21 Feb 2017

feedPlanet Ubuntu

Ubuntu Insights: Webinar: Qt on Ubuntu Core

Are you interested in developing Qt on Ubuntu Core? Learning how to package Qt apps as snaps? And the solutions they bring to the world of Digital Signage?

If so, join us for a webinar. You will learn the following:

Date: Wednesday 22nd February 2017
Time: 17:00 - 18:00 (GMT)
Speakers: Nils Christian Roscher-Nielsen: Product Manager (The Qt Company), Pat McGowan: Director of Developer Tools and Apps (Canonical)

Sign up to the webinar

More info on speakers:

Nils Christian Roscher-Nielsen, Product Manager, The Qt Company
Nils is a Qt Product Manager, responsible for Qt Lite as well as a focus on customer relations and content development, after many years as a technical sales engineers. He also serves as a Qt evangelist at tradeshows and conferences. In his role, Nils is responsible for evaluating The Qt Company's product offering, driving the long term roadmap creation, managing the technology evaluation stage and serves as a key technical adviser and product advocate for Qt. He has worked closely with Qt for the past eight years in Trolltech, Nokia, Digia and now The Qt Company. He holds a M.Sc. degree in Engineering Cybernetics from the Norwegian University of Technology and Science NTNU. Nils is currently based in Oslo, Norway.

Pat McGowan; Director of Developer Tools and Apps, Canonical

John Kourentis, VP Sales and Partnerships, Canonical

21 Feb 2017 1:49pm GMT

Harald Sitter: Plasma in a Snap?

…why not!

Shortly before FOSDEM, Aleix Pol asked if I had ever put Plasma in a Snap. While I was a bit perplexed by the notion itself, I also found this a rather interesting idea.

So, the past couple of weeks I spent a bit of time here and there on trying to see if it is possible.

img_20170220_154814

It is!

But let's start in the beginning. Snap is one of the Linux bundle formats that are currently very much en-vogue. Basically, whatever is necessary to run an application is put into a self-contained archive from which the application then gets run. The motivation is to isolate application building and delivery from the operating system building and delivery. Or in short, you do not depend on your Linux distribution to provide a package, as long as the distribution can run the middleware for the specific bundle format you can get a bundle from the source author and it will run. As an added bonus these bundles usually also get confined. That means that whatever is inside can't access system files or other programs unless permission for this was given in some form or fashion.

Putting Plasma, KDE's award-winning desktop workspace, in a snap is interesting for all the same reasons it is interesting for applications. Distributing binary builds would be less of a hassle, testing is more accessible and confinement in various ways can lessen the impact of security issues in the confined software.

With the snap format specifically Plasma has two challenges:

  1. The snapped software is mounted in a changing path that is different from the installation directory.
  2. Confining Plasma is a bit tricky because of how many actors are involved in a Plasma session and some of them needing far-reaching access to system services.

As it turns out problem 1, in particular, is biting Plasma fairly hard. Not exactly a great surprise, after all, relocating (i.e. changing paths of) an installed Plasma isn't exactly something we've done in the past. In fact, it goes further than that as ultimately Plasma's dependencies need to be relocatable as well, which for example Xwayland is not.

But let's talk about the snapping itself first. For the purposes of this proof of concept, I simply recycled KDE neon's deb builds. Snapcraft, the build tool for snaps, has built-in support for installing debs into a snap, so that is a great timesaver to get things off the ground as it were. Additionally, I used the Plasma Wayland stack instead of the X11 stack. Confinement makes lots more sense with Wayland compared to X11.

Relocatability

Relocatability is a tricky topic. A lot of times one compiles fixed paths into the binary because it is easy to do and it is somewhat secure. Notably, depending on the specific environment at the time of invocation one could be tricked into executing a malicious binary in $PATH instead of the desired one. Explicitly specifying the path is a well-understood safeguard against this sort of problem. Unfortunately, it also means that you cannot move your installed tree anywhere but where it was installed. The relocatable and safe solution is slightly more involved in terms of code as you need to resolve what you want to invoke relative from your location, it being more code and also not exactly trivial to get right is why often times one opts to simply hard-compile paths. This is a problem in terms of packing things into a relocatable snap though. I had to apply a whole bunch of hacks to either resolve binaries from PATH or resolve their location relative. None of these are particularly useful patches but here ya go.

Session

Once all relocatability issues were out of the way I finally had an actual Plasma session. Weeeh!

Confinement

Confining Plasma as a whole is fairly straightforward, albeit a bit of a drag since it's basically a matter of figuring out what is or isn't required to make things fly. A lot of logouts and logins is what it takes. Fortunately, snaps have a built-in mechanism to expose DBus session services offered by them. A full blown Plasma session has an enormous amount of services it offers on DBus, from the general purpose notification service to the special interest Plasma Activity service. Being able to expose them efficiently is a great help in tweaking confinement.

Not everything is about DBus though! Sometimes a snap needs to talk with a system service, and obviously, a workspace as powerful as Plasma would need to talk to a bunch of them. Doing advanced access control needs to be done in snapd (the thing that manages installed snaps). Snapd's interfaces control what is and is not allowed for a snap. To get Plasma to start and work with confinement a bunch of holes need to be poked in the confinement that are outside the scope of existing interface. KWin, in particular, is taking the role of a fairly central service in the Plasma Wayland world, so it needs far-reaching access so it can do its job. Unfortunately, interfaces currently can only be built with snapd's source tree itself. I made an example interface which covers most of the relevant core services but unless you build a snapd this won't be particularly easy to try 😉

Summary

All in all, Plasma is easily bundled up once one gets relocatability problems out of the way. And thanks to the confinement control snap and snapd offer, it is also perfectly possible to restrict the workspace through confinement.

I did not at all touch on integration issues however. Running the workspace from a confined bundle is all nice and dandy but not very useful since Plasma won't have any applications it can launch as they either live on the system or in other snaps. A confined Plasma would know about neither right now.

There is also the lingering question of whether confining like this makes sense at all. Putting all of Plasma into the same snap means this one snap will need lots of permissions and interaction with the host system. At the same time it also means that keeping confinement profiles up to date would be a continuous feat as there are so many things offered and used by this one snap.

One day perhaps we'll see this in production quality. Certainly not today 🙂

mascot_konqi-app-dev

21 Feb 2017 12:25pm GMT

Ubuntu Insights: DAQRI showcases Ubuntu powered Augmented Reality helmet at MWC

This is a guest post by Fabrice Etienne from DAQRI®, leading enterprise augmented reality company. If you would like to contribute a guest post, please contact ubuntu-devices@canonical.com

DAQRI® are going to be on the Ubuntu booth at Mobile World Congress to showcase the DAQRI Smart Helmet®. The DAQRI Smart Helmet, powered by an Ubuntu AR application, can be used in industrial settings and brings to life all the data generated by the new world of Industrial Internet of Things…

For those unfamiliar, DAQRI Smart Helmet is an advanced, augmented reality helmet powered by a 6th generation Intel Core m7 processor for highly performant multimedia and AR. Its high-speed, wide-angle camera pairs with a dedicated processor for AR applications. The transparent display has been ruggedized for industrial environments and its high brightness makes it suitable for indoor and outdoor use. An integrated RGB camera, a stereo infrared cameras with an infrared light projector work together intuitively allowing the helmet to infer depth. The absolute scale thermal camera offers persistent passive thermal monitoring of industrial equipment. By overlaying data onto the display, thermal anomalies can be quickly identified.

DAQRI Smart Helmet was purpose-built for industrial use. Delivering on the promise of the Industrial Internet of Things, the helmet can decentralize your control room through its data visualization capabilities. As heat is a danger to both workers and equipment, the thermal vision provided by the helmet gives your workers an edge in staying aware of potential dangers and improving maintenance and monitoring. Guided work instructions bring manuals away from the bookshelf and into the 21st Century by laying them out directly into your view. Through these augmented instructions, workers will understand processes quickly, spend less time on each step, and make fewer errors. If more hands-on assistance is required, workers can bring a Remote Expert into their point-of-view to give timely expertise and mobilize your company's intelligence globally.

Want the opportunity to see DAQRI Smart Helmet in person?

