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To all visitors from Digg et al: This is only a braindump of ideas. Nothing here, including the name is set in stone or even being worked on currently.


Similar to Apple's .Mac but free and open source, .Ubuntu is a suite of internet services for Ubuntu users, such as IMAP/POP email (@ubuntu.com), Jabber, web storage, calendar service, synchronization or backup service, desktop sharing/live support infrastructure, with automated configuration of the desktop to utilize these features. Upon installing Ubuntu, the user would be allowed to sign up for .Ubuntu or enter a .Ubuntu username and password to log into the service. Once logged in, the user can use the .Ubuntu features on the desktop and through various web interfaces.

This would really enhance Ubuntu's out-of-the-box utility, polish, and sense of community. Essentially, after an easy install and .Ubuntu sign-up, the new user could open Evolution and begin sending emails immediately, or open Pidgin with their automatically configured Jabber account, etc.



  • Start off small, the feature list below is extensive but does not all need to implemented at once


  • Webmail (IMAP)
  • Calendar (CalDAV)
  • Address Book (LDAP?)
  • News Reader/Publisher (import/export OPML)
  • Content Management (Public Homepage)
  • Blogging
    • Text
    • Audio
    • Video
    • Friends list (Planet, FOAF)
  • File store
    • Documents (OpenDocument renderer?)

    • Photo Album
    • Music store?
  • Group functionality
    • User Management
    • Shared calendars and address books
    • Mailing lists/forums
    • Collaborative document editing and content management
    • Planet
  • Guest Access (see use case)
  • VoIP Service like http://www.gizmoproject.com/ or skype

Use cases

John uses Ubuntu.Mac creates a three-way synchronized datastore on his parents computer, his computer, and his ISPs so they can keep a family photo album in f-spot and have a mutual backup. John's ISP runs Gallery, so John's friends can browse his family photos online.

Anna gets onto the wireless network at school. She starts the backup wizard and avahi locates a suitable place for her to setup a synchonized archive. Anna synchronizes ~/Documents. Later when she gets home, she adds that shared archive from home, although she has to enter in the domain name of the server because avahi no-longer can find it.

Frank is going camping with 3 friends. They keep a shared grocery list online. John makes a note on his cell phone to buy bug spray which is synced over bluetooth when he returns home. The note then travels over TribeLife to Jane.

Don leads a team of 5 people who take turns cleaning the break-room on alternate thursdays. John meets Sam in the hall and they decide to swap weeks so Sam can leave early to go to the football game. Sam makes the change in Evolution and all the other team mates get updated calendars as well.

Jack wants to look up Jill's work phone number which he stored in the address book on the computer in the kitchen at home, but he's in a public library.

Guest Access: Mark is in James' House and wishes to show him a file stored in his Ubuntu.Mac account. Mark logs into James' Ubuntu computer as usual (even though he doesn't have an account) bu using his Ubuntu.Mac ID and is provided with minimal guest access and his documents and settings being fetched on demand from Ubuntu.Mac. Mark wishes to print the document but in order to get access to the printer James must enter his username and password to grant elevated access. - mark.goodall@gmail.com

Peter has added all his classmates to his addressbook. He graduated and wants to make a party for all his former class mates. He didn't keep in touch with everybody he wants to invite and a lot of his friends have moved. However, he can look into his Ubuntu.Mac addressbook, where he gets notified, whenever a Ubuntu.Mac user, which is in his address book, changes his address. (see http://www.eneia.com/ german only)


The server should be used as a data store which allows both access via a web interface and access via the desktop using technologies like IMAP, CalDAV and LDAP.

  • A wizard could be added to Evolution for such a service like with Mail.app and .Mac
  • Users should be able to use any GnomeVFS place to store their Ubuntu.Mac (mainly davs)
  • A synchronization service should be responsible for moving around lumps of EDS and file data.
  • QOS should be used to allow large amounts of data to eventually be synced even over slower broad-band connections.
  • gconf should be capable of layering on settings from TribeLife at login.

  • Ubuntu.Mac should be able to exist not only on a web server, but removable storage as well.
  • Anyone can host their own TribeLife services

  • Ubuntu.Mac should assist users in registering their computer with a dynamic dns provider if need be.


Some existing packages to look into:


Data preservation and migration

  • Data Importer
    • OPML for newsfeeds
    • IMAP copier for email
    • iCalendar files for calendars
    • Documents

BoF agenda and discussion



Did you see http://live.gnome.org/OnlineDesktop ? It does not have all features listed here, but its a start.


I'm working on something (slowly) as a personal project that could be relevant to this. The idea is to use either SVN or GIT to monitor a set of folders (user-definable, via a config file) and automatically merge changes (on file update, via GAMIN?) to an user-defined location (webserver, local network storage, &c). The basic idea might work well with this proposal as it will allow the .Mac/.Ubuntu files to be synchronized between machines semi-automatically but also remain available when there is no net connectivity (via automatic checkouts). The only trick right now would be to prevent editing on two computers simultaneously from causing a conflict, or figuring out some way to gracefully resolve it. This method has the additional advantage, of course, of possibly providing some roll-back capability for these files as well. In any case, this might be one way to create some sense of transparency for these files, and it should also allow users to keep the same personal settings across multiple computers without relying on the presence of a networked drive (e.g., imagine your Thunderbird accounts or Tomboy notes staying automatically synchronized between multiple computers even if you don't have regular network access--not to mention easily importing personal settings from your PC to your laptop, or vice-versa, when you do a fresh install of Ubuntu on one of those machines...). Would this be useful?


Maybe we can use also the Snapfish platform for online printing. I have some concepts:

Concept: Online Printing


Concept: Online Printing 2


Concept: Remote Network


Concept: Remote Network 2



UbuntuMac (last edited 2008-08-06 16:28:33 by localhost)