Welcome to the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter, Issue 76 for the weeks January 27th - February 2nd, 2008. In this issue we cover: Hardy Alpha 4 released, Server Team focuses on KVM, new Ubuntu banners for your website or blog, new MOTU and Council election results, Hug Day 5 February 2008, a new Ubuntu based distro, and much, much more!

UWN Translations

In This Issue

  • Hardy Alpha 4 Released
  • Ubuntu Server Team Focuses on KVM
  • New Ubuntu Advocacy Banners
  • New MOTU and Council Election Results
  • Hug Day, 5 February 2008
  • Interview with Soren Hansen
  • In The Press
  • In The Blogosphere
  • In Other News
  • Upcoming Meetings & Events

  • Updates & Security

  • Bug & Translation Stats

General Community News

Hardy Alpha 4 Released

Alpha 4 is the fourth in a series of milestone CD images that will be released throughout the Hardy development cycle. The Alpha images are known to be reasonably free of show stopper CD build or installer bugs. Alpha 4 includes several new features that are ready for large-scale testing. Please refer to for information on changes in Ubuntu and for changes in Kubuntu. Pre-releases of Hardy are not encouraged for anyone needing a stable system or anyone who is not comfortable running into occasional, even frequent breakage.

Ubuntu Server Team Focuses on KVM

With the upcoming LTS release, KVM (Kernel-based Virtual Machine), will be the virtualization tool of choice for the Server Team. KVM works on x86 hardware containing virtualization extensions (Intel VT or AMD-V), using modified QEMU. Ubuntu 8.04 will also include tools to help manage the KVM. To learn more about KVM, see the interview below with Soren Hansen, virtualization specialist for the Ubuntu Server Team.

Ubuntu Advocacy Banners for Websites

After a successful Ubuntu Christmas Campaign, Philip Newborough gives us new banners to promote Ubuntu and OSS on blogs and websites. These are very appealing, high profile images that link to The banners are available in Serbian, Russian, Turkish, French, Polish, Romanian, Japanese, Dutch, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish. Visit the link and get yours now.

New MOTU and Council Elections



Hug Day - 5 February 2008

It has been two months since the developers team have looked at the bugs without a package, and the numbers are creeping back up! So join the team on their next Hug Day on Wednesday, February 5th! They will be targeting bugs that do not have a package assigned to them. So feel free to get started early! The teams goal is to deal with all of the bugs listed at

Interview: Soren Hansen on KVM

Question: Who are you?

The basics: My name is Soren Hansen, I'm 26, and I work for Canonical as virtualization specialist on the Ubuntu server team.

Question: When and why did virtualization become a priority for the server team?

Virtualization has been on our agenda for a long time, but it became a top priority at UDS (Ubuntu Developer Summit) in November. We could see that demand for it was growing and we took a look at the options available (KVM, Xen, OpenVZ, QEmu+kqemu, VirtualBox, etc.) and we found that KVM was the best fit for us right now and went with it.

Question: What is virtualization and KVM exactly? How will users be impacted?

Well, for the Hardy Heron release, we've really picked up the virtualization ball. Virtualization is making its way into data centres and onto developer workstations everywhere. Even "regular" users are using it to run Ubuntu on Mac OS X all the time.

We've chosen to settle on KVM as our main virtualization focus. KVM is a special version of QEMU which utilizes the new virtualization extensions that both Intel and AMD have added to their newest CPU models.

KVM enables you to run a complete PC-like system as a process on your regular Ubuntu system. These are known as virtual machines, or VM's for short. As a user, you can run the next version of Ubuntu to test it before you upgrade your real system. As a developer, you can use it to work on the kernel without having to reboot your host system all the time. As a sysadmin, you can use it to keep your services separated on your servers.

For example, you can have your database servers in one VM, your web server in another, mail server in another, etc. all running on the same physical machine. This may sound pointless, but the benefit is that you can have these things running for a while until they grow out of your physical server at which point you can move some of them onto a dedicated machine or perhaps all of them onto a beefier server. The system inside the VM doesn't see that anything has changed, so moving these things around are a breeze. In some cases it's even possible to migrate a VM to another physical machine without even shutting it down. It's a bit rough around the edges, so I wouldn't recommend it right now unless you really know what you're doing, though. This /might/ get better before we release Hardy. Only time will tell Smile :)

Question: What are the tools available to manage KVM (GUI and CLI)?