You can at Mobile World Congress by visiting the Ubuntu booth at Hall P3 - 3K31. We'll see you at MWC in Barcelona, February 27th through March 2nd.

To learn more about DAQRI, please visit www.daqri.com.

DAQRI® is the world's leading enterprise augmented reality (AR) company with a vision to bring AR everywhere. The company's flagship product, DAQRI Smart Helmet®, improves safety and efficiency for industrial workers. DAQRI was founded in 2010 by Brian Mullins, and is headquartered in Los Angeles with offices in the UK, Ireland and Austria. Current DAQRI products that deliver on the promise of bringing AR everywhere include: DAQRI Smart Helmet, DAQRI Smart Glasses™, DAQRI Qube™, and DAQRI Smart Hud™.

21 Feb 2017 10:00am GMT

The Fridge: Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 499

Welcome to the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter. This is issue #499 for the week February 13 - 19, 2017, 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 Feb 2017 12:57am GMT

20 Feb 2017

feedPlanet Ubuntu

Sam Hewitt: Icons by Me

Time for some self-promotion! I bought the domain iconsbysam.com some time ago to eventually create a site to showcase some of the icon design work I've done -I finally got around to doing just that, do check it out:

Icons by Sam

20 Feb 2017 7:00pm GMT

Stuart Langridge: Dividends and director withdrawals

Everyone running their own business except me probably already knows this. But, three years in, I think I've finally actually understood in my own mind the difference between a dividend and a director withdrawal. My accountant, Crunch1 have me record both of them when I take money out of the company, and I didn't really get why until recently. When I finally got it, I wrote myself a note that I could go back to and read when I get confused again, and I thought I'd publish that here so others can see it too.

(Important note: this is not financial advice. If my understanding here differs from your understanding, trust yourself, or your accountant. I'm also likely glossing over many subtleties, etc, etc. If you think this is downright wrong, I'd be interested in hearing. If you think it's over-simplified, you're doubtless correct.)


A dividend is a promise to pay you X money.

A director withdrawal is you taking that money out.

So when a pound comes in, you can create a dividend to say: we'll pay Stuart 80p.

When you take the money out, you record a director withdrawal of 80p.

Dividends are IOUs. Withdrawals are you cashing the IOU in.

So when the "director's loan account is overdrawn", that means: you have recorded dividends of N but have recorded director withdrawals of more than N, i.e., you've taken out more than the company wants to pay you. This may be because you are owed the amount you took, and recorded director withdrawals for all that but forgot to do a dividend for it, or because you've taken more than you're allowed.

When creating a new dividend (in Crunch) it will (usefully) say what the maximum dividend you can take is; that should be the maximum takeable while still leaving enough money in the account to pay the tax bill.

In the Pay Yourself dashboard (in Crunch) it'll say "money owed to Stuart"; that's money that's been promised with a dividend but not taken out with a withdrawal. (Note: this may be because you forgot to do a withdrawal for money you've taken! In theory it would mean money promised with a dividend but not taken, but maybe you took it and just didn't do a withdrawal to record that you took it. Check.)

  1. who are really handy, online, and are happy to receive emails in which I ask stupid questions over and over again: if you need an accountant too, this referral link will get us both some money off

20 Feb 2017 10:02am GMT

19 Feb 2017

feedPlanet Ubuntu

Thierry Carrez: Using proprietary services to develop open source software

It is now pretty well accepted that open source is a superior way of producing software. Almost everyone is doing open source those days. In particular, the ability for users to look under the hood and make changes results in tools that are better adapted to their workflows. It reduces the cost and risk of finding yourself locked-in with a vendor in an unbalanced relationship. It contributes to a virtuous circle of continuous improvement, blurring the lines between consumers and producers. It enables everyone to remix and invent new things. It adds up to the common human knowledge.

And yet

And yet, a lot of open source software is developed on (and with the help of) proprietary services running closed-source code. Countless open source projects are developed on GitHub, or with the help of Jira for bugtracking, Slack for communications, Google docs for document authoring and sharing, Trello for status boards. That sounds a bit paradoxical and hypocritical -- a bit too much "do what I say, not what I do". Why is that ? If we agree that open source has so many tangible benefits, why are we so willing to forfeit them with the very tooling we use to produce it ?

