Subject: General Tech | November 26, 2011 - 04:53 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: Unity, ubuntu, mint, linux, katya
Linux Mint Is On The Rise
Ubuntu has long been the popular choice when it comes to Linux distributions. The open source operating system even managed to be picked by large computer OEM Dell for the company’s netbooks and select desktop computers at one time. As far as free alternative operating systems go, Ubuntu was the top choice of many Linux users. Lately; however, the distro seems to be declining in popularity. According to ZDNet, Pingdom has gathered Linux market share data from the past few years and found that the once popular Ubuntu OS has given up a great deal of ground to competing distributions. In particular, Linux Mint has risen to the 11% usage level that Ubuntu held at its prime versus Ubuntu’s current 4% market usage in 2011.
Linux Mint 11's desktop.
Interestingly, Linux mint started at 0% adoption in 2005 versus Ubuntu’s 11% in that same year where it would grow to 4% in 2007 and grow slowly to 5% in 2010. From there, the adoption grows rapidly to it’s current 11% market usage as of November 23rd 2011 (based on DistroWatch ranking data).
Linux Mint 11 is a very respectable and speedy distribution and is comparatively very media friendly and easy to use out of the box for newcomers. These qualities likely have contributed to the operating system’s place on the Top 5 Linux Distribution list.
Wait- What Happened To Ubuntu?
Ubuntu gained fame due to its friendliness to newcomers, casual users, and enthusiasts/power users alike. Adrian Kingsley-Hughes over at ZDnet notes that the operating system’s popularity is wavering. Linux Fans have cited Ubuntu’s recent interface overhaul-dubbed Unity- as a possible source of the decline in popularity. Kingsley-Hughes believes; however, that in the latest iteration(s) Ubuntu has spread itself too thin by attempting to appeal to too many people at once.
The Ubuntu 11.10 installation. One of several slides on everything that is packed in tight in Ubuntu.
On that point I think he is correct. Ubuntu has been attempting to become the Windows equivalent of the Linux space. This goal in and of itself is a noble one; however, it also goes against the grain of the “ideal Linux OS” (meaning the OS that users want to use). Linux itself is (by comparison) a niche operating system, and within that general term spawns numerous Linux distributions that are even further niche and highly specialized products and user experiences.
I have to concur with Mr. Kingsley-Hughes on this one, even with my own personal lackluster (or “meh” in less technical terms ;) ) opinion of Ubuntu’s Unity it’s not bad or difficult enough to get rid of to cause such a drop in usage. The inherent purpose and goal of a Linux distro is to be a highly specialized and customizable user experience that is easily tailored to a specific users’ wants and needs. Ubuntu is falling out of favor with many Linux fans due to it trying too hard to appeal to everyone in a “jack of all trades, master of none” method instead of the perfect distribution for each individual aspect that makes Linux so appealing to users to begin with. Many design and under the hood changes have taken place in Ubuntu to accommodate the mainstream Linux goal(s) and in doing so a lot of users and configurations aren’t as easily obtained with Ubuntu anymore. There’s now more programs included by default and more programs running to maintain the something for everyone system, and that is not what many Linux fans want out of their distributions. They want a distro that only does what they want with as minimal of resources as possible while still being productive for example.
What are your thoughts? Is there a reason for Ubuntu’s decline or is the distro’s time in the spotlight simply over (for now at least)? Have you moved on from Ubuntu? You can read more about the Linux usage data here.
Subject: General Tech | October 22, 2011 - 02:23 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: ubuntu 12.04, ubuntu, support, LTS
Canonical, the makers of Ubuntu, has announced that they are extending the support of LTS (long term support) releases to five years. Currently, the LTS releases of Ubuntu are supported for up to three years on desktops.
The new support time-line will start with the fourth long term support (LTS) release which will be Ubuntu 12.04. The 12.04 release is slated to debut in April 2012; therefore, support for the operating system would continue until April of 2017. That should be more than enough time for desktop users to find updated software or jump to another release if they don’t want to update to the latest Ubuntu release at that time.
Canonical's proposed release schedule.
Further, the support schedule is broken down into two periods. For the first two years of the operating system’s lifetime, the OS will receive regular hardware updates via point releases. After that two year period, the remaining three years will be relegated to maintenance and security updates. One interesting thing about the LTS release support schedule lies in the fact that after the two years of hardware support updates, it will be time for the next LTS release (Ubuntu 14.04 in this case) thanks to the way the releases are staggered. This would enable businesses to update straight from the end of one LTS release to the next and maintain current with hardware updates as well as extending support even further.
The overlapping support schedule and extended support time-line are said to be the result of Canonical wishing to make enterprise customers happy. The Ubuntu Engineering Director, Rick Spencer, stated that although Ubuntu has traditionally been known for quick updates and keeping up with the latest applications and hardware, the “ability to plan for the longer term is vital.” OEMs are also likely to appreciate the longer support schedule as well in that they will be able to offer software to customers that is good for five years instead of three.
What are your thoughts on the LTS Ubuntu releases?
Subject: General Tech | October 13, 2011 - 09:20 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: Ubuntu 11.10, ubuntu
If you are one of the millions of people who have used Linux -- and realized it -- then you are probably well aware of Ubuntu. Ubuntu has been around since 2004 and has captured an estimated 50% of Linux desktop installations. Ubuntu is financially supported through purchasing technical support from its parent company, Canonical. Today Canonical has released their 15th version of Ubuntu, 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot, into the wild; feel free (literally) to try it out.
Excuse me, waiter: You got Firefox in my Firefox.
Subject: General Tech | September 16, 2011 - 04:05 AM | Scott Michaud
People and their apps these days; why have a full blown application when you can have the first three letters of it for 99 cents? Apple started the trend aimlessly with their iPhone after realizing that people wanted more native access to the hardware and has since seen a very warm reception for that decision. App Stores have spread since that time with just about every mobile platform having at least one, Mac OSX having one, and Windows developing one for their next release. Before there were App Stores, Linux users had a long history of application repositories which functioned very similarly to App Stores except that they were free. Ubuntu decided that the time is right to allow paid applications alongside free ones with the restrictions of 2.99$ minimum cost and 20% commission for Canonical, according to The Register.
Next thing you know and we’ll be able to rent a Tux.
Personally I like the ability for a developer to distribute their content digitally with an easy ecommerce platform for both developer and user. There always is the risk of greed taking over and locking down platforms except through controlled channels which can harm everyone involved: users have less choice and lock-in; developers have less freedom; the platform owner sacrifices the market share and openness of their platform; and art loses its permanence and preservation. On the other hand, a Linux distribution is one of the least likely to go greedy if only for the cross-compatibility and free-license nature of the platform allowing nearly instant turn-over.
What do you think about Ubuntu’s App Store? Is it a load of Crapp? Registration not required to comment.
Subject: Mobile | September 14, 2011 - 03:31 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: hp, hp touchpad, ubuntu
If you are like Scott and think that the cut rate price of the HP Touchpad is just too good to resist you might want to put on an OS that you know will still be around in a year or two. Techware Labs have written a guide on how you can install Ubuntu on your touchpad in addition to WebOS so you don't have to wipe out the Touchpad's original functionality. Make sure you back everything up however as you will be spliting the storage media into two partitions, one for WebOS and one for Ubuntu. Happy modding.
"You have your Touchpad in hand and are feeling adventurous, where do you go from here? Into the wide world of Linux of course! In this tutorial I walk you through how to install Ubuntu on your HP Touchpad so that it can run along side the existing WebOS operating system."
Here are some more Mobile articles from around the web:
- Kensington launches Ipad and Iphone security products @ The Inquirer
- Dell Vostro 3550 Review @ Tech-Reviews
- ASUS N53SV Laptop Review @ HardwareLOOK
- Sony VAIO S Series: All Day Consumer Computing @ AnandTech
- Asus G74SX-A2 Review @ TechReviewSource
- Evercool Battle Hero Review @ HardwareLOOK
- Enermax Aeolus Notebook Cooler Review @ HardwareLOOK
- Cooler Master NotePal U Stand Notebook Cooler @ Tweaktown
- Motorola XOOM Wi-Fi + Verizon Wireless Tablet PC Review @ Legit Reviews
- HANNspree HANNSpad 10.1" Android Tablet Review @ HardwareHeaven
- Lenovo K1 Honeycomb Tablet Review @ t-break
- Motorola Droid Bionic Hands-On Impression @ TechSpot
- Owning the stack: The legal war to control the smartphone platform @ Ars Technica
- Smartphone season has kicked in @ t-break
- Hornettek Vader Aluminum iPhone 4 Case Review @ ThinkComputers
- Otterbox Defender Series for iPhone 4 Review @ Tech-Reviews
- iPad App of the Week – Crimson: Steam Pirates @ t-break
- Apple iPhone 4 Sound Amplifier Review @ TechReviewSource
- LG Optimus 3D vs HTC Evo 3D head to head @ The Inquirer
- Samsung Galaxy S 2 (International) Review - The Best, Redefined @ AnandTech
- Motorola Droid Bionic - A Quick Preview @ AnandTech
- Thermaltake DH 202 Touch Review - HTPC with Touch Panel @ HardwareHeaven
Subject: Editorial | May 27, 2011 - 01:52 PM | John Davis
Tagged: ubuntu, linux, kernel, interview, hardware
In a continuation of our effort to embrace and report on the open-source community, PC Perspective has contacted another very interesting Open-Source project. This week we selected Ubuntu and their Manager of the Ubuntu Kernel Team, Pete Graner
Image courtesy of Ubuntu
The self-described beginning of Ubuntu:
Linux was already established as an enterprise server platform in 2004. But free software was still not a part of everyday life for most computer users. That's why Mark Shuttleworth gathered a small team of developers from one of the most established Linux projects – Debian - and set out to create an easy-to-use Linux desktop, Ubuntu.
The vision for Ubuntu is part social and part economic: free software, available free of charge to everybody on the same terms, and funded through a portfolio of services provided by Canonical.
If you would like to learn more about Ubuntu please click here.
Ubuntu also lists its features as the following:
- A fresh look
The launcher: Get easy access to your favourite tools and applications with our lovely new launcher. You can hide and reveal it, add and remove apps and keep track of your open windows.
The dash: Our new dash offers a great way to get to your shortcuts and search for more apps and programs. So you can get fast access to your email, music, pictures and much more.
Workspaces: Our handy workspaces tool gives you a really easy way to view and move between multiple windows and applications.
You can surf in safety with Ubuntu – confident that your files and data will stay protected. A built-in firewall and virus protection come as standard. And if a potential threat appears, we provide automatic updates which you can install in a single click. You get added security with AppArmor, which protects your important applications so attackers can’t access your system. And thanks to Firefox and gnome-keyring, Ubuntu helps you keep your private information private. So whether it’s accessing your bank account or sharing sensitive data with friends or colleagues, you’ll have peace of mind when you need it the most.
Ubuntu works brilliantly with a range of devices. Simply plug in your mp3 player, camera or printer and you’ll be up and running straight away. No installation CDs. No fuss. And it’s compatible with Windows too! So you can open, edit and share Microsoft Office documents stress-free.
Ubuntu loads quickly on any computer, but it's super-fast on newer machines. With no unnecessary programs and trial software slowing things down, booting up and opening a browser takes seconds. Unlike other operating systems that leave you staring at the screen, waiting to get online. And Ubuntu won’t grow sluggish over time. It’s fast. And it stays fast.
Accessibility is central to the Ubuntu philosophy. We believe that computing is for everyone regardless of nationality, race, gender or disability. Fully translated into 25 languages, Ubuntu also includes essential assistive technologies, which are, of course, completely free. We recommend the Ubuntu classic desktop experience for users with particular accessibility requirements.
(Image courtesy of Distrowatch)
I have used Ubuntu almost as long as I have been using Fedora. Ubuntu has been my go to Linux distrobution since Wartty Warthog. I have installed Ubuntu on laptops, family members computers, and I even went 100% Ubuntu for a year. In my experience, any and all of my questions could be answered by Documentation, Community, and Launchpad.
Now that you have a brief idea about Ubuntu, lets get to the interview:
(Hit that Read More link for the details!!)
Subject: General Tech | May 12, 2011 - 11:54 AM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: Unity, Ubuntu 11.04, ubuntu, OS, natty narwhal, linux, gnome
Natty Narwhal, officially called Ubuntu 11.04, has arrived on the scene and it brings some changes to the way you will look at Linux. It was designed to be the first desktop version to dump the Gnome GUI in favour of the Unity interface that has been previously used on netbook and other lower powered machines. The design its self is fairly minimalistic as you would expect from what it was first implemented as, but not to the point where you won't recognize the familiar dock style interface common to OS X and Win 7. Ars Technica takes you through a thorough look at the newest Linux and the pluses and minuses of the new GUI.
"Ubuntu 11.04, codenamed Natty Narwhal, rose from the depths last week. The update brings a number of significant new features to the Linux-based operating system. It includes a much-improved refresh of the Unity shell and a number of other significant improvements throughout the application stack.
This is the first version of Ubuntu to ship with Unity on the desktop. Due to the far-reaching nature of the changes that accompany the transition to a new desktop shell, this review will focus almost entirely on Unity and how it impacts the Ubuntu user experience. We will also look at how Unity compares with GNOME 3.0 and the classic GNOME experience."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Pivot Power strip starts shipping, folks who ordered a year ago rejoice @ Engadget
- Google Engineers Deny Hack Exploited Chrome @ Slashdot
- Shortage of smartphone and tablet PC components emerging @ The Register
- PCMark 7 Basic Edition Now Available @ NGOHQ
- Win Fantastic Cooler Master prizes @ eTeknix
Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards, Chipsets | May 3, 2011 - 11:54 AM | John Davis
Tagged: ubuntu, rhel, Red Hat, opensuse, linux, driver, catalyst, ati, amd
In a previous article we stated:
"Highlights of the Linux AMD Catalyst™ 11.4 release include: This release of AMD Catalyst™ Linux introduces support for the following new operating systems Ubuntu 11.04 support (early look) SLED/SLES 10 SP4 support (early look) RHEL 5.6 support (production)"
AMD introduced a new feature into Linux with Catalyst™ 11.4, PowerXpress.
- PowerXpress: Will enable certain mainstream mobile chipsets to seemlessly switch from integrated graphics to the dedicated graphics. *note: This only applies to Intel Processors with on chip graphics and AMD dedicated graphics and must be switched on by invoking switchlibGL and switchlibglx and restarting the Xorg server.
If you are running RHEL 5.6 or SLED/SLES 10 SP4 and need the driver you can get it here.
If you are running Ubuntu 11.04, install the driver under the "Additional Drivers" program.
If you are running a BSD variant you must still use the Open-Source driver "Radeon" and "RadeonHD" as AMD has yet to release a BSD driver.
Be sure to check back to PCPer for my complete review of the 11.4 driver and PowerXpress.