Welcome to the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter, Issue #64 for the week October 28th - November 3rd, 2007. In this issue we cover Ubuntu Developer Summit for Hardy Heron, FOSSCamp, the release of Mythbuntu 7.10, Ubuntu-Illinois codesprint, and, as always, much much more!

UWN Translations

In This Issue

  • Ubuntu Developer Summit
  • FOSSCamp
  • Mythbuntu 7.10 Released
  • Ubuntu-Illinois Codesprint
  • Ubuntu Forum News
  • In The Press & In The Blogosphere

  • Meetings and Events
  • Updates and Security
  • Bug & Translation Stats

General Community News

Ubuntu Developer Summit

Ubuntu Developer Summit (UDS) for Hardy Heron was held in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The sessions fell under certain tracks, like Community, Kernel, Platform, Server, Mobile, QA, and Desktop.

Day 1

Highlights from Day 1 included Gobuntu, Locos, Hardy artwork, Network-Manager, and interactions with upstream. Gobuntu, the completely free Ubuntu derivative currently includes non-free components that will be removed by Hardy Heron. Firefox contains non-free icons and will be replaced with Epiphany. Removing non-free firmware from the kernel with require separate kernels to be built.

Since after an installation, new users may not know where to find local resources for support, Ubiquity will be modified to tell users where to find help, There were also discussions of unifying the desktop and mobile themes, following Tango guidelines for icons as well as the need for a palette.

The next version of Network-Manager will support PPP since it is widely used for dialup and many cellular services, such as Edge, HSDPA, and PPPoE ADSL. For Ubuntu to succeed, it needs to maintain healthy relationships with upstream developers. A set of conventions for interacting with upstream authors needs to be discussed.

Day 2

Day 2 involved supporting Loco teams, Automatix, and third party apt. A Loco council is needed to approve Loco teams and help speed up the process of getting resources like IRC channels, forums, websites, and mailing lists. "Twinning" could also be a possibility by having Locos work with a team in a different part of the world who has less access to resources.

Discussions were held on trying to get Automatix and Ubuntu teams to work together. Most features in Automatix could be put into the universe, multiverse, or partner repositories. Since many users want access to software that is not in the repositories, the Third-Party-Apt spec is being created to define "a file format that ISVs can publish on their web sites and distribute to users to download their software, optionally enabling automatic updates."

Day 3

Day 3 involved discussions about creating an Ubuntu Mobile community. The Ubuntu Mobile team is interested in creating a developer and user community around the upcoming devices shipping Ubuntu Mobile. The talks involved the successes and failures of Nokia with the Maemo platform and Nokia dropping support for older devices. The Ubuntu Mobile team will need its web presence integrated with the rest of Ubuntu as well having resources to host code and application

Day 4

Day 4 covered better integration of Wine, integrated sync, improving Add/Remove Programs, shipping screencasts on CDs, and easy file sharing. With Wine development moving quickly, Wine will be treated like a codec and installed as needed. Integration of Wine through the Add/Remove tool and autorunning Windows CDs were also discussed.

Many projects such as Conduit, Open-Sync, Gnome online desktop, and Tomboy are working on synchronization of data. While these projects need to work with each other and Ubuntu, their development will be tracked during the Hardy cyle, but will not likely be shipped with 8.04.

In the future, Add/Remove Programs could be integrated with a platform that displays user reviews and screenshots. The platform could link to upstream projects and Rosetta translations as well. Promoting open source applications over proprietary ones was also discussed.

Screencasts can be made available to users on the desktop by embedding them in Yelp, the help browser for Gnome. Various screencast creations tools, like Pi-Ti-Vi, Istanbul, and Xephyr, need to be investigated. This is not an Ubuntu specific project and will require upstream work.

The first scope of sharing files involves an ad-hoc network, possibly at a conference or meeting. Applications like Telepathy or Empathy could be used, but will not be included for Hardy. The second scope involves sharing files permanently. Improved Samba installation and set up could help here, but will require work to integrate Samba passwords with system passwords via PAM. While this could be done for new installations, upgrades can cause difficulties.

Day 5

Day 5 covered building an enterprise Ubuntu community and Banshee. Large scale deployments of Ubuntu are not easy and a team is needed to help ease the pain. Discussions were held on how to build such a team and making it aware of what these deployments require.

Banshee lead developer, Aaron Bockover, presented the application and its future plans. He showed how Banshee handles large libraries, synchronization with iPod, and other features. While Banshee will not ship by default in Hardy, Hardy+1 might be a good goal.

