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Operating Systems Ubuntu Linux

Canonical Shares Desktop Plans For Ubuntu 18.10 (ubuntu.com) 80

Canonical's Will Cooke on Friday talked about the features the company is working on for Ubuntu 18.10 "Cosmic Cuttlefish" cycle. He writes: We're also adding some new features which we didn't get done in time for the main 18.04 release. Specifically: Unlock with your fingerprint, Thunderbolt settings via GNOME Control Center, and XDG Portals support for snap.

GNOME Software improvements
We're having a week long sprint in June to map out exactly how we want the software store to work, how we want to present information and to improve the overall UX of GNOME Software. We've invited GNOME developers along to work with Ubuntu's design team and developers to discuss ideas and plan the work. I'll report back from the sprint in June.

Snap start-up time
Snapcraft have added the ability for us to move some application set up from first run to build time. This will significantly improve desktop application first time start up performance, but there is still more we can do.

Chromium as a snap
Chromium is becoming very hard to build on older releases of Ubuntu as it uses a number of features of modern C++ compilers. Snaps can help us solve a lot of those problems and so we propose to ship Chromium only as a snap from 18.10 onwards, and also to retire Chromium as a deb in Trusty. If you're still running Trusty you can get the latest Chromium as a snap right now.
In addition, Ubuntu team is also working on introducing improvements to power consumption, adding support for DLNA, so that users could share media directly from their desktop to DLNA clients (without having to install and configure extra packages), and improved phone integration by shipping GS Connect as part of the desktop, the GNOME port of KDE Connect. Additional changelog here.

Canonical Shares Desktop Plans For Ubuntu 18.10

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    Unlock with fingerprint? I had that last year with Fedora 25 KDE and Fedora 25 Cinnamon. I remember it being a pam thing... I thought it was old-hat by now.

    • by Anonymous Coward
      the idea is to do this out-of-the-install ... not any need for edit pam.d files or activate permissions via shell commands.
  • by bobstreo ( 1320787 ) on Friday May 18, 2018 @01:03PM (#56633786)

    A new bunch of features to deal with.

    I used MiniDLNA for a while (when I was using a SONY PS3 as a media player, and it worked pretty well. I can't imagine DLNA support is really much of an accomplishment in 2918.

    • Yeah, I use Rygel. There's even a nice GUI for it now. It's trivial to setup. However, Windows comes with DLNA support preinstalled as part of Windows Media Player (or whatever they call it now). Canonical seems hell bent on copying every design Microsoft rolls out. Even the bad ones. [wikipedia.org]
    • The heck is DLNA? This one's new for me.
      • Digital Living Network Alliance. It's been around for almost 15 years now. It's the reason your TV probably shows up in your Windows networking screen. It's a zero configuration system for sharing media and playback capabilities between devices. It's also flaky as crap and only works on a full moon.

        • Ah okay. Not a protocol, but an industry group or something, and some googling pretty much said "DRM stuff" but didn't really declare that it's a protocol.

          • Yes and no. DLNA is basically an alliance that formed guidelines on how all devices should implement a common set of already existing standards in the hope to make them work. E.g. It says all these devices need to support UPnP with configuration W, supporting media formats X, Y, and Z, and if it falls into the device category A then it needs functionality B and C.

            It just hobbles together things that should have been interoperable in the first place to be actually interoperable. For instance, if you enable M

    • I can't imagine DLNA support is really much of an accomplishment in 2918.

      Typo aside I'm looking forward to 2918, maybe DLNA actually works smoothly by then. I have a mixture of open and closed source DLNA servers, players, and renderers in my house. I'm sure that one seeing the other is based entirely on some random number generator in each.

      Their website says "13 YEARS AND FOUR BILLION DEVICES LATER". A good accomplishment, but I'd be happy enough if even 2 of those devices would actually just work. Zero Configuration Networking has to be the flimsiest concept invented since the

  • What the what? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by honestmonkey ( 819408 ) on Friday May 18, 2018 @01:06PM (#56633810) Journal
    I've been a programmer for a long time. Bunch of different languages, mostly Unix or Linux, some Windows. "If you're still running Trusty you can get the latest Chromium as a snap right now." Is that even English? Or what?
    • I've been a programmer for a long time. Bunch of different languages, mostly Unix or Linux, some Windows. "If you're still running Trusty you can get the latest Chromium as a snap right now." Is that even English? Or what?

      "Trusty" is an Ubuntu version. That could stand some parenthetical explanation.

      The rest of it should be pretty intelligible to any current Linux user with moderate curiosity and an eye for tech news.

    • Re:What the what? (Score:5, Informative)

      by tepples ( 727027 ) <tepples@gmail.BOHRcom minus physicist> on Friday May 18, 2018 @01:16PM (#56633894) Homepage Journal

      "Trusty" is Ubuntu 14.04 LTS, codename "Trusty Tahr", released in 2014-04 and supported until 2019-04.
      "LTS" is long-term supported versions of Ubuntu, which receive security updates for five years.
      "Chromium" is a web browser published by Google with all the proprietary parts stripped out.
      "snap" is a packaged application distributed by the Ubuntu store, which runs in a container to isolate its dependencies.

      Translation: If you're still running Ubuntu 14.04, you can get the latest Google web browser as a self-contained package.

      • by shess ( 31691 )

        "Trusty" is Ubuntu 14.04 LTS, codename "Trusty Tahr", released in 2014-04 and supported until 2019-04.
        "LTS" is long-term supported versions of Ubuntu, which receive security updates for five years.
        "Chromium" is a web browser published by Google with all the proprietary parts stripