Ubuntu 11.10 Release Schedule

Ubuntu 11.10 (Oneiric Ocelot) is scheduled for release Oct 13, 2011. It will mark the 15th release of Ubuntu. It has come a long way since the early days.

Here’s the rest of the Ubuntu 11.10 release schedule.

  • June 2nd, 2011 – Alpha 1 release
  • July 7th, 2011 – Alpha 2 release
  • August 4th, 2011 – Alpha 3 release
  • September 1st, 2011 – Beta 1 release
  • September 22nd, 2011 – Beta 2 release
  • October 13th, 2011 – Final release of Ubuntu 11.10

Install Firefox 5 On Ubuntu 11.04

Waiting for Canonical to update Mozilla Firefox with your latest Ubuntu release may take a very long time. Are you tired of waiting? Take action. Install Firefox 5 now. Why continue to run Firefox 3.6 if you can get Firefox 5 now? Firefox has sped up their development. It’s time for Canonical to match the Firefox releases. The following instructions will install the latest stable Firefox release to your current Ubuntu distribution. The current Ubuntu release is 11.04 Natty Narwhal. The current Firefox release is Firefox 5. By the way, I’m still running Ubuntu 10.04 LTS and the instructions worked. This will also work for Ubuntu 10.10.

From the Terminal, run the following commands:

$ sudo add-apt-repository ppa:mozillateam/firefox-stable
$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get upgrade

This will also update when Firefox 6 and Firefox 7 are released in the future.

Could Chrome Replace Firefox in Ubuntu

Reports have been confirmed that Firefox performance in Linux is considerably slower than in Windows or the Mac. So, why is Firefox performance slow in Linux? It seems to be a matter of priority. Less priority that is. Firefox developers have been focused on Windows, addressing issues where the majority of Firefox users are based.

Mozilla seemed to place less emphasis on Linux development. Mozilla is aware of these issues and are trying to fix them. Potentially, Canonical can replace Firefox with Chrome if performance continuous to be perceived as slow. Mozilla can potentially lose millions of dollars if this were to happen.

Mozilla receives millions of dollars from Google for making Google Search the default search engine for Firefox in Ubuntu. The growth of Firefox have slowed down considerably as Chrome continues to eat away the browser market share. I wouldn’t be surprised if Chrome becomes the default browser in the future, not only because of performance, but because it makes perfect sense.

After all, the Chrome browser is the centerpiece of the Chrome OS.

Funny Ubuntu Codenames

Canonical has released 14 Ubuntu distributions over the years. It started with Warty Warthog , followed by Hoary Hedgehog and Breezy Badger. Canonical switched to alphabetical order starting with Dapper Drake, then Edgy Eft, Feisty Fawn, Gutsy Gibbon, Hardy Heron, Gutsy Gibbon, Intrepid Ibex, Jaunty Jackalope, Karmic Koala, Lucid Lynx, and currently Maverick Meerkat. Canonical has already announced the next two releases, Natty Narwhal  and Oneiric Ocelot.

Although Canonical has done well in choosing its codenames over the years, it sure did miss out on some really funny ones. As most of you are aware, Ubuntu codenames are comprised of animals preceded by adjectives that start with the same letter. So, here’s my list of what could have been Ubuntu codenames.

What Could Have Been Codenames

  • A – Arrogant Ass
  • B – Babbling Baboon
  • C – Cocky Cobra
  • D – Dreadful Donkey
  • E – Earthly Earthworm
  • F – Flustered Flounder
  • G – Grumpy Gecko
  • H – Hideous Hyena
  • I – Icy Iguana
  • J – Jittery Jackrabbit
  • K – Killer Komodo
  • L – Loyal Leech
  • M – Magnetic Mosquito
  • N – Nerdy Nautilus
  • O – Orgasmic Orca

Future Codenames

  • P – Plumpy Penguin
  • Q – Quirky Quail
  • R – Raunchy Rabbit
  • S – Sexy Skunk
  • T – Tacky Tadpole
  • U – Ugly Urchin
  • V – Venomous Viper
  • W – Wretched Weasel
  • Y – Yackety Yak
  • Z – Zany Zebra

What’s yours? Any suggestions?

The Ubuntu Font

If you have visited Ubuntu’s website lately, you may have noticed the font being used. It’s called the Ubuntu font. See sample below. Canonical plans to release the Ubuntu font as open-source. Mark Shuttleworth talks about the font development in detail in his blog. If you haven’t been to the Ubuntu site lately, check it out. Also, Betatype has released an Ubuntu titling font. It’s not open source.

Washington Post Reviews Ubuntu 10.04

Ubuntu 10.04 is getting publicity not just from tech blogs and tech magazines, but also from mainstream media such as the Washington Post. It’s not the first time that a major newspaper like the Post has printed an article about Ubuntu. Apparently, the same author reviewed Ubuntu 6.06 several years back. Certainly, any exposure of Ubuntu to non-techie readers is a welcome change.

It’s great seeing different perspectives of Ubuntu. Here are a couple of quotes from Rob Pegoraro’s article from the Washington Post.

Linux may run TiVo video recorders and live inside Android phones, in addition to running much of the Internet’s servers, but it still lags on home PCs.

