Monday, December 12, 2011

Changes for Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin in April 2012

The next version of Ubuntu, called Precise Pangolin 12.04 , will be released in April of 2012. An early development version has already hit the streets. It is available for Ubuntu users to download and test. The upcoming release of Ubuntu will be a Long Term Release (LTS). This means that the operating system will be supported for five years. This is an increase from the usual three years for Ubuntu desktop releases.

The alpha release of Ubuntu are usually full of some rough edges. If you decide to try it out, be sure to use not to use it on a computer that is involved with key production. Be prepared of an occasional crash or process failure, and be prepared to file a bug report or two to help the developers of Ubuntu.

Here are some changes of note for next release of Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin. Since April is still a little ways off, some more changes may still be on tap.

Old to New Linux Hardware
Ubuntu will continue the trend of losing its luster when it comes to running on older hardware. The introduction of Unity and its bulky and slow interface, along a beefier Linux kernel in recent Ubuntu releases makes this operating system a less than suitable Linux distribution. when it comes to running on my older hardware, recent Ubuntu releases have been steadily getting slower.

Precise Pangolin continues the trend of shedding compatibility with older hardware, by making a 64 bit version the default. A meeker 32 bit version will still be available for older computer systems, but don't count on Ubuntu winning speed tests when running on older systems. There are better options for running Linux on older computers, like Linux Mint LX, or Xubuntu.

Ubuntu Precise Pangolin will also shed CD install disks. The new release will only be able to fit on a DVD or USB device that can hold about 1GB. Daily builds of the alpha release of Ubuntu are coming in a little over 700 MB which is too big to fit on a CD. You will need a computer that has a DVD drive, or is able to boot from a USB device.

With the move to DVD, Rhythmbox makes a return as the main media player. It was replaced by a slimmer Banshee a couple of Ubuntu releases ago. Now that the Ubuntu developers have more space available in the Precise Pangolin Linux distribution, Rhythmbox returns to the Ubuntu stage as the main desktop media player. The move for Rhythmbox may only be temporary, as it seems that Mark Shuttleworth, Ubuntu's founder, favors Banshee.

Despite Complaints, Unity Hangs On
According to statistics from Distrowatch, Ubuntu may have lost some of it popularity due to the Unity interface. But these stats do not give a real indication about the actual number of users still using Ubuntu. But Precise Pangolin will stick to this very same graphical user interface and Ubuntu will look to expand its horizons into tablets and mobile devices in the future. The new release should have some tweaks tucked in to help appease the many complaints that Unity has received.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Ubuntu starting to Fade Behind Fedora?

There is no question that Ubuntu dominated the desktop Linux world over the past few years. Yet if recent statistics from are to believed, then the Ubuntu star is starting to fade.  Even Linux Mint, which overtook Ubuntu in the number of times.  In the statistics, you can also see that Fedora is rising fast.  I am inching toward giving Fedora a try, at least on a live CD, just to see what it has to offer.  I am fairly sure I will run into hardware issues, since some of my machines are a little bit more of the vintage kind of PC!

This certainly does not mean that the number of desktop Linux Mint users, or even Fedora users now outnumber Ubuntu users. But it is strong indication that Ubuntu users are unhappy with the complete devotionby Canonical to the Unity desktop.

The Unity interface is something that I abandoned earlier this week in favor of GNOME Classic on every single one of my computers.  Even my netbook is now GNOME  classic.   Yet, even with the switch back to GNOME, there was no need for me  to completely leave Ubuntu.  I simply installed GNOME from the Ubuntu Software Center and moved on with my life.

It is amazing that I lasted for so long with the slow Unity interface!  My computer is so much faster and zippier with GNOME.  Then again, these are older PC.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Ubuntu Looks to Mobile Operating System for Tablets

Canonical has asked member developers to provide their thoughts and ideas on creating a mobile version of the popular Ubuntu operating system.

The company wants to jump into the mobile arena and create software that will run on smart phones, tablets, smart TV's by the year 2014.  By then, maybe most of the kinks that are in the Unity interface will have been worked out. Canonical still has plans to have a smoother user experience over the next few releases.

The Ubuntu user interface has gone through a lot of changes in the past few months. Mark Shuttleworth has received a lot of negative feedback since the introduction of the Unity interface.

It is likely that Canonical will have a tough time selling its Unity interface to tablet makers. It is unlikely hardware makers will be willing to stake their money on the Unity interface.  This interface is going to have  two more year worth of developing a 'bad reputation' by many unhappy and vocal Linux users.  It will not matter if things in Unity are going to get fixed, the damage has been done.

I suspect that the best the Canonical could hope for is to find some obscure Chinese company that makes cheap tablets to install  an Ubuntu operating system, and try to sell them on some obscure website that typical web surfers will never find.  Pretty much the same story for Canonical as it tried to enter the desktop and laptop OEM market a couple of years ago.

