Dec 28, 2008

Ubuntu Usplash Smooth

As we wrote earlier, it has been discussed if Plymouth will replace Usplash in Ubuntu 9.04. It turns out there will be no Plymouth for Ubuntu 9.04 as we were hoping for. Currently Plymouth is planed for Ubuntu 9.10 due to the lack of KMS in the kernel.

This means the current Usplash will remain as boot screen for Ubuntu 9.04. But hopefully there will be added a small change to the Usplash called Usplash Smooth. This is the original Ubuntu Usplash for Intrepid Ibex with an exciting twist! The progress bar in Usplash Smooth is time-based. It remembers the time of your previous boot/shutdown, and will smoothly increase the bar according to this time. Since the boot/shutdown times change very little, you will get a very precise bar with a very smooth animation showing exactly how much time is left.

The original Ubuntu Usplash progress bar didn't tell you much information. It moves in small/huge increments, and sometimes stands still for a few seconds.
Let's hope this little twist will be added in Ubuntu 9.04. Anyway, check out the project below, and post your opinions!

Direct Download:
Ubuntu Usplash Smooth (Hosted at
Ubuntu Usplash Smooth (Hosted at

Ubuntu PPA:

Ubuntu WIKI:

Ubuntu Brainstorm:

Dec 22, 2008

Mark Shuttleworth on Notifications, indicators and alerts

Today Mark Shuttleworth, the founder of Canonical, wrote a blogpost about the new notification feature in the upcoming Ubuntu 9.04.

Read Mark's entire blogpost here...

Dec 19, 2008

Launchpad User Experience

Mark Shuttleworth, the founder of Canonical, recently wrote a blogpost titled "Morphing dialogs and the AJAX roadmap for Launchpad".

The user experience and design team at Canonical includes a few folks dedicated to web technology. At the moment, there is a substantial effort under way to reshape the Launchpad UI now that we have the core capabilities for cross-project bug tracking, code publishing and translation in place. We want to make it more obvious how to get something done - especially for new users - and we want to make it feel snappy and responsive when making small changes to your project data.

Over the next couple of months you will see pieces of this puzzle land in successive Launchpad monthly releases. In the video below you can see a couple of the key ideas.

Read Mark's entire blogpost here...

Dec 17, 2008

Nautilus sidebar needs a cleanup

Hylke Bons descripes himself as being a consistent user interface experience junkie. Back in November he posted a mockup of the Nautilus sidebar. The current sidebar looks very cluttered, so let's hope the gnome UI developers will clean it up a bit.

I know that you can report usability-bugs in the Gnome bugzilla - if this one isn't reported yet, it should be.

No Plymouth for Ubuntu 9.04

Plymouth has now been evaluated for Ubuntu as a replacement to the current USplash. Sadly Plymouth is not going to be default in Ubuntu 9.04, but we may get PPAs for people that are interested in trying it out and have the supported hardware. At the Ubuntu Developer Summit it was suggested that Plymouth should be default by 9.10 - when all the drivers are ready and all critical problems are solved. Plymouth uses kernel mode-setting to provide a cleaner boot experience with minimal flickering of the display since the display only needs to set its mode once.

Here is the video of the UDS session where you can see the discussion process in more detail:

Looks like there's a lot of great thing to look forward to in Jaunty +1 (Ubuntu 9.10). Although both the facebrowser and Plymouth won't make it into Jaunty, there's no doubt that Ubuntu, and Linux in general, is moving fast forward.

Dec 15, 2008

Teacher threatens to call the cops over Linux

If you haven't already read the crazy story that got over 2000 comments and ended up on the front page of Slashdot, read it here.

If you have, you should read the authors follow up titled "character assasinations ain't us"

Dec 11, 2008

UDS developer interviews

The Ubuntu Developer Channel on YouTube has gone live again. Like last time the site will be stuffed full of videos about Ubuntu development. Ones again Tony Whitmore will be doing interviews throughout UDS this week. As we saw with Ubuntu Live in 2007 it is always interesting to get a glimpse into the future of Ubuntu.

Keep an eye on the Ubuntu Developer Channel this week, as more videos are added. There are only a couple so far, but there should be more soon!

Dec 10, 2008

New Notifications for Jaunty

The Ubuntu Desktop team outlined their plans for notifications in Jaunty. I think that Canonical’s work here is looking really good, and has a wonderful design. For those that are not at UDS, it is important to understand some of the changes that has been discussed. The first of which is the removal of “Actions” from notifications. This means that there will be no more buttons inside the notifications at all.
Notifications now are simply there to show you the data about what’s happening on your machine. This can happen in two ways; Synchronously, as you press a button like the volume or brightness controls, the notification comes up and shows you the change, and “normally”, how instant messengers like Pidgin with the libnotify plugin currently work.

Instead of having “Actions” inside of the notification window, they will be moved to a panel applet, which will allow you to get to the application in question by clicking it. There have been a lot of discussions on what this panel applet will be like, but it is probably the biggest missing component in the discussion so far, since we haven’t seen any prototypes on it, or what it’s interface will look like. The Design team that’s working on this seems to be doing so behind closed doors.