But it's free !

The argument usually goes like this: those platforms may be proprietary, they offer great features, and they are provided free of charge to my open source project. Why on Earth would I go through the hassle of setting up, maintaining, and paying for infrastructure to run less featureful solutions ? Or why would I pay for someone to host it for me ? The trick is, as the saying goes, when the product is free, you are the product. In this case, your open source community is the product. In the worst case scenario, the personal data and activity patterns of your community members will be sold to 3rd parties. In the best case scenario, your open source community is recruited by force in an army that furthers the network effect and makes it even more difficult for the next open source project to not use that proprietary service. In all cases, you, as a project, decide to not bear the direct cost, but ask each and every one of your contributors to pay for it indirectly instead. You force all of your contributors to accept the ever-changing terms of use of the proprietary service in order to participate to your "open" community.

Recognizing the trade-off

It is important to recognize the situation for what it is. A trade-off. On one side, shiny features, convenience. On the other, a lock-in of your community through specific features, data formats, proprietary protocols or just plain old network effect and habit. Each situation is different. In some cases the gap between the proprietary service and the open platform will be so large that it makes sense to bear the cost. Google Docs is pretty good at what it does, and I find myself using it when collaborating on something more complex than etherpads or ethercalcs. At the opposite end of the spectrum, there is really no reason to use Doodle when you can use Framadate. In the same vein, Wekan is close enough to Trello that you should really consider it as well. For Slack vs. Mattermost vs. IRC, the trade-off is more subtle. As a sidenote, the cost of lock-in is a lot reduced when the proprietary service is built on standard protocols. For example, GMail is not that much of a problem because it is easy enough to use IMAP to integrate it (and possibly move away from it in the future). If Slack was just a stellar opinionated client using IRC protocols and servers, it would also not be that much of a problem.

Part of the solution

Any simple answer to this trade-off would be dogmatic. You are not unpure if you use proprietary services, and you are not wearing blinders if you use open source software for your project infrastructure. Each community will answer that trade-off differently, based on their roots and history. The important part is to acknowledge that nothing is free. When the choice is made, we all need to be mindful of what we gain, and what we lose. To conclude, I think we can all agree that all other things being equal, when there is an open-source solution which has all the features of the proprietary offering, we all prefer to use that. The corollary is, we all benefit when those open-source solutions get better. So to be part of the solution, consider helping those open source projects build something as good as the proprietary alternative, especially when they are pretty close to it feature-wise. That will make solving that trade-off a lot easier.

19 Feb 2017 1:00pm GMT

Stuart Langridge: The Quiet Voice

It's harder to find news these days. On the one hand, there's news everywhere you turn. Shrieking at you. On the other, we're each in a bubble. Articles are rushed out to get clicks; everything's got a political slant in one direction or another. This is not new. But it does feel like it's getting worse.

It's being recognised, though. Buzzfeed have just launched a thing called "Outside Your Bubble", an admirable effort to "give our audience a glimpse at what's happening outside their own social media spaces"; basically, it's a list of links to views for and against at the bottom of certain articles. Boris Smus just wrote up an idea to add easily-digestible sparkline graphs to news articles which provide context to the numbers quoted. There have long been services like Channel 4's FactCheck and AllSides which try to correct errors in published articles or give a balanced view of the news. Matt Kiser's WTF Just Happened Today tries to summarise, and there are others.

(Aside: I am bloody sure that there's an xkcd or similar about the idea of the quiet voice, where when someone uses a statistic on telly, the quiet voice says "that's actually only 2% higher than it was under the last president" or something. But I cannot for the life of me find it. Help.)

So here's what I'd like.