Will that change anytime soon? A new version of a consumer-oriented edition of Linux, Ubuntu (http://ubuntu.com), offers hope for Linux optimists but leaves room for doubters, too.

A fair assessment. The author continues.

Ubuntu does not, however, include the junk that’s standard issue on new Windows PCs, such as expiring trial versions or pushy security utilities. Neither can it run any Windows viruses, trojans, spyware or worms.

This has always been the biggest selling point of Ubuntu.

But Ubuntu also leaves out two things Windows users rightly expect: built-in support for common media file formats and all their computer’s parts.

To me, this is the biggest shortfall of Ubuntu. It’s the constant tinkering to make Ubuntu work with proprietary media file formats. To Linux purists, a distro release with non-proprietary software is the only choice. To most users, they just want a system that works with less tinkering, and less reading of forums to find solutions.

Compared with Windows XP and 7, Ubuntu 10.04 booted up and shut down much faster. But it needed more time to sleep and wake up and fell far short in battery life. With the screen kept on, two Web pages refreshing themselves and a music library playing, the Dell ran for two hours and 25 minutes in Linux, 23 minutes less than in XP. In the same test, the Sony lasted just under three hours in Ubuntu — but ran for another 80 minutes in Win 7.

This is another area Ubuntu can do better with regards to the battery life.

Overall, this is great exposure of Ubuntu. I’m hoping to see more articles as Ubuntu becomes more mainstream.

Canonical Plugins Explained

What exactly is Canonical Plugins? WordPress.org explains

Canonical plugins would be plugins that are community developed (multiple developers, not just one person) and address the most popular functionality requests with superlative execution. These plugins would be GPL and live in the WordPress.org repo, and would be developed in close connection with WordPress core. There would be a very strong relationship between core and these plugins that ensured that a) the plugin code would be secure and the best possible example of coding standards, and b) that new versions of WordPress would be tested against these plugins prior to release to ensure compatibility. There would be a screen within the Plugins section of the WordPress admin to feature these canonical plugins as a kind of Editor’s Choice or Verified guarantee. These plugins would be a true extension of core WordPress in terms of compatibility, security and support.

Ubuntu USB Thumbnail Diagnostic Software

Workswithu.com had a recent article about Ubuntu’s USB Thumbnail Diagnostic Software capable of determining if your desktop or laptop is qualified of running Ubuntu 9.10. Canonical and Ubuntu volunteers were at the Atlanta Linux Fest testing systems. Canonical will review the results of the diagnostic tests to fix any potential bugs and user issues. Canonical plans to release the USB Thumbnail Diagnostic Software to everyone. I hope they put it online soon. This is the kind of software that should be included in every ISO.

Microsoft Sees Linux Threat

Finally, Microsoft is acknowledging that Red Hat and Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu, are a threat to its client business. Microsoft mentioned both Redhat and Canonical in its annual filing to the Securities and Exchange Commission. The Canonical threat is due to the popularity of netbooks powered by Linux.

To those of us who have been using Linux, it’s a well known fact that Microsoft has been attacking Linux for years as attested by the now infamous Halloween documents. The Halloween documents are a series of leaked Microsoft confidential memos pertaining to free software, open-source software and Linux.

Interesting enough, Microsoft does not mention Google Chrome OS which is still a year away from fruition. I imagine, the next time around, Microsoft will shift its focus away from Redhat and Canonical, and towards Google, a much bigger threat with lots of cash and brand to boot.

Ubuntu in New York Times

I recently read an online news article in the New York Times regarding Ubuntu and Mark Shuttleworth, the billionaire founder of Canonical, the company behind the open-source Linux distribution called Ubuntu.

The article gives Ubuntu some much needed exposure especially from a non-technical publication or news organization. The article focuses on the rise of Ubuntu and Mark Shuttleworth and its battle against Microsoft.

It’s worth a read. Let me highlight the more notables quips in this article.

Created just over four years ago, Ubuntu (pronounced oo-BOON-too) has emerged as the fastest-growing and most celebrated version of the Linux operating system, which competes with Windows primarily through its low, low price: $0.

But Canonical, Mr. Shuttleworth’s company that makes Ubuntu, has decided to focus its near-term aspirations on the PCs used by workers and people at home.

Close to half of Google’s 20,000 employees use a slightly modified version of Ubuntu, playfully called Goobuntu.

The Macedonian education department relies on Ubuntu, providing 180,000 copies of the operating system to children, while the Spanish school system has 195,000 Ubuntu desktops. In France, the National Assembly and the Gendarmerie Nationale, the military police force, rely on Ubuntu for a combined 80,000 PCs.

Microsoft had an estimated 10,000 people working on Vista, its newest desktop operating system, for five years. The result of this multibillion-dollar investment has been a product late to market and widely panned.

Canonical, meanwhile, releases a fresh version of Ubuntu every six months, adding features that capitalize on the latest advances from developers and component makers like Intel. The company’s model centers on outpacing Microsoft on both price and features aimed at new markets.

The latter part of the article covers Mark Shuttleworth which is always an interesting read. Nonetheless, it’s great to see Ubuntu making it to the New York Times. Here’s the full article.