Welcome to the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter, Issue 24, for the week of November 26th - December 3rd, 2006. In this issue, we cover Ubuntu Open Week's smashing success, Technalign and Ubuntu, LoCo news, upcoming meetings (including the recently scheduled Community Council Meeting), the Kurdish Ubuntu investigation, several X server-related specifications, and much more.

In This Issue

  • Ubuntu Open Week
  • Technalign Chooses Kubuntu
  • New team members
  • LoCo News

  • Ubuntu in South Australian Parliament
  • In the Press
  • Upcoming Events & Meetings

  • Specification Spotlight
  • Updates and Security for 6.06 and 6.10
  • Bug Stats

General Community News

Ubuntu Open Week's Smashing Success

The week-long Ubuntu Open Week (UOW) that took place in #ubuntu-classroom between Mon 27th Nov and Sat 2nd Dec 2006 was, without a doubt, a smashing success. The UOW, organized by Canonical's Community Manager Jono Bacon, was a series of workshops intended to allow individuals to test drive the Ubuntu Community. During the UOW, we were treated to sessions such as "Ask Mark", where you could ask Ubuntu founder Mark Shuttleworth, the SABDFL, questions about Ubuntu; a how-to for becoming an Ubuntu Member with Jono Bacon; numerous package- and packaging-related sessions with Martin Pitt, Brandon Holtsclaw, Daniel Holbach, and Jordan Mantha; Launchpad-related sessions with Jordi Mallach and Christian Reis; information and question sessions about the Ubuntu Sister projects (i.e., Edubuntu, Kubuntu, and Xubuntu) with Oliver Grawert, Brandon Holtsclaw, and Cody Somerville, respectively; and many, many more including a special "FRESHERS' DAY" on Friday where you could ask any questions you'd like. The week was a lot of fun, very educational, and -- did we mention -- a lot of fun?

You can find more information about the Ubuntu Open Week event (and review the logs) at .

Armstrong welcomed to the team

This week saw the introduction of a new Communications Manager at Canonical, Christina Armstrong:

  • "I'm the new communications manager here at Canonical. My role is to help Canonical employees and the Ubuntu community effectively communicate and spread the word about Ubuntu."

Armstrong reports that she'll be working with Jono and the marketing team on:

  • commenting/brainstorming marketing ideas
  • giving advice for marketing campaigns
  • helping out with messaging for events/campaigns
  • giving guidance on how to deal with journalists' enquiries

Read more at: .

Technalign chooses Kubuntu for TaFusion Linux

Canonical announced that U.S.-based company Technalign has chosen to base its Pioneer GNU/Linux distribution off Kubuntu. Technalign makes available CDs of its distribution, which includes Crossover, Cedega and other tools, through OEM hardware resellers.

You can read more at , , and finally .

Community Council meeting: The wait is over

The next community council meeting has been set for Tuesday, Dec 12th at 4pm UTC.

For the agenda, see: .

LoCo News

What's happening with the LoCo teams this week? Per usual, the wide world of Ubuntu is growing...

Ohio Team inaugural meeting

A month ago, the Ohio team did not exist. On Wed 6th Dec, a team of more than 20 Ubuntu enthusiasts held its inaugural IRC meeting. The team wiki page, , describes the team and meeting in more detail. If you call Ohio home and love Ubuntu, then #ubuntu-ohio is the place to be.

Kubuntu in Urmia, Iran

Kubuntu CDs were given away at the Urmia IT Fair in Iran. Photos at: .

Ubuntu Toronto website up

Dave Sullivan announced that Ubuntu Toronto's website is nearly fully functional!

Work is progressing on a few of the pages, which will be discussed in more depth at the meeting on Wednesday with regards to content and features. It should be up and running solidly by the end of the week.

Houston LoCo team comes alive

Belinda Lopez has announced that the Houston LoCo team has become more active and will be hosting a meeting on 13th Dec. The team is hoping to become official soon. You can read more at .

MOTU news

We have three new MOTUs since the last TB meeting:

  • Vladimír Lapáček, who likes to work on Java related packages,
  • Soren Hansen, who made his first package contributions to Breezy,
  • Michael Bienia, who simply rocked on the merge and sync front.