I want a thing I can install. A browser extension or something. And when I view an article, I get context and viewpoint on it. If the article says "Trump's approval rating is 38%", the extension highlights it and says "other sources say it's 45% (link)" and "here's a list of other presidents' approval ratings at this point in their terms" and "here's a link to an argument on why it's this number". When the article says "the UK doesn't have enough trade negotiators to set up trade deals" there's a link to an article claiming that that isn't a problem and explaining why. If it says "NHS wait times are now longer than they've ever been" there's a graph showing what this response times are, and linking to a study showing that NHS funding is dropping faster than response times are. An article saying that X billion is spent on foreign aid gets a note on how much that costs each taxpayer, what proportion of the budget it is, how much people think it is. It provides context, views from outside your bubble, left and right. You get to see what other people think of this and how they contextualise it; you get to see what quoted numbers mean and understand the background. It's not political one way or the other; it's like a wise aunt commentator, the quiet voice that says "OK, here's what this means" so you're better informed, of how it's relevant to you and what people outside your bubble think.

Now, here's why it won't work.

It won't work because it's a hysterical amount of effort and nobody has a motive to do it. It has to be almost instant; there's little point in brilliantly annotating an article three days after it's written when everyone's already read it. It'd be really difficult for it to be non-partisan, and it'd be even more difficult to make people believe it was non-partisan even if it was. There's no money in it - it's explicitly not a thing that people go to, but lives on other people's sites. And there aren't browser extensions on mobile. The Washington Post offer something like this with their service to annotate Trump's tweets, but extending it to all news articles everywhere is a huge amount of work. Organisations with a remit to do this sort of thing - the newly-spun-off Open News from Mozilla and the Knight Foundation, say - don't have the resources to do anything even approaching this. And it's no good if you have to pay for it. People don't really want opposing views, thoughts from outside their bubble, graphs and context; that's what's caused this thing to need to exist in the first place! So it has to be trivial to add; if you demand money nobody will buy it. So I can't see how you pay the army of fact checkers and linkers your need to run this. It can't be crowd sourced; if it were then it wouldn't be a reliable annotation source, it'd be reddit, which would be disastrous. But it'd be so useful. And once it exists they can produce a thing which generates printable PDF annotations and I can staple them inside my parents copy of the Daily Mail.

19 Feb 2017 12:17pm GMT

Sridhar Dhanapalan: A Complete Literacy Experience For Young Children

From the "I should have posted this months ago" vault…

When I led technology development at One Laptop per Child Australia, I maintained two golden rules:

  1. everything that we release must 'just work' from the perspective of the user (usually a child or teacher), and
  2. no special technical expertise should ever be required to set-up, use or maintain the technology.

In large part, I believe that we were successful.

Once the more obvious challenges have been identified and cleared, some more fundamental problems become evident. Our goal was to improve educational opportunities for children as young as possible, but proficiently using computers to input information can require a degree of literacy.

Sugar Labs have done stellar work in questioning the relevance of the desktop metaphor for education, and in coming up with a more suitable alternative. This proved to be a remarkable platform for developing a touch-screen laptop, in the form of the XO-4 Touch: the icons-based user interface meant that we could add touch capabilities with relatively few user-visible tweaks. The screen can be swivelled and closed over the keyboard as with previous models, meaning that this new version can be easily converted into a pure tablet at will.

Revisiting Our Assumptions

Still, a fundamental assumption has long gone unchallenged on all computers: the default typeface and keyboard. It doesn't at all represent how young children learn the English alphabet or literacy. Moreover, at OLPC Australia we were often dealing with children who were behind on learning outcomes, and who were attending school with almost no exposure to English (since they speak other languages at home). How are they supposed to learn the curriculum when they can barely communicate in the classroom?

Looking at a standard PC keyboard, you'll see that the keys are printed with upper-case letters. And yet, that is not how letters are taught in Australian schools. Imagine that you're a child who still hasn't grasped his/her ABCs. You see a keyboard full of unfamiliar symbols. You press one, and on the screen pops up a completely different looking letter! The keyboard may be in upper-case, but by default you'll get the lower-case variants on the screen.

A standard PC keyboardA standard PC keyboard

Unfortunately, the most prevalent touch-screen keyboard on the marke isn't any better. Given the large education market for its parent company, I'm astounded that this has not been a priority.

The Apple iOS keyboardThe Apple iOS keyboard

Better alternatives exist on other platforms, but I still was not satisfied.

A Re-Think

The solution required an examination of how children learn, and the challenges that they often face when doing so. The end result is simple, yet effective.

