Ubuntu Open Week - Ubuntu Netbook Remix Overview - Pete Godall, Bill Filler, Neil Patel - Wed, Nov 5th, 2008

You may find the attached presentation handy to follow throughout this session.


(11:00:31 AM) jcastro: Ok guys, take it away!
(11:02:28 AM) repete_: Hi all
(11:02:29 AM) repete_: There is a presentation that goes along with this talkk
(11:02:29 AM) repete_: you can find it linked in the topic
(11:03:59 AM) repete_: I am Pete Goodall, the product manager for the OEM Services group at Canonical.  And joining me are Neil Patel and Bill Filler, also with OEM Services
(11:03:59 AM) bfiller: bfiller: hello everyone :)
(11:03:59 AM) njpatel: hi
(11:03:59 AM) repete_: I'll give you a quick agenda:
(11:03:59 AM) repete_: * Canonical and OEM Services Group
(11:05:06 AM) repete_: * What is Ubuntu Netbook Remix (UNR)?
(11:05:06 AM) repete_: * Ubuntu Netbook Remix pre-installed
(11:05:06 AM) repete_: * Installing UNR
(11:05:06 AM) repete_: * Language Support
(11:05:06 AM) repete_: * Contributing to UNR
(11:05:06 AM) repete_: If you have the presentation, let's go to slide 3 "Canonical"
(11:05:17 AM) repete_: For those of you that don't know Canonical is the commercial sponsor of the Ubuntu project.  We employ many of the developers that work on Ubuntu.
(11:05:40 AM) repete_: <next slide, "OEM Services Group">
(11:06:29 AM) repete_: Neil, Bill and I work for the OEM Services group at Canonical, and we are the group that is responsible for customising Ubuntu for device manufacturers
(11:07:26 AM) repete_: By "customising" we mean making sure that all the hardware components work, integrating custom interfaces (ala Dell) and providing on-going maintenance.
(11:07:50 AM) repete_: <next slide, flashy title slide>
(11:09:24 AM) repete_: <next slide, "Netbook Category">
(11:09:24 AM) repete_: Before I get into "What is Ubuntu Netbook Remix" I wanted to define what we mean about what a netbook is.
(11:09:37 AM) repete_: This is a term that is mostly coined by Intel, but refers to all these devices coming out that look like little laptops.
(11:11:13 AM) repete_: They usually have a resolution of 1024x600 (particularly problematic), and a low amount of local storage.  They also tend to be low cost devices and have an Intel Atom processor.
(11:11:23 AM) repete_: However, the Intel Atom processor is not a hard requirement ;-)
(11:11:24 AM) repete_: <next slide, "Ubuntu Netbook Remix">
(11:12:05 AM) repete_: Ubuntu Netbook Remix came about because there was a massive amount of interest in running Ubuntu on these netbooks
(11:12:41 AM) repete_: We wanted to create a simple interface that was both easy to use, but put everything you needed within your view.
(11:13:09 AM) repete_: UNR is really bringing Linux to a new class of user, that typically doesn't know what Linux is
(11:13:20 AM) repete_: they just want to get their e-mail or blog, or chat with friends
(11:14:35 AM) repete_: We based UNR on Ubuntu 8.04 because it is an LTS release (long term support), and we tried to streamline things a bit by reducing the amount of applications preinstalled.  However, that doesn't mean you cannot install whatever you want.
(11:14:56 AM) repete_: <next slide, "UNR Home Screen">
(11:15:40 AM) repete_: Hopefully you all have the slides, but if you don't I just want to explain about the various elements of the UNR home screen, and what they do.
(11:16:14 AM) repete_: There are several components created specifically for UNR that create the look, feel and functionality.
(11:17:17 AM) repete_: The main thing the user sees when they start UNR is the Home Screen.  On the left are application categories.  In the middle are application launchers, and on the right are (generally) places and a way turn the device off.
(11:17:29 AM) nb72: It's nitpicky but battery and network labels are backwards, sorry for the interruption
(11:17:50 AM) repete_: nb72, np.  I'll have to look at that. ;-)
(11:19:20 AM) repete_: Anway, most of this will be familiar to you if you already use Ubuntu, but one thing that is slightly different is the "Favourites" cateogory.  This allows the user to group the applications they use most, and this is the default category shown when you first login.
(11:20:24 AM) repete_: In the upper left of the screen, you see the Ubuntu logo and that is the "Go Home Applet".  Clicking on that always brings you back to the home screen.  So while you are using Firefox, you click on Go Home and start something else, like Pidgin.
(11:21:40 AM) repete_: Next to that is the Window Picker Applet.  The icons to the right of the Ubuntu logo are the currently running applications and the title to the right is the application in focus.  In this case "Home", but otherwise it would be the title bar for the currently running application.
(11:22:28 AM) repete_: The element you do not see is "Maximus".  This is a daemon that runs in the background and make sure most applications always open maximised.
(11:23:15 AM) repete_: The reason we do this is to save screen real estate.  Maximus also removes the title bar from the application window and puts it in the panel.