Well, at the core of our virtualization stack is -- obviously -- kvm. On top of that, we have libvirt. libvirt is a management system for a number of different virtualization technologies, the most interesting ones being Xen and KVM. For various technical reasons (I'll spare you the details), it's very handy to have kvm managed by a long-running process. This is what libvirtd does. It runs in the background (it is after all a daemon) and allows for you to connect to it with various frontends. One of these frontends is virsh. If you're a member of the libvirtd group and invoke virsh as "virsh -c qemu:///system", you're connected to the system wide libvirt daemon and can define new virtual machines, stop and start existing ones, etc. virsh is not very friendly, though, so we also have virt-manager. virt-manager is a graphical frontend to manage kvm instances. It allows you to set up new VM, see which ones are running, how much CPU they're consuming. It's all very nice.

In The Press

  • French police deal blow to Microsoft - The French paramilitary police force said Wednesday it is ditching Microsoft for the free Linux operating system, becoming one of the biggest administrations in the world to make the break. The move completes the gendarme's severance from Microsoft which began in 2005. Their 70,000 desktops currently use Windows XP operating system, but these will progressively change over to the Linux operating system distributed by Ubuntu. There are three reasons behind the move: to reduce the force's reliance on one company, to give the gendarme mastery of the operating system, and cost. Colonel Nicolas Geraud says "the Linux interface is ahead of other operating systems currently on the market for professional use."

  • 23,000 Linux PCs forge education revolution in Philippines - Providing high school students with PCs is seen as a first step to preparing them for a technology-literate future. In the Philippines many schools cannot afford to provide computing facilities so plans are underway to roll out 10,000 based on Ubuntu. Ricardo Gonzalez, said there were a number of factors that led to Linux being chosen over the venerable Microsoft Windows. Read more at;1163450117

  • Myth Busters: 7 Tech Headaches and How to Fix Them - #5 Computer operating systems loaded with stuff we don't want and will never use. In the tech world this phenomenon is known as “software bloat” or “feature bloat.” It's a well-documented problem and a frequent complaint about Windows Vista in particular. Why not start with a computer loaded with basic stuff that works 100% of the time? Then, give "us" the option of adding the bells and whistles. But there's another solution available to consumers: Switch to a Linux-based OS such as Ubuntu. Since most Linux OS's are free, there's no business reason to bloat up the system with feature frills.

  • Virtualization Made Easy In Ubuntu 8.04 - One of the features that was introduced a year ago into Ubuntu 7.04 was support for KVM, which is the Kernel-based Virtual Machine. The Kernel-based Virtual Machine provides full virtualization support for Linux when running on x86 hardware with either Intel's VT or AMD-V technology. Support for virtual machines in Ubuntu 8.04 has all changed for the better now that virt-manager and libvirt are available from the main Ubuntu repository. Virt-manager is the Virtual Machine Manager and is a GUI for managing virtual machines using libvirt as its base. Virt-manager and libvirt are already in the Hardy Heron repository and is one of the features for the Ubuntu 8.04 Alpha 4 release.

  • Dell XPS M1330 Laptop with Ubuntu 7.10 now in America - Good news, Dell is now shipping their XPS M1330 laptop with a DVD version of Ubuntu 7.10 which will be pre-installed on the laptops in America. The prices start at $954 US which is a whole lot better than the 799 Euros other places have to pay. Visit: to see all the available Dell models that come pre-installed with Ubuntu.

In The Blogosphere

  • First look: Ubuntu 8.04 (Hardy Heron) Alpha 4 - Codenamed Hardy Heron, Ubuntu 8.04 will be the second long-term support (LTS) release, which means that it will be supported on the desktop for three years and on the server for five years. Ryan Paul tested Alpha 4 and is very impressed with the hot new features: PulseAudio (an open source sound server), GIO and GVFS (new abstraction layer and virtual file system), PolicyKit (higher security while giving admins more flexibility), new world clock applet, and Transmission (a replacement for BitTorrent). Ryan is also looking forward to the promised new artwork, which will give Hardy a complete visual refresh.

  • Linux: Is 2008 The Year Of The Desktop? - It really does appear as though we are approaching that point of critical mass, where something other than Windows could become a dominant desktop OS. Apple has just recorded their best ever quarter, but now, we also have that bastion of conservative enterprise solutions, IBM, jumping in to support open source and using Ubuntu as it's base. A firm the size of IBM doesn't do things like this lightly, or “just for fun.” This means there must be serious demand from their enterprise customers for a change; and it’s a big change. Is Linux ready for the Desktop? Undoubtedly yes.

  • Open Enterprise Interview: Jono Bacon - One of the key members of the staff working at Canonical is Jono Bacon, Ubuntu Community Manager. Jono has been active in the open source community for many years, and is probably best known for LugRadio, “a fortnightly British [Internet] radio show that takes a relaxed, humorous look at Linux and open source.” Here, he talks about how the Ubuntu community functions, his role in that process, and what lies ahead for Canonical and Ubuntu. To get to know Jono better and learn more about what lies ahead for Ubuntu visit the link. A very good interview with lots of insight about the direction and inner workings of Ubuntu and Canonical.

  • Ubuntu is on the rise - Ubuntu is making inroads at IBM, with IBM making a significant commitment to lift Ubuntu out of its alleged "community" status to true enterprise status. It's already enterprise-class, but perception lags technology. IBM's reason for its Ubuntu move? Customer demand. Data from Alfresco's chief marketing officer, Ian Howells, shows Ubuntu exceeding Red Hat Enterprise Linux for the first time in Alfresco's community. This doesn't mean doom and gloom for Red Hat, but it does say a lot about the rise of Ubuntu.

  • The Ubuntu Experience: ShamansTears writes about his impressions of Ubuntu after using it for a month. First thing he noticed was that he needed to adjust the desktop a little, things were a bit too different. The next step was seeing what applications he had and where the gaps were. He set up cGmail to handle his gmail, and ScribeFire, a Firefox plugin, for blogging. GIMP fell short of expectation though and he is still looking for a suitable substitute for Photoshop. In summary he says, "All things considered, I am really liking the Ubuntu experience. I realize that I am only a month into the experience, but I have little to complain about at this point. We’ll see how the OS does as I require more and more from it as time goes by."

  • Ubuntu 8.04 Alpha 4 comes with great new applications - Dark Star gives us another look at some of the new features in Hardy Alpha 4. They include: Xorg 7.3, PulseAudio, PolicyKit, Firefox 3, Transmission, Vinagre, Brasero, World clock applet, GVFS, a new Gnome system monitor, KVM virtualization, and ufw (a new uncomplicated firewall application). Visit this link to see screen shots and details of the new applications in Hardy Alpha 4.

In Other News

Distribution Release

Shift Linux 0.6.2 - Barney Tormey announces the release of Shift Linux 0.6.2, an Ubuntu-based distribution developed by the community. There are three editions released at this time: Shift Linux 0.6 GNOME, Shift Linux 0.6 KDE4, and Shift Linux 0.6 Lite (for older computers). All three versions of Shift Linux 0.6 are fully installable (tested and verified). This version incorporates Firefox 3 (GranParadiso),, new themes, and a tested installer. This is a transition version as Shift moves away from Morphix.

Upcoming Meetings and Events

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Southern California Linux Expo booth

  • Start: 00:00 US/Pacific
  • End: See Below
  • Location: booth #31 at the Southern California Linux Expo in Los Angeles, California
  • Agenda:

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Southern California Linux Expo booth

  • Start: See Above
  • End: 23:59 US/Pacific
  • Location: booth #31 at the Southern California Linux Expo in Los Angeles, California
  • Agenda:

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

Security Updates

Ubuntu 6.06 LTS Updates

Ubuntu 6.10 Updates

Ubuntu 7.04 Updates

Ubuntu 7.10 Updates

Bug Stats

  • Open (40133) +378 # over last week
  • Critical (17) +/-0 # over last week
  • Unconfirmed (20597) +162 # over last week
  • Unassigned (30578) +363 # over last week
  • All bugs ever reported (149398) +1726 # over last week

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

Translation Stats

  1. Spanish (12414) -3 # over last week
  2. French (37728) +/-0 # over last week
  3. Swedish (49176) +/-0 # over last week
  4. English-UK (24967) -24 # over last week
  5. German (66312) -75 # 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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Thank you for reading the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter.

See you next week!


The Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter is brought to you by:

  • Nick Ali
  • John Crawford
  • Craig A. Eddy
  • And many others

Glossary of Terms

  • CLI - Command Line Interface
  • CPU - Central Processing Unit
  • GIO - gobject-based library that abstracts out various forms of I/O
  • GUI - Graphical User Interface
  • GVFS - Gnome Virtual File System
  • I/O - Input / Output
  • ufw - uncomplicated firewall application


If you would like to submit an idea or story you think is worth appearing on the UWN, please send them to This document is maintained by the Ubuntu Marketing Team. Please feel free to contact us regarding any concerns or suggestions by either sending an email to or by using any of the other methods on the Ubuntu Marketing Team Contact Information Page ( If you'd like to contribute to a future issue of the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter, please feel free to edit the appropriate wiki page. If you have any technical support questions, please send then

UbuntuWeeklyNewsletter/Issue76 (last edited 2008-08-06 17:01:31 by localhost)