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Welcome to the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter, Issue #99 for the week July 6th - July 12th, 2008. In this issue we cover: special 100th issue of the UWN next week, Intrepid Alpha 2 released, MOTU news and videos, new Universe contributor, summary of UDS discussions, new Kubuntu website, Ubuntu Venezuela 2 year anniversary, Launchpod episode #7, Tutorial of the week, Technical Update, Ubuntu in US retailers, and much, much more!

UWN Translations

  • Note to translators and our readers: We are trying a new way of linking to our translations pages. Please follow the link below for the information you need.

In This Issue

  • Special 100th Issue of the UWN Next Week
  • Intrepid Alpha 2 Released
  • New MOTU
  • New Universe Contributor
  • MOTU Videos - "This is how I fix a bug"
  • Summary of UDS Discussions
  • New Kubuntu Website
  • Ubuntu Stats
  • Ubuntu-Venezuela Celebrates 2nd Anniversary
  • Launchpod Episode #7
  • Ubuntu Forums Tutorial
  • Technical Update
  • In the Press & Blogosphere

  • Canonical & Valusoft bring Ubuntu Support to US Retailer

  • Upcoming Meetings & Events

  • Updates & Security

General Community News

Special 100th Issue of the UWN Coming Next Week

Don't miss the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter next week as we celebrate our 100th issue with the Ubuntu community. There will be interviews with community members, a retrospect, and insights from past and present UWN staffers. You definitely won't want to miss this issue, so make sure your RSS feed[1] is up to date, your email subscription is current[2], or the wiki[3] bookmarked for a very special anniversary issue of the UWN.

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Intrepid Alpha 2 released

Alpha 2 is the second in a series of milestone CD images that will be released throughout the Intrepid development cycle. The Alpha images are known to be reasonably free of showstopper CD build or installer bugs, while representing a very recent snapshot of Intrepid. You can download it here:

Pre-releases of Intrepid are *not* encouraged for anyone needing a stable system or anyone who is not comfortable running into occasional, even frequent breakage. They are, however, recommended for Ubuntu developers and those who want to help in testing, reporting, and fixing bugs.


You can find the MOTU Team here:

New Universe Contributor

Nathan Handler(nhandler) has spent the last few months tackling merges and syncs with Intrepid as well as patching and triaging bugs. He has even provided some online training for MOTU-development. Congratulations Nathan, and keep up the great work!

MOTU Video - "This is how I fix a bug"

There was a lot of good feedback about the MOTU Videos [1] & [2], and work is underway to translate these videos into Spanish. If you have more ideas for MOTU Videos, please add them to [3]. On that page you will also find information on how to do a screencast and mix in your voice. If you're fixing bugs for Ubuntu anyway, why not have a go at it and make a cool video? If you do, please add it to:

The processes to fix bugs in Ubuntu are really straight-forward. Some great videos would just underline that fact, and easily show what to do and which tools to use.

Summary of UDS Discussions

The track leads have collated all their reports from the Ubuntu Developer Summit discussions, and Jorge Castro has made a summary of them that's available here: Please note that this report is a general overview of the discussions, and mostly highlights key areas. There is no guarantee any features mentioned will be in Intrepid, but it should give you a good understanding of where the different areas of Ubuntu are headed during the Intrepid release cycle.

Track-specific reports with more detail are available here:

New Kubuntu Website

Everyone should drop by the Kubuntu website and take a look at its new design. It's clean, spiffy, and of course blue. Congrats to the Kubuntu folks on a well thought out webpage!

Ubuntu Stats

Bug Stats

  • Open (47103) -125 # over last week
  • Critical (30) +1 # over last week
  • Unconfirmed (23560) +162 # over last week
  • Unassigned (37865) -58 # over last week
  • All bugs ever reported (194779) +1306 # over last week

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

Translation Stats Hardy

This is the top 5, not specific languages, so the languages might change week to week.

  • Spanish (12117)
  • French (39132)
  • English (United Kingdom) (49609)
  • Swedish (52861)
  • Brazilian Portuguese (54512)

Remaining strings to translate in Ubuntu 8.04 "Hardy Heron," see more at:

LoCo News

The Ubuntu Venezuela LoCo team just celebrated their 2 year anniversary with a big get together. The pictures at the link show a big group having a great time, so check them out.

