With only nine days left until Karmic Koala's official release, it's time to take a look into the past. Five years ago, on the 20th of October, 2004, Mark Shuttleworth and the "warm-hearted Warthogs" from the developer team announced the first official Ubuntu release. Version 4.10, code name "Warty Warthog," was only the first representative in a line of operating systems that were made by human beings for human beings, aiming to let normal people use Linux.
Let's take a quick look at when each of the Ubuntu versions was released, and what it brought new:
· Ubuntu 4.10 (Warty Warthog) - Released on the 20th of October, 2004
· Ubuntu 5.04 (Hoary Hedgehog) - Released on 8th of April, 2005
· Ubuntu 5.10 (Breezy Badger) - Released on 13th of October, 2005
· Ubuntu 6.06 LTS (Dapper Drake) - Released on the 1st of June, 2006
· Ubuntu 6.10 (Edgy Eft) - Released on the 26th of October, 2006
· Ubuntu 7.04 (Feisty Fawn) - Released on the 19th of April, 2007
· Ubuntu 7.10 (Gutsy Gibbon) - Released on the 18th of October, 2007
· Ubuntu 8.04 LTS (Hardy Heron) - Released on the 24th of April, 2008
· Ubuntu 8.10 (Intrepid Ibex) - Released on the 30th of October, 2008
· Ubuntu 9.04 (Jaunty Jackalope) - Released on the 23rd of April, 2009
· Ubuntu 9.10 (Karmic Koala) - Planned for release on the 29th of October, 2009
Ubuntu 4.10 (Warty Warthog) was something weird for its time. It was common back then for Linux operating systems to ship on anywhere from two to even nine CDs, but Warty only had two: a Live and an Installation CD. Another thing that separated Ubuntu from the other Linux distributions of the time was the ShipIt service that sent Ubuntu CDs to anyone who requested them, free of charge.
The Warty Warthog was followed by Ubuntu 5.04 (Hoary Hedgehog), which brought another series of improvements that catered to non-technical users. The update manager and the notifier changed the task of updating the system from a deeply administrative one to something anyone could do. Under the hood, dynamic frequency scaling kept laptops running for a longer while, and the hardware database kept a tight watch on what components worked well out of the box.
The Ubuntu 5.10 (Breezy Badger) release hid the kernel start-up messages that looked like an alien language to most users under a graphical bootloader for the first time. At that time another defining feature of Ubuntu was created: integration with the Launchpad developer portal.
Fast forward to Ubuntu 6.04 and you will see that there is no such thing. Because the development was not complete, Mark Shuttleworth moved the release date to June that year, but made up to the users by giving them the first long-term support release: Ubuntu 6.06 LTS (Dapper Drake). This version changed the installation process in two ways: the two CDs that were typical for a release were merged into one, which served the double purpose of being a live and an install disk and, related to that, the setup process stopped using Debian's installer and switched to a graphical setup tool named Ubiquity.
You probably still remember Ubuntu 6.10 (Edgy Eft), because it was the first release that featured the finished Human graphical theme. Also, this version featured Tomboy, the note-taking application, and F-Spot, the photo manager. The Beryl desktop effects were also one of the attractions.
Those uber-cool desktop effects that were impressive for seasoned users and novices alike were made possible for the first time with the inclusion of Compiz in Ubuntu 7.04 (Feisty Fawn). Switching from Windows to Ubuntu was made much easier by the migration assistant that was created for this release, and virtualization was given a helping hand by including the Kernel Virtual Machine. Along with the packages was improved multimedia support with the restricted driver and codec installation tools.
I can actually remember Ubuntu 7.10 (Gutsy Gibbon), because it allowed me to save files on an NTFS partition. NTFS-3G's inclusion opened the way for tighter interoperability with Windows systems, while AppArmor watched the system's security and Compiz Fusion took the graphical aspect of the desktop one step further.
Ubuntu 8.04 LTS (Hardy Heron) will continue to be on desktops for a while, because its official support will end in April 2011. It featured a new desktop search tool, Tracker, the Brasero disk burner, the Transmission bit-torrent application and many other new programs. Most of us remember it because of PulseAudio, that was a new thing back then and it caused a lot of problems with audio. Also, Hardy was another big step towards an easy installation, because Wubi allowed you to skip partitioning and stuff Ubuntu in a file on one of your Windows disks.
Ubuntu 8.10 (Intrepid Ibex) was released into a world where netbooks were starting to conquer the market. Since most of those portable computers had no optical drive, Ubuntu came up with the Live USB Creator that allowed you to transfer the bootable image to a USB drive. Also, 8.10 had a lot of security improvements, like home folder encryption support and a ready-made guest account. Rebuilding kernel modules by hand was made obsolete by the inclusion of Dynamic Kernel Module Support.
You must be familiar with Ubuntu 9.04 (Jaunty Jackalope), because you're probably running it right now. It brought us the new Notify OSD and fresh graphics, along with faster boot times and web service integration. The hardware in netbooks was supported, and Wacom tablets were now hot-pluggable. On the development side, everything was moved to the Bazaar revision control system.
Now we're leaving the past and moving on towards the future. Ubuntu 9.10 (Karmic Koala) will be here in nine days, should everything go according to plan. The anniversary presents will be a new graphical theme, ultra-fast boots and a Netbook Remix that truly deserves the Ubuntu name.
Since such a trip down the memory lane would not be complete without a mental image of each release, we prepared this screenshot tour. It represents the journey of a free operating system that truly changed the way people use their computer. Enjoy the Ubuntu timeline, 11 releases in 5 years!
Thursday, October 22, 2009 | 14 Comments
The second alpha of Mandriva Linux 2010.0 was launched last night, on July 31st, by the Mandriva team. The development cycle of Mandriva Linux 2010.0 will continue with a beta release at the end of August, two release candidates scheduled for September and October, and the official public release expected around November, 2009.
Mandriva Linux 2010.0 Alpha 2 is still not available as a Live CD, the only way for you to test it is to grab the DVD and install it. It is available for both 32-bit and 64-bit architectures.
The features of this release are exactly what everyone was expecting, the newly released GNOME 2.27.5 and KDE 4.3 RC3 desktop environments, Linux kernel 2.6.31 RC4, and many more.
Highlights of Mandriva Linux 2010.0 Alpha 2:
· Linux kernel 2.6.31 RC4;
· KDE 4.3 RC3;
· GNOME 2.27.5;
· Xfce 4.6.1;
· X.org Server 1.6.2;
· OpenOffice.org 3.1.0;
· KOffice 2.0.1;
· Amarok 2.1.1;
· Digikam 1.0 Beta 3;
· Kipi plug-ins 0.5.0;
· KMess 2.0.0;
· Apache 2.2.22;
· PHP 5.3.0;
· Improved Drakxtools;
· Device permission handling changes.
Mandriva Linux 2010.0 Release Schedule:
June 19th, 2009 - Mandriva Linux 2010.0 Alpha 1
July 31st, 2009 - Mandriva Linux 2010.0 Alpha 2
August 20th, 2009 - Mandriva Linux 2010.0 Beta
September 17th, 2009 - Mandriva Linux 2010.0 RC1
October 8th, 2009 - Mandriva Linux 2010.0 RC2
November 3rd, 2009 - Mandriva Linux 2010.0 Final release
Download Mandriva Linux 2010.0 Alpha 2 right now from Here, Here, Here, Here, Here, Here, Here, Here, Here, Here, and Here.
Remember that this is an alpha release and it should not be installed on production machines. It is intended for testing purposes only. Please report bugs to the Mandriva Bug Tracker.
By: Marius Nestor
Saturday, August 01, 2009 | 0 Comments
Canonical has announced today in a press release that it will offer new support services for both individual and small businesses, which will ease the transition to the popular Ubuntu operating system, from Microsoft Windows or Apple Macintosh. Ubuntu is a 100% free and open-source Linux OS for both desktop and server platforms, with millions of users around the globe. With these support services offered by Canonical, users can take now take full advantage of the Ubuntu OS. They will include support for installations, desktop configuration and general assistance (see below for details about each package).