So, despite the conflict of the Bazaar vs the Cathedral in the situation we’re in, I’m feeling pretty good about the general work being done. I’m really hoping that I can be a part of it and it won’t be this cabal-like situation where I have to bring patches to Canonical’s door and sacrifice a goat in offering to the Gods of the New Notification Daemon. Or, you know, I could always get off my bum and send my resume in ;).

While this might not be terribly exciting to most, it does show a step forward in usability while adding some nice bling.

Source: A. Walton

No facebrowser for Jaunty

A Gobby document from the Desktop-GDM-upgrade session at UDS (witch is on it's third day today), showes that the facebrowser won't make it into Jaunty (Ubuntu 9.04), but it's planned for Jaunty +1. You will be able to change the graphics and layouts of the facebrowser in the theme, but the behaviors will be hard coded.

Read more about the facebrowser here:
- GDM login experience
- Ubuntu's OpenGL face browser will bring bling to GDM"

Open-source Yo Frankie Game

It rarely happens that I mention games on this blog - actually the only post until today, has been the "Guitar Heros" clone post - but today Yo Frankie is available for download. The game is open-source and designed using Blender and the Blender Game Engine. Yo Frankie is an Apricot Open Game Project - even the character art and is available cross platform (at least Linux, Windows, OS X). The source-code, design files, and binaries are freely available.

Find more information on this new Linux game, at the Yo Frankie web-site.

Dec 8, 2008

Eavesdrop on the Jaunty UDS

If you didn't make it to the Ubuntu Developers Summit, here's some good news for you. There's many ways to follow what happens at UDS. As mentioned earlier we hope the Ubuntu Developer Channel on YouTube will be stuffed full of videos about the Ubuntu development and various interviews, but you can already follow what is happening at the summit and contribute comments and ideas to people at the summit.
Here is a list of links you want to visit:

1. The Scoop: The Ubuntu Wiki is the main source for the happen happens at the summit ( Any news and changes will be posted there.

2. Schedule: The schedule for the summit can be found at On the schedule you will be able to find links to the live audio/video streams from the conference and how to VoIP into the discussions.

3. Audio Live Stream : Listen to the live audio stream of the tracks at

4. Micro-blogging: You can follow the feeds of the different tracks and people at UDS ( Or you can follow on

5. IRC: Join the channel #ubuntu-devel-summit or #uds on the Freenode IRC network (

6. The Planet: Planet Ubuntu ( aggregates feeds of Ubuntu Member. The Planet will have a ton of information on UDS and plans for Jaunty.

7. Forums: People from the summit will be following thread in the Jaunty Jackalope Testing and Discussion forum. Use the tag of UDS in the forums if you make a thread about the summit.

Please join in the fun, and help make Ubuntu Jaunty Jackalope smashing!

Source: Mike’s Planet

Dec 7, 2008

How to get your TabletPC working on Ubuntu Intrepid

Ugo Sangiorgi did a nice blog post on his OmniModeling project.

Right now OmniModeling is able to recognize multiple strokes as a gesture, so the user is able to draw dashed connections and composite figures as well. And it works with Compiz:


Read his blog post "How to get your TabletPC working on Ubuntu Intrepid (+Wubi and Compiz)" here...

Dec 4, 2008

Seeing your contribution matter

It's always nice when people give you positive feedback on your work and contributions, but I guess one of the biggest gestures is when people actually use your work. This has been the case before, with the return of the Hardy Heron cover as we saw back in June, or the Ubuntu Wanted website layout.

This time, I'm proud to see my own artwork for the danish Ubuntu 8.10 Release Party being used. I wasn't attending the release party myself, but I found these pictures from the event.

UDS approaching

We're approaching the Ubuntu Developers Summit (8th - 12th December), witch always is the highlight of many Ubuntu contributors calendars. Like last time, we hope the Ubuntu Developer Channel will be stuffed full of videos about Ubuntu development and various interviews.

At the beginning of a new development cycle, Ubuntu developers from around the world gather to help shape and scope the next release of Ubuntu. The summit is open to the public, but is not a traditional conference, exhibition or other audience-oriented event. Rather, it is an opportunity for Ubuntu developers - who usually collaborate online - to work together in person on specific tasks.

Jono Bacon wrote:
...But UDS is way more than just sessions. It is about people. UDS brings together a fascinating, inspiring and indelibly social group. There is a fantastic atmosphere at UDS and a very real sense of community. We work hard to try and make UDS feel as welcoming and open to ideas and discussion as we can. It is an opportunity to re-affiirm old friendships and make new ones. Every day we not only work hard together, but we play hard too. Anyone who has been to a UDS will be well aware of just how physically draining it can be: long days full of discussion and long evenings of socialising make for a pretty tiring week. I think my coffee intake increases as the week progresses...

As we have already confirmed, Plymouth will be discussed at the UDS, along with a lot of other interesting discussions.

More UDS news to come...

Dec 2, 2008

Songbird 1.0 is Here!

The long-awaited cross-platform media player Songbird officially reaches its 1.0 release today. The open-source application is built on the same platform as Firefox and promises to bring exciting new innovations to the software jukebox market. Like Firefox, Songbird is extensible, meaning that users can customize the look, feel, and features of Songbird to their heart's content.
Perhaps this is the iTunes killer you've been waiting for?

Grab it here:

Nov 30, 2008

Linux commercials

We have all seen the MAC vs. PC commercials - it's like a war! Microsoft begun fighting back, then Apple fights back, and so it will probably go on for years to come.

With SUSE 10, Novel made professional Linux commercials (and did a really good job), but recently I learned that Novel joined the MAC vs. PC war, sending Linux into the battle. The war has even spread to SouthPark. Below you can see the first two MAC vs. PC vs. LINUX commercials from Novel.

Nov 29, 2008

Installing GNOME Shell in Ubuntu Intrepid

Siegfried Gevatter did a blog post on how to build and test the development version of the GNOME shell. Luckily for us, Siegfried decided to write down all the instructions on how to build it so that others have it easier than he did.

Initial build of GNOME Shell

1. Download (wget and run it (bash This will download jhbuild into ~/Source and build it (the executables will end up in ~/bin).

2. Install the necessary build dependencies for gnome-shell (and its bundled dependencies): sudo apt-get install build-essential automake gnome-common flex bison curl git-core subversion gtk-doc-tools mesa-common-dev xulrunner-1.9-dev libdbus-glib-1-dev libffi-dev libgconf2-dev libgtk2.0-dev libgl1-mesa-dev libgstreamer-plugins-base0.10-dev python2.5-dev.

3. Download and build gnome-shell (and its bundled dependencies) by running ~/bin/jhbuild build. All files are placed into ~/gnome-shell.

Running it

1. Run ~/bin/jhbuild shell to enter a subshell, and then follow the remaining steps inside it.

2. Go into the appropriate directory, with: cd ~/gnome-shell/source/gnome-shell/scripts.

3. Start gnome-shell, either inside a window by using Xephyr: ./start-in-Xephyr (you’ll need to have xserver-xephyr installed for this to work, or replacing gnome-panel and metacity in your “real” desktop: ./start-replace.

Updating it

Execute ~/bin/jhbuild build –force –clean. The two arguments, “–force” and “–clean”, are used to rebuild everything, even if it didn’t change. You can usually omit them, but in some cases not doing this may lead to GNOME Shell failing to start.

You can also rebuild only a certain element (with this I mean either gnome-shell or one of its bundled dependencies, namely clutter, gjs, gobject-introspection, gir-repository or metacity-clutter) by using ~/bin/jhbuild buildone –clean.

Problem: My computer hangs if I run it

Like the new Compiz version in Intrepid, gnome-shell uses GL_EXT_texture_to_pixmap, which is broken for some old Intel cards and causes the computer to hang if start-replace is used. You can easily disable this, though, by setting the GNOME_SHELL_DISABLE_TFP environment variable (the name of this variable may change in the future).

So, just run echo “GNOME_SHELL_DISABLE_TFP=1″ | tee -a ~/.bashrc, restart your terminal and follow the steps described in section “Running it”. Wih this, gnome-shell should be able to run so that you can try it out, but don’t expect its performance to be perfect (here I have serious issues with redrawing).


Nov 28, 2008

Will Plymouth replace USplash in Ubuntu?

Plymouth is Red Hat's RHGB replacement starting with Fedora 10 and it uses newer Linux technologies like kernel mode-setting to drive this graphical boot screen. Plymouth offers a number of plug-ins and APIs for creating some fairly unique visuals. Now it looks like Plymouth just might make its way into Ubuntu.

There is now a Launchpad specification to evaluate Plymouth for Ubuntu and potentially use it to replacement the current USplash project. Canonical's Matthew Paul Thomas confirmed on the developer mailing list that Plymouth will also be discussed at the Ubuntu Developer Summit taking place in December.

It certainly would be interesting if they switched to Plymouth in Ubuntu. If they did so in time for Ubuntu 9.04 it would mandate they use at least the Linux 2.6.29 kernel in order to have the needed kernel mode-setting support. Right now Fedora 10 is the only distribution shipping Plymouth. To see what Plymouth looks like, check out the Plymouth video below. Keep in mind that Plymouth is only being discussed and nothing is certain yet. Ubuntu also have to keep in mind, that a change like this also will affect all it's derivatives.

There's an interesting discussion on the Ubuntu forum about Plymouth.


Nov 26, 2008

Expand wallpaper for multiple desktops

I would love to see the default Ubuntu wallpaper expand over two/three/four desktops (or monitors).

I suggest that the wallpaper included default in Ubuntu should come in four versions - one for each desktop (or monitor). So if you don't have, or use, more than one desktop, your wallpaper will look as it does now - just fine using wallpaper #1. But if you use more than one desktop the wallpaper will expand and view different wallpapers on each desktop (as we know it from Compiz - see the screenshot).