Launchpad News

Launchpod episode #7 available

Matthew Revell, Joey Stanford and Barry Warsaw host the latest edition of Launchpod.

In this episode:

  • Barry Warsaw, Mailman maintainer, Python release manager and Launchpad team member temporarily replaces Elliot Murphy, who is taking a break. Different Launchpad members will be co-hosting over the next few weeks in a "Launchpod Idol" type setting.
  • Matthew Paul Thomas, Launchpad’s UI guy, talks about the upcoming changes to Launchpad’s interface. Users can follow the progress here:

  • Joey's number of the week!
  • Joey and Barry discuss Community-Agile, a process framework that re-factors agile software development to incorporate the lessons learned from open source.

Get it here:

Send us your ideas and questions to!

Ubuntu Forums News

Tutorial of the Week

This week's tutorial pick is a crowd-pleaser. It's "HowTo: Install skype and sms with skype in ubuntu 8.04", by grobar.

If you're a Skype fan and want to install it, grobar has links and easy steps for putting it in place, with the added SMS package as a bonus. If you've never used it, this will probably be a good way to try it out.


Technical Update

Did we really release 8.04?

What follows is an exert from a recent discussion on the developer mailing list about the LTS release schedule:

For some users, Ubuntu 8.04 did not live up to expectations in terms of bugs and regressions. Here are thoughts and questions that posters had: Do we need to reconsider how we approach getting to a release? For an LTS release should we add 2 months to the schedule? The problem is that even with all the alpha/beta/RC testing, the majority of tests really occur when users upgrade or install the release. So, it is better to release and fix afterwards, focusing on the bug fixing, as has been done, and not focusing on the next release immediately.

In response, Matt Zimmerman tells us that while there is always room for improvement, Ubuntu is constantly revisiting processes to meet the expanding expectations of Ubuntu. No one likes regressions, and a loss of functionality can be a crippling setback for a casual user. However, casual users should have no need to upgrade their operating system every six months, and this is one reason why we offer multiple maintenance cycles. Firefox 2 may have been more mature, but it was close to two years old, and scheduled for mothballing in December. With Ubuntu Desktop LTS scheduled for three years of maintenance, Firefox 3 was the only reasonable choice. 2.4.x was tested for months before this bug, was reported, and it was then fixed for the 8.04.1 update.

Ubuntu thrives on the efforts of open source developers, and their attention is very focused on the latest code. Most new releases fix many more problems than they create, and the aim is to provide users with the best experience we can. While it is easy to insist that Ubuntu should stop being on the bleeding edge of software and features, in order to achieve this, we would need to rigorously specify every feature in Ubuntu and how it should work. This is almost an impossible task. Instead, we focus on defining a subset of functionality which can be tested in practice. Test plans are here: along with instructions for how you can participate in the testing effort.

In The Press

  • Move Your Business From Windows to Linux - If have a business and you're tired of the high cost of software, the questionable licensing, the difficulty of upgrading and installing, then Scott Spanbauer of PC World has some suggestions. Linux can be purchased in boxed sets, or downloaded from the internet and burned to disk. And one disk can be installed on as many machines as you like, due to the Gnu General Public License. Installations are user friendly, and various distributions serve specific needs and desires, such as fitting within the confines of older equipment or being used on a server. There are also many ways to work around the problem of applications that are locked to a particular operating system.

  • Mark Shuttleworth on Ubuntu and the Linux Desktop - James Maguire asks Mark Shuttleworth a number of questions in an interview, including:
    • What is happening with Ubuntu Mobile?
    • What is Ubuntu doing with the small, ultra portable laptops?
    • What fundamental changes are planned for Ubuntu?
    • What is the future of the deal with Dell?
    • Is Ubuntu making a profit?
    • What are your feelings about the Microsoft/Novell deal?
    • What about Canonical and Microsoft?
    • How do you feel about proprietary drivers?
    • Does Ubuntu weaken Debian?

