Feb 28, 2009

Jaunty Countdown Banners

Like I've done in the past (for Intrepid Ibex and other projects), I've spent a little time working on Jaunty countdown banners this weekend. Below are the four banners I've come up with so far. You can post your own ideas and get more information about countdown banners here: https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Website/JauntyCountdownBanners

Feb 26, 2009

Multiple Desktop Environments in a Single Linux Install

Shawn Powers (The Associate Editor for Linux Journal) has made this short video showing how simple it is to start sessions using different desktop managers on a single Linux installation.

Feb 25, 2009

More Notification Information...

Just as you thought you've heard everything about the new notification in Jaunty (and also in Intrepid), here is yet another post on the same topic.

This is just a quick tip for anyone using another theme than the Human theme on Jaunty. Without the Human theme you'll get a translucent black box when notifications pop up, because the icons are aren't included in any other themes yet. Simply by appending Human to your theme's inheritance in index.theme:

That way you won't have to keep re-copying the icons every time the art team updates the human-icon-theme package.

Thanks to pferraro from the Ubuntuforum for this tip.

A How-To For Writing Notifications

Mirco Müller has written a wiki page about notification development guidelines. Though it isn’t done yet, C, Python and C#-examples are provided there. These examples are self-contained and act as a good copy&paste source for anybody who wants to adapt existing or new code to the Jaunty notifications. You’ll see correct checking of daemon capabilities and name. For a better overview of the different layout-cases screenshots are shown too.


Feb 24, 2009

Jaunty's New Login Screen And Other Features

Softpedia has just posted a sneak peek at some of the upcoming features in Jaunty. One of these new features was introduces with tonight's updates and it is a brand new login screen a.k.a. GDM (GNOME Display Manager) theme, which is black and has a nice Ubuntu logo in the right bottom corner. The new login screen is entitled "Human" and it was created by Kenneth Wimer and Mat Tomaszewski for Canonical.

Check it out here...

1 of 3 Dell Inspiron Mini Netbooks Sold With Linux

According to an article in Laptop Magazine on-line, one-third of Dell Inspiron Mini 9s netbooks are sold with the Ubuntu Linux operating system. Dell senior product manager John New attributed the sales volume to the lower price point of the Ubuntu Linux machines. And the return rate of the Ubuntu Linux machines is approximately equal to that of comparable netbooks sold with Microsoft Windows XP. Dell spokesperson Jay Pinkert attriutes the low return rate to Dell's good communications with its customers, saying 'We have done a very good job explaining to folks what Linux is.'

Source: http://blog.laptopmag.com/one-third-of-dell-inspiron-mini-9s-sold-run-linux

Feb 23, 2009

And The Winner Is...

I’m ready to announce the winner of the Hardy Heron DVD cover contest! I’ve randomly picked the winner from all the emails I've received. Thanks to everyone for the amazing feedback. I'm not going to keep you in suspense any longer, the winner is... Stefan Ericsson from Sweden. Congratulations to Stefan, there's a mailman coming your way very soon :-)

Rotate The Compiz Cube With Your Feet!

This is just crazy! Check it out:

YouTube demo here...

DIY tutorial here...

Get The New Notifications On Intrepid

Stefano Forenza wrote a how-to on how to get the new notifications on Intrepid Ibex.

Find his personal blog here...

You can also find a similar guide on Softpedia here...

This video was made by Alex Rybicki, who wrote the "original" post on this topic.

More info here...

Speaker Review: Bose Companion 2

So I was looking for a new set of small speakers to replace my old setup which had an hifi amplifier and hifi speakers.
The things the where most important to me was:

- Great sound
- Small
- No subwoofer
- Robust hardware

Logitech Z-10
There were to sets that I especially looked at; BOSE Companion 2 Series II and Logitech Z-10. The Logitech Z-10 speakers sounded excellent, looked very slick and had a display that showed song title, volume and etc., but needed a driver installed to work properly. There were a few forum posts that described how to get Z-10 working on Linux. With problems like having no sound (hard to ignore that one!) or display not working, I quickly decide I wanted something less futuristic (and something that works out-of-the-box). On the front-panel there were over ten touch-buttons that I felt didn't really emphasize robust hardware, as I was looking for.

BOSE Companion 2 Series II
The BOSE Companion 2 Series II was the ones I ended up buying. The speakers are smaller than the Z-10 and has only one knob on the front for volume. The sound is great (though the bass can be a little indistinct at times) and (a big plus for me) there's a headphone jacks on the front. One thing I don't like is the power switch - or, more specifically, the absence of one. I have no idea how much power they use in "stand-by" mode, but a real switch would be nice. I will have to get a USB Power Strip. They also have dual RCA inputs which lets you connect your computer and iPod at the same time, so you don't have to fiddle about with wires when you want to change audio source. They don't make any noise when they're not playing, so you completely forget that they always are turned on.
The Bose Companion 2 Series 2 speakers are really really good and has a lot to offer, but they're not the absolute best-sounding PC speakers in their price class.

Price range: $89.00 - $99.00

More info about BOSE Companion 2 speakers or here...

Feb 21, 2009

Mandriva BootSpeed

It seems boot performance is a hot topic these days. Reducing boot time is also one of the goals for Jaunty Jakalope (Jaunty is already showing good results) and will improve even further with Karmic Koala. Mandriva however has a slightly different approach to reduce boot time called Speedboot.

Speedboot is a specific boot time mode on a standard Mandriva Linux 2009 Spring where graphical system is started as early. This mode allows users to interact with their system much earlier than it was possible before, so they don't feel frustrated because their system isn't ready yet.

In Speedboot mode, some tasks are done very early in the boot process, other are delayed after graphical display manager has been displayed, and some tasks are ignored completely.

Speedboot has been designed to be transparent for our users : if system meets some criterias (not using network based authentication, not using encrypted partitions, ...), speedboot will be automatically enabled and used, with a fallback mechanism, in the event display manager could not be started properly, so standard (ie slow) boot would still be used to start display manager (for instance, if you boot on a new kernel and your dkms driver haven't been rebuilt yet). Of course, users will also have the possibility to completely disable speedboot if they don't like it.

The project is still in it's initial phase, but if you want to know more about Bootspeed you can read Frédéric Crozat' detailed explanation about bootspeed here.

More info on the Mandriva wiki: http://wiki.mandriva.com/en/2009.1-speedboot

Source: Frédéric Crozat

PulseAudio News

Just yesterday we looked at the Ear Candy 0.3 which is a sound level manager that nicely fades applications in and out based on there profiles. In an Email from Jason Taylor (the creator of Ear Candy) he wrote that in the future PulseAudio should be able to assign profiles through environment variables and desktop files with no UI required at all. It seems the future is already here!

Today I read Lennart Poettering' blogpost titled "Tagging Audio Streams" where he talks about exactly this. Here's a quote from his blogpost:

...PulseAudio can enforce all kinds of policy on sounds. For example, starting in 0.9.15, we will automatically pause your media player while a phone call is going on. To implement this we however need to know what the stream you are sending to PulseAudio should be categorized as: is it music? Is it a movie? Is it game sounds? Is it a phone call stream?

Also, PulseAudio would like to show a nice icon and an application name next to each stream in the volume control. That requires it to be able to deduce this data from the stream.

The feature will be available in PulseAudio 0.9.15, so will will have to wait for Karmir Koala, since PulseAudio 0.9.15 won't land in Jaunty.

Source: Lennart Poettering

Feb 20, 2009

Karmic Koala is mascot for Ubuntu 9.10

With Ubuntu 9.04, the Jaunty Jackalope, now in a feature freeze for the April release of this distribution update, Mark Shuttleworth has announced the Ubuntu 9.04 successor.

Succeeding Ubuntu 9.04 come October will be Ubuntu 9.10, which has been codenamed the Karmic Koala. With Ubuntu 9,10, Mark hopes the Karmic Koala further enhances Ubuntu's position on servers with cloud computing improvements and on the desktop through a number of emerging technologies.

Ubuntu 9.10 will contain cloud computing enhancements for those using the Amazon EC2 service or for those looking to build their own computing cloud. There will be new utilities and other improvements in the free software stack to better position Ubuntu in the cloud.

As for the desktop, there's a lot of thing we hope will land in Ubuntu 9.10. For example will it most likely integrate Plymouth. Plymouth is the wonderful project developed by Red Hat to replace RHGB as the boot splash program. Plymouth was introduced with Fedora 10 and uses kernel mode-setting (on supported drivers/hardware) to provide a clean and flicker-free experience. Plymouth also has a number of plug-ins and other capabilities that makes it an excellent replacement for USplash. We previously reported on plans for Plymouth integration in Ubuntu 9.10.

Beyond finally having an Ubuntu release with kernel mode-setting support (since Ubuntu 9.04 will not ship with Linux 2.6.29 that brings forth KMS), on the desktop front the Karmic Koala will also focus on netbook improvements.

In the Ubuntu 9.10 announcement, Mark wants Ubuntu to be able to boot on netbooks in under 25 seconds with Jaunty and even faster with the Koala. More on boot performance here. Beyond that, more improvements will come in the Ubuntu Netbook Edition spin of the Karmic Koala.

It is also planned that Ubuntu 9.10 will feature the long awaited Face-browser.