I hope you understand the meaning of this idea, if not please post your questions below and PLEASE CAST A VOTE AT BRIANSTORM :-)

Example screenshot: (perhaps not the best example)

Nov 24, 2008

GNOME Shell Status

The GNOME Shell handles the parts "around" the applications in GNOME. It replaces functions handled by the GNOME Panel and by the window manager in previous versions of GNOME.
It’s been about three weeks since work started on the GNOME Shell and recently Owen Taylor blogged about the status of the work. A lot of the first weeks has been taken up with infrastructure work - getting things building, adding new features to gobject-introspection and gjs, debugging problems with various graphics drivers. But some of the visual elements are beginning to come together as well.

Read the entire post here:

Nov 23, 2008

Ubuntu Wanted Site

The Ubuntu Wanted site is still in working progress and recently my contribution was added to the branch. You are able to see it at the test-site:

Sense Hofstede also uploaded a mindmap listing the progress of Ubunut Wanted. If you see something on the mindmap where you'd like to help out, please contact Sense Hofstede.

Find more news on Qense’s blog
or visit the wiki to learn

Nov 20, 2008

What's new Compiz Fusion?

There's a lot of news in Compiz-fusion. Just to name a few new plugins: Put in empty space, swap, toggle decoration, peek, lazypointer, compiz-menu, throw, maximumize

Here's a little preview of Compiz-fusion 0.7.9

Follow the progress of Compiz Fusion on

Nov 19, 2008

Are you looking for a job?

Jobs for Canonical:

* Product Manager, Online Services - posted: November 2008
* Ubuntu Mobile Developer - posted: November 2008
* Ubuntu Mobile/MID QA Tester - posted: November 2008
* Systems Software Engineer - posted: November 2008
* Project Administrator - posted: November 2008
* Web Designer - posted: November 2008
* Lead Concept Designer - posted: November 2008
* Ubuntu GNOME Desktop Engineer - posted: November 2008
* Copywriter - posted: November 2008
* Partner Marketing Manager - posted: November 2008
* Telco Channel Manager - posted: November 2008
* Ubuntu Program Manager - posted: November 2008
* QA Engineer - posted: November 2008
* Gnome Developer - posted: October 2008
* KDE Developer - posted: October 2008
* Open GL Developer - posted: October 2008
* Web 2.0 Developer - posted: October 2008
* OEM Channel Manager (Europe) - posted: October 2008
* Launchpad Bugs Application Engineer - posted: October 2008
* Field Engineer (China) - posted: October 2008
* Field Engineer (Taiwan) - posted: October 2008
* Ubuntu Mobile/MID QA Engineer - posted: October 2008
* Key Partner Manager, Global Alliances - posted: September 2008
* Kernel Field Engineer - posted: September 2008
* System Administrator in Taiwan - posted: August 2008
* Ubuntu Translations Coordinator - posted: August 2008
* Salesforce Integration Engineer, BIS Team - posted: July 2008
* OEM Channel Manager (China) - posted: June 2008

Nov 17, 2008

Surpassing Apple

Since Shuttleworth went out on a limb and challenged all of the Free Software zealots to surpass Apple, Troy James Sobotka has chimed in with some interesting blog dribble on the subject.

Surpassing Apple: Step One - Animate Everything
Surpassing Apple: Step Two - Get an Audience

Nov 16, 2008

The road to GNOME 3.0 (first draft)

This is the first draft of the road to GNOME 3.0 artwork and UI-wise. v0.0.1

GNOME 3.0 should have visual refresh. Such a major release without any or little changes could dissapoint users. No radical UI concept change, but incremental refinements around the desktop of things that have proved to work and dropping or improving/dropping things that don't, making the GNOME desktop look prettier and make it more usable. Overall it should look new but still be recognized as the GNOME desktop, but improved.
GNOME 3.0 should also be easier to design for. GNOME is highly themeable, but methods used aren't always as easy and documentation is poor. Right now designers can only adjust certain options of an existing widget theme, or depend on GTK+ hackers to make their theme work.

Events and Deadlines

These are components of GNOME that the Art Team will be working on. Note that there are no seperate "art packages". The team will be working closely together with all kinds of different projects, especially on the UI work.

- Login screen
- Splash sceen
- Wallpapers
- UI design
- Widget themes
- Icons
- Fonts
- Animations
- Website

Ideas and Points of Discussion
Login screen
New GDM version? Seamless transition from the login screen to the desktop: prevent color flickering. Fading in of the wallpaper and panels. Making the login process a smooth transition will make it look shorter. New theme.

Splash screen (more like getting rid of it)
The splash screen is totally useless, the icons are often misaligned and it's causes two more "flashes" in the login process. A lot of distributions are already turning it off by default.

GNOME 3.0 should have some new wallpapers. A contest could be held, it turned out very well for GNOME 2.24. Does anyone really use patterns? We haven't added any new ones in the latest 2.24 wallpaper update.

