snap fortune
./deb2snap --mir mir_demo_client_fingerpaint
./deb2snap --xmir xfreerdp

16 Apr 2015 7:32pm GMT

Kubuntu Wire: Another Video Review


Kubuntu 15.04 Review - Looking Fantastic

16 Apr 2015 7:24pm GMT

Daniel Pocock: Debian Jessie release, 100 year ANZAC anniversary

The date scheduled for the jessie release, 25 April 2015, is also ANZAC day and the 100th anniversary of the Gallipoli landings. ANZAC day is a public holiday in Australia, New Zealand and a few other places, with ceremonies remembering the sacrifices made by the armed services in all the wars.

Gallipoli itself was a great tragedy. Australian forces were not victorious. Nonetheless, it is probably the most well remembered battle from all the wars. There is even a movie, Gallipoli, starring Mel Gibson.

It is also the 97th anniversary of the liberation of Villers-Bretonneux in France. The previous day had seen the world's first tank vs tank battle between three British tanks and three German tanks. The Germans won and captured the town. At that stage, Britain didn't have the advantage of nuclear weapons, so they sent in Australians, and the town was recovered for the French. The town has a rue de Melbourne and rue Victoria and is also the site of the Australian National Memorial for the Western Front.

Its great to see that projects like Debian are able to span political and geographic boundaries and allow everybody to collaborate for the greater good. ANZAC day might be an interesting opportunity to reflect on the fact that the world hasn't always enjoyed such community.

16 Apr 2015 5:48pm GMT