As part of announcing Ubuntu 9.10, Mark Shuttleworth has also stated the next Ubuntu Developer Summit will take place at the end of May in Barcelona, Spain.
If you want to know more about the koalas, Mike Basinger wrote a blogpost titled "10 things you did not know about Karmic Koalas" which is very funny.

The Ubuntu 9.10 "Karmic Koala" announcement can be found on the Ubuntu developer mailing list.

Compiz 0.8.0 Has Been Released

Compiz 0.8 was branched from master back in November, but only today do we now have the v0.8.0 release of Compiz. Since that point the future of Compiz was called into question and Compiz++ had emerged as a C++ rewrite of Compiz that also brings a separation of the Composite and OpenGL layers, a new plug-in design, and other changes.

It was then decided earlier this month that the Compiz developers would release Compiz 0.8 and then go on to merge Nomand and Compiz++ back into Compiz prior to reaching a 1.0 status. Compiz++ will be merged into Compiz prior to version 0.9.0 while Nomad will follow that. It was also determined around the same time that Compiz Fusion will be dropped.

Now there is a more clear future to Compiz, but today we have the Compiz 0.8.0 release to celebrate. Since the release of Compiz 0.7.8 back in September, Compiz has picked up new plug-in changes, proper GNOME 2.24 support, memory leak fixes, adjustments for KDE 4.2, and a large number of bug-fixes.

The Compiz 0.8.0 release announcement can be found on the project's mailing list. Compiz 0.8.0 will be found in the next round of Q2'09 distribution updates, including Ubuntu 9.04 and Fedora 11.

Source: Phoronix

More Ear Candy (0.3)

Ear Candy is, as mentioned earlier, a sound level manager, written by Jason Taylor, that nicely fades applications in and out based on there profile and window focus. Let's say you are listing to music and suddenly a Skype call comes. Ear Candy will lower the music automatically for you until the Skype call is ended. A real win for user-experience. Of course the same is possible for movie-players, Firefox or whatever you want. It's about time we started feeling the benefits of PulseAudio.
Here's a demo:

I would personally really love to see this integrated into the GNOME "Sound
Preferences", where Fedora is doing a lot of work on at the moment. In an Email I asked Jason Taylor if he had thought about integrating the project upstream and here's his reply:

...Much of this is going to move down to the pulseaudio level shortly, part of this work will allow assigning profiles through environment variables and desktop files, hopefully in the future no UI will be required at all. That being said pulseaduio and many apps are not going to work out of the box for a while to come.
I really wrote this app because I use Skype for work constantly and I like being able to mute music when the phone rings :)
Thanks to open-source (and Jason Taylor) we all can benefit from this now!

Installing Ear Candy:
Currently there's no .DEB package, but you can download the Alpha version from Launchpad with a few commands in the terminal. You will need to have bzr installed. In the terminal write:

bzr branch lp:~killerkiwi2005/eyecandy/0.3/ -r20

Just go in the 0.3 directory and type:


Then a icon in the system tray should appear and you're good to go.

For more information, visit the project page on LaunchPad
Thanks to Stefano Forenza for helping me out and to Jason Taylor for improving the Linux user-experience.

Mark Shuttleworth - Interview

I can't help it - I love hearing Mark Shuttleworth talk. It's always so inspiring and he's always so positive.

Below is a really good interview that golem.de did titled "We are ourselves the biggest enemy". The video is part of a longer article written in German, but Google is your friend and will translate it for you here...

Feb 19, 2009

Are You A Registered Linux User?

If not, take 1 minute to register yourself. It’s fast :-)


Also, publish this invite on your blog if you have one, let’s help the project !

Feb 18, 2009

Notifications In The Wild

As Vadi posted in the comments on the previous post "What's MacSlow' Surprise?", Mirco Müller was talking about the new notification-daemon, which is now available in Jaunty.

As a small test just try to write the following command in the terminal: notify-send "Great news at:" "AnotherUbuntu.Blogspot.com" -i totem

The new notification daemon displays notifications in a black box (regardless of what your theme looks like). When Mark Shuttleworth bloged about the new notification system, he made it clear that we may see glitches and inconsistencies, even ideas that just doesn't work in the wild. Here's a quote from his post:

...Since this is clearly the work of several releases, we may have glitches and inconsistencies along the way at interim checkpoints. I hope not, but it’s not unlikely, especially in the first iteration. Also, these ideas may turn out to be poor, and we should be ready to adjust our course based on feedback once we have an implementation in the wild.

It's good to know that Canonical is and will respond to user-feedback. Jaunty is still in Alpha, so a lot of things can still change before the final release. Remember the feature freeze is tomorrow so everything thats going to ship has to be there (working or not), bug fixing now becoming the main priority. We're looking forward to more slick changes from the DX-team in the future.

Feb 17, 2009

What's MacSlow' Surprise?