UI design (Note: think of "layout" instead of "looks")
Window list applet update, include an optional "dock mode" with basically bigger icons? Notification area applet update, better spacing. [1] Clock update applet, The date can be less eyecatching, and the time more. [2]

Widget themes
GTK engine(s) that let's the designers have control, instead of tweaking certain options. Make spacing themeable? New theme.

Follow the naming specification, ignore everything else. [3] Applications should have a hires icon. More use of hires icons where they are appropriate. Tango Next Generation (Mango) icon theme as the default theme now that the licensing is going to be LGPL? [4] Yellow colored Foxtrot folders? [5]

Bitsream and Dejavu are quite spacious, a condensed type kan show more text in the same space without losing readability. Nicer smoother fonts that look great bold as well, a good bold font is important for dialogs etc. and where you want attention on the text Use color tints in UI (have a secondary font color?)

Subtle smooth effects that increase usability and are pleasing to look at. (think Banshee [6])

The current website looks like it's from the 90's. It may give people a wrong impression about how modern the GNOME platform really is.The GNOME 3.0 break is a great opportunity to create a new (think Web 2.0) website.


Nov 15, 2008

More eye candy

Gloobus is a free opensource QuickLook for linux.
The point is to preview the most common files in a very graphical and fast way!

Visit Gloobus on Launchpad:

16 video interviews with Linux Kernel hackers

The Linux Foundation has published a series of video interviews from the annual Linux Kernel Summit held Sept. 15-16 in Portland, Oregon. In the videos, 16 developers — including Linux creator Linus Torvalds (shown at left) — discuss their development activities.

The Kernel Summit is an annual invitation-only meeting during which kernel developers discuss the current state of the Linux kernel and plans for future development.

Below is a list of the 16 kernel developer interviews from the Summit. Each is 5-10 minutes in length, and is available for viewing in YouTube, Ogg, and Flash formats.

* Linus Torvalds of The Linux Foundation - speaks about the Linux Kernel Summit and shares his thoughts on kernel quality, regressions and the state of the current release cycle. He also shares his thoughts on userland tools and the Git development community.

* Rafael Wysocki of Novell - discusses his presentation on regressions, the importance of getting more kernel developers involved in the regression mailing list and the importance of testing.

* Chris Mason of Oracle - shares his thoughts on the benefits of the Linux Kernel Summit, the filesystem and reporting workshop, the importance of file systems to Linux users, BtrFS (Butter FS) and Oracle’s involvement within the Linux community.

* Greg Kroah-Hartman of Novell - shares his thoughts on the current Kernel release cycle and how it impacts enterprise releases. He also discusses his work with the staging server, the Linux Driver Project and the importance of the Linux Plumbers’ Conference.

* Mathieu Desnoyers of Ecole Polytechnique de Montreal - describes the LTTng project, the state of Linux monitoring tools and an in-depth comparison of the existing tools.

* Paul Mackerras of IBM - talks about Patchwork, a web-based system that creates an interactive webpage that lists all patches and corresponding comments to allow for easy review and filtering. He also discusses the implementation of the tool by other maintainers for their projects.

* John Linville of Red Hat - speaks about his experience at the Kernel Summit and summarizes the state of wireless LAN networking in Linux and the importance of supporting vendors that are more “open.”

* Stephen Rothwell of IBM - Stephen talks about his work on the Linux-next tree, the process he follows when making a release, the benefits to core maintainers and the challenges involved in maintaining the tree.

* Kristen Accardi of Intel - talks about the Linux Plumbers’ Conference, the evolution of Linux conferences and about open source development being a viable career option for students.

* Dirk Hohndel of Intel - speaks about the past, present and future of the Kernel Summit. He also discusses the importance of open-sourcing drivers and the benefits having drivers be part of the “upstream.”

* Dave Jones of Red Hat - talks about unifying boot time tools for the Linux kernel, his presentation on speeding up boot time and what can be done to improve interaction between the userspace and kernel communities.

* David Miller of Red Hat - speaks about the state of Linux and Linux networking and his experience speaking at Linux Symposium Japan.

* Len Brown of Intel - provides an update on Linux power management, how close we are to parity with other operating systems and how developers can get involved with power management through testing and bug submissions.

* Frank Eigler of Red Hat - speaks about the SystemTap, a tool for systems administrators that lets them see what is happening in a running kernel. He also shares his experience as a first-time attendee of the Kernel Summit and the feedback he received from the core maintainers.

* Ted Ts’o of The Linux Foundation and IBM - talks about the past, present and future of the Linux Kernel Summit, Linux 3.0 and the “hallway tracks” at the Kernel Summit.

* Jon Corbet of - talks about the his involvement with the Kernel Summit, Linux 3.0, the state of documentation and the growth of the Linux kernel community and the shifting demographic as involvement becomes more global.

A detailed report on what took place at the Summit can be found here.

Lots of interesting insights into the status and future of Linux!

