Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter #76

Nick Ali nali at ubuntu.com
Sun Feb 3 21:41:02 GMT 2008

Welcome to the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter, Issue 76 for the weeks
January 27th - February 2nd, 2008. In this issue we cover: Hardy Alpha
4 released, Server Team focuses on KVM, new Ubuntu banners for your
website or blog, new MOTU and Council elections results, Hug Day 5
February 2008, a new Ubuntu based distro, and much, much more!!

== In This Issue ==

 * Hardy Alpha 4 Released
 * Ubuntu Server Team Focuses on KVM
 * New Ubuntu Advocacy Banners
 * New MOTU and Council Election Results
 * Hug Day, 5 February 2008
 * Interview with Soren Hansen
 * In The Press
 * In The Blogosphere
 * In Other News
 * Upcoming Meetings & Events
 * Updates & Security
 * Bug & Translation Stats

== General Community News ==

=== Hardy Alpha 4 Released ===

Alpha 4 is the fourth in a series of milestone CD images that will be
released throughout the Hardy development cycle. The Alpha images are
known to be reasonably free of show stopper CD build or installer
bugs. Alpha 4 includes several new features that are ready for
large-scale testing. Please refer to
http://www.ubuntu.com/testing/hardy/alpha4 for information on changes
in Ubuntu and https://wiki.kubuntu.org/HardyHeron/Alpha4/Kubuntu for
changes in Kubuntu. Pre-releases of Hardy are not encouraged for
anyone needing a stable system or anyone who is not comfortable
running into occasional, even frequent breakage.

=== Ubuntu Server Team Focuses on KVM ===

With the upcoming LTS release, KVM (Kernel-based Virtual Machine),
will be the virtualization tool of choice for the Server Team. KVM
works on x86 hardware containing virtualization extensions (Intel VT
or AMD-V), using modified QEMU. Ubuntu 8.04 will also include tools to
help manage the KVM. To learn more about KVM, see the interview below
with Soren Hansen, virtualization specialist for the Ubuntu Server

=== Ubuntu Advocacy Banners for Websites ===

After a successful Ubuntu Christmas Campaign, Philip Newborough gives
us new banners to promote Ubuntu and OSS on blogs and websites. These
are very appealing, high profile images that link to
http://www.ubuntu.com/getubuntu. The banners are available in Serbian,
Russian, Turkish, French, Polish, Romanian, Japanese, Dutch, Italian,
Portuguese, and Spanish. Visit the link and get yours now.

=== New MOTU and Council Elections ===

 * Emmet Hikory[1] and Richard Johnson[2] were elected to the MOTU Council.

 * Daniel Hahler was deemed 100% ready for MOTU and he finally joined
the team! https://launchpad.net/~blueyed

 * After getting amazing feedback from his sponsors, the MOTU Council
made Siegfried Gevatter (http://launchpad.net/~rainct) part of the
MOTU team. https://wiki.ubuntu.com/MOTU

[1] https://launchpad.net/people/persia

[2] http://launchpad.net/~nixternal

=== Hug Day - 5 February 2008 ===

It has been two months since the developers team have looked at the
bugs without a package, and the numbers are creeping back up! So join
the team on their next Hug Day on Wednesday, February 5th!  They will
be targeting bugs that do not have a package assigned to them. So feel
free to get started early! The teams goal is to deal with all of the
bugs listed at

== Interview: Soren Hansen on KVM ==

Question: Who are you?

The basics: My name is Soren Hansen, I'm 26, and I work for Canonical
as virtualization specialist on the Ubuntu server team.

Question: When and why did virtualization become a priority for the server team?

Virtualization has been on our agenda for a long time, but it became a
top priority at UDS (Ubuntu Developer Summit) in November. We could
see that demand for it was growing and we took a look at the options
available (KVM, Xen, OpenVZ, QEmu+kqemu, Virtual``Box, etc.) and we
found that KVM was the best fit for us right now and went with it.