Steve George, director of Canonical's Corporate Services division says: "Canonical's Desktop Support Services provides an easy, inexpensive way to get Ubuntu up and running in the home, home office and small business - reaching the vast majority of computer users. [...] With our team supporting them, Ubuntu is ideal for people who just want their computer to work, where the goal is to get up and running with no fuss, focusing on the things they want to accomplish."
Canonical's Desktop Support Services includes three packages: Starter, Advanced and Professional:
- The Starter Desktop Service offers support for installations and basic configuration and functionality of the Ubuntu system, like creating various documents, playing audio and video streams, using various applications or setting up the Internet. The package's price starts from 34.73 Pound Sterling (GBP) + VAT;
- The Advanced Desktop Service offers support for power users who need help or assistance for migrating documents or settings from a Microsoft Windows or Apple Macintosh operating system. Advanced installations, personnel accounting and desktop publishing are also covered by this offering. The package's price starts from 72.62 Pound Sterling (GBP) + VAT;
- The Professional Desktop Service offers support for experienced users who already use Ubuntu as their main operating system, but need help with network installations, various applications support, advanced productivity, advanced system administration and more. The package's price starts from 138.03 Pound Sterling (GBP) + VAT.
All three offerings described above include:
- Live phone support 9x5
- Email support
- Security upgrades
- Product upgrades
- Duration: 1 year or 3 years
For more details and prices you can check out the Canonical Store.
By: Marius Nestor
Friday, July 31, 2009 | 0 Comments
First Look: GNOME 2.26 - Includes hot new features and updated applications. Ladies and gentlemen, dear geeks... the time has come to announce the release of GNOME 2.26, a light desktop environment used in many popular Linux distributions, such as Ubuntu, Mandriva, PCLinuxOS, etc. The new release comes after six months of hard work and it brings a lot of hot new features, improved applications, new translations and updated documentation. The upcoming Ubuntu 9.04 (Jaunty Jackalope), Mandriva 2009 Spring and Fedora 11 Linux distributions will include a fully functional version of the GNOME 2.26 desktop environment, but until then we will introduce you guys to the highlights of this release.
Brasero, the popular and powerful CD/DVD burning application replaced the basic tool that existed prior to this release. Some of Brasero's great features are audio CD burning with audio track preview, track splitting, automatic volume normalization and multisession support. Moreover, multiple burning backends are supported, disc integrity can be checked and CD/DVD covers are a breeze to create.
Burn CDs and DVDs with Brasero
Very much anticipated, the Evolution e-mail and groupware suite received two important features that are sure to ease the migration from a Windows platform to GNOME: PST (Microsoft Outlook Personal Folders) files can now be directly imported in Evolution, including e-mails, contacts, appointments, tasks or journal entries. The second added feature is support for the MAPI protocol that is used by Microsoft Outlook to communicate with Microsoft Exchange. Thunderbird has now a really strong competitor, that's for sure.
Evolution Email Client
GNOME's Media Player has integrated a new Coherence DLNA/UPnP client that enables browsing and playing content shared through UPnP or DLNA protocols. Another awesome addition is a subtitle download plugin that will automatically search subtitles for your movies.
GNOME Media Player with Subtitle Downloader
GNOME's instant messaging client, Empathy, has been updated to support file transfer, chatroom invites, sound themes and notifications. VoIP (Voice over IP) capability is provided through the Theora and Speex codecs and is now available over Jingle to any client that supports this protocol. Though I still prefer Pidgin, Empathy, already featuring voice and video chat, is evolving more rapidly and will soon catch up with the purple bird.