The GDM login experience

A new GDM that uses OpenGL has been discussed and ideas have been thrown around. The project didn't make it into Intrepid, but hopefully we will see this new feature in the next Ubuntu release. It would help Ubuntu raise the bar and exceed the expectations. Of course this is again the work of Mirco Müller. Here is a link for the specs:

As you can see below, two previews have been released:

The login via GDM is meant to default to a face-browser allowing simple point-and-click user-selection. Only the password-entry will require the user to use the keyboard. It is still possible to type in the login-id instead of selecting the user with a mouse-click on her/his image. This will also cause the set of displayed user-faces to be filtered to the remaining completion-possibilities, thus rendering the remaining images larger and making the hit-area for a mouse-click even bigger.

The official name of it is "Login Experience" now, not "Face Browser" anymore.

Read Mirco Müller own blog post here:

Nov 13, 2008

New startup sound in Ubuntu 9.04

If you feel the bongo drum sound at login is a bit outdated, you will most likely find good news in this post.
From my previous posts on system sounds, you will know that I've composed and recorded a set of sounds that were purposed for Intrepid Ibex. With good reason my sounds did not make it into the 8.10 release, but new sounds is certainly needed in Ubuntu.

For the Ubuntu 9.04 release (named Jaunty Jackalope) new sound suggestions will be purposed by the sound designer and composer Diego Stocco. A quick visit to his website will convince you that this guy is very very talented. With the next Ubuntu release due in April, Diego still have plenty of time to do his magic. The distant release date probably explains why no work yet has been published.

Will this be the guy that brings Ubuntu beautiful, unique and memorable sounds? As always, no one knows what will make it into the next release, but this sounds very promising. In the end, it's up to Mark Shuttleworth to decide what will be included. Let us hope that Mark welcomes Diego's work - you never know.

With the new teams (desktop, bling,...) in place, Gnome 3 coming, the desktop users could be in for a treat within the next few releases. Looking forward to the future with Linux.


Nov 8, 2008

User experience, bling and eye candy

Canonical have for months been hiring designers and user experience staff. It has taken much longer than they hoped, but in January/February hopefully a new team will be in place. Whether their initial work will make a dramatic visual impact on Jaunty, no one knows yet. At the Ubuntu Open Week Thusday 6. November 2008 Mark Shuttleworth made this statement in a Q+A session:

...I know that other work, on the user experience front, will land, but i'll keep some surprises in store till later.

You can grab the whole Q+A session on the Ubuntu Open Week wiki.

The new team, the Canonical Desktop Experience Team, is coming together, but recently Mirco Müller (aka the king of bling) registered a new very interesting team called Bling Brigade.
Both teams looks very promising (and very much alike) in the case of bringing a greater user experience, bling and eye candy to the linux desktop.

Let hope these new teams will succeed. If your unfamilliar with Mirco Müllers work, you can be enlightened be the video clip below or check his website

UPDATE: The video seems to be down at the moment so here's the direct link:

Oct 29, 2008

Change the default screensaver from black to ubuntu logo

For a while I've tried to get the Ubuntu desktop team to change the default screensaver from black to the animated floating ubuntu logos, but with no luck.

The problem with the current screensaver is that the first time you meet it is when the screen suddenly turns black during the installation. That is very confusing for most users, as the first thought always is that the installation has crashed.

To avoid this confusion and help brand Ubuntu I therefor suggested that floating ubuntu should be default screensaver. This could not be done since saving power is a higher priority - witch seems like a very good reason to decline this suggestion (You can read the debate on the maillinglist links below). So on the 20. October 2008 I added yet another suggestion using both the floating ubuntu screensaver and the powersaving mode.

After five minutes the floating Ubuntu screensaver would start, and two/three minutes later again, the screen would go into a power saving mode.

To me it seems this would solve both our problems and the solution is even very simple to incorporate. However, nine days later not a single reply has been posted on the matter! Why is that?

Oct 22, 2008

DIY release poster

I get a lot of emails from people asking me to upload the release party poster without any text. So if you are having your own release party, all you need to do is download the image below and add your text. Enjoy :-)

Blank_810_poster.tif (18,6 MB)

I should mention the image file is in CMYK colors, .TIF format and is 18,6 MB

Oct 21, 2008

Danish Ubuntu 8.10 Release Party artwork

Some of you may remember my post back in Marts "Danish Ubuntu 8.04 Release Party artwork". Ones again I've made a few suggestions for this Danish Ubuntu Release Party artwork. As always, there's no guarantee that the Danish LOCO team will use my work - but if they want to, they can.

I just realize now, that the 8.04 post doesn't have the final poster that got printed! Here it is:

Oct 16, 2008

No new system sounds

I'm sad to announce that the sounds I suggested as new system sounds for Ubuntu 8.10 will not be included. It has been decided that they were too Vista-ish and what Ubuntu is looking for is something that is just as memorable as it is different.

UPDATE: You'll find a updated version on this download link

And if you missed the New System Sounds post, here it is: "New System Sounds" post.


Ubiquity (the Ubuntu installer) was going to get a new look for 8.10, but due too more crucial issues this has been postponed and that is of course very understandable.
Work has already started on the installer slideshow. You can browse the (.glade and SVG) files on Launchpad.

