Introducing the Karmic Koala, our mascot for Ubuntu 9.10
mark at ubuntu.com
Fri Feb 20 16:40:36 GMT 2009
Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to introduce the *Karmic Koala*, the
newest member of our alliterative menagerie.
When you are looking for inspiration beyond the looming Jaunty feature
freeze, I hope you'll think of the Koala, our official mascot for Ubuntu
9.10. And if you'll bear with me for a minute I'll set the scene for
what we hope to achieve in that time.
A good Koala knows how to see the wood for the trees, even when her head
is in the clouds. Ubuntu aims to keep free software at the forefront of
cloud computing by embracing the API's of Amazon EC2, and making it easy
for anybody to setup their own cloud using entirely open tools. We're
currently in beta with official Ubuntu base AMI's for use on Amazon EC2.
During the Karmic cycle we want to make it easy to deploy applications
into the cloud, with ready-to-run appliances or by quickly assembling a
custom image. Ubuntu-vmbuilder makes it easy to create a custom AMI
today, but a portfolio of standard image profiles will allow easier
collaboration between people doing similar things on EC2. Wouldn't it be
apt for Ubuntu to make the Amazon jungle as easy to navigate as, say, APT?
What if you want to build an EC2-style cloud of your own? Of all the
trees in the wood, a Koala's favourite leaf is Eucalyptus. The
Eucalyptus project, from UCSB, enables you to create an EC2-style cloud
in your own data center, on your own hardware. It's no coincidence that
Eucalyptus has just been uploaded to universe and will be part of Jaunty
- during the Karmic cycle we expect to make those clouds dance, with
dynamically growing and shrinking resource allocations depending on your
needs. A savvy Koala knows that the best way to conserve energy is to go
to sleep, and these days even servers can suspend and resume, so imagine
if we could make it possible to build a cloud computing facility that
drops its energy use virtually to zero by napping in the midday heat,
and waking up when there's work to be done. No need to drink at the
energy fountain when there's nothing going on. If we get all of this
right, our Koala will help take the edge off the bear market.
If that sounds rather open and nebulous, then we've hit the sweet spot
for cloud computing futurology. Let me invite you to join the server
team at UDS in Barcelona, when they'll be defining the exact set of
features to ship in October.
First impressions count. We're eagerly following the development of
kernel mode setting, which promises a smooth and flicker-free startup.
We'll consider options like Red Hat's Plymouth, for graphical boot on
all the cards that support it. We made a splash years ago with Usplash,
but it's time to move to something newer and shinier. So the good news
is, boot will be beautiful. The bad news is, you won't have long to
appreciate it! It only takes 35 days to make a whole Koala, so we think
it should be possible to bring up a stylish desktop much faster. The
goal for Jaunty on a netbook is 25 seconds, so let's see how much faster
we can get you all the way to a Koala desktop. We're also hoping to
deliver a new login experience that complements the graphical boot, and
works well for small groups as well as very large installations.
For those of you who can relate to Mini Me, or already have a Dell Mini,
the Ubuntu Netbook Edition will be updated to include all the latest
technology from Moblin, and tuned to work even better on screens that
are vertically challenged. With millions of Linux netbooks out there, we
have been learning and adapting usability to make the Koala cuddlier
than ever. We also want to ensure that the Netbook Remix installs easily
and works brilliantly on all the latest netbook hardware, so consider
this a call for testing Ubuntu 9.04 if you're the proud owner of one of
these dainty items.
The desktop will have a designer's fingerprints all over it - we're now
beginning the serious push to a new look. Brown has served us well but
the Koala is considering other options. Come to UDS for a preview of the
whole new look.
UDS in Barcelona, 25-29 May
As always, the Ubuntu Developer Summit will be jam-packed with ideas,
innovations, guests and gurus. It's a wombat and dingbat-free zone, so
if you're looking for high-intensity developer discussions, beautiful
Barcelona will be the place to rest your opposable thumbs in May. It's
where the Ubuntu community, Canonical engineers and partners come
together to discuss, debate and design the Karmic Koala. The event is
the social and strategic highlight of each release cycle. Jono Bacon,
the Ubuntu Community Manager has more details at
including sponsorship for heavily-contributing community members.
More details of the Ubuntu Developer Summit can be found at
A newborn Koala spends about six months in the family before it heads
off into the wild alone. Sounds about perfect for an Ubuntu release
plan! I'm looking forward to seeing many of you in Barcelona, and before
that, at a Jaunty release party. Till then, cheers.
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