Thursday, January 23, 2014

Ubuntu 14.04 LTS Also Comes with the Internet Browser from Ubuntu Touch

Ubuntu Touch comes with its own browser, developed by Canonical, but Ubuntu 14.04 LTS users can also employ it.

The browser from Ubuntu Touch has been included by default in Ubuntu 14.04, at least so far. It's unsure whether it's going to remain installed by the end of the development cycle or if it's going to get removed.

Aptly named Browser, it features a very simple experience for users, with little to no options. You get a short history log, which is combined with the Bookmarks, and that's about it.

It will be interesting to see what the exact use of this app is in the context of a desktop distribution, but the software is stable and complete. It's also interesting to play around with.

The browser is built on Webkit and identifies as Ubuntu if you check the user Agent. Go ahead and have fun!

Ubuntu 14.04 (Trusty Tahr) Might Drop OpenJDK 7 (Java Support)

Ubuntu developers are still sifting through the packages that need to stay and through the ones that could be removed from the upcoming Ubuntu 14.04 (Trusty Tahr) distribution.

Even if the release of Ubuntu 14.04 LTS (Trusty Tahr) is still pretty far ahead, some very important aspects are now being discussed. This includes the necessity of removing the OpenJDK package.

“The foundations team have been reviewing whether we should continue to provide OpenJDK as the default Java implementation in Ubuntu; this package is quite a resource drain on both the foundations and security teams from a SRU perspective so demotion of openjdk7 to universe is being considered. Most Java-ish things in main can be built using gcj; however Tomcat7 is not going to work with gcj so would end up being demoted as well,”said Ubuntu developer James Page.

This doesn't mean that OpenJDK won't be available in the official repositories but, if it's not included by default, Canonical doesn't have to keep an eye on any security problems that need fixing.

The idea is still being discussed, but we'll keep you apprised if any decision is reached.

Ubuntu 14.04 (Trusty Tahr) Now Features a Much Better Software Updater

Canonical has upgraded a lot of aspects of Ubuntu 14.04, and the developers are pushing updates every day. The Software Updater has also received a sizable upgrade, making it a lot more user-friendly than ever before.

More and more new users are installing Ubuntu for the first time and not everyone is ready to upgrade the system from a terminal or from a simple interface that only shows what packages will be downloaded and installed.

The new Software Updater is now a lot more user-friendly and shows more details about what you are actually installing. This is a great improvement over the previous version present in Ubuntu 13.10, but it would be nice if more features were available, like a changelog for the new version of an app.

Ubuntu 14.04 LTS is still under development and it's likely that the Software Updater will continue to get better.

Update: The changelog is shown under Technical Info for each package.

Ubuntu 14.04 LTS Release Dates

Ubuntu’s siblings, Xubuntu, Lubuntu, Kubuntu & co, will be available for testing sooner, with two alpha and beta milestones available to them.
  • Alpha 1 - December 19th (for flavours)
  • Alpha 2 – January 23rd (for flavours)
  • Beta 1 – February 27th (for flavours)
  • Final Beta – March 27th
  • Release Candidate – April 10th
With the final release scheduled for:
  • Ubuntu 14.04 LTS – April 17th

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Ubuntu now fits your phone

                                 Ubuntu Edge            Apple iPhone 5       Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile OS               Dual-boots Android                            i OS                                  Android
                                and Ubuntu mobile

Desktop OS            Ubuntu Desktop                                   i OS                                  Android

RAM                       4 GB                                                   1 GB                                 2 GB

Internal                    128 GB                                               64 GB                                 16 GB

Screen                      720 x 1280  4.5 inches                      640 x 1136   4"                 1080 x 1920  5"

Protection                 Sapphire Glass                                  Corning Gorilla Glass      Corning Gorilla Glass

Connectivity             Dual-LTE, GSM                                 LTE,GSM                      LTE,GSM

Speakers                 Stereo                                                 Mono                             Mono

Battery                    Silicon-anode Li-ion                             Li-ion                           Li-ion

Price                       $780-830                                            $849*                           $ 750**

CPU/GPU, screen technology to be finalised before production. * Apple Store ** Best Buy

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Ubuntu Phone Spotted in a Bar, Supposedly

Ubuntu on phones is a bold move from Canonical and they will need a lot of money for the marketing campaign. They can also start by forgetting or taking pictures of their phones in a bar, somewhere.
This is a really old tactic and it’s not really effective anymore. Forgetting or spotting a phone in a bar might have been interesting a few years ago, but so many other companies did it that it’s no longer an effecting tool.

In any case, the reception for the new operating system from Canonical has been mixed and everyone is now waiting for Canonical to make the development versions available to everyone.

In any case, the image has popped up on the Twitter account of Michael Frey, an Ubuntu developer, and it shows the desktop of the new OS.

Friday, December 28, 2012

10 reasons to choose Ubuntu 12.10 over Windows 8

Window of opportunity

Ubuntu is a widely popular open source Linux distribution with eight years of maturity under its belt, and more than 20 million users. Of the roughly 5% of desktop OSs accounted for by Linux, at least one survey suggests that about half are Ubuntu. (Windows, meanwhile, accounts for about 84%.)
The timing of this latest Ubuntu release couldn't be better for Windows users faced with the paradigm-busting Windows 8 and the big decision of whether to take the plunge.
Initial uptake of Windows 8 has been unenthusiastic, according to some reports, and a full 80% of businesses will never adopt it, Gartner predicted. As a result, Microsoft's big gamble may be desktop Linux's big opportunity.
So, now that Canonical has thrown down the gauntlet, let's take a closer look at Ubuntu 12.10 to see how it compares with Windows 8 from a business user's perspective.

1. Unity vs. Modern UI

Both Microsoft and Canonical have received considerable flak for the default user interfaces in their respective OSs. In Microsoft's case, of course, it's the Modern UI, formerly known as Metro; in Canonical's case, it's Unity. Both are designed with touchscreens in mind, and borrow heavily from the mobile world.
By removing the Start button and overhauling the way users interact with the operating system, Windows 8's Modern interface poses a considerable challenge for users, who face a significant learning curve.
Unity, on the other hand, became a default part of Ubuntu back in April 2011 with Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal. It has definitely undergone growing pains, but more than a year has passed, and Canonical has revised the interface accordingly. Although it still has numerous critics, most people concede that it has matured and improved. Some observers, in fact, have even suggested that it may feel more familiar to many longtime Windows users than does Windows 8.

2. Customization

Linux has long been known for its virtually limitless customisability, but given the current controversy surrounding desktop interfaces, that feature has become more salient than ever.
This is a point on which Windows 8 and Ubuntu differ considerably. Yes, Windows 8 does allow users to customise some aspects of their environment, such as by specifying the size of Live Tile icons, moving commonly used tiles to the left side of the screen, or grouping tiles by program type.
Most of the changes you can make in Windows 8, however, are largely cosmetic, and they don't include a built-in way to set the OS to boot to the traditional Windows desktop. A growing assortment of third-party utilities such as Pokki can restore that capability, but otherwise you're stuck with Modern UI. Windows 8 offers what you might call a "tightly coupled" interfacein other words, one that you can't change substantially.
Ubuntu's Unity, in contrast, is more of a loosely coupled UI. First and foremost, you can easily replace it with any one of several free alternatives, including KDE, Xfce, LXDE, GNOME 3 Shell, Cinnamon, and MATE.
Also available for Unity are third-party customisation tools, including the increasingly popular Ubuntu Tweak, while a raft of look sites are available for myriad Linux interfaces with a variety of themes to change the desktop's appearance.
The rule of thumb with Linux in general and Ubuntu in particular is, if you don't like it, swap in something else. Also worth mentioning is the fact that Ubuntu supports multiple workspaces, essentially letting you run up to four different desktops; Windows 8 Pro does not.

3. Apps

Whereas Windows 8 Pro comes bundled with Microsoft's Internet Explorer 10 browser, Ubuntu comes with a wide assortment of open source software packages such as Firefox, Thunderbird, LibreOffice, and more, offering both individual and business users a pretty full suite of functionality.
Beyond those bundled programs, both Ubuntu and Windows 8 offer app stores to help users find the additional software they need.
Dating back to 2009, the Ubuntu Software Center now houses more than 40,000 apps, ranging from games to productivity tools to educational resources. In addition, by using Wine or CodeWeaver's CrossOver, you can run Windows programs on top of Linux.
The Windows Store just launched with Windows 8, and at the time of its debut it included just over 9,000 apps. Microsoft execs have said that they hope to provide 100,000 apps in the Windows Store within 90 days of the Windows launch.
Operating system binaries and drivers, however, will not come from the Windows Store. Rather, it will have both Windows RT (ARM) apps and Windows desktop (legacy) apps. Entries for legacy desktop apps in the Windows Store will take users to separate sites where they can purchase or download the apps. Ubuntu's repository, on the other hand, centrally stores all operating system and app binaries and drivers.
As a result, aside from numbers, a key difference between the two app stores involves security. Ubuntu provides a GNU Privacy Guard (GnuPG) keyring-protected repository system wherein each application and driver has a unique keyring identity to verify its authenticity and integrity as having come only from the Ubuntu repo system. The keyring method of protection has been highly effective at ensuring that no rogue applications find their way into the repoor onto users' PCs.
Historically, Microsoft Windows has lacked such a keyring-protected repository. Although Microsoft does support its OS with monthly Windows Updates, no comparable third-party vendor support for updates exists. Because of this situation, users have had to venture online to obtain their own third-party-supported updates manually at separate websites. The Windows Store was developed to mitigate that risk and is specifically designed to curate apps, screen apps, and provide the capability to purchase apps. Time will tell how well it succeeds.

4. Hardware compatibility

To run Windows 8 on your PC, you'll need a processor that's 1GHz or faster with support for PAE, NX, and SSE2. You'll also need a minimum of 1GB RAM for the 32-bit version or 2GB for the 64-bit version, along with 16GB (32-bit) or 20GB (64-bit) of space on your hard drive. For graphics processing, you'll need a Microsoft DirectX 9-compatible graphics device with a WDDM driver, Microsoft says.
Of course, that's the minimum. If you want to take advantage of Windows 8's touch features, obviously you'll need a multitouch device. To make the most of the software, you'll want considerably more than that.
Ubuntu's requirements, however, are much more modest: Canonical recommends 512MB of RAM, plus 5GB on the hard drive. You'll also find versions such as Lubuntu and Xubuntu for lower-spec machines. In short, if hardware is a constraining factor for you, Ubuntu is most likely the better choice.

5. Cloud integration

Starting with the launch of Ubuntu One in 2009, the cloud has played a key role in Ubuntu Linux for some time, enabling users to store files online and sync them among computers and mobile devices, as well as to stream audio and music from the cloud to mobile devices.
Ubuntu One works on Windows, OS X, iOS, and Android, as well as on Ubuntu. Users of Ubuntu Linux get 5GB of Ubuntu One storage for free; 20GB costs $30 per year.
Beginning with Ubuntu 12.10, the OS also integrates web apps and online searches directly into the Unity desktop for a more seamless experience.
With Windows 8, the cloud is coming to the forefront of Microsoft's platform as well. For storage, Microsoft's SkyDrive offers users 7GB of space for free. If you need more than that, you can have an extra 20GB for $10, 50GB for $25, or 100GB for $50 annually.
Storage isn't the only benefit of the cloud, however. Beginning with this new release, the new Microsoft Account sign-in (formerly Live ID) lets you use a single username and password to establish common preferences among all the Windows-based hardware and services with which you work. The idea is to employ the cloud to connect your PCs, tablets, and smartphones through a common, user-specific experience.
Ubuntu doesn't fully compete with Windows in this regard, since it doesn't offer counterparts to Windows Phone 8 or Windows 8 RT that are tailored specifically to non-PC devices. However, Ubuntu for Android is in the works.

6. Security

Although Windows RT apps run within a sandboxed environment for greater security, Windows 8 Pro desktop legacy apps have no equivalent. Instead, third-party software developers are left to their own devices to add security measures to their apps.
Windows 8 and Ubuntu Linux provide their own firewalls, however, as well as the option for full disk encryption.
Despite the fact that Windows 8 Pro offers some security improvements over Windows 7, the new OS still carries forward with the WinNT legacy kernel, which is at least partially responsible for the litany of security issues Windows has suffered over the years.
To mitigate some of those issues, Microsoft created in conjunction with partnering OEMs Secure Boot, an extension to UEFI. Windows 8 now provides Secure Boot support on OEM systems, while Ubuntu 12.10 offers a raft of advanced security features such as support for installation with Secure Boot systems.
Additionally, Ubuntu Linux comes with Linux Security Modules (LSM) installed by default. Other security-enhancing measures include chroot, seccomp, seccomp-bpf, and the newest additionLinuX Containers (LXC)for third-party developers and users alike.
Just as an aside, it's interesting to note that, each year at Pwn2Own, hackers get a chance to hack Windows and Apple Mac systems, but Linux is not included in the contest. No exploit can escalate against (and gain root privilege on) Ubuntu Linux running AppArmor-sandboxed Firefox.

7. Administrative tools

For administrative controls, Windows provides Active Directory, using dedicated Active Directory servers.
Canonical supports Active Directory as well, and Ubuntu Linux clients can join to an Active Directory Domain using third-party software such as Likewise Open or Centrify.
In addition, Canonical provides Landscape, an enterprise administrative tool of its own that can perform most Windows Active Directory tasks. Landscape presents an easy-to-use, browser-based control panel through which you can manage desktops, servers, and cloud instances.

8. VPN support

Users who require virtual private network support will find it in both Windows 8 and Ubuntu 12.10.
In Ubuntu repositories, the provided utility is OpenVPN, which uses a custom security protocol based on SSL/TLS for key exchange. Both operating systems offer support for varied protocols, however, depending on site-specific and inter-site needs.

9. User support

Microsoft offers support for Windows 8 Pro users through its TechNet subscription service, which is priced starting at $149 per year.
Canonical offers Ubuntu Advantage service-level agreements starting at about $80 per year at the standard desktop level, including legal coverage and use of the Landscape administrative tool.

10. Price

Last but certainly not least, Ubuntu Linux is free, while Windows 8 Pro will reportedly cost $199 after the current introductory upgrade offer of $39 to $69 expires.
So which operating system is better for small-business users? The answer, of course, is in the eye of the beholder. If one thing is clear, however, it's that any lead Windows may have once had over competing operating systems is shrinking every year. Depending on your needs, Ubuntu Linux 12.10 could provide a compelling alternative. If nothing else, it's almost certainly worth your while to try it online.