QuoteUbuntu founder Mark Shuttleworth told press recently that a move to daily updates would help the popular Linux disto keep pace with an increasingly complex software and platform ecosystem as Ubuntu goes on more devices and syncs up Android and iPhones.
Software Center - barely a year old - is leading these changes, and Shuttleworth has promised this would "go further and faster than people might have envisioned in the past."
"Today we have a six-month release cycle," Shuttleworth said. "In an internet-oriented world, we need to be able to release something every day.
"That's an area we will put a lot of work into in the next five years. The small steps we are putting in to the Software Center today, they will go further and caster than people might have envisioned in the past."
QuoteThe next major transition for Unity will be to deliver it on Wayland, the OpenGL-based display management system. We’d like to embrace Wayland early, as much of the work we’re doing on uTouch and other input systems will be relevant for Wayland and it’s an area we can make a useful contribution to the project.
We’re confident we’ll be able to retain the ability to run X applications in a compatibility mode, so this is not a transition that needs to reset the world of desktop free software. Nor is it a transition everyone needs to make at the same time: for the same reason we’ll keep investing in the 2D experience on Ubuntu despite also believing that Unity, with all it’s GL dependencies, is the best interface for the desktop. We’ll help GNOME and KDE with the transition, there’s no reason for them not to be there on day one either.
QuoteShuttleworth described desktop adoption of Unity as the "most significant change ever" for Ubuntu. He also acknowledged that it is a "risky step" and that much work remains to be done to prepare for the transition. The move reflects Ubuntu's growing divergence from the standard upstream GNOME configuration and effort to differentiate itself with a distinctive user experience. During the keynote, Shuttleworth emphasized that Ubuntu is still committed to GNOME despite the fact that it will ship with Unity instead of GNOME Shell. He contends that diversity and competition between different kinds of GNOME environments will encourage innovation and benefit the GNOME ecosystem.
The decision to ship a custom interface in Ubuntu is going to be controversial. Critics in the upstream community are already expressing disappointment with what they view as a move to fork the desktop. It's worth noting, however, that Canonical isn't the first company to build a unique user experience for GNOME that deviates from the standard upstream user interface stack. Intel also similarly produced a custom shell with the Clutter that is used on the MeeGo platform. Canonical's deviations from the upstream configuration receive closer scrutiny because Ubuntu's popularity among Linux users makes the distribution a king-maker on the Linux desktop. Canonical's decision to ship Unity could deeply marginalize GNOME Shell.
QuoteNevertheless, the Ubuntu Project does bring something unique, special and important to free software: a total commitment to everyday users and use cases, the idea that free software should be “for everyone” both economically and in ease of use, and a willingness to chase down the problems that stand between here and there. I feel that commitment is a gift back to the people who built every one of those packages. If we can bring free software to ten times the audience, we have amplified the value of your generosity by a factor of ten, we have made every hour spent fixing an issue or making something amazing, ten times as valuable. I’m very proud to be spending the time and energy on Ubuntu that I do. Yes, I could do many other things, but I can’t think of another course which would have the same impact on the world.
I recognize that not everybody will feel the same way. Bringing their work to ten times the audience without contributing features might just feel like leeching, or increasing the flow of bug reports 10x. I suppose you could say that no matter how generous we are to downstream users, if upstream is only measuring code, then any generosity other than code won’t be registered. I don’t really know what to do about that – I didn’t found Ubuntu as a vehicle for getting lots of code written, that didn’t seem to me to be what the world needed. It needed a vehicle for getting it out there, that cares about delivering the code we already have in a state of high quality and reliability. Most of the pieces of the desktop were in place – and code was flowing in – it just wasn’t being delivered in a way that would take it beyond the server, or to the general public.
QuoteWhat do we do for free software? And what do I do myself?
For a start, we deliver it. We reduce the friction and inertia that prevent people trying free software and deciding for themselves if they like it enough to immerse themselves in it. Hundreds of today’s free software developers, translators, designers, advocates got the opportunity to be part of our movement because it was easy for them to dip their toe in the water. And that’s not easy work. Consider the effort over many years to produce a simple installer for Linux like http://www.techdrivein.com/2010/08/massive-changes-coming-to-ubuntu-1010.html which is the culmination of huge amounts of work from many groups, but which simply would not have happened without Canonical and Ubuntu.