Mirco "MacSlow" Müller, also known as "the king of bling", just released a very short blogpost where he reveals that something slick and stylish coming you way within the next few hours. The post is titled Surprise, surprise.

Mirco Müller is known for his work on the GDM login experience which we hope will land in Jaunty +1, but he will also be involved in the Plymouth development for Ubuntu.

As with all the amazing work of Mirco Müller, I'm really looking forward to this surprise. I will of course follow up on the story as more details are revealed. My guess is that he is talking about the new notification system. If you've got any idea what he is talking about, post your guesses below.

Installing A New Printer Just Became Easier

In the minutes from the desktop team meeting, Till Kamppeter writes about improvements for installing a new printer.

I implemented my improvement ideas for system-config-printer and hal-cups-utils upstream (packages to be uploaded to Ubuntu today or tomorrow):
* When installing a new printer and there is an exact driver match, skip the steps of make/model/driver selection and ask only for the queue name (driver can be changed afterwards though)

* If an HP printer needs HP's proprietary plug-in (firmware and so on), ask the user whether he agrees and load the plug-in with HP's hp-plugin utility. The user gets shown the list of features which the plugin adds for his printer and whether the plugin is required or optional

* If hal-cups-utils detects a printer and does not find an exactly matching driver or if the printer needs HP's proprietary plugin, it does not creat a queue any more. It sends a D-Bus message to the system-config-printer applet and by a simple click the user can initiate an interactive setup.

Feb 16, 2009

HP Mini Mi Linux screenshots

M. Freitas has shared some photos of the HP Mini 1000 Mi Edition which we mentioned earlier on this site. He also reports that booting is quick, while suspend and resume works really well.

HP really does make Linux look good. Grab the photos and screenshots here:
HP Mini Mi Linux screenshots

Feb 15, 2009

Ubuntu spawns new generation

In just the few years since it was released, Ubuntu Linux has inspired tens of new Linux distributions. Alastair Otter is looking at five of the best ones, in an article on MyBroadband.

In just the few years that Ubuntu Linux has been around it has become one of the most popular Linux versions available, ahead of others such as Red Hat, Suse and Mandriva. Ubuntu is not only a popular distribution in its own right, but it has spawned a new generation of Linux versions that use its underlying code to build versions for particular interest groups. Apart from the official Ubuntu derivatives such as Xubuntu, Kubuntu and Edubuntu, there are tens of other distributions built around the Ubuntu community.


Air and KDE 4.3.

Nuno Pinheiro has recently written a blogpost about Air and KDE 4.3. He writes:

...The first thing we started working on was a Plasma theme. Plasma, with it's immense plasticity and a fantastic coder team, allows us to try to push for new ideas.

Another extremely cool thing about Plasma is it's ability to become anything you want it to be. So a user in KDE 4.3 might have a desktop that looks like this, if that is his wish, without having to use external software:

This is an example of how simple one can make a desktop in the 4.3 Plasma once we all manage to get all of our plans working. The new systray speck will help, the work being done on the task bar will allow you for different ways to sort your running/ruanbe apps, etc etc...
KDE will very shortly become the desktop you need and not the desktop we think you need. And I find that very very exciting.

A visual guide is available that shows off some of the recent improvements in KDE 4.

Soruce: http://pinheiro-kde.blogspot.com/

Feb 14, 2009

Elisa Media Center Appliance

James Willcox has created a media center appliance with SUSE Studio to see how hard it would be. The appliance is based on openSUSE 11.1, and boots right into the excellent Elisa Media Center. You can download the image here. The tarball contains one file, which you can ‘dd’ to a USB storage device. On the first boot it will do some one-time setup like repartition and resize the disk, install NVIDIA or ATI video drivers (if appropriate), and setup X. Essentially SUSE Studio is a web interface which allows you to build your own customized version of SUSE. You can select packages, do some configuration, and even add your own branding.

What can you do with SUSE Studio?

* Create a tuned server appliance, containing your application and just enough operating system components
* Spin a live CD or DVD with just the packages and software you need
* Create a ready-to-run VMware virtual appliance
* Create a live USB key and carry your Linux system with you wherever you go
* Build a hard disk image for preloading onto hardware
* Install from your live CD, DVD or USB key to your hard drive

Download Elisa Media Center Appliance

Source: http://snorp.net/

Feb 13, 2009

Create a wallpaper for Ubuntu 9.04

Today Kenneth Wimer posted a message to the ubuntu-art mailinglist about the lack of organized effort for Jaunty. He also announced that the current status for Jaunty is as follows:

a) a decision concerning an alpha wallpaper using some form of one of the
mascot pics from the wiki is coming soon.

b) we need your help with a wallpaper.

More information can be found in the this .PDF. A lot of great information was used from the Kyudo project (https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Artwork/KyudoGuidelines).