If you want to join, too, start here: .

Who are the MOTU people? They are developers and packagers who maintain both the Universe and Multiverse components of Ubuntu.

Changes In Feisty

While most of the large desktop pieces did not see significant changes this week, there were a number of smaller changes. In addition, a second large sync of completely new packages from Debian happened.


The 'polished alpha' release of Gnome Scan made it into Universe. Gnome Scan 0.3.1 boasts a plethora of bug fixes and updates to the French, Deutsch and Catalan languages, which should now be up-to-date. Data receiving processes have also received tweaking in order to support Grey, RGB and three-pass acquisition. A release announcement was made at .

The first version of Cairo Clock, an analog clock Cairo and compositing manager technology demonstration, was uploaded by Mirco Mueller, also known as MacSlow, the application author. This version, 0.3.2, includes a new 24hr clock mode and a bunch of new themes. You can read more at .

The lean, mean, and clean CD ripper for GNOME, sound-juicer, has been upgraded to 2.16.2. This update includes improvements, bugfixes, and a 32x32 icon. A more detailed changelog awaits you at .

kslovar, a program that can create and edit dictionaries, received an update this week. Version 0.2.6 now includes smooth scrolling, author support, better search capacity (no longer limited!), interface tweaks, and many other improvements. The changelog is viewable at .

A new beta version of k9copy, the DVD backup utility, hit the repos this week. This new version, 1.1.0~beta2, encodes MPEG4 with MEncoder and libdvdnav, and sports some interface improvements such as MDI and OpenGL. Compatibility with libdvdread 0.9.6 was also added. has full details.

The Bejeweled clone, gweled, 0.7 was uploaded this week. It includes improved config handling and new music and sound effects. Additionally, the timed game feature is now fixed, and improvements were made to the highscoring.

Sarah Hobbs uploaded 915resolution 0.5.2-7ubuntu1, and, while not a new version, does add support for the Intel 946GZ, 965G, and 965Q chipsets.

Agave 0.4.1, a colorscheme designer for the GNOME desktop, was uploaded this week. Agave can now use different palette files and ships 4 by default (Websafe, GNOME icon palette, Tango palette, and Visibone palette). You can read more at .

Daniel Holbach uploaded tilda 0.09.4, a Linux terminal taking after the likeness of many classic terminals from first person shooter games. 0.09.4 comes with many improvements, including better double-buffering support to fix blinking, ability to start hidden or visible, and much more. You can read the full changelog at .

For many people, WINE is an essential part of their Linux use, as they have that one program for which there is no equivalent. Stephan Hermann uploaded the latest WINE 0.9.26 this week, which comes with better support for Unix locale settings, improved X11 keyboard support, various MSI fixes, Winecfg improvements, and lots of bug fixes. You can read more at .


Scott James Remnant uploaded the 1.0 release of the router advertisement daemon (radvd), run by Linux or BSD systems acting as IPv6 routers. It sends Router Advertisement messages, specified by RFC 2461, to a local Ethernet LAN periodically and when requested by a node sending a Router Solicitation message. These messages are required for IPv6 stateless autoconfiguration. Since the 0.8 version, in Ubuntu 6.10, radvd has added NEMO Basic support (RFC3961), fixed the default HomeAgentLifetime, and added a short FAQ file amongst other cleanups and bug fixing. You can read more at .

The fifteenth release candidate for the IMAP server known as dovecot made it into the repositories. Version 1.0.rc15 includes many bugfixes, including a fix for a security hole related to mmap_disable=yes. For more details, see the changelog at .

rsync, the faster, flexible replacement for rcp, 2.6.9 was uploaded this week. This upload included improvements to logging, a new environment variable, RSYNC_PID, and a whole heap of bugfixes. is the place to go for more information.

A new version of the Quagga Routing Software Suite has made it into Feisty. This new version brings a slew of tweaks and bugfixes. The current version now stands at 0.99.5, the changelog for which can be viewed at .