There are thousands of people who are content to build free software for themselves, and that’s no crime. But the willingness to shape it into something that others will find, explore and delight in needs to be celebrated too. And that’s a value which is celebrated very highly in the Ubuntu community: if you read planet.ubuntu.com you’ll see a celebration of *people using free software*. As a community we are deeply satisfied to see people *using* it to solve problems in their lives. That’s more satisfying to us than stories about how we made it faster or added a feature. Of course we do bits of both, but this is a community that measures impact in the world rather than impact on the code. They are very generous with their time and expertise, with that as the reward. I’m proud of the fact that Ubuntu attracts people who are generous in their contributions: they feel their contributions are worth more if they are remixed by others, not less. So we celebrate Kubuntu and Xubuntu and Puppy and Linux Mint. They don’t ride on our coattails, they stand on our shoulders, just as we stand on the shoulders of giants. And that’s a good thing. Our work is more meaningful and more valuable because their work reaches users that ours alone could not.
QuoteThe next system software update for the PlayStation 3 (PS3) system will be released on April 1, 2010 (JST), and will disable the “Install Other OS” feature that was available on the PS3 systems prior to the current slimmer models, launched in September 2009. This feature enabled users to install an operating system, but due to security concerns, Sony Computer Entertainment will remove the functionality through the 3.21 system software update.
In addition, disabling the “Other OS” feature will help ensure that PS3 owners will continue to have access to the broad range of gaming and entertainment content from SCE and its content partners on a more secure system.
Mathias Krause discovered that the Linux kernel did not correctly handle missing ELF interpreters. A local attacker could exploit this to cause the system to crash, leading to a denial of service. (CVE-2010-0307)
Marcelo Tosatti discovered that the Linux kernel's hardware virtualization did not correctly handle reading the /dev/port special device. A local attacker in a guest operating system could issue a specific read that would cause the host system to crash, leading to a denial of service. (CVE-2010-0309)
Sebastian Krahmer discovered that the Linux kernel did not correctly handle netlink connector messages. A local attacker could exploit this to consume kernel memory, leading to a denial of service. (CVE-2010-0410)
Ramon de Carvalho Valle discovered that the Linux kernel did not correctly validate certain memory migration calls. A local attacker could exploit this to read arbitrary kernel memory or cause a system crash, leading to a denial of service. (CVE-2010-0415)
Jermome Marchand and Mikael Pettersson discovered that the Linux kernel did not correctly handle certain futex operations. A local attacker could exploit this to cause a system crash, leading to a denial of service. (CVE-2010-0622, CVE-2010-0623)
Quote"We...consider any closed-source Linux kernel module or driver to be harmful and undesirable," the official statement begins. "Vendors that provide closed-source kernel modules force their customers to give up key Linux advantages or choose new vendors." But Bottomley gets much more specific than this. "Their (Nvidia's) binary module is one of the top causes of kernel crashes, which makes Linux look bad," he said. "Nvidia does a reasonable job of Q-and-A-ing (quality assurance) of a certain number of configurations but the problem is that their configurations (are) a lot less than what's actually out there on the market," Bottomley said.
QuoteMeanwhile, the progress towards KDE 4.0 is astonishing. Most parts, such as the KDE Development Platform and a lot of applications are considered stable and well-usable. Some parts of the desktop experience do not yet meet the KDE community's quality standards and expectations for a stable release. There are also some issues which need to be addressed upstream, for example a bug in certain codecs of xine that cut off audio fragments prematurely. The developers are confident to be able to release a more polished and better working KDE 4.0 desktop in January. The changed plans involve releasing on January 11th, 2008.
Quote2.6.23 includes the new, better, fairer CFS process scheduler, a simpler read-ahead mechanism, the lguest 'Linux-on-Linux' paravirtualization hypervisor, XEN guest support, KVM smp guest support, variable process argument length, make SLUB the default slab allocator, SELinux protection for exploiting null dereferences using mmap, XFS and ext4 improvements, PPP over L2TP support, the 'lumpy' reclaim algorithm, a userspace driver framework, the O_CLOEXEC file descriptor flag, splice improvements, new fallocate() syscall, lock statistics, support for multiqueue network devices, various new drivers and many other minor features and fixes.
QuoteMandriva Linux 2008 includes the following versions of the major distribution components: kernel 2.6.22, X.org 7.2, KDE 3.5.7, GNOME 2.19.6, Mozilla Firefox 22.214.171.124, OpenOffice.org 2.2. Other major new features are the merging of the Beryl and Compiz 3D desktop technologies into Compiz Fusion, a new network management tool, a Windows documents and settings migration tool, and support for WPA-EAP. You can find an introduction to the most interesting new features in What's coming in Mandriva Linux 2008.
Quote"CFS's task picking logic is based on this p->wait_runtime value and it is thus very simple: it always tries to run the task with the largest p->wait_runtime value. In other words, CFS tries to run the task with the 'gravest need' for more CPU time. So CFS always tries to split up CPU time between runnable tasks as close to 'ideal multitasking hardware' as possible. "Most of the rest of CFS's design just falls out of this really simple 32 concept, with a few add-on embellishments like nice levels, 33 multiprocessing and various algorithm variants to recognize sleepers."
QuoteThe previous stable kernel, 2.6.21, was released a little over two months ago on April 25'th. An overview of all the changes merged into the latest version of the kernel is maintained in the Kernel Newbies wiki. Included in the list of changes are the SLUB allocator which replaced the slab allocator, a new wireless stack, a new firewire stack, and support for the Blackfin architecture. Source level changes can be tracked via the gitweb interface to Linus' kernel tree.
Quote"The re-engineering has mostly been done," said Linux leader Linus Torvalds of the new kernel. And for higher-level software, PowerTop has been "invaluable, he added. "A lot of people and (Linux) distributions are actually interested in this, so the user applications do seem to be getting fixed." There's more work to be done, but the progress has been measurable, said Arjan van de Ven, a longtime kernel programmer now working at Intel. "What we see in our lab today is that Linux on a laptop consumes 15 percent to 25 percent less power during idle than a code base of about three months ago," he said.
Quote"Interoperability between the Windows and Linux world is important and must be dealt with, and anything that helps this interoperability is a good thing," wrote Bancilhon, adding that "the best way to deal with interoperability is open standards." "As far as (intellectual property) is concerned, we are, to say the least, not great fans of software patents and of the current patent system, which we consider as counterproductive for the industry as a whole," Bancilhon continued. "We also believe what we see and, up to now, there has been absolutely no hard evidence from any of the FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt) propagators that Linux and open-source applications are in breach of any patents. So we think that, as in any democracy, people are innocent unless proven guilty, and we can continue working in good faith."
QuoteOver the next five years, the two companies said, they will work on improving interoperability between their servers to improve systems management. The pact calls for Microsoft to provide patent covenants for Xandros customers that ensure they are not infringing on Microsoft's intellectual property, according to the companies. Xandros will also ship software for desktop productivity applications that translates between the Open Document Format and OpenXML, which is Microsoft's own document format.
QuoteAlthough the major commercial sellers support the LSB and it's won endorsements from software companies such as Computer Associates and Oracle, Zemlin acknowledges that there's still work to be done. "We're at bat. We haven't hit a home run," he said of LSB. "It's been around a long time and has had fits and starts." But the standardization effort is moving ahead--most recently with work being done in Russia to build certification testing software--and customers will begin requiring LSB compatibility "fairly soon," Zemlin said.
QuoteSince our announcement, some parties have spoken about this patent agreement in a damaging way, and with a perspective that we do not share. We strongly challenge those statements here. We disagree with the recent statements made by Microsoft on the topic of Linux and patents. Importantly, our agreement with Microsoft is in no way an acknowledgment that Linux infringes upon any Microsoft intellectual property. When we entered the patent cooperation agreement with Microsoft, Novell did not agree or admit that Linux or any other Novell offering violates Microsoft patents.
QuoteThe software giant is launching a subscription service aimed at providing better protection for the Windows operating system, which has been vulnerable to Internet attacks. Windows Live OneCare will protect up to three computers for about 50 dollars a year.
QuoteI'd like to propose a further extension to this conventional wisdom, applying it to the U.S. economy. There is clearly no case for the small hardware store in Woodside, Calif., to continue to exist. The fact that the clerks are helpful, courteous and know where everything in the store is located isn't relevant. There is no logic to why the store continues to be in business when there is a "good enough" mega-store just a few miles down the road. In fact, the whole economy, with its boundless energy and diversity, should be an abomination to the proponents of the "good enough" theory.
QuoteUbuntu 6.06 LTS introduces functionality that simplifies common Linux server deployment processes. For system administrators setting up large numbers of web, mail and related servers, Ubuntu 6.06 LTS offers the fastest and most consistent path to deployment, combined with the availability of global commercial support where needed. "Ubuntu has a reputation for working well out of the box on desktops, and we have worked to bring that same ease of deployment and configuration to the server marketplace" said Mark Shuttleworth, founder of the Ubuntu project. "Based on our analysis of the ways people were already deploying Ubuntu on servers, we have aimed to streamline their experience while expanding the range of software available to people deploying Ubuntu in the data centre."