Maybe by 2014, things will be different....

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Next Generation Apple TV May Coming Soon. After Christmas?

I picked up an Apple TV about a year ago and have been pretty pleased with its performance. I do not use iTunes much though, just Netflix.

I am not much of an Apple Fanboy, and this being a blog mainly about Ubuntu Linux it may seem a bit of a digression to post about something that Apple makes.  But, Amazon and Best Buy lowered the price for Apple TV's down to $89.  This is likely to get more units sold for the holiday season and to clear out inventory to get ready for the next generation.

Internet rumors are flying that Apple is working on, or has already perfected some sort of magical television device that may be integrated with its Siri software.  It probably will not appear before Christmas, as the holiday shopping season has begun and the Black Friday sales advertisements have already hit the streets.  Perhaps we can look toward the first or second quarter 2012 for some kind of announcement from Apple.  But, I could be wrong?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Install Firefox 8 on an Older Ubuntu Linux PC

Firefox 8 has hit the streets, and if you can not wait to get it up and running on your older version of Ubuntu, then you can run these commands at a prompt to get Firefox installed and running on your Ubuntu PC.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:mozillateam/firefox-stable
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install Firefox language-pack-en language-pack-en-base

There are a number of enhancements that have been added to Firefox 8. Twitter had been added to the search bar and there is more support of locals.  Firefox should also be even faster and more responsive.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Changes Slowly Being Announced for Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin is reporting that there will be at least significant changes in the next long term release of Ubuntu LTS , version 12.04 Precise Pangolin.

Here are the changes in the next LTS release of Ubuntu in a nutshell:

1. Canonical flip-flips and brings Rhythmbox back!
2. Precise Pangolin will be too big for a CD!
3. 64 Bit all the way for default download.
4. Mono is gono!
5. Sofware Center revamped...again...
6  LightLDM login screen will be improved.

There is also hope that the Unity user interface will have more improvements.  Right now, I am on the cusp of switching to Linux Mint Debian, but that is is a post for another day, or maybe I will wait a few months and see what is in store with Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin.


Saturday, November 12, 2011

Security Updates For Ubuntu 10.04 LTS

I use an old Dell 5150 Laptop that runs Ubuntu 10.04 LTS.  The PC runs perfect with this most stable version of Ubuntu Linux.  Just recently there have been a whole slew of Linux kernel updates that have become available for Ubuntu 10.04 LTS to fix some security flaws.

Most of the fixes concerned how the linux kernel handles internal packet traffic that could lead to a 'denial of service.'  Other fixes dealt with privacy issues among users.

Be sure to get your Ubuntu kernel updated as soon as possible through the software updater.  You can see which kernel you are using by opening up a command line and running this command:   uname -a

A line in information about your system will return and you should see that you are running the kernel version: Linux-image 2.6.32-35 or higher.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

SD Card for Acer Aspire One 532H-2326 In Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot

In the past, I have been having trouble with using the SD card on my Acer Aspire One 532H-2326 netbook with Ubuntu 11.10.  Last month I updated to Oneiric Ocelot Ubuntu 11.10 and while it is taking time for me to get used to the Unity interface, I am happy to report that the SD card reader is now working just fine with this latest version of Ubuntu.

I had a SD card in a digital camera that I recently took some pictures on, and normally I would boot to Windows 7 to transfer the pics.  But on a whim I decided to give the latest version of Ubuntu a try on my netbook, and voila, it recognized the SD card and my pictures transferred over just fine.

With the latest version of Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot it would seem that just about every single feature is working, except for FN-F2, which turns the wireless on and off.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot Wallpapers

It appears that I got a bunch of new wall papers with today's update of Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot in the Beta.  I like the train station wallpaper the best, as it seems to blend in with the Unity panel and Ambiance theme quite well.

Here is a screen shot of the new Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot wallpaper with the Dybbоlsbro Station featured.

There looks to be  about 15 new wall papers to choose from in Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot. Now that they are getting closer to release, I have been seeing very few crashes of desktop applications on my Dell Precision 360 workstation.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Ubuntu 11.10 Finds Fix for Nvidia issues from Ubuntu 11.04

I just ran the update to Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot on an Dell Precision 360 workstation.  I found much to my pleasant surprise that the closed source Nvidia driver now seems to be working properly.  With the previous version of Ubuntu (11.04) the Jockey-GTK program was not recognizing the availability of the closed source Nvidia drivers.  But now they are installed and working well.