New programs synced from Debian

There were a large number of completely new packages synced from Debian this week by Scott James Remnant. They include:

  • angrydd 1.0.1 - Angry Drunken Dwarves - falling blocks puzzle game
  • audacious-plugins 1.2.5 - Base plugins for audacious, a small and fast audio player which supports lots of formats
  • autodir 0.99.7 - Automatically creates home and group directories for LDAP/NIS/SQL
  • blockade 20041028 - A sliding block game
  • chillispot 1.0 - Wireless LAN Access Point Controller
  • crafty 20.14 - state-of-the-art chess engine, compatible with xboard
  • crossvc 1.5.0 - graphical CVS frontend
  • deluge-torrent - A Bittorrent client written in Python/PyGTK
  • distributed-net 2.9012.497 - donate unused CPU cycles - client for
  • esperanza 0.2.1 - XMMS2 client which aims to be as feature-full and easy-to-use
  • festival-gaim 1.1 - gaim plugin to hear incoming messages using voice synthesis
  • glpi 0.68.2 - IT and Asset management software
  • icc-profiles 1.0.1 - ICC color profiles for use with Scribus, Gimp, CinePaint

  • kqemu 1.3.0~pre9 - KDE interface to qemu, the emulator
  • libopensync-plugin-google-calendar 0.19 - opensync plugin for Google Calendar
  • lmbench 3.0-a7 - Utilities to benchmark UNIX systems (this is like pbuilder, but for an rpm-based distro)
  • netperf 2.4.2 - Network performance benchmark
  • nyello 0.5.0 - command-line XMMS2 client
  • oolite 1.65 - The space-sim game Oolite ported to GNUStep/OpenGL linux
  • 1.1.1 - Finnish spell checking and hyphenation for

  • 1.2 - Polish Thesaurus for

  • pine 4.64 - An e-mail reader with MIME and IMAP support
  • povray-3.6 3.6.1 - Persistence of vision raytracer (3D renderer)
  • raster3d 2.7d - tools for generating images of proteins or other molecules
  • rdd 2.0.7 - a forensic copy program
  • teamspeak-client 2.0.32 - VoIP chat for online gaming
  • tinymce 2.0.8 - platform independent web based Javascript/HTML WYSIWYG editor
  • treetool 2.0.2a - [Biology] An interactive tool for displaying trees
  • wink 1.5.1060 - Tutorial and Presentation Creating Software

New low latency kernels

After some discussion with the sound and audio developers, Ben Collins, the lead kernel developer, has added some low latency kernels to Universe. You can read more at .

You need linux-restricted-modules-2.6.19 and linux-meta-2.6.19 for the low latency kernels.

For a full list of changes in Feisty, please see .

In The Press

Introduction to Ubuntu Security

There is a great introduction of Ubuntu security features on Linux forums. It primarily focuses on the Ubuntu security updates, home folder permissions, and firewalls. The article informs the user how to make sure that the security update repositories are activated and how to turn on auto updates. There is also a brief summary on how to remove read, write, and execute permission from your home folder for everyone but you. It also details the various firewall packages available in Ubuntu repositories and how to manage them.

Read more at: .

Ubuntu: The Linux poster child

In a concise list, Joshua Walters lists the reasons why Ubuntu is the Linux poster child. His list includes hardware support, large user base, ease of use, package manager, developer support, and others.

Read the full article at: .

Ubuntu in South Australian Parliament

South Australian Family First MLC, Hon. Dennis Hood, made submissions in the South Australian Legislative Council on 6th Dec calling for schools and libraries to embrace Ubuntu. He noted that Ubuntu "has significant advantages over proprietary software. With developers all over the world freely and constantly improving the software, it is little wonder that many Open Source solutions are now outpacing Microsoft solutions". He also gave out Ubuntu CDs to all South Australian parliamentarians.

Read more at .

ITWire reports on the "more commercial" new Ubuntu

The ITWire reports that "Next April, the Ubuntu Foundation will complete three years and six releases of its GNU/Linux distribution. It will also be the point at which the project begins to acquire a distinctly commercial hue." It should be noted that their reference to the Ubuntu Foundation is incorrect. Core Ubuntu developers are currently paid by Canonical, and the Foundation is currently simply holding money. The inclusion of proprietary drivers has little to do with "making Ubuntu more commercial", as Canonical has provided support for Ubuntu since early 2005.