The goal is to create a wide variety of wallpaper designs for Ubuntu 9.04 which express a message to the target audience and follow the design framework defined in this document.

Submission deadline March 1st, 2009.

Grab the Create a wallpaper for Ubuntu 9.04.PDF

Feb 12, 2009

What you WON'T get in Jaunty

Here’s a short list of what you won’t get in Ubuntu 9.04, but hopefully this will all be ready for Ubuntu 9.10. Some features will be available for test in Jaunty though PPA.

- EXT4 by default
- Plymouth (Available through PPA)
- Facebrowser / Login experience
- Kernel 2.26.29 (Available through PPA)
- PulseAudio 0.9.15
- GDM 2.4 (Available through PPA)
- GNOME Power Manager and Device Kit Power (Available through PPA)

Firefox 3.1 and 3.2 for hardy, intrepid and jaunty

Firefox 3.1 is creeping closer to its release and Mozilla has already started to look ahead to the browser’s next major update. (If you want a sneak peek at what’s in store for Firefox 3.2, you can read more here...)

For Ubuntu, Alexander Sack reports that there's now a daily PPA for bleeding edge Mozilla packages set up and running.

A main reason to track those daily builds is to notice packaging or upstream regressions as they come. Its much easier and more efficient to fix bugs if we have a narrow regression window than debugging something whose commit we cannot easily spot.

To get things started we added firefox-3.1 (xulrunner-1.9.1) and firefox-3.2 (xulrunner-1.9.2) to our daily build bot for now; more packages will be added based on demand and time.

Fortunately, the ubuntu mozillateam uses packaging techniques having backporters in mind and hence can easily provide the same builds for all “current” ubuntu releases (meaning: hardy, intrepid, jaunty are supported for now).

One of the new features being worked on for
Firefox 3.2 is Ubiquity (No not the Ubuntu installer).

If you are curious and want to track daily builds, subscribe to the “ubuntu-mozilla-daily” PPA: https://launchpad.net/~ubuntu-mozilla-daily/+archive.

Feel free to spread this around and encourage advanced users and mozilla fans to track that PPA, but remember that the daily packages are auto built without much testing and hence you might end up in unexpected bugs. So, be prepared to downgrade to the previous daily when that happens.

Also keep in mind that you shouldn’t file regressions of those daily packages in launchpad. Instead come to #ubuntu-mozillateam and let us know directly (alternatively send a mail to mailto:ubuntu-mozillateam@lists.ubuntu.com).

Source: Alexander Sack
Source: Inquisitr.com

Jaunty Kernel News

Pete Graner has tried to recap some of the more interesting things that have been going on with Ubuntu, specifically the kernel happenings in the Jaunty Jackalope release.

The Platform Team met in Berlin for the Jaunty Platform Sprint for the week of 2-6 Feb. This was an incredible event with the vast majority of the Canonical Engineering teams. Here is some of the roadmap items and the most interesting highlights...

Kernel Version:
The Jaunty Kernel version will be 2.6.28. The 2.6.29 kernel was considered, but it was not selected however due to all of the major changes. The primary reasons were due to the large number new features that are scheduled to land in it. Regression of functionality is a large concern and there would be a good chance of that happening given when estimated date that Linus will declare it baked. Unfortunately it just doesn't line up with the Jaunty release cycle. On the bright side... for Jaunty+1 we will have time to shake out any issues and are looking towards 2.6.30 or .31

Suspend & Resume:
Suspend & resume is one of the top priorities for this cycle. We ran a suspend and resume workshop with every notebook at the sprint.
Surprisingly we had a small number of failures. Most of them were on resume with NVidia video. We did not test the priority divers only the free ones. Out of 65 machines tested (various models) there were 12 failures.

We will be issuing a Call For Testing at the Beta release, however for those of you that want to play along at home early you can visit the Suspend/Resume wiki here: https://wiki.ubuntu.com/KernelTeam/SuspendResumeTesting and some more of the background material is here: https://wiki.ubuntu.com/KernelTeam/SuspendResume

Other notable suspend and resume news for Jaunty:
* There is a new testing script to test (and stress test) suspend resume.
* Suspend/Resume script will also be integrated into checkbox (aka System->Administration->System Testing) for ease of testing.
* If a suspend/resume cycle fails it is detected by apport and the user will have the option of filing a bug

Source: Pete Graner...

Feb 10, 2009

GNOME Shell Status

Owen Taylor has written another GNOME Shell status report. Here's a short version of his post:

The most obvious change visible here since my last post are workspaces. As you add and remove workspaces they slide in and off the screen with a slick animation. Marina added the recent documents section to the sidebar with the appropriate thumbnails. Marinas also working on adding the ability to expand the sidebar sections to the full screen so you can browse More applications or files.
Colin added a user menu to the right side of the panel, so now you can actually log out, switch users, etc, from within gnome-shell.

Colin also did a quick hack to get the current GNOME taskbar to show up at the bottom of the screen. We’d like to do something better, or at least visually slicker, in the long term, but this fills in a big hole in the ability to just use GNOME shell day-to-day.
There’s some more interesting work in the pipeline - enhancements to the “More” views, monitoring the applications that the user is using and so forth. See our Todo for ideas about ways you could help, or join us on IRC in #gnome-shell and ask questions.

For more information you can also visit the Gnome Shell wiki: http://live.gnome.org/GnomeShell/
Source: http://blog.fishsoup.net/

Feb 9, 2009

Install additional plugins for Compiz 0.7.8

After the "How to change icon size in Nautilus sidebar" post, here's yet another how-to guide.

Recently, I installed the Compiz screensaver plugin on Interpid Ibex and wanted to share my experience with you. IT'S AWESOME! There is so many amazing plugins which were left out of the default Compiz installation. Anaglyph, atlantis, atlantis2, cubemodel, dialog, elements, extra-animations, fireflies, freewins, ghost, photowheel, screensaver, snowglobe, stars just to name a few of the more popular plugins.
Anyway, this very detailed post will walk you though everything you need: Here...

To see what each plugin does, search YouTube

Ubuntu Wanted meeting

Just a quick reminder that there's a Ubuntu Wanted meeting Monday 9. February, 20:00 – 21:00 UTC on the #ubuntu-website IRC. Pleas,e feel free to drop by and eavesdrop.

Fridge Calendar: http://fridge.ubuntu.com/calendar
Sense mailing-list post: here...

Points that will be discussed:
* New theme design of MadsRH
* How to gain manpower
* Discussion of feature set and scope

AWN Dock 0.3.2 released

Avant Window Navigator has released version 0.3.2 today and it represents a year's worth of bugfixes and performance improvements. This includes the release of the core dock, "awn", and all the applets and plugins, "awn-extras". There was a combination of about 130 bug fixes and feature requests closed in this release, including a few entirely new applets! One of the new applet (moderately pointless I admit) is the Animal Farm applet, which displays a cute animal who gives you a fortune on a click, thereupon changing to a different random animal. Below is a shot of 10 of them running :)

Other fun applets include a new customizable notification tray applet which supports transparency (with GTK 2.15+ in Jaunty), a flexible web comics applet, a new themeable clock, a simple to-do list, as well as plugins for Remember The Milk and Tomboy. Don't forget that great applets like Pandora, weather, calendar, and shinyswitcher (a desktop switcher) already exist and have been improved as well.

Awn-manager has also gotten a lot of love since the last release; managing themes and launchers should provide a much better user experience. Tons of bugs have been squashed in awn-manager and most changes will be reflected immediately...no need to restart AWN!

For more detailed information please check out Mark Lee's blog post, one of the main developers. To get it, check out the PPA, and don't forget to Digg it!

Source: Michael Rooney

How to change icon size in Nautilus sidebar

While we're waiting for the Nautilus sidebar to categorize items displayed with headings, we can make the sidebar a little more beautiful by changing a little code ourselves.
On the Ubuntu forum is a how-to guide that allows you to change the icon size in the Places sidebar in Nautilus filemanager. See modified Nautilus screenshot below:

It requires getting a bit technical and it will take some time. You should be able to uninstall this simply by reinstalling nautilus package with Synaptic, but use it at your own risk! The original how-to guide was written for Feisty Fawn(in 2005), but a single step can be altered for Interpid Ibex.

Read the whole thread here...

Feb 8, 2009

Breathe Icon Set - A call for help

Yesterday, Cory Kontros posted a development/announcement thread on the Ubuntu forum, because the Breathe Icon set is looking for help. Currently there are only 2 people working on this set. The project is still very young, but off to a good start. All the icons are available as SVGs, which means that they are scalable. The forum thread reads:

Breathe Icon Set is a new effort to create a set of icons mixing the modern style of KDEs "Oxygen" icons with Ubuntu's "Human" set. Oxygen is a good, comprehensive and modern icon set. It doesn't have overly heavy outlines like Tango, but for our needs, it lacks the "Human-touch". So we will use it as a starting point.

We start with a base Oxygen set and replace the icons as suitable ones are created. The idea is to create as modern a set as Oxygen but with that distinctly Human feel.
Also, this set aims to one day be considered for a default replacement for the Human set but is in no way dependent on it.

The set is constantly evolving so what's here one day might not be the next. So try to keep any aesthetic ranting to a minimum. (especially if you offer up no alternative that you sit down and create)

Other info links:
* Launchpad page
* Wiki
* Mailing List

People wanting to help with the creation of this set are encouraged to join the Ubuntu artwork mailing list and read over the wiki for resources.