For more detailed coverage, see:


FOSSCamp, an un-conference, similar to the popular Bar-Camp, was hosted by Canonical in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The purpose of FOSSCamp was to help help upstream and distribution developers meet and communicate. Discussions included KDE 4, PackageKit, OpenLDAP, Chandler, and much more. Representatives from Red Hat, Novell, Foresight, and other distributions were in attendance. FOSSCamp

Mythbuntu 7.10 Released

The Mythbuntu team released the first stable release of Mythbuntu. As the name suggests, Mythbuntu is an Ubuntu derivative focused on setting up a standalone MythTV system. The XFCE4 desktop is used and applications like Open Office, Evolution, and a full Gnome desktop are not installed for a Mythbuntu installation. See more at

LoCo News

Ubuntu-Illinois Codesprint

The Ubuntu-Illinois Team would like to announce the launch of its campaign for a hackathon/codesprint on Saturday February 9th, 2008. Shooting for the Champaign-Urbana area, this event is designed to help promote the use of free software on all ends, and Ubuntu in specific. Our plans include an Install Fest, hackathon, and talks by the general community. At the moment, we are asking that any coding done by the users is something easily accessible: documentation work, bug triaging, packaging, and other such activities. As always, our team is concerned with the choice of the end user, and we are willing to work with anyone who wants to promote transparency and freedom in their code. Any and all help is appreciated. See the link to find out more:

Ubuntu Forum News

In The Press

  • First Look: Ubuntu 7.10 Desktop Linux - The Ubuntu 7.10 release brings flash and function, cementing Ubuntu's lead as the desktop Linux leader. Choosing a Linux distribution to run a Web site or a database is easy; Linux has handled servers well for years. Getting Linux right on the desktop, however, has always been a challenge--and that is why Ubuntu caused such a buzz when it first appeared three years ago. Ubuntu version 7.10, code-named Gutsy Gibbon, builds on past successes with improved graphics, simplified software installation, and a host of minor software improvements. Ubuntu 7.10 once again asserts itself as the desktop distribution to beat. Advanced users will find a powerful, well-organized Linux distribution, while novices will appreciate the thought that has gone into Ubuntu's uncluttered interface.,138884-c,linux/article.html

  • Ubuntu Google $199 PC challenges Microsoft and computer vendors - While the One Laptop Per Child program tries to hawk underpowered US$200 computers in lots of 10,000 to third world countries, Walmart has put quite powerful Ubuntu Linux PCs on its shelves retailing for $199. What's more, the PCs from Taiwanese vendor Everex, comes ready to work with a range of popular online applications, including Google's office suite and Skype, among others. In a nutshell, the gPC aims to be a plug and play device for users who can't afford a Mac. While Ubuntu is not exactly a household name in consumer circles, it has become the de facto Linux distro of choice for open source advocates pushing to get a Linux desktop into the mainstream.

  • Everex launches $198 Ubuntu Linux gPC at Wal-Mart - Everex, a longtime personal computer vendor, has unveiled its latest PC featuring Ubuntu Linux-based open-source productivity software and Google-based Web 2.0 applications, for a mere $198. The Everex Green gPC TC2502 includes popular applications from Google, Mozilla, Skype and Open Office. It runs gOS Initial G, which in turn is based on Ubuntu Linux 7.10 The gOS operating system features a simple and intuitive Linux Enlightenment E17 desktop interface with a Google-centric theme. The system comes with a lifetime of free updates and revisions. "There has been a latent demand for a consumer-friendly Linux operating system, generating countless inquires from customers seeking an alternative PC experience," said John Lin, general manager of Everex. "The vision behind gPC was to provide mainstream users with all their favorite applications wrapped in a no-compromise, low-cost, consumer-friendly product."

  • Get free software and save a fortune - South African businesses are generally paying dearly for their ignorance of free software, says a study by international market research firm Frost and Sullivan. South African Open Source Market, said allegations by large developers, led by Microsoft, and the Business Software Alliance, of piracy and copyright violations have cast a shadow over the legitimacy of free software. Frost and Sullivan’s industry analyst, Lindsey Mc-Donald says, “[the] latest desktop operating system could cost as much as R1500 and that could end up being a fortune for a cash-strapped organization that has to purchase a license for each user.” Some of the biggest misconceptions, according to Mc-Donald, were that open-source software was hard to use and that it was not compatible with other software. The Go Open Source campaign, which came to an end recently, was established by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, Hewlett Packard, and the Shuttleworth Foundation to stimulate the use of free software such as Ubuntu and other Linux distributions.

  • Have computers finally become consumer commodities? - Forget about sub $100 high definition video players and sub $1000 big screen plasma TVs; we knew that was going to happen. However, with sub $200 desktop PCs and notebooks threatening to break through the $300 floor, Walmart has given us a glimpse of the near future of true consumer computing. With the announcement of a $348 Acer notebook , following on the heels of the $199 Everex desktop, Walmart has hit the headlines not just in the US but all over the globe. These are the computers that consumers want. They may not be over-powered souped up lightning fast graphics rendering machines, but they're fully configured computers that would meet the needs of most home users and office workers.

In The Blogosphere

  • $200 Ubuntu Linux PC Now Available at Wal-Mart - Everex's TC2502 gPC is the first mass-market $200 desktop computer, featuring a custom distribution of Ubuntu Linux and headed for selected Wal-Mart stores. The gPC aims to joins a popular gang of low-end economy computers leading into the holiday season. Touted as a "green" machine, it has a 1.5 GHz VIA C7 CPU embedded in a Mini-ITX motherboard, 512MB of RAM and an 80GB hard drive. By using the fast Enlightenment desktop manager (instead of heavier-duty alternatives like Gnome or KDE), the makers say it's more responsive than Vista, even on more powerful computers. It offers a complete, upgradeable system for the lowest possible price, making the gPC a great candidate for home file/media servers and other "experiments."

  • Ubuntu 7.10: The Best Version - Even when you're not the follow-the-crowd type of Linux user, who can resist the plethora of new features on this new incarnation of Ubuntu 7.10 aka Gutsy Gibbon. Canonical developers are giving more emphasis to security on Ubuntu by enabling the App-Armor security framework by default. With Ubuntu 7.10, you can now encrypt your hard disk partition when using the Alternate CD. The Wifi support is excellent! No sound problems on all of the notebooks and desktops tested. Plugin Finder Service is particularly excellent. Try Ubuntu 7.10 and you'll not regret it.

  • Choice: The system of Checks and Balances in Linux - In a recent article on, Kevin Carmony, former CEO of Linspire, reported that he has switched to Ubuntu. In the same article he also said that as Linux becomes more mainstream there would be a consolidation of Linux on the desktop. By this, does he mean that only a few of the big Linux distributors would be vying for the desktop space through OEM deals. This makes a lot of sense as consumers would be confused by the offering of literally hundreds of distros on various models of computers. But it also raises questions about what consolidation would mean to Linux in the future. Consider Ubuntu. Although the very popular distro gets a lot of things right, the bugs, regression, and memory-hogging eye candy (on a 6-month cycle no less) cause a variety of user experiences—not all of them pleasant. Yes, it has a lot of developers but even with scores of developers, there are still way too many bugs for a distribution that is as popular as this. Could it be that Ubuntu has grown too large for its own good? Are decisions being made for the user instead of by the user? As a Linux company grows, it loses some of the closeness that a smaller distro has with its constituency. Choices are not only made for the benefit of the user, they have to also be made for the benefit of the company (think overhead, investors, etc).

  • The year of the Linux desktop has finally arrived - There are a number of events that point to 2007 as being the turning point for Linux and it all started in January with the release of Windows Vista. As the reports started filtering in from system builders and users of the disappointment that Vista was, other reports started making their way into the tech press of the new distro of choice for many desktop users, Ubuntu. Even though Ubuntu release 7.04 (Feisty Fawn) wasn't quite there yet, PC maker Dell picked up on user sentiment through its new Idea-Storm blog and announced that it would make a range of pre-installed Ubuntu desktops and notebooks. But now, Everex has done two equally important things to bring Linux into the mainstream. First, Everex has packaged up the latest version of Ubuntu, release 7.10 (Gutsy Gibbon), into a neatly pre-installed plug and play desktop system, called gOS, that any novice user vaguely familiar with a mouse-driven graphical computer interface could use straight off. Second, Everex has pre-installed gOS on a sensationally priced desktop box it calls the Green gPC - green not because the interface has a green background but because it is energy efficient. At US$199 without monitor, the gPC is not the most highly configured PC on the planet, but it has everything in the way of connectivity and features what most average desktop users would need. And now, Everex plans to bring out a gOS notebook early next year for less than $300!!

Meetings and Events

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Edubuntu Team Meeting

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Community Development Team Meeting

  • Start: 15:00 UTC
  • End: 16:00 UTC
  • Location: IRC channel #ubuntu-meeting
  • Agenda: No agenda set as of this publication

Argentina Loco Meeting

  • Start: 22:00 UTC
  • End: 23:00 UTC
  • Location: IRC channel #ubuntu-ar
  • Agenda: No agenda set as of this publication

Updates and security for 6.06, 6.10, 7.04, and 7.10

Security Updates

Ubuntu 6.06 LTS Updates

Ubuntu 6.10 Updates

  • None Reported

Ubuntu 7.04 Updates

  • None Reported

Ubuntu 7.10 Updates

Bug Stats

  • Open (36683) +691 # over last week
  • Critical (19) +/-0 # over last week
  • Unconfirmed (19886) +476 # over last week
  • Unassigned (28106) +591 # over last week
  • All bugs ever reported (133634) +1473 # over last week

As always, the Bug Squad needs more help. If you want to get started, please see

Translation Stats

  1. Spanish (16554) -104 # over last week
  2. French (37052) -1295 # over last week
  3. Swedish (49749) -1615 # over last week
  4. English-UK (49848) -1665 # over last week
  5. German (65397) +/-0 # over last week

Remaining string to translate in Ubuntu 7.10 "Gutsy Gibbon", see more at:

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Additional Ubuntu News

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