The standard OLPC XO mechanical keyboard (above) versus the OLPC Australia Literacy keyboard (below)The standard OLPC XO mechanical keyboard (above) versus the OLPC Australia Literacy keyboard (below)

This image contrasts the standard OLPC mechanical keyboard with the OLPC Australia Literacy keyboard that we developed. Getting there required several considerations:

  1. a new typeface, optimised for literacy
  2. a cleaner design, omitting characters that are not common in English (they can still be entered with the AltGr key)
  3. an emphasis on lower-case
  4. upper-case letters printed on the same keys, with the Shift arrow angled to indicate the relationship
  5. better use of symbols to aid instruction

One interesting user story with the old keyboard that I came across was in a remote Australian school, where Aboriginal children were trying to play the Maze activity by pressing the opposite arrows that they were supposed to. Apparently they thought that the arrows represented birds' feet! You'll see that we changed the arrow heads on the literacy keyboard as a result.

We explicitly chose not to change the QWERTY layout. That's a different debate for another time.

The Typeface

The abc123 typeface is largely the result of work I did with John Greatorex. It is freely downloadable (in TrueType and FontForge formats) and open source.

After much research and discussions with educators, I was unimpressed with the other literacy-oriented fonts available online. Characters like 'a' and '9' (just to mention a couple) are not rendered in the way that children are taught to write them. Young children are also susceptible to confusion over letters that look similar, including mirror-images of letters. We worked to differentiate, for instance, the lower-case L from the upper-case i, and the lower-case p from the lower-case q.

Typography is a wonderfully complex intersection of art and science, and it would have been foolhardy for us to have started from scratch. We used as our base the high-quality DejaVu Sans typeface. This gave us a foundation that worked well on screen and in print. Importantly for us, it maintained legibility at small point sizes on the 200dpi XO display.

On the Screen

abc123 is a suitable substitute for DejaVu Sans. I have been using it as the default user interface font in Ubuntu for over a year.

It looks great in Sugar as well. The letters are crisp and easy to differentiate, even at small point sizes. We made abc123 the default font for both the user interface and in activities (applications).

The abc123 font in Sugar's Write activity, on an XO laptop screenThe abc123 font in Sugar's Write activity, on an XO laptop screen

Likewise, the touch-screen keyboard is clear and simple to use.

The abc123 font on the XO touch-screen keyboard, on an XO laptop screenThe abc123 font on the XO touch-screen keyboard, on an XO laptop screen

The end result is a more consistent literacy experience across the whole device. What you press on the hardware or touch-screen keyboard will be reproduced exactly on the screen. What you see on the user interface is also what you see on the keyboards.

19 Feb 2017 7:24am GMT

17 Feb 2017

feedPlanet Ubuntu

The Fridge: Ubuntu 16.04.2 LTS Released

The Ubuntu team is pleased to announce the release of Ubuntu 16.04.2 LTS (Long-Term Support) for its Desktop, Server, and Cloud products, as well as other flavours of Ubuntu with long-term support.

Like previous LTS series', 16.04.2 includes hardware enablement stacks for use on newer hardware. This support is offered on all architectures except for 32-bit powerpc, and is installed by default when using one of the desktop images. Ubuntu Server defaults to installing the GA kernel, however you may select the HWE kernel from the installer bootloader.

As usual, this point release includes many updates, and updated installation media has been provided so that fewer updates will need to be downloaded after installation. These include security updates and corrections for other high-impact bugs, with a focus on maintaining stability and compatibility with Ubuntu 16.04 LTS.

Kubuntu 16.04.2 LTS, Xubuntu 16.04.2 LTS, Mythbuntu 16.04.2 LTS, Ubuntu GNOME 16.04.2 LTS, Lubuntu 16.04.2 LTS, Ubuntu Kylin 16.04.2 LTS, Ubuntu MATE 16.04.2 LTS and Ubuntu Studio 16.04.2 LTS are also now available. More details can be found in their individual release notes:

https://wiki.ubuntu.com/XenialXerus/ReleaseNotes#Official_flavours

Maintenance updates will be provided for 5 years for Ubuntu Desktop, Ubuntu Server, Ubuntu Cloud, Ubuntu Base, and Ubuntu Kylin. All the remaining flavours will be supported for 3 years.