Question: What is virtualization and KVM exactly? How will users be impacted?

Well, for the Hardy Heron release, we've really picked up the
virtualization ball. Virtualization is making its way into data
centres and onto developer workstations everywhere. Even "regular"
users are using it to run Ubuntu on Mac OS X all the time.

We've chosen to settle on KVM as our main virtualization focus. KVM is
a special version of QEMU which utilizes the new  virtualization
extensions that both Intel and AMD have added to their newest CPU

KVM enables you to run a complete PC-like system as a process on your
regular Ubuntu system. These are known as virtual machines, or VM's
for short. As a user, you can run the next version of Ubuntu to test
it before you upgrade your real system.  As a developer, you can use
it to work on the kernel without having to reboot your host system all
the time.  As a sysadmin, you can use it to keep your services
separated on your servers.

For example, you can have your database servers in one VM, your web
server in another, mail server in another, etc. all running on the
same physical machine. This may sound pointless, but the benefit is
that you can have these things running for a while until they grow out
of your physical server at which point you can move some of them onto
a dedicated machine or perhaps all of them onto a beefier server. The
system inside the VM doesn't see that anything has changed, so moving
these things around are a breeze. In some cases it's even possible to
migrate a VM to another physical machine without even shutting it
down.  It's a bit rough around the edges, so I wouldn't recommend it
right now unless you really know what you're doing, though. This
/might/ get better before we release Hardy. Only time will tell :)

Question: What are the tools available to manage KVM (GUI and CLI)?

Well, at the core of our virtualization stack is -- obviously -- kvm.
On top of that, we have libvirt. libvirt is a management system for a
number of different virtualization technologies, the most interesting
ones being Xen and KVM. For various technical reasons (I'll spare you
the details), it's very handy to have kvm managed by a long-running
process. This is what libvirtd does. It runs in the background (it is
after all a daemon) and allows for you to connect to it with various
frontends. One of these  frontends is virsh. If you're a member of the
libvirtd group and invoke virsh as "virsh -c qemu:///system", you're
connected to the system wide libvirt daemon and can define new virtual
machines, stop and start existing ones, etc.  virsh is not very
friendly, though, so we also have virt-manager. virt-manager is a
graphical frontend to manage kvm instances. It allows you to set up
VM, see which ones are running, how much CPU they're consuming. It's
all very nice.

== In The Press ==

 * French police deal blow to Microsoft - The French paramilitary
police force said Wednesday it is ditching Microsoft for the free
Linux operating system, becoming one of the biggest administrations in
the world to make the break. The move completes the gendarme's
severance from Microsoft which began in 2005. Their 70,000 desktops
currently use Windows XP operating system, but these will
progressively change over to the Linux operating system distributed by
Ubuntu. There are three reasons behind the move: to reduce the force's
reliance on one company, to give the gendarme mastery of the operating
system, and cost. Colonel Nicolas Geraud says "the Linux interface is
ahead of other operating systems currently on the market for
professional use."

 * 23,000 Linux PCs forge education revolution in Philippines -
Providing high school students with PCs is seen as a first step to
preparing them for a technology-literate future. In the Philippines
many schools cannot afford to provide computing facilities so plans
are underway to roll out 10,000 based on Ubuntu. Ricardo Gonzalez,
said there were a number of factors that led to Linux being chosen
over the venerable Microsoft Windows.

 * Myth Busters: 7 Tech Headaches and How to Fix Them - #5 Computer
operating systems loaded with stuff we don't want and will never use.
In the tech world this phenomenon is known as "software bloat" or
"feature bloat." It's a well-documented problem and a frequent
complaint about Windows Vista in particular. Why not start with a
computer loaded with basic stuff that works 100% of the time? Then,
give "us" the option of adding the bells and whistles. But there's
another solution available to consumers: Switch to a Linux-based OS
such as Ubuntu. Since most Linux OS's are free, there's no business
reason to bloat up the system with feature frills.