The answers are at:

  • Introducing the Linux user interface - Michael Horowitz compares the Linux interface (with screenshots) to the Microsoft Windows and Mac experiences in a step-by-step almost tutorial. He looks at menu bars, task bars, start menu, control panel, keyboard shortcuts, quitting programs, maximizing windows, switching programs, right clicking, and adjusting the screen. Conclusion: Linux has more than it's share of annoyances, but on the subjects that Mossberg chooses to focus on, Ubuntu offers a more familiar environment for people switching from Windows.

  • Debian GNU/Linux: the new "Number One" distribution - Interesting statistics emerged from last month's web logs on Ubuntu, formerly the most widely-used Linux distribution among the visitors of DistroWatch, has lost its number one position to no other than its parent - Debian GNU/Linux. This is of course largely due to the fact that, as of Ubuntu 8.04, the distribution's Firefox browser no longer provides an identifiable user-agent string:

    • Ubuntu 7.10: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux i686; en-US; rv: Gecko/20071204 Ubuntu/7.10 (gutsy) Firefox/
    • Ubuntu 8.04: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux i686; en-US; rv:1.9) Gecko/2008060309 Firefox/3.0

In The Blogosphere

  • Desktop Linux compared: Ubuntu 8.04 and Fedora 9.0 - The recent releases of Ubuntu 8.04 and Fedora 9.0, two top Linux distributions, mark another step forward in the evolution of the Linux desktop. Since the release of version 5.10 (aka Breezy Badger) in 2005, Ubuntu Linux has stood apart from hundreds of other Linux distributions, capturing the attention of penguin heads and of users seeking a free, stable, usable alternative to Microsoft Windows. Ubuntu 8.04 is the best-assembled, and most polished Linux distribution Robert Strohmeyer has ever used. It performs well where Windows XP and Vista screech to a halt, particularly on older hardware. Since it comes with, Firefox, Evolution Mail, and a host of other apps right out of the box, it may be the best way to breathe new life into a seemingly moribund PC.

  • Ubuntu goes with newspaper model in consumer market - Newspapers are free, and the price you pay for a newspaper has nothing to do with the cost of production, including its editorial costs. By selling disks of its free software for $19.99, Ubuntu is doing the same thing. The money pays for Best Buy to deliver it to stores, for shelf space, and for tracking sales. What Ubuntu is trying to do is find an audience which has hardware but lacks regular Internet access or knowledge. The key here will be whether Ubuntu stays with the program or not.

In Other News

Canonical and Valusoft bring Ubuntu plus support to Best Buy

Canonical has teamed up with ValueSoft to provide an alternative way of getting Ubuntu. The boxed set that has been developed includes the Ubuntu 8.04 LiveCD, a quick start guide, and 60 days of support provided by the Canonical trained ValueSoft personnel. ValueSoft will be placing the boxed set with Best Buy[1], a large electronics retailer in the United States, where it will be available in stores or can be shipped. These sets are specially packaged to show that there are programs for web browsing, productivity and email.


Upcoming Meetings and Events

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Community Council Meeting

Server Team Meeting

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

QA Team Meeting

Platform Team Meeting

  • Start: 22:00 UTC
  • End: 23:00 UTC
  • Location: IRC channel #ubuntu-meeting
  • Agenda: Not Listed as of Publication

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Desktop Team Meeting

Java Team Meeting

  • Start: 14:00 UTC
  • End: 15:00 UTC
  • Location: IRC channel #ubuntu-meeting
  • Agenda: Not Listed as of Publication

Ubuntu Mobile Meeting

  • Start: 16:00 UTC
  • End: 17:00 UTC
  • Location: IRC channel #ubuntu-meeting
  • Agenda: Not Listed as of Publication

Updates and Security for 6.06, 7.04, 7.10, and 8.04

Security Updates

Ubuntu 6.06 Updates

Ubuntu 7.04 Updates

Ubuntu 7.10 Updates

Ubuntu 8.04 Updates

Archives and RSS Feed

You can always find older Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter issues at:

You can subscribe to the Ubuntu Weekly News via RSS at:

Additional Ubuntu News

As always you can find more news and announcements at:



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
  • Isabelle Duchatelle
  • And many others


This document is maintained by the Ubuntu Weekly News Team. If you have a story idea or suggestions for the Weekly Newsletter, join the Ubuntu News Team mailing list at and submit it. Ideas can also be added to the wiki at 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 them to