To get Ubuntu 16.04.2

In order to download Ubuntu 16.04.2, visit:

http://www.ubuntu.com/download

Users of Ubuntu 14.04 will be offered an automatic upgrade to 16.04.2 via Update Manager. For further information about upgrading, see:

https://help.ubuntu.com/community/XenialUpgrades

As always, upgrades to the latest version of Ubuntu are entirely free of charge.

We recommend that all users read the 16.04.1 release notes, which document caveats and workarounds for known issues, as well as more in-depth notes on the release itself. They are available at:

https://wiki.ubuntu.com/XenialXerus/ReleaseNotes

If you have a question, or if you think you may have found a bug but aren't sure, you can try asking in any of the following places:

Help Shape Ubuntu

If you would like to help shape Ubuntu, take a look at the list of ways you can participate at:

http://www.ubuntu.com/community/get-involved

About Ubuntu

Ubuntu is a full-featured Linux distribution for desktops, laptops, clouds and servers, with a fast and easy installation and regular releases. A tightly-integrated selection of excellent applications is included, and an incredible variety of add-on software is just a few clicks away.

Professional services including support are available from Canonical and hundreds of other companies around the world. For more information about support, visit:

http://www.ubuntu.com/support

More Information

You can learn more about Ubuntu and about this release on our website listed below:

http://www.ubuntu.com/

To sign up for future Ubuntu announcements, please subscribe to Ubuntu's very low volume announcement list at:

http://lists.ubuntu.com/mailman/listinfo/ubuntu-announce

Originally posted to the ubuntu-announce mailing list on Fri Feb 17 01:45:12 UTC 2017 by Adam Conrad

17 Feb 2017 11:01pm GMT

Simon Raffeiner: Setting up an “All-Snap” Ubuntu Core image in a QEMU/KVM virtual machine

You've probably heard a lot about Snappy and Ubuntu Core in the past couple of months. Since the whole ecosystem is slightly becoming "tryable", let's test an "all-snap" Ubuntu Core setup (does not support DEB packages at all!) in a virtual machine. Preparations Install QEMU: # On Ubuntu apt-get install qemu-kvm # On Arch pacman […]

17 Feb 2017 9:48pm GMT

Kubuntu General News: Kubuntu 16.04.2 LTS Update Available

The second point release update to our LTS release 16.04 is out now. This contains all the bugfixes added to 16.04 since its first release in April. Users of 16.04 can run the normal update procedure to get these bugfixes. In addition, we suggest adding the Backports PPA to update to Plasma 5.8.5. Read more about it: http://kubuntu.org/news/plasma-5-8-5-bugfix-release-in-xenial-and-yakkety-backports-now/

Warning: 14.04 LTS to 16.04 LTS upgrades are problematic, and should not be attempted by the average user. Please install a fresh copy of 16.04.2 instead. To prevent messages about upgrading, change Prompt=lts with Prompt=normal or Prompt=never in the /etc/update-manager/release-upgrades file. As always, make a thorough backup of your data before upgrading.

See the Ubuntu 16.04.2 release announcement and Kubuntu Release Notes.

Download 16.04.2 images.

17 Feb 2017 5:42pm GMT

Dustin Kirkland: HOWTO: Automatically import your public SSH keys into LXD Instances

Just another reason why LXD is so awesome...

You can easily configure your own cloud-init configuration into your LXD instance profile.

In my case, I want cloud-init to automatically ssh-import-id kirkland, to fetch my keys from Launchpad. Alternatively, I could use gh:dustinkirkland to fetch my keys from Github.

Here's how!