 * Virtualization Made Easy In Ubuntu 8.04 - One of the features that
was introduced a year ago into Ubuntu 7.04 was support for KVM, which
is the Kernel-based Virtual Machine. The Kernel-based Virtual Machine
provides full virtualization support for Linux when running on x86
hardware with either Intel's VT or AMD-V technology. Support for
virtual machines in Ubuntu 8.04 has all changed for the better now
that virt-manager and libvirt are available from the main Ubuntu
repository. Virt-manager is the Virtual Machine Manager and is a GUI
for managing virtual machines using libvirt as its base. Virt-manager
and libvirt are already in the Hardy Heron repository and is one of
the features for the Ubuntu 8.04 Alpha 4 release.

 * Dell XPS M1330 Laptop with Ubuntu 7.10 now in America - Good news,
Dell is now shipping their XPS M1330 laptop with a DVD version of
Ubuntu 7.10 which will be pre-installed on the laptops in America. The
prices start at $954 US which is a whole lot better than the 799 Euros
other places have to pay. Visit:
to see all the available Dell models that come pre-installed with
Ubuntu. http://www.product-reviews.net/2008/01/31/dell-xps-m1330-laptop-with-ubuntu-710-now-in-america/

== In The Blogosphere ==

 * First look: Ubuntu 8.04 (Hardy Heron) Alpha 4 - Codenamed Hardy
Heron, Ubuntu 8.04 will be the second long-term support (LTS) release,
which means that it will be supported on the desktop for three years
and on the server for five years. Ryan Paul tested Alpha 4 and is very
impressed with the hot new features: Pulse``Audio (an open source
sound server), GIO and GVFS (new abstraction layer and virtual file
system), Policy``Kit (higher security while giving admins more
flexibility), new world clock applet, and Transmission (a replacement
for Bit``Torrent). Ryan is also looking forward to the promised new
artwork, which will give Hardy a complete visual refresh.

 * Linux: Is 2008 The Year Of The Desktop? - It really does appear as
though we are approaching that point of critical mass, where something
other than Windows could become a dominant desktop OS. Apple has just
recorded their best ever quarter, but now, we also have that bastion
of conservative enterprise solutions, IBM, jumping in to support open
source and using Ubuntu as it's base. A firm the size of IBM doesn't
do things like this lightly, or "just for fun." This means there must
be serious demand from their enterprise customers for a change; and
it's a big change. Is Linux ready for the Desktop? Undoubtedly yes.

 * Open Enterprise Interview: Jono Bacon - One of the key members of
the staff working at Canonical is Jono Bacon, Ubuntu Community
Manager. Jono has been active in the open source community for many
years, and is probably best known for Lug``Radio, "a fortnightly
British [Internet] radio show that takes a relaxed, humorous look at
Linux and open source." Here, he talks about how the Ubuntu community
functions, his role in that process, and what lies ahead for Canonical
and Ubuntu. To get to know Jono better and learn more about what lies
ahead for Ubuntu visit the link. A very good interview with lots of
insight about the direction and inner workings of Ubuntu and
Canonical. http://www.computerworlduk.com/toolbox/open-source/blogs/index.cfm?entryid=428&blogid=14

 * Ubuntu is on the rise - Ubuntu is making inroads at IBM, with IBM
making a significant commitment to lift Ubuntu out of its alleged
"community" status to true enterprise status. It's already
enterprise-class, but perception lags technology. IBM's reason for its
Ubuntu move? Customer demand. Data from Alfresco's chief marketing
officer, Ian Howells, shows Ubuntu exceeding Red Hat Enterprise Linux
for the first time in Alfresco's community. This doesn't mean doom and
gloom for Red Hat, but it does say a lot about the rise of Ubuntu.

 * The Ubuntu Experience: Shamans``Tears writes about his impressions
of Ubuntu after using it for a month. First thing he noticed was that
he needed to adjust the desktop a little, things were a bit too
different. The next step was seeing what applications he had and where
the gaps were. He set up cGmail to handle his gmail, and Scribe``Fire,
a Firefox plugin, for blogging. GIMP fell short of expectation though
and he is still looking for a suitable substitute for Photoshop. In
summary he says, "All things considered, I am really liking the Ubuntu
experience.  I realize that I am only a month into the experience, but
I have little to complain about at this point.  We'll see how the OS
does as I require more and more from it as time goes by."

 * Ubuntu 8.04 Alpha 4 comes with great new applications - Dark Star
gives us another look at some of the new features in Hardy Alpha 4.
They include: Xorg 7.3, Pulse``Audio, Policy``Kit, Firefox 3,
Transmission, Vinagre, Brasero, World clock applet, GVFS, a new Gnome
system monitor, KVM virtualization, and ufw (a new uncomplicated
firewall application). Visit this link to see screen shots and details
of the new applications in Hardy Alpha 4.

== In Other News ==

=== Distribution Release ===

Shift Linux 0.6.2 - Barney Tormey announces the release of Shift Linux
0.6.2, an Ubuntu-based distribution developed by the Neowin.net
community.  There are three editions released at this time: Shift
Linux 0.6 GNOME, Shift Linux 0.6 KDE4, and Shift Linux 0.6 Lite (for
older computers). All three versions of Shift Linux 0.6 are fully
installable (tested and verified). This version incorporates Firefox 3
(Gran``Paradiso), Open``Office.org, new themes, and a tested
installer. This is a transition version as Shift moves away from
Morphix. http://distrowatch.com/?newsid=04724

== Upcoming Meetings and Events ==

=== Saturday, February 9, 2008 ===

==== Southern California Linux Expo booth ====
 * Start: 00:00 US/Pacific
 * End: See Below
 * Location: booth #31 at the Southern California Linux Expo in Los
Angeles, California
 * Agenda: http://www.socallinuxexpo.org/

=== Sunday, February 10, 2008 ===

==== Southern California Linux Expo booth ====
 * Start: See Above
 * End: 23:59 US/Pacific
 * Location: booth #31 at the Southern California Linux Expo in Los
Angeles, California
 * Agenda: http://www.socallinuxexpo.org/

== Updates and Security for 6.06, 6.10, 7.04, and 7.10 ==

=== Security Updates ===

 * [USN-573-1] Pulse``Audio vulnerability -

=== Ubuntu 6.06 LTS Updates ===

 * openldap2.2 2.2.26-5ubuntu2.5 -
 * php5 5.1.2-1ubuntu3.11 -
 * audacity_1.2.4b-2ubuntu2.1 -
 * yarssr_0.2.2-1ubuntu0.6.06.1 -
 * sing_1.1-10ubuntu0.1 -
 * libapache-mod-jk 1: -
 * sun-java5 1.5.0-14-0ubuntu0.6.06 -
 * gtk-qt-engine 0.60-1.1ubuntu7.1 -
 * kdelibs 4:3.5.2-0ubuntu18.6 -
 * kdebase 4:3.5.2-0ubuntu27.4 -

=== Ubuntu 6.10 Updates ===

 * cacti_0.8.6h-3ubuntu0.2 -
 * yarssr_0.2.2-1ubuntu0.6.10.1 -
 * sing_1.1-11ubuntu0.6.10.1 -
 * libapache-mod-jk 1:1.2.18-1ubuntu1.1 -
 * gtk-qt-engine 0.70-0ubuntu1.1 -
 * kdelibs 4:3.5.5-0ubuntu3.6 -
 * gtk-qt-engine 0.70-0ubuntu1.2 -
 * kdebase 4:3.5.5-0ubuntu3.8 -