I really really hope the look and feel or the slickness of Ubuntu will change dramatically for 9.04 (slideshow installer, new theme, new sounds...)

In the style of OpenSUSE here is another of my PS creations :-)

Oct 14, 2008

Ubuntu Wanted update

I've added the new orange banner to the Wanted site (only HTML so far) and made a little Wanted icon for the site. Not everything is possible when you move from a mockup to actual code - especially not with my skills. Here is what the site looks like at the moment:

In case you are wondering why this screenshot is from Windows XP, the explanation is that I need Adobe Photoshop CS3 running. My old Photoshop 7 runs fine with Wine on Ubuntu, but that's another story.
When the code is converted to Durpal it should be uploaded to

The volunteer pool needs some more discussion (more developers are also needed) so that part of the project is for now postponed.

If you want to know more about the progress of the site, check the Ubuntu website mailinglist. Ironically, this project needs help it self. Anything you can contribute is welcome, basic PHP and SQL skills are necessary for coding. Contact Sense either on #ubuntu-website on the IRC, or email the Ubuntu Website mailing list.

Oct 13, 2008

Music: The Mark Shuttleworth beat

I did a few suggestion for the Ubuntu free culture showcase. I realize now
that the music I uploaded didn't have that much to do with Ubuntu.
I know this is early, but I just wanted to try out a new idea that I
want to submit next time (if there will be a next time). (1,6 MB)

Oct 10, 2008

Favorite Ubuntu/linux links

If your using Ubuntu there's a few really good sites I would recommend. Here's my top five in random order:

If you got some good Ubuntu related links, please share them with us.

Oct 6, 2008

Ibex wallpaper

If you were one of the people voting on Brainstorm for animal wallpapers for Ubuntu, you might been hoping for an ibex to appear on the Ubuntu 8.10 wallpaper.
However, this isn't very likely to happen as the current wallpaper for the BEAT release doesn't.
Softpedia wrote:
...there's a brand new wallpaper and like it or not, this will be the default one for the final release of Ubuntu 8.10.

Personally I will really miss the ibex. Especially since there's some great ibex artwork on the Art-maillist. Rico Sta. Cruz have made his ibex artwork available for anyone who wants to do their own remix. Here are a few of the remix's I like - take a look below:

Oct 5, 2008

Ubuntu wanted

I've also been working on a layout for the Ubuntu Wanted site.
This will be a great tool for the community ones it's done. Sense Hofstede is doing a great job getting the project started. Of course again, this is just a mockup ;-)

Oct 1, 2008

8.10 firefox startpage

So I'm working on a firefox startpage for Ubuntu 8.10 - no guarantee it will be included, but here's a few of my suggestion. You can take a look at the 8.04 startpage here:

On the mailing list we talked about making the page fit screens with low resolution. So these versions are only 772px wide:

Here are some older version (for high resolution screens):

Sep 15, 2008

New system sound

I've been working on a set of system sound that I want to purpose for Intrepid Ibex. So far I've done two version (a Rhodes and a TS-404 version).

Personally I like the Rhodes version best, but I seems many people want short, fast or no sounds.

Check it out on Gnome-look:

or go direct to the download site:

Below you can see the score I've composed for the sounds:


Aug 1, 2008

Guitar Heros clone

Frets on Fire is a game of musical skill and fast fingers. The aim of the game is to play guitar with the keyboard as accurately as possible.

"Frets on Fire" runs on Windows™, Linux®, Mac OS X™ and FreeBSD®

Jul 6, 2008

Intrepid Countdown Banners

So here is some suggestions for Intrepid countdown banners:

Hardy Heron cover returns

Since the release of Hardy Heron I've come across quite a few sites where my work is posted. It's always nice when people give you positive feedback, but I guess the biggest gesture is when people post your work on their site ;-)

Did you miss my Hardy Heron cover post?
Looking back (or ahead at Intrepid Ibex) I've learned that everything has to be in CMYK colors!

Here are some sites where it has been uploaded:

Jul 3, 2008

Sound design ad

I want to make an ad to motivate musicians to create and submit system sounds suggestions to Ubuntu. So far I've come up with these two ads and started the website

or a white version:

Jun 30, 2008

Dark theme porposed the Ibex

So the Ubuntu 8.10 (Ibex) alpha is out and it's shiped with a dark theme default.

If you want to try the new theme on Hardy, just add this to your sources.list and upgrade your packages.

deb hardy main

Jun 24, 2008


Here is some artwork I did for Rhythmbox. This is done in Adobe PhotoShop 7 using WINE on Ubuntu 8.04

Maybe the Ubuntu logo is a little too much ;-)

Jun 4, 2008

Ubuntu Global Bug Jam!


People of the world rejoice for I am delighted to announce our very first Ubuntu Global Bug Jam which will take place from Fri 8th August to Sun 10th August 2008.