First, edit your default LXD profile (or any other, for that matter):

$ lxc edit profile default


Then, add the config snippet, like this:

config:
user.vendor-data: |
#cloud-config
users:
- name: root
ssh-import-id: gh:dustinkirkland
shell: /bin/bash
description: Default LXD profile
devices:
eth0:
name: eth0
nictype: bridged
parent: lxdbr0
type: nic
name: default


Save and quit in your interactive editor, and then launch a new instance:

$ lxc launch ubuntu:x
Creating amazed-manatee
Starting amazed-manatee


Find your instance's IP address:

$ lxc list
+----------------+---------+----------------------+----------------------------------------------+------------+-----------+
| NAME | STATE | IPV4 | IPV6 | TYPE | SNAPSHOTS |
+----------------+---------+----------------------+----------------------------------------------+------------+-----------+
| amazed-manatee | RUNNING | 10.163.22.135 (eth0) | fdce:be5e:b787:f7d2:216:3eff:fe1c:773 (eth0) | PERSISTENT | 0 |
+----------------+---------+----------------------+----------------------------------------------+------------+-----------+


And now SSH in!

$ ssh ubuntu@10.163.22.135
$ ssh -6 ubuntu@fdce:be5e:b787:f7d2:216:3eff:fe1c:773


Enjoy!
:-Dustin

17 Feb 2017 3:35pm GMT

Lubuntu Blog: Lubuntu 16.04.2 Has Been Released!

Thanks to all the hard work from our contributors, we are pleased to announce that Lubuntu 16.04.2 LTS has been released! What is Lubuntu? Lubuntu is an official Ubuntu flavor based on the Lightweight X11 Desktop Environment (LXDE). The project's goal is to provide a lightweight yet functional distribution. Lubuntu specifically targets older machines with […]

17 Feb 2017 4:12am GMT

16 Feb 2017

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Valorie Zimmerman: Folding, origami, and Folding@Home

A few months ago, I started Folding@Home in the Ubuntu Folding team. I really enjoy checking my standings each night before I go to bed. What is Folding@Home? https://folding.stanford.edu/home/about-us/. Has Folding at Home actually done anything useful? Check Reddit and see what you think.

Team 45104 Rankings. http://wiki.ubuntu.com/FoldingAtHomeTeamUbuntu if you are interested in competing while contributing. It seems like interest has fallen off in the past year or so, which is a bit sad. On the other hand, it makes climbing up the standings easier!

I was reminded to make this post while watching NOVA tonight on PBS, about Origami. There are so many new applications to this ancient art of folding paper in art, in mathematics, physics and material science, and even biology. You can see it online if PBS is not available to you.

PS: right now, I have 921,667 points, which puts me in the top 180 in TeamUbuntu (#179 to be precise).

16 Feb 2017 6:36am GMT

15 Feb 2017

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Simos Xenitellis: Summary of @DellCarePRO Ubuntu Basics Webinar (Feb 2017)

Last week there was a webinar from @DellCarePRO titled Ubuntu Basic Webinar.

Today the webinar video Ubuntu Basics Webinar has been posted online, and here is the summary.

Introduction

Ubuntu Certified hardware page

If your Dell laptop comes with Ubuntu, you can get the installation ISO (Recovery Image) from dell.com.

Ubuntu installation as dual-boot

Installing Ubuntu.

Installing Ubuntu.

Ubuntu installed.

Ubuntu installed.

Explaining: The Menu Bar

Explaining: Dash

Explaining: Ubuntu Software Center

Explaining: Keyboard shortcuts

Explaining: Software and Updates

Explaining: Multiple Monitor configuration

Talk by Barton George

Presenting Barton George and Project Sputnik. Barton George headed an internal effort in Dell to get Ubuntu on a high-end laptop, with a budget of just $40,000 and six months to deliver.

Funding came from the Dell Innovation Fund, with the aim to establish if an Ubuntu laptop would work.

Contrary to other efforts, this one was for a high-end offering. It would involve the community and get feedback from the community in order to change perceptions.

Very well-received. arstechnica, o'reilly radar, techcrunch, The Wall Street Journal.

Positive feedback from the twitter-sphere.

Expansion from the initial XPS 13 with Ubuntu, to a new 6th gen Intel laptop along with a whole line of Latitude Ubuntu laptops. And an All-in-One Ubuntu desktop.

There was emphasis that the initial fund of $40,000 to investigate whether an Ubuntu laptop would be a viable product, delivered multiple times the profits to Dell.

15 Feb 2017 5:11pm GMT