Ubuntu 11.10 includes a 2D version of the Unity desktop, and I have been test driving it on my desktop system.  The Compiz version is a little slower, so I have been sticking to the 2D version for now.  Since this is still a beta release, I get an occasionally program crash. Since there are still many updates coming down the pike, this is to be expected.  Overall, I have been please with this latest version of Ubuntu!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Another Quick Review of Ubuntu 11.04 on my Acer Aspire 532H-2326 Netbook.

I wanted to provide a quick update on how Ubuntu 11.04 runs on my Acer Aspire One 532H-2326 Netbook.  I downloaded the Beta version of Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal.

Of course, by now, we all know about the new Unity interface that has been introduced for all flavors of Ubuntu desktop, and the strife that has been going on amongst traditional Gnome desktop users.  I dare not comment on that one.  But, I will say one thing about the new Unity desktop to is that it is leaps and bounds better then 10.10 in terms of looks and usability for a netbook.  The main improvement that is present is that now there is an auto-hide feature enabled for the sidebar.

Mouse touchpad fixed in Ubuntu 11.04 on Acer Aspire One 532H??
I used a daily download version of Ubuntu 11.04, and use the USB disk to run the software.  The first thing I checked to see is if there was a 'touchpad' tab under 'mouse preferences.'  Lo and behold, there was a tab available!  Upon clicking the pad I found the treasure that I was looking for, the checkbox to 'Disable touch pad while typing.'  And the feature works!  Having the 'Disable touchpad while typing' feature working in 11.04 will be more than enough perform the upgrade on this Acer Aspire One netbook.  I just hope that it carries through upon completion of the installation process.

Once Ubuntu 11.04 hits the streets next week, I will take the plunge and upgrade once my files are backed up.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Ubuntu 11.04 Test Run On Acer Aspire One 532H Netbook

Today, I downloaded the daily build of Ubuntu 11.04 and decided to take it on a test drive of an Acer Aspire One 532H Netbook.  The latest daily build of Ubuntu 11.04 has seen a dramatic improvement  in functionality when compared to the previous Alpha Release.

The main thing that I like is that the application side-bar dock now auto-hides!  This is a huge improvement over the previous version of the Unity desktop.

The desktop still seems to be a bit slow, but I think this may just because I was running the OS off of a USB thumb drive.  It is also very buggy, in that you are quite sure if the menus or applications are going to come up when when you click on them.  But that is expected in a daily build.

The other change I noted was that Open Office has been replaced, and the main browser is a beta version of Firefox 4, which came up with an annoying "Test Pilot Study" pop-up.  Ugh.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Will there ever be an Angry Birds Game for Ubuntu?

My daughter got herself an iTunes gift card for Christmas this year, and one of the first things she bought from the iPod App store was the full blown version of Angry Birds.  Apparently, Angry Birds is one of the hottest games for smart phones, and little handheld devices like iPods and iPhones. Would Angry Birds make for a good game with Ubuntu Linux?

I got to play around with angry Birds on her iPod, and I must admit, it is a fun little game. The music is catchy, and the sound effect the birds make when the crash into the pigs are what make the game interesting.  Sooner or later, I will get through all of the different levels of Angry Birds.

I assume Angry Birds could be ported over to Ubuntu.  Perhaps, the developer could add Angry Birds to the Ubuntu Software Development Center and offer it for a small  payment. Since much of Ubuntu is still mouse based, some modifications to Angry Birds may be needed.  Since it is already running on Android, the port should not be too difficult.

According to this blog post, an Ubuntu version of Angry Birds may be in the offing. The  developers of the Angry Birds game may be open to the idea of Angry Birds running on Ubuntu sometime in the future.  So, all you Angry Bird Phanatics better stay tuned!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Ubuntu based Tablet PC Coming in 2011?

I saw some reports that an Ubuntu based tablet is in the works from a Taiwanese manufacturer.  PCWorld is reporting that the P07, built by Teng, is a 10 inch tablet with a multi-touch display.  This new Ubuntu tablet will be initially be released running Ubuntu 10.10.  The tablet will have a 1.66 GHz CPU and a couple of Gigs of ram, along with an SSD hard drive.  There are some pictures floating around the internet that indicate that this Ubuntu Tablet PC will be a sharp toy.

The addition of an Ubuntu tablet adds another software player in the tablet wars. The dominance by Apple's iPad may still remain in place due to savvy marketing practices.  However, it seems to me that Samsung's Android based tablet is starting to pick up steam.

The one major software player that seems to be falling far behind in the tablet wars is Microsoft.  Windows 7 is a much improved operating system, but it does not seem modular enough to have a version that runs smoothly on light operating systems.  Perhaps that is the one advantage that Linux and BSD based operating systems have over Microsoft Windows is that they can easily be slimmed down to work well on lighter devices.

Look for the new Ubuntu Tablet to be release sometime in early 2011.  I have a little money stored up, and just may take the plunge and get a new Ubuntu based toy.

Source: PC World