=== Ubuntu 7.04 Updates ===

 * audacity_1.2.6-0ubuntu1.1 -
 * wordpress 2.1.3-1ubuntu1.1 -
 * cacti_0.8.6i-3ubuntu0.1 -
 * yarssr_0.2.2-1ubuntu0.7.04.1 -
 * sing_1.1-11ubuntu0.7.04.1 -
 * libapache-mod-jk 1:1.2.18-3ubuntu1.1 -
 * pulseaudio 0.9.5-5ubuntu4.2 -
 * flashplugin-nonfree -
 * kdelibs 4:3.5.6-0ubuntu14.2 -
 * gtk-qt-engine 0.71 -
 * kdebase 4:3.5.6-0ubuntu20.9 -
 * squid3 3.0.PRE5-5ubuntu0.1 -

=== Ubuntu 7.10 Updates ===

 * kdepim 4:3.5.7enterprise20070926-0ubuntu2.1 -
 * openmpi 1.1-2.5ubuntu1 -
 * gnome-games 1:2.20.3-0ubuntu1 -
 * audacity_1.3.3-1ubuntu0.1 -
 * wordpress 2.2.2-1ubuntu1.2 -
 * cacti_0.8.6j-1.1ubuntu0.1 -
 * yarssr_0.2.2-1ubuntu1.2 -
 * sing_1.1-15ubuntu0.1 -
 * wireshark 0.99.6rel-3ubuntu0.1 -
 * parallels 2.2.2222-1gutsy1 -
 * parallels 2.2.2222-1gutsy2 -
 * pulseaudio 0.9.6-1ubuntu2.1 -
 * app-install-data-commercial 8.4 -
 * kdebase 4:3.5.8-0ubuntu2.2 -
 * flashplugin-nonfree -
 * gtk-qt-engine 1:0.8~svn-rev36-2ubuntu2.1 -
 * kdelibs 4:3.5.8-0ubuntu3.3 -
 * squid3 3.0.PRE6-1ubuntu0.1 -

== Bug Stats ==

 * Open (40133) +378 # over last week
 * Critical (17) +/-0 # over last week
 * Unconfirmed (20597) +162 # over last week
 * Unassigned (30578) +363 # over last week
 * All bugs ever reported (149398) +1726 # over last week

As always, the Bug Squad needs more help. If you want to get started,
please see  https://wiki.ubuntu.com/BugSquad

== Translation Stats ==

 1. Spanish (12414) -3 # over last week
 2. French (37728) +/-0 # over last week
 3. Swedish (49176) +/-0 # over last week
 4. English-UK (24967) -24 # over last week
 5. German (66312) -75 # over last week

Remaining string to translate in Ubuntu 7.10 "Gutsy Gibbon", see more
at: https://translations.launchpad.net/ubuntu/gutsy/

== Archives and RSS Feed ==

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You can subscribe to the Ubuntu Weekly News via RSS at:

== Additional Ubuntu News ==

As always you can find more news and announcements at:




== Conclusion ==

Thank you for reading the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter.

See you next week!

== Credits ==

The Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter is brought to you by:

 * Nick Ali
 * John Crawford
 * Craig A. Eddy
 * And many others

== Glossary of Terms ==

 * CLI - Command Line Interfact
 * CPU - Central Processing Unit
 * GIO - gobject-based library that abstracts out various forms of I/O
 * GUI - Graphical User Interface
 * GVFS - Gnome Virtual File System
 * I/O - Input / Output
 * ufw - uncomplicated firewall application

== Feedback ==

If you would like to submit an idea or story you think is worth
appearing on the UWN, please send them to
ubuntu-marketing-submissions at lists.ubuntu.com.
This document is maintained by the Ubuntu Marketing Team. Please feel
free to contact us regarding any concerns or suggestions by either
sending an email to ubuntu-marketing at lists.ubuntu.com or by using any
of the other methods on the Ubuntu Marketing Team Contact Information
Page (https://wiki.ubuntu.com/MarketingTeam). If you'd like to
contribute to a future issue of the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter, please
feel free to edit the appropriate wiki page. If you have any technical
support questions, please send then ubuntu-users at lists.ubuntu.com.

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