(11:23:46 AM) repete_: In addition, there is a gconf key to add application exceptions.  We hope to make it easier in the future to do that. :-)
(11:24:01 AM) ***repete_ looks at Neil ;-)
(11:24:31 AM) repete_: <next slide, "Best Open Source Applications">
(11:25:56 AM) repete_: Since UNR is based on Ubuntu 8.04 it still includes the applications current Ubuntu users (and Linux users in general) will be familiar with.  These applications are all open source, and we always use open source applications when possible.
(11:26:15 AM) repete_: <next slide, "Open Source contributions">
(11:27:11 AM) repete_: All the components we created for UNR are open source software.
(11:27:39 AM) bfiller: available at
(11:27:44 AM) repete_: I have already mentioned most of the, except for two:  The Human Netbook Theme and Desktop Switcher.
(11:28:37 AM) repete_: The Human Netbook Theme is a theme, based on the standard Ubuntu Human theme, that goes better with UNR's components and layout.
(11:29:26 AM) repete_: The Desktop Switcher is a control centre applet that allows the user to switch back and forth between the UNR and the standard Ubuntu interface (termed as the "Classic" interface)
(11:29:41 AM) repete_: Thanks for the link bfiller
(11:29:59 AM) repete_: <next slide, "Canonical partners">
(11:30:46 AM) repete_: As a value add for the device manufacturers, we include various third party components to make a more complete product.
(11:31:40 AM) repete_: These are commercial components (read: somebody has to be paid for their use), so we cannot include them in the publicly available offering.
(11:32:32 AM) repete_: But they are things that generally make things easier for those users that are not familiar with Linux and don't know how to install stuff like Adobe Flash, or legally licensed audio and video decoders.
(11:33:02 AM) repete_: <next slide, "Ubuntu Netbook Remix pre-installed">
(11:33:44 AM) repete_: So as I mentioned before we work with device manufacturers to get Ubuntu and Ubuntu Netbook Remix on their device.  This has a number of advantages.
(11:34:47 AM) repete_: First, this means that all the hardware components work out of the box.  That means you don't have to download and compile the latest madwifi or search user forums for which Windows driver to use with ndiswrapper.
(11:35:10 AM) repete_: Second, suspend and resume works...more than once :-)
(11:35:52 AM) repete_: In fact we test these devices to a much higher standard because those are the standards of the consumer electronics industry.
(11:36:34 AM) njpatel: for example, suspend/resume tests are carried out between 300-400 times in a row before they are deemed a "pass"
(11:36:39 AM) repete_: Third, you can actually get support from the manufacturer.  No more, "I'm sorry, but we don't support Linux... and I don't actually know what that is..."
(11:36:50 AM) repete_: Thx njpatel
(11:37:42 AM) repete_: Fourth, is what I talked about before.  We include stuff like audio and video decoders that are legally licensed.
(11:37:59 AM) njpatel: it also means that all the buttons on your keyboard work from the get-go :-D !
(11:38:03 AM) repete_: And of course we test that all this stuff works.
(11:38:56 AM) repete_: If you haven't already got a netbook and are looking to get one, the Sylvania g Netbook Meso and the Toshiba NB100 are both available with UNR pre-installed.
(11:39:14 AM) repete_: <next slide, "What if UNR isn't pre-installed">
(11:39:33 AM) bfiller: and the Dell Mini 9 ships with a UNR variant
(11:39:48 AM) repete_: So you may be saying to yourself, "I already bought a netbook and I just want to know how to run Ubuntu on it."
(11:40:19 AM) repete_: Just as a note, that screenshot on that slide is thanks to Gimp, not the watermark in the lower left. :-)
(11:40:35 AM) repete_: <next slide, "Installing Ubuntu Netbook Remix">
(11:41:17 AM) repete_: Many community members have been asking for an installation image for UNR.  We have not had one to date because UNR isn't really a new edition.
(11:41:47 AM) repete_: However, it is obvious this is something that people want because they already have a netbook and want Ubuntu one it.
(11:42:40 AM) repete_: Soon (this week I hope) we will downloadable images for you to install UNR and you won't even need a (non existent in many cases) CD-ROM.
(11:43:34 AM) repete_: Otherwise, your best bet for now (if you are impatient) is to use the instructions in the next slide.
(11:43:56 AM) repete_: <next slide, "Ubuntu Netbook Remix on Ubuntu 8.10">
(11:44:39 AM) repete_: As I mentioned, products with UNR will be based on Ubuntu 8.04, but we have made the packages for UNR available in Ubuntu 8.10.
(11:45:08 AM) repete_: One thing to note is that the "ume-launcher" package has been re-named in 8.10 to "netbook-launcher"
(11:45:22 AM) njpatel: the central place for installation instructions are at (instructions for image, hardy, intrepid, umpc-image)
(11:46:07 AM) repete_: The packages in 8.10 do not have the latest and greatest features, because we had to respect the feature freeze for 8.10.  However, if you want to use the latest and greatest in 8.10 you can use the PPA.
(11:46:14 AM) repete_: (linked later)
(11:46:34 AM) bfiller: also important to note, the unr pacakges can be installed on any computer running Ubuntu 8.04 or 8.10 (i.e. not just netbook, but laptops and desktops too)
(11:47:00 AM) repete_: another good point bfiller thx.
(11:47:02 AM) repete_: <next slide, "Contributing to UNR">
(11:47:43 AM) repete_: Since UNR was first announced, we have built a vibrant community and have already taken both patches and suggestions from the community.
(11:48:33 AM) repete_: If you are interested in getting involved in UNR you should go to the UNR page on Launchpad,
(11:49:02 AM) repete_: That page is a "super group" that includes all the packages for UNR.  You can checkout the code using bzr.
(11:49:48 AM) repete_: I don't know if it has come up in the questions already, but the UNR Home Screen is written in Clutter.
(11:50:05 AM) repete_: If you are not already familiar with clutter... Use Google. :-)
(11:50:07 AM) bfiller: repete_: time check, 10 mins remaining, should we get to the Q+A from questions on #ubuntu-classroom-chat
(11:50:22 AM) repete_: Sure.
(11:50:44 AM) repete_: QUESTION: could UNR be used to revive old computers , and will there be iso images for virtualbox so people can have an look at it this way?
(11:50:51 AM) bfiller: knome QUESTION: So Asus EeePC is a netbook?
(11:51:08 AM) bfiller: oops sorry repete_ , was starting from the top
(11:51:14 AM) repete_: np
(11:51:17 AM) repete_: go ahead.
(11:51:20 AM) bfiller: ok
(11:51:29 AM) bfiller: knome: yes EeePC is a netbook
(11:52:01 AM) bfiller: <ian_brasil> QUESTION: what is the difference between ubuntu-mid and unr
(11:52:01 AM) njpatel: <ian_brasil> QUESTION: what is the difference between ubuntu-mid and unr
(11:52:20 AM) ***njpatel let's bfiller post the questions from now on
(11:52:28 AM) ***bfiller smiles
(11:52:53 AM) njpatel: ubuntu-mid is targetted at devices which have touchscreens and normally small displays with high dpis
(11:53:30 AM) njpatel: unr (although capable of use with touch-screens) is targetted more at slightly larger screens and point-and-click ui
(11:53:42 AM) michLinuxGuy: Are there any plans for Ubuntu on the Nokia n810?
(11:53:52 AM) bfiller: billybigrigger: QUESTION: what is running on the homescreen? looks like a gnome panel with kde4 menu???
(11:54:24 AM) njpatel: The home screen consists of gnome-panel and a clutter-based launcher
(11:54:32 AM) njpatel: the launcher replaces the traditional desktop
(11:54:47 AM) njpatel: no kdelibs in sight ;-)
(11:55:10 AM) bfiller: billybigrigger: QUESTION: what is the default install size for UNR?
(11:55:23 AM) bfiller: billybigrigger: it's about 2.5 GB installed
(11:55:39 AM) bfiller: meant to fix on 4 GB SSD and greater
(11:55:46 AM) bfiller: s/fix/fit
(11:56:24 AM) bfiller: <xander21c> QUESTION: will UNR will have USB Install Option
(11:57:06 AM) bfiller: xander21c: the UNR image will be installable via bootable USB image, so yes
(11:57:26 AM) bfiller: <lordnoid> QUESTION: There's a rumour around that Asus doesn't like the xandros distribution and is currently testing ubuntu for the eee pc. Do you know anything about that?
(11:57:36 AM) bfiller: repete_: care to comment on this question?
(11:58:02 AM) repete_: Even if I did I couldn't comment :-)
(11:58:21 AM) bfiller: I don't know anything about it either
(11:58:25 AM) repete_: I will say that *many* people have install UNR on a eeePC
(11:58:26 AM) bfiller: next question ..
(11:58:28 AM) bfiller: <unimatrix9> QUESTION: could UNR be used to revive old computers , and will there be iso images for virtualbox so people can have an look at it this way?
(11:58:49 AM) njpatel: as the launcher is clutter-based this poses a bit of a problem
(11:59:18 AM) njpatel: clutter uses opengl for displaying, so if the old computer can run opengl decently, everything should work fine
(11:59:26 AM) bfiller: currently we don't have plans to provide iso image, only .img
(11:59:50 AM) bfiller: <hhlp> <QUESTION> whta is the diference between ubuntu-eepc and UNR
(12:00:10 PM) njpatel: for the same reason, it won't work inside virtualbox (it may do in software rendering, but it'll suck)
(12:00:16 PM) jcastro: (last question)
(12:00:28 PM) njpatel: hhlp: not sure what you mean
(12:00:49 PM) jcastro: ok we are out of time, what irc channel can people follow up on?
(12:00:57 PM) repete_: hhlp, eeePC is a device and UNR is the software that (could) run on that device.
(12:01:15 PM) repete_: #ubuntu-mobile
(12:01:18 PM) njpatel: people can follow up on #ubuntu-mobile
(12:01:25 PM) repete_: thx all!
(12:01:27 PM) jcastro: excellent, thanks guys!
(12:01:34 PM) bfiller: thank you

MeetingLogs/openweekintrepid/NetbookRemix (last edited 2008-11-05 20:47:59 by pool-70-16-60-167)