Empathy Instant Messaging Client
Epiphany, GNOME's default Web Browser, is now much more efficient thanks to an improved location bar, a feature that has almost the same functionality as the "Awesome Bar" introduced in Mozilla Firefox 3.0. I was quite impressed with its speed and the available plugins (Auto Reload Tab and Greasemonkey are very useful); if the team keeps up the good work, it will prove to be a viable alternative to other web browsers.
The fast Epiphany Browser with the new location bar
PulseAudio is now the default audio input/output framework. One of its most powerful features is the ability to control applications' volume independently. This tool is sure to be very useful in many scenarios. Furthermore, rerouting sound devices is now made in real time, thanks to plug-and-play support. And don't worry, if you still use GStreamer, its mixer is still available and received a new sound theme tab.
The new mixer
The "Screen Resolution" control panel was renamed "Display" and tweaked to ease multi-monitor setups. Also, a "last-known-good configuration" will be remembered and, in case of a crash, it will automatically be restored. Moreover, if it detects that the graphics driver currently installed doesn't properly support this new tool, it will offer to open the driver's own control panel (e.g. NVIDIA X Server Settings).
The redesigned Display control panel
And if all these are not enough, there's more! File sharing was made easier than ever with a plugin integrated into the file manager that facilitates transferring files through either WebDAV, HTTP or Bluetooth.
If you have a fingerprint reading device and your system allows such authentication, GNOME 2.26 integrated the fprintd service that allows you to register your fingerprint in the "About Me" preferences page. The Deskbar applet was also updated to support OpenSearch plugins.
Smaller changes were made to the panels that can't be moved anymore without holding the Alt key, preventing accidental repositions. Also, an in/out sliding effect was added to them at login and logout. Another discreet and elegant effect reveals itself when you change wallpapers, as they will now crossfade between the old and the new one.
Though 2.26 is far from being a complete overhaul, the new features will please all GNOME users and, who knows, maybe convert some fans of other desktop environments too. I'm especially excited about the new per-application volume control feature in PulseAudio and the fact that Brasero, my all-time favorite burning application, is now the default one in GNOME 2.26. We'll meet again with a new version of the GNOME desktop environment six months from now, when 2.28 is expected to be released.
Download the sources for GNOME 2.26 right now from here.
Sunday, March 22, 2009 | 1 Comments
Marco Ghirlanda, team leader of ArtistX, announced the immediate availability of version 0.6, now created with the help of Remastersys Live CD creation software. Using the 2.6.27 Linux kernel, ArtistX 0.6 lets you choose between GNOME 2.24 and the recent KDE 4.2 desktop environments and has Compiz Fusion included for a full 3D-effects experience.
Having plenty of space on a DVD, ArtistX 0.6 comes with almost 2500 free multimedia applications designed for all Linux users. This version is based on the latest stable Ubuntu 8.10 (Intrepid Ibex) release and features the Ubiquity installer.
The software packages that are included in ArtistX 0.6 are, among many others:
· The GNU Image Manipulation Program (GIMP), Inkscape, Nip2, Krita, Cinepaint, Synfig, Rawstudio, Skencil and Hugin for the 2D Graphic suite;
· Blender, Wings3D, K3D, Kpovmodeler and Povray 3.6 for 3D Graphics;
· Cinelerra, Kino, Openmovieeditor, Kdenlive, Pitivi, Avidemux, Devede are some of the video editing tools;
· MPlayer, Helix Player, VideoLAN (VLC media player), Xine, Kaffeine, Kmplayer, LastFM for playing audio and video files;
· PD, Rosegarden, Ardour, TerminatorX, Cecillia/Csound, Gnusound and Mixxx for creating and editing audio files.
ArtistX Linux Live DVD, an Ubuntu based distribution, transforms a normal computer into a full-featured multimedia production machine. Containing almost all available free audio, video and 2D/3D graphics tools, ArtistX is a good choice for multimedia enthusiasts, professionals and amateurs alike. Being a Live DVD, there is no need to install ArtistX on the hard disk, thus leaving your partitions untouched. All the created files can easily be saved on USB drives and even burned on CDs or DVDs.
Download ArtistX 0.6 right now from here, here.