So, what is the Ubuntu Global Bug Jam? Well, let me explain. Put simply, it is a world-wide online and face-to-face event to get people together to fix Ubuntu bugs - we want to get as many people online fixing bugs, having a great time doing so, and putting their brick in the wall for free software. This is not only a great opportunity to really help Ubuntu, but to also get together with other Ubuntu fans to make a difference together, either via your LoCo team, your LUG, other free software group, or just getting people together in your house/apartment to fix bugs and have a great time.

…believe me, a collection of Ubuntu geeks, some pizza and some cans of something delicious make for a fun time, that’s for sure.

If you are in a LoCo Team, the Ubuntu Global Bug Jam it a great opportunity for LoCo Teams to get together and have a physical bug-jam, which in turn becomes a great opportunity to drink tea, eat biscuits, and possibly listen to death metal if you are so inclined (well, you can ignore the death metal bit). To get started there is a Running a Bug Jam guide, which offers some helpful advice for getting your jam organised. If you are in a Linux User Group why not try and organise a bug jam for your LUG too?

If you are planning on organising a jam for your group, just follow these steps:

  1. Decide on a venue and dates, and start letting people know about where and when the jam is. You might want to post to other local groups to let them know so they can attend. Take a read of the Running a Bug Jam page to help you get started.
  2. Update the Ubuntu Global Bug Jam and add your jam to it. Be sure to add any specific applications your local participants are interested in in the Interests box - we will then try to get upstream specialists to the Jam who can help with debugging on IRC.
  3. Blog about it, post to mailing lists, put flyers up in computer shops and other places and otherwise spread the word. :)
  4. On the day we will post more information about getting involved in the jam
We will be posting more information about how the global bug jam will work closer to the time.

May 31, 2008

UNetbootin will make a bootable liveUSB drive

UNetbootin allows for the installation of various Linux/BSD distributions to a partition or USB drive, so it's no different from a standard install, only it doesn't need a CD. It can create a dual-boot install, or replace the existing OS entirely.

UNetbootin has built-in support for many distributions. It works with Linux and Windows. Check it out for yourself:

May 21, 2008

Ubuntu Developer Channel

The Ubuntu Developer Channel on YouTube has gone live - a site that will be stuffed full of videos about Ubuntu development. To kick off the channel, Tony Whitmore will be doing interviews throughout UDS this week. The first couple are with James Westby of bzr fame and Jono Bacon.

Keep an eye on the Ubuntu Developer Channel this week, as more videos are added.

May 9, 2008

Microsoft Office 2007 on Ubuntu

Thanks to WeeManDan at the Ubuntu forum, here is a guide to get Microsoft Office 2007 running on Ubuntu:

  1. Install Wine - sudo apt-get install wine
  2. Follow the instructions here, I suggest making the permanent file change as else you'll have to run it after every reboot
  3. At the terminal run winecfg and change the under libraries change rpcrt4.dll and msxml3.dll to Windows native.
  4. Go to /home/username/.wine/drive_c/windows/system32 and delete the two dll's above
  5. Add this dll to the folder above
  6. Get this text, save it to a file locally and run the file by sh filename
  7. When this runs, select the 3 msxml options and let the installs for these run
  8. Now run setup.exe from your Office 2007 installation disk
  9. Following this, run the winetricks script from before again and run dotnet2
  10. All being well, success!

Also, following installation you might notice that you can't access all the shortcuts as the GNOME window gets in the way, you can get around this by disabling 'Allow the window manager to control the windows' in the wine config.

Apr 6, 2008

Web banner

So here is the latest version of my Ubuntu release party banner for the danish release party in Aarhus. I know that this one isn't very pretty, but it's suppose to be eye catchy with the bold yellow color. Unfortunately I wasn't able to include the Ubuntu font or logo in this banner. Let me know what you think...

Mar 27, 2008

Did you miss Ubuntu Live 2007?

Although it's almost a year ago, you might find the Ubuntu Live 2007 clips interesting if you missed it. Personally, I'm really looking forward to the next Ubuntu Live.

As founder of the Ubuntu project, Mark Shuttleworth will give an overview of Ubuntu today: an emerging force in the consumer, developer, and server platform marketplace. He will introduce some key themes for the conference, as well as the keynote speakers who will map out the Ubuntu universe and broader free software trends in more detail. This conference brings together people using Ubuntu in a wide variety of environments -- from large-scale corporate infrastructures, to government deployments across thousands of schools, on hardware that ranges from thin clients and mobile internet tablets to massively multicore servers. Shuttleworth will chart the planned course of Ubuntu over the next 12 months, including their commitment to deliver another LTS (Long Term Support) release.

Also, check out Ubuntu Live 2008:

Mar 20, 2008

Danish Ubuntu 8.04 Release Party artwork

I'm working on some posters for the danish Ubuntu 8.04 release party in Aarhus and I've made a few suggestions, that I want to share with you. I really hope that my artwork will be selected to promote the release party, but the decision is not mine to make.

And here is the first web banner for the release. I think it could work better if it was animated, I will be working on a new version using Flash.