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Google Talks About Its Ubuntu Experience 230

dartttt writes "There was a very interesting session at the Ubuntu Developer Summit by Google developer Thomas Bushnell. He talked about how Ubuntu, its derivatives and Goobuntu (Google's customized Ubuntu based distro) are used by Google developers. He starts by saying 'Precise Rocks,' and that many Google employees use Ubuntu — including managers, software engineers, translators, people who wrote the original Unix, and people who have no clue about Unix. Many developers working on Chrome and Android use Ubuntu. Ubuntu systems at Google are upgraded every LTS release. The entire process of upgrading can take as much as four months, and it is also quite expensive, as one reboot or a small change can cost them as much as a million dollars across the company." Bushnell also mentions that Google Drive will soon be available for Linux. Other news out of UDS: there was discussion of a GNOME flavor of 12.10, Electronic Arts reaffirmed that they "won't delay their Windows work for Linux," and Unity 2D is likely to disappear in 12.10.

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Google Talks About Its Ubuntu Experience

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  • Re:Precise (Score:0, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 12, 2012 @07:38PM (#39982165)
    I use Unity every day and find it very productive. Maybe you're just an idiot.
  • No more Unity 2D? (Score:5, Informative)

    by PCM2 ( 4486 ) on Saturday May 12, 2012 @07:38PM (#39982167) Homepage

    OK, I'm not sure I understand the whole "get rid of Unity 2D" thing. As I understand it, Unity 3D means it's accelerated, but VMware and other virtualization environments don't support GPU acceleration for Ubuntu yet, so that leave people who prefer to run Ubuntu in a VM without a GUI. Where's the logic in that? Not even Windows forces you to have a modern video card for hardware acceleration -- if your hardware can't do Aero Glass, Windows just switches it off.

  • Re:No more Unity 2D? (Score:5, Informative)

    by grantek ( 979387 ) on Saturday May 12, 2012 @07:55PM (#39982257)

    Unity3D will still be usable without GPU acceleration, it will use a new software implementation of OpenGL called llvmpipe. llvmpipe is a much better software rasteriser than we've traditionally had, but it's still software which means it's significantly slower than even the simplest of hardware OpenGL implementations.

  • Re:Upgrades do suck (Score:5, Informative)

    by Junta ( 36770 ) on Saturday May 12, 2012 @08:03PM (#39982295)

    It does happen though, and quite severely. For example, roundcube got thoroughly busted on an upgrade when using sqlite: []

    This may have bitten debian as well though, so I don't know if Debian fared any better (e.g. the last comment in that bug).

  • Re:No more Unity 2D? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Junta ( 36770 ) on Saturday May 12, 2012 @08:08PM (#39982317)

    His example specifically called out virtual machines. The emulated graphics cards *frequently* won't do what is needed for a reasonable 3D situation. Now there is an emulated path (e.g. at least fedora 17 can do gnome shell in a VM even), but the experience is atrocious (CPU load is massive and that's another thing that is constrained in a VM). Even with my not quite-that-ancient integrated AMD graphics, compiz causes mythfrontend to crawl, whereas it is serviceable without compositing.

  • Re:Unity 2D (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 12, 2012 @08:11PM (#39982321)

    I just had a new bit of Unity experience yesterday. I had tried the early horribly unstable versions but switched away very quickly. Yesterday, I did a long-overdue update of Ubuntu on girlfriend's netbook to 12.04. Here's how it went after the upgrade.

    What a coincidence, my girlfriend and i had a unity experience yesterday too. I'd have to check, but I'm pretty sure it involved DDs and not DDDs.

    I'm pretty sure my gf will soon be asking to switch to a different interface, she's really uncomfortable with Unity so far.

    I wouldn't push her to try different interfaces if she's uncomfortable with you current unity. Be patient, and when she does get curious about trying another interface, go slowly.

  • by IAmR007 ( 2539972 ) on Saturday May 12, 2012 @08:12PM (#39982325)
    I work for S2Games, and we have had native Linux clients for Savage 1, Savage 2, and currently Heroes of Newerth. It was the Linux support that originally got me involved with the company's games and eventually hired. Our OpenGL renderer is slightly lacking at the moment, but the main problem is that of business and market share, not technical reasons. Maintaining something around only 4% of the user base uses is difficult (mac and linux combined), but many of the community volunteers come from that mac/linux group. As the guy who runs the technical support, I really wish more people would play on Linux. The Linux problems are usually much easier to solve (except alsa problems). With Windows issues, there's a lot of uncertainty with firewall setups, antivirus, file permissions, and odd behavior in general. With Linux, the problem can usually be identified with a few tests. It's a viscous circle. There aren't many Linux games because not many gamers run Linux, and there aren't many Linux games because the companies don't want to have to increase build times for each patch by supporting another OS. EA taking this small first step may help break this cycle, which is only good news for Linux gaming.
  • Re:No more Unity 2D? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Junta ( 36770 ) on Saturday May 12, 2012 @08:15PM (#39982339)

    In the Ubuntu case, they are doing the same thing Fedora did in 17. If it can't be hardware accelerated, use the CPU to do the graphics operations. And yes, it is as slow as it sounds, contrary to various advocates swearing it's good enough.

  • Re:Unity 2D (Score:5, Informative)

    by Zaiff Urgulbunger ( 591514 ) on Saturday May 12, 2012 @08:21PM (#39982375)
    The thing I hate about the launcher is how ridiculously hard it is to create a custom launcher. My use-case: I have a shell script I like to run occasionally. I'd like to have a nice clicky icon to run it from. This should be simple to do... but is sooooo isn't. Worst part is any documentation I found suggested I could create a file on the desktop, right-click that and choose a "Create launcher" open. Or something like that. Anyway, I think that option used to exist, but they dropped it from 12.04 without apparently thinking to create an alternative.

    ...I find myself ranting quite a lot over 12.04, but to be fair, I do like that DVD's play perfectly right from a fresh install, and I don't get any screen tearing when watching DVDs / web video. So it's not all bad. Only the bad bits are bad!
  • Re:Unity 2D (Score:2, Informative)

    by jamstar7 ( 694492 ) on Saturday May 12, 2012 @09:44PM (#39982703)
    I've heard nothing but horror stories about Unity. Yeah, it's installed on my machine, but I'm half afraid to try it. I put the LXDE on it instead and use that with some blackbox slit apps. Just CTRL-ALT-F1 to a shell, log in and 'sudo apt-get install lubuntu-desktop', let it churn away, hit ALT-F7 to go back to your gui, log out, select LXDE for your new login session, and you'll have a desktop that's useable.
  • Re:Upgrades do suck (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 12, 2012 @09:45PM (#39982713)

    The Debian Mozilla Team [] provides a very simple page describing how to use just about any current version of Firefox/Iceweasel on any current version of Debian.

    I'm still using Squeeze myself and I've been getting the lastest verisons of Iceweasel within a day or so of them being released.

  • Re:Unity 2D (Score:5, Informative)

    by F.Ultra ( 1673484 ) on Saturday May 12, 2012 @09:50PM (#39982739)
    Create a .desktop file for your script: []
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 13, 2012 @05:28AM (#39984329)

    try this patch ... sorry, the lameness filter doesn't allow it. oh well,

    basically /usr/share/software-center/backend/channel_impl/


    comment out "self._append_banner_ads()"

    and in
    from if (not pkgname in self.cache

Disraeli was pretty close: actually, there are Lies, Damn lies, Statistics, Benchmarks, and Delivery dates.