Sunday, February 22, 2009 | 0 Comments
The Kubuntu team announced on Saturday (February 21) the second maintenance release of Kubuntu 8.04 (Hardy Heron), which is supported with security fixes and maintenance updates until October 2009. Kubuntu 8.04.2 brings to its dedicated users a lot of security updates and corrections (over 200), all with a single goal: to keep Kubuntu 8.04 a stable and reliable Linux distribution!
"In all, over 200 updates have been integrated, and updated installation media has been provided so that fewer updates will need to be downloaded after installation. These include security updates, and corrections for other high-impact bugs, with a focus on maintaining stability and compatibility with Kubuntu 8.04." - said the Kubuntu team in the official release announcement.
Highlights of Kubuntu 8.04.2:
· The K Desktop Environment was updated to version 3.5.10;
· Kaffeine's codec installation loop bug was fixed;
· KHelpCenter's indexer now works with dash;
· Kopete's latexconvert now works with dash;
· Repaired a dash latexconvert incompatibility;
· Fixed some Kontact crashes, when using GCal;
· The hdparm power management was set to 128 for all hard disks while on battery, and 254 while on AC (please note that the suspend/resume functions still crash this and a complete fix will arrive in the third maintenance release of Hardy Heron);
· Added support CDs with compressed packages, which will allow everyone to upgrade to future release using CDs;
· Updated the MySQL 4.1 packages, which will allow a smooth upgrade from Ubuntu 6.06 LTS (Dapper Drake);
· Repaired the checksum recheck, after reset, for Asus Eee PC 1000.
For the complete list of the changes, please check the official release notes.
Kubuntu is a Linux distribution based on Ubuntu, and built on top of KDE (K Desktop Environment). Kubuntu can be used on your desktop or server. Among its features we can notice a fast and easy install, regular releases, a tight selection of excellent packages installed by default, every other package you can imagine available from the network, and professional technical support from Canonical Ltd. and hundreds of other companies around the world.
Download Kubuntu 8.04.2 (Hardy Heron) right now from here.
Sunday, February 22, 2009 | 0 Comments
Mandriva Announces Pulse 2 v1.2 - A technology for Linux and Windows desktop roll-out projects. Mandriva announced the immediate availability of version 1.2 of their Pulse 2, an Open Source tool for managing workstations, mobile computers and servers. Mandriva Pulse 2's purpose is to make managing of information systems much easier for those who choose to use it.
Mandriva Pulse 2 keeps a software and hardware inventory for each computer in its database, deploying and updating applications. Other features include diagnostic and remote control modules. This set of tools automates the management of workstations, servers or even mobile computers and, at the same time, reduces management and information system administration costs, regardless of the operating system.
Pulse 2 identifies instability risks and security errors in time to prevent further problems, and it is able to detect differences between current features and security policies that are pre-established.
"Companies are called upon to manage information systems ever more heterogenous whilst at the same time assuring their global availability. [...] The status of Open Source software gives Pulse 2 a powerful capacity of integration within highly diversified environments. It helps users to manage this diversity by enabling updates and maintenance tasks no matter the number of platforms and their location, to reduce the time and cost of the system administration.", stated Mandriva's Business Products and Services Division VP, Sebastien Lefebvre, in the official release announcement.
Mandriva Pulse 2 increases the overall security and reliability of user environments by automating roll-outs, maintenance and update processes. It can also observe and record user's choices, making migration a faster process. Having a modular architecture and bandwidth management mechanisms, Mandriva Pulse 2 is a great solution for large, wide-spread IT infrastructures.
Highlights of Madndriva Pulse 2 v1.2:
· automatic management
· available for a wide range of operating systems
· identifies risks in time
· reduces costs
· modular architecture
Mandriva is the publisher of one of the most popular Linux distributions, Mandriva Linux, a user-friendly operating system. Mandriva's products are available online in 80 languages, with dedicated servers in 140 countries. More information can be found by accessing their website.
Wednesday, February 04, 2009 | 0 Comments