Read the full post on the Ubuntu Forum

Feb 7, 2009

Ubuntu Wanted website

As mentioned earlier, I've been working on a new proposal for the Ubuntu Wanted site. I've already created the theme that is currently used on the test site. However the design seems to lack a professionel touch, which I'm hoping this new design will bring.
You can follow the discussion on the Ubuntu-website mailinglist.

This is the most recent mockup of the website:

Tiled wallpaper

I had to create a tiled wallpaper to use on my new layout for the Ubuntu Wanted site. I've added a very small Ubuntu logo. You can see the current site layout here...

I thought I would share my work with you. So if you are looking for a new background for your website or desktop grab the images below:

Here you can see what it looks like on the desktop, though it works better on websites.

101th Post - And a Contest!

I can't believe that I've written over one hundred posts on this blog. I guess it just goes to show that there's a lot going on in the open-source, Linux and Ubuntu world. Today I did a Google search for Ubuntu cover and to my surprise my Hardy Heron DVD cover came up as one of the top results! Although I got some great feedback, I never would have expected something like that.

So, what has this got to do with the contest? Well, I've decided to give away a copy of Ubuntu 8.04.2 LTS with my Hardy Heron DVD cover artwork.

How can I win? All you have to do, is send me an email describing what you like, dislike, love or hate about AnotherUbuntu.Blogspot.Com. Don't be afraid to give criticism as the winner will be randomly chosen (and not based on what he or she actually has written). The end on this competition will be announced on this blog.

I'm looking forward to some great feedback. Game on...


Feb 6, 2009

Gnome Adds Fading Between Backgrounds

In Nautilus, gnome-desktop and gnome-settings-daemon, patches from Ray Strode landed, adding support for fading between backgrounds.

Kurros uploaded a video of the fade effect: http://ezri.org/nautilusfade.ogv (1360x768 Ogg Theora, 3.6 MB)

Ubuntu Vs. Fedora Artwork

Aaron Toponce has a blog post on which looks better: Ubuntu or Fedora artwork.

Both distributions have done a solid job in artwork and look-and-feel for their operating system. No doubt. However, there have been some bumpy roads with both as well.
What do you think about the artwork between the two biggest GNU/Linux distributors? Share your judgments and opinions in the comments on Aarons blog.

All images are in order of release from oldest to newest.

Feb 5, 2009

Benchmarked: Ubuntu vs Vista vs Windows 7

Recent and controversial benchmarks for Windows 7 leave an important question unanswered: 'Is it faster than GNU/Linux?' Here, at last, is a benchmark that pits Ubuntu, Vista and Windows 7 against each other on the same modern hardware. From install time to GUI efficiency, Ubuntu beats Windows and is often twice as fast. Where Windows 7 is competitive, the difference is something the average user would not notice. The average GNU/Linux user is now getting better absolute performance from their computer as well as better value than the average Windows user.

The tests performed for each operating system were:

* How long does each operating system take to install?
* How much disk space was used in the standard install?
* How long does boot up and shutdown take?
* How long does it take to copy files from USB to HD, and from HD to HD?
* How fast can it execute the Richards benchmark?

The test also kept track of, something as unusual as, how many mouse clicks it took to install each OS.

Read the full article here...

Source: Slashdot

Custom Ubuntu for Netbooks from HP

The netbooks are clearly riding the big wave right now, with all kinds of OEMs fighting a violent battle for supremacy in this exponentially growing market. Architects, designers, engineers are brainstorming day and night to find the perfect balance between price, functionality, looks and size.
Apparently HP had an ace up their sleeve as they recently unveiled the HP Mini 1000 Mi Edition. Standing for "Mobile internet," the Mi name addresses the very purpose of netbooks: that of taking the internet "to-go."

For OS options you have is XP or a custom Ubuntu variant. The Ubuntu version is basically a home screen of sorts that will give you one click access to almost everything Internet related. Over on the left column you’ll have easy access to your mail. And in the middle column you’ll be able to quickly access the websites using a custom Mozilla based browser by typing the address in the address bar/search field at the top or a thumbnail of one of your favorite sites. Over on the right you’ll have a basic media player and photo organizer. The bottom row will show what apps you currently have open.

If you want to try the theme, just add these sources to your sources.list (or add them through System -> Administration -> Software Sources). USE AT OWN RISK!

deb http://hpmini.archive.canonical.com/mie/ hardy main universe multiverse restricted deb-src http://hpmini.archive.canonical.com/mie/ hardy main universe multiverse restricted

deb http://hpmini.archive.canonical.com/mie/ hardy-updates main universe multiverse restricted deb-src http://hpmini.archive.canonical.com/mie/ hardy-updates main universe multiverse restricted

deb http://hpmini.archive.canonical.com/mie/ hardy-security main universe multiverse restricted deb-src http://hpmini.archive.canonical.com/mie/ hardy-security main universe multiverse restricted

deb http://hpmini.archive.canonical.com/mie/ hardy-hpmini main universe multiverse restricted deb-src http://hpmini.archive.canonical.com/mie/ hardy-hpmini main universe multiverse restricted

More information on the theme installation here...
Find more about the HP Mini 1000 Mi, by visiting the HP website.
Source: http://news.softpedia.com

Ubuntu Free Culture Showcase Deadline

Just a quick reminder to let everyone know that Friday 6th February 2009 is the deadline for the Ubuntu Free Culture Showcase submissions.

If you want a shot at getting you music, video or imagery installed and enjoyed on millions of Ubuntu desktops all around the world, now is the time. Head over and join in the competition!

The Ubuntu Free Culture Showcase is an opportunity to show off high quality free culture content in Ubuntu. At the heart of Ubuntu's ethos is a belief in showcasing free software and free culture, and with each development cycle we open the opportunity for any Free Culture artist to put their work in front of millions of Ubuntu users around the world. Although the space restrictions are tight, and we are limited to how much content we can include, this is an excellent opportunity for artists everywhere.

As mentioned earlier, I've submitted an audio piece titled "Mark".

Canonical Publishes In-Depth Survey Results

Four months ago, in September 2008, Canonical Ltd. started a survey for their Ubuntu Server Edition client, with the main purpose of finding how it was used in organizations, regardless of their type or size. According to the press release, 6819 organizations, having from 1 to more than 10,000 employees, were included in the very detailed survey.

More information can be found on the Canonical blog. http://blog.canonical.com/

Source: http://news.softpedia.com/

Feb 4, 2009

Linux Ear Candy

That's right, ear- and not eye-candy this time. A new project called "Ear Candy" has seen the daylight. Ear Candy is a sound level manager that nicely fades applications in and out based on there profile and window focus.

What works now :
- All volume adjustments are fades
- Fade out music/video players on Skype call
- Fade to music player with focus when more than one
- Fade out music player when video playing
- Fade to left or right based on window position (How useful is this.... well its fun to play with)
- Pref UI for creating rules

Goals to aim for:
- Mute all clients on suspend / hibernate
- More default rules covering common apps, totem, mplayer, ekiga, skype, firefox etc

For more information, visit the project page on LaunchPad

Feb 2, 2009

Epidermis Theme Manager Needs Your Help

If you're still searching for beatuful themes there's now a new tool that will make your life easier.
Epidermis Theme Manager is an open source GTK application for managing, automatically downloading and installing themes of various types, in order to transform the look of your Linux desktop, from the moment you turn it on until the moment you turn it off. Take a look at the screenshot.

More screenshots here...

An Epidermis skin handles the following themes, called pigments:

* Wallpapers
* Metacity window border themes
* GTK widget themes
* Icon sets
* GNOME splash images
* Mouse cursor themes
* Grub bootsplash screen
* Usplash bootsplash screen
* GDM login screen

So, how can you help?
One of the easiest ways to contribute to Epidermis' development is by make pigments (themes) for Epidermis. Just grab your favorite themes and turn them into epidermis-compatible pigments using the Epidermis Creator. Then send them in. Pigments that fit together to make a skin are particularly interesting.

Translate it to your favorite language:
Translating is easy, just create a Launchpad account and head over to translations.launchpad.net/epidermis, translation is open to anyone so you can start right away!

Find bugs and report them:
Just like most free software projects, Epidermis has a bug tracker so that problems can be identified quickly and properly addressed.

Design a better GUI:
If you think you can make the graphical user interface more intuitive and know how to improve a program's usability, Epidermis could use your suggestions. Here are some of the ideas for a GUI, send yours in!

Contribute code:
Put your hacker's hat on and start coding. If you know Python and PyGTK, you're perfect for the job. Just grab the Epidermis bzr branch off launchpad and upload it as your own personnel branch, no commit permissions required. Once your branch is ready, request a merge.

Visit the site: http://epidermis.tuxfamily.org/

Beautiful themes for Ubuntu

If you've been searching for beatuful themes for your Ubuntu desktop, you might want to visit http://francois.vogelweith.com/. This site provides easy installation and good previews of many themes. Unfortunately, the site isn't in English, but Google is your friend and will translate it for you. Click the link below to visit the translated version of the site.

Visit the site in English...

UPDATE: Vadi has translated the instructions here...

Making banners for the Danish bug jam

Today I spend a little time making a promotion webbanner for the Danish bug jam. Although it is far from perfect, I hope someone will use it. The result looks like this: