Thursday, September 27, 2007

Ubuntu 7.10 Beta Released

The Ubuntu team is proud to announce the beta release of Ubuntu 7.10 and its
variants, Kubuntu, Edubuntu and Xubuntu. Codenamed "Gutsy Gibbon", 7.10
continues Ubuntu's proud tradition of integrating the latest and greatest
open source technologies into a high-quality, easy-to-use Linux

Ubuntu 7.10 on the desktop features a cutting-edge graphical experience with
composited desktop effects, fully automated printer installation, and
superior support for Firefox browser plugins.

Ubuntu 7.10 server edition brings enhanced security-in-depth with AppArmor
and easy install-time options for multiple common server configurations.

Desktop highlights

Compiz Fusion: This innovative compositing window manager enables 3-D
desktop effects that let users work with, and see, their desktops in
completely new ways.

Printer installation: In GNOME, printers are automatically configured for
use as soon as they are connected.

Free Flash support with Gnash: Ubuntu 7.10 leads the pack with a preview of
this Flash browser plugin. Although still actively in development and not
yet fully supported by Ubuntu, Gnash gives a glimpse into the future of free
Flash, bringing partial Flash support to 64-bit desktop systems.

Automated Firefox plugin installation: Beyond the addition of Gnash, Firefox
in Ubuntu now supports automatic installation of popular plugins through the
standard Ubuntu package repositories, for a richer web-browsing experience
with the integrated security support of the rest of the Ubuntu system.

Please see for details.

Server highlights

AppArmor: This easy-to-deploy kernel technology limits the resources an
application is allowed to access and can be used to provide an added layer
of protection against undiscovered security vulnerabilities in applications.

Pre-configured installation options: Mail Server, Print Server, Database
Server, and File Server options join existing LAMP and DNS options for
pre-configured installations, easing the deployment of common server

Edubuntu highlights

Faster thin clients: Thin clients have been sped up significantly through
the use of compressed images.

Kubuntu highlights

As well as the above desktop highlights, the following new features are
specific to KDE users:

Dolphin file manager: This updated file manager gives Ubuntu users a glimpse
of the upcoming KDE 4.

Strigi desktop search: Another pillar of KDE 4 available now in Kubuntu.

Restricted-manager: Kubuntu 7.10 includes a KDE front-end for easy
installation of proprietary drivers, complementing the existing GNOME

Please see for details.


* On the Desktop: KDE 3.5.7, GNOME 2.20, 2.3.0rc1, 7.2

* On the Server: Apache 2.2, PostgreSQL 8.2, PHP 5.2.3, LTSP 5.0

* "Under the hood": GCC 4.1.2, glibc 2.6, Linux 2.6.22, Python 2.5

The full release notes can be found at

About Ubuntu

Ubuntu is a Linux distribution for your desktop, laptop, thin client and
server, with a fast and easy install. Ubuntu comes in several variants,
including Ubuntu Desktop, Server, Kubuntu, Edubuntu and Xubuntu. The Ubuntu
project makes no separation between our free edition and our enterprise
edition - this is our best work and it is freely available.

Used by businesses, home users, schools and governments around the world,
Ubuntu offers regular releases, a tight selection of excellent packages
installed by default and professional commercial technical support from
Canonical Ltd and hundreds of other companies.

To Get Ubuntu 7.10 Beta

Download Ubuntu 7.10 Beta here (choose the mirror closest to you):

Europe: (Sweden) (The Netherlands) (The Netherlands) (Ireland) (Italy) (Great Britain) (Germany) (France)

Asia: (Taiwan)

Africa: (South Africa)

North America: (Canada) (United States)

Rest of the world: (Great Britain)

Please download using Bittorrent if possible.

To upgrade from Ubuntu 7.04 to Ubuntu 7.10 Beta, follow these

The final version of Ubuntu 7.10 is expected to be released in October 2007.

Feedback and Helping

If you would like to help shape Ubuntu, take a look at the list of ways you
can participate at

Your comments, bug reports, patches and suggestions will help turn this Beta
into the best release of Ubuntu ever. Please report bugs through the
Launchpad bug tracker:

If you have a question, or if you think you may have found a bug but are not
sure, first try asking on the #ubuntu IRC channel on FreeNode, on the Ubuntu
Users mailing list, or on the Ubuntu forums:

More Information

You can find out more about Ubuntu and about this preview release on our
website, IRC channel and wiki. If you are new to Ubuntu, please visit:

To sign up for future Ubuntu announcements, please subscribe to Ubuntu's
very low volume announcement list at:

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Vista Aiding Linux Desktop, Strategist Says...

Windows Vista has probably created the single biggest opportunity for the Linux desktop to take market share, Cole Crawford, an IT strategist at Dell, said in an address titled, "The Linux Desktop—Fact, FUD or Fantasy?".

For example, a number of companies have moved back to Windows XP after deploying Vista, Crawford said, before quoting Scott Granneman, an author, entrepreneur and adjunct professor at Washington University in St. Louis, as saying, "To mess up a Linux box, you need to work at it; to mess up your Windows box, you just have to work on it."

Microsoft has also owned the desktop for more than 15 years, Crawford said, "and so the only way for them to go is down. But Linux can only go up, and its growth potential is enormous. While Linux only has 1 percent of share on the desktop versus Microsoft's more than 90 percent, that is changing, and the Linux desktop is expected to gain some share over the next two years," he said.

The number of developers targeting Windows decreased by 12 percent in the last year, while their targeting of Linux has increased by 34 percent over the same period, recently released information from Evans Data shows, Crawford said.

The interoperability agreements that Microsoft has signed with Linux vendors, from Novell to Xandros and Linspire, have also had largely positive results so far, he said, adding that another plus was the fact that Linux development has shifted to a model in which a significant portion of the kernel is being developed by corporate entities.

On the downside, Crawford said, was the fact that no one actually owns the kernel and this makes SLAs (service-level agreements) more challenging. Microsoft also has a 15-year head start in the client market and most companies are still comfortable with Windows as an operating system, while the ISV/IHV ecosystem also still has a long way to go, he said.

But the days of vendor lock-in are over, Crawford said, and the fact that Microsoft is reaching out to the open-source community underscores its awareness of that. While the Linux desktop is not yet appropriate for everyone, its numbers are growing, he said

Crawford said a corporate desktop needs to be focused on the business user, compliant with company standards, interoperable, secure, and able to be shipped with an enterprise kernel and managed remotely, and to have standard applications installed.

"The Linux desktop can do all of that. It can be interoperable with earlier versions of the operating system, is generally interoperable with Windows, can ship with an enterprise kernel and can be remotely managed by existing management solutions," he said.

The driving forces behind the Linux desktop were innovation, freedom and the frustration with Windows, he said. Unlike with Windows, the community also has the ability to influence and drive the technology, which also works well on thin clients, Crawford said.

But a software packaging standard needs to be established, even though it would take a lot of work, while getting the drivers necessary for printers, audio and other things to work on Linux is extremely important, he said. "We also need to get the different distributions to work on a common release cycle," he said.

He said Linux is a lot more secure than Windows as it has no registry, since everything is a file, which needs permissions to execute. There is also no such thing as a DLL, which Crawford described as the second most evil thing in Windows behind ActiveX.

Linux is good enough today to run as a corporate desktop and, like any technology, does not have to be perfect, just good enough, he said, adding that even in a Microsoft environment it was possible to use a Linux distribution as a corporate operating system.

"This is the year of the interoperable Linux desktop. Standards are helping to drive adoption, while driver support will be the key to the success of desktop Linux. The opportunity to standardize and drive interoperability is paramount," Crawford said.

But the industry is also at a crossroads, and could follow the path of Unix or unify and drive adoption, he said. "If you want to differentiate, do so after we have started to win. We absolutely need to unify, we really do," he concluded.

- Peter Galli @ Ziff-Davis

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Real-Time Linux: More Than You Ever Wanted to Know

If you're interested in Linux -- and particularly Real-Time Linux -- then keep your eye on the Open Source department where we continue to post papers from the the Eighth Real-Time Linux Workshop held at the at the School for Information Science and Engineering, Lanzhou University, in Lanzhou, China.

Many of the papers are fascinating, and all of them interesting. Yesterday's post, for instance, Embedded RTLinux: A New Stand-Alone RTLinux Approach by Miguel Masmano, Apolinar Gonzalez, Ismael Ripoll, and Alfons Crespo. (If those names don't sound Chinese, remember that the Workshop was a "worldwide" conference, with papers from Real-time Linux experts around the world.)

Other papers range in topics from A Real-Time P2P Interactive Game Playing Application to A Linux-based System to Monitor Train Speed and Doors for a Light-Rail System.

And we will continue to post installments over the coming weeks.

-- Jonathan Erickson @ Dr. Dobb's