You can read more at .

Software in Review reviews 6.10

Jem Matzan, more commonly associated with the Jem Report, has written a largely favourable review of 6.10 (Edgy) in Software in Review. He says, "While still far from perfect, Ubuntu 6.10 'Edgy Eft' is both an improvement over the so-called 'long-term support' release and a decent operating system in its own right. It's in a much better place than any other free-of-charge operating system has been before now, but I don't think it'll give any commercial operating systems a run for their money."

You can read more at .

MAKE Zine adds Ubuntu to its Christmas shopping list

For those of you celebrating Christmas who are searching for a gift, MAKE Zine has compiled a list of open source projects for the budding MAKEr in all of us. Mixed among many pieces of hardware, including the Greenphone and MAKE's own mp3 player, is our favourite OS, Ubuntu!

You can see the whole list (including Ubuntu) at .

Scanorama showcases Ubuntu on SAS

Jane Silber wrote the Fridge and Marketing teams to tell us about Ubuntu and Linux having a short piece in the November 2006 issue of Scanorama, the inflight magazine for SAS airlines. You can see the online version at - look on the bottom of page 86. However, the site does require Flash. For those purists amongst us, you can read the complete article below:

  • "Think Outside the Box When Linus Torvalds posted the first message in a newsgroup about the code he had written, little did he know that 15 years later the Linux operating system (OS) would have close to 30 million users, making it the second most popular OS available (Windows is first). Ubuntu is a complete Linux-based OS that includes the major applications you need for play and work. Naturally, the OS and all included software are free. Installing Ubuntu is easy with a new computer:follow the steps on the screen. If you want your computer to dual boot, a few more steps are needed together with a dose of courage. Once up, Ubuntu has a huge selection of applications from basic tools like word processing and spreadsheets to video editing, instant messaging and e-mail. It's also faster than Windows XP. And, yes, this

    text was written with OpenOffice Writer - the Linux version of Microsoft Word."

Kurdish Ubuntu under investigation in Turkey

In the UWN #23, we reported that Kurdish Ubuntu has been promoted with a reception in Diyarbakir, Turkey. You can find more information and pictures from the reception here: . You can also find some screenshots of the Kurdish distro here: .

Ubuntu was the first operating system to fully implement Kurdish localization. Kurdish localization in Linux was an important milestone for Turkey due to ethnic conflicts (see ). However, according to a number of sources, the Diyarbakir Attorney General started an official investigation on the mayor of Sur (a town in Diyarbakir) and on Ubuntu. The case was launched probably because the mayor's demand for multilingualism was perceived as PKK propaganda, a Kurdish separatist militia organization. News item with links at ).

Ubuntu edges into December's edition of PC World Hungary

The Hungarian LoCo Team's localised build of Ubuntu 6.10 seems to have been well received. This month's edition of the Hungarian PC World Magazine includes the Desktop image localised by the LoCo. Congratulations to the Hungarian LoCo and Thank You to PC World Hungary! A blurb about the CD can be seen (in Hungarian only) at .

The blurb, kindly translated by Szilveszter Farkas, reads: "Free operating system - Ubuntu Linux 6.10 - Ubuntu is thought to be the friendliest Linux distribution. This could be proved now by our readers, because we have placed the operating system's newest installer disk (6.10, Hungarian version) ISO image onto our DVD insert."

c't magazin features Ubuntu

The latest issue of what is perhaps the most notable computer magazine in Germany, c't magazin, features a series of articles about Ubuntu. The articles include "Linux in a nutshell", "first steps with Ubuntu", and "enhance and configure your system". There are a total of about 10 pages, and the magazine is accompanied by an Ubuntu DVD. An excerpt (German only) of the articles can be found online: .

Ubuntu: The Ideal Windows Replacement

Technology News World ran an interesting article this week about Ubuntu and Windows. Jack M. Germain shares his experiences with Ubuntu and how he feels that it is an ideal replacement for Microsoft's flagship product, Windows.

"Having been raised on DOS and the early generations of Windows, I rediscovered that sense of excitement in a pure computing experience when I first tried other Linux versions over the years. However, they required a steep learning curve and caused too much frustration with setup and obscure command-line options. Not so with Ubuntu Linux."

Read the full article at (Tech News World).

Josh Berkus switches to Kubuntu

"I stuck with SuSE for eight years because they supported KDE, my chosen desktop, because YaST was excellent for server installs, and because there was never a good reason to switch. My loyalty to SuSE ends today"

Upcoming Meetings

Some upcoming meetings include:

  • Technical Board Meetings have resumed and occur biweekly on Tuesday nights at 22:00 UTC.
  • Ubuntu Development Meetings have also resumed and occur weekly on Thursday nights.
  • Edubuntu meetings continue to occur weekly on Wednesday nights.
  • Community council meeting scheduled for 2006-12-12 16:00 UTC.

See (The Fridge's Event Calendar) for more information.

Specification Spotlight

This week's specification spotlight will focus on several related to the X server (this program draws the windows and performs all tasks required to draw on the screen and accept user input).

Bullet proof X

"The X subsystem is absolutely critical for desktop users, but unrecoverable failures are possible in the current implementation. Even in the face of driver regressions, hardware reconfiguration or other unexpected conditions, the server should start up successfully by whatever means necessary."

The goal of the bullet proof X specification is to ensure that the X server (i.e., the graphical user interface) always loads. A lot of people are capable of configuring their systems (or getting help to do so) via a graphical interface but don't have a clue when it comes to the command line interface. This specification would attempt to get the X server to fall back to a safe-mode when it would otherwise fail to the command line interface. Can you just imagine how helpful this would be?

Read more at .

Accelerated X

This specification has caused quite a stir within the community, because it proposes supporting full X acceleration by default by including and enabling proprietary, closed-source Linux video drivers.

"We will enable accelerated X by default, with full support for AIGLX, in Edgy+1. For those vendors which have proprietary drivers that enable acceleration, we will consider enabling those drivers by default if they can provide us with an SLA for security and related updates.

In order to do this, the NVIDIA and FGLRX packages must be fixed to coexist peacefully with each other and with stock X drivers."

The specification is still in review but it appears to be on track for Feisty.

Read more at .

Simplified X mode selection

Currently, the display modes used by the X server are selected at install time, and can only be changed by reconfiguring using debconf. This specification aims to allow the mode to be selected from the desktop environment.

It is uncertain if this specification will be implemented in Feisty, but it was discussed at uds-mtv, the most recent Ubuntu developers summit.

Read more at .

Updates and security for 6.06 and 6.10

Security Updates

Ubuntu 6.06 LTS Updates

Ubuntu 6.10 Updates

Weekly Bug Stats

  • Open (20323) +302 over last week
  • Critical (20) -2 over last week
  • Unconfirmed (10734) +106 over last week
  • Unassigned (15436) +282 over last week
  • All bugs ever reported (66898) +1003 over last week

As always, the Bug Squad needs your help. If you want to get started, please see [WWW] .

Check out the bug statistics: .

The non-bug bug

A bug with a title of "Developers don't get enough thanks" was created by Peter Daniel Myers last week and was swiftly confirmed by Mark himself. As Peter says:

  • "Ubuntu is awesome. Dapper is really stable, and Edgy is pushing the boundaries of what my hardware can do. I didn't pay a penny for Ubuntu, but it's totally replaced my old Operating System, and taught me to fall in love with free software. While there is a brilliant community of really great and helpful people, we don't thank the developers enough... especially the devs that don't get paid (by devs I'm not just talking about programmers, I'm including - well everyone). The best I can do at the mo is submit bug reports and try to be active on the forums...."

You can read his entire comment, plus all the follow comments by others at .

UWN 25: A Sneak Peak

Looking forward to Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue #25, we'll be reviewing some of the following hot topics next week:

  • Mark's letter to OpenSUSE
  • The Kurdish Ubuntu Investigation
  • Coverage of the Community Council Meeting
  • More updates to Feisty
  • Plus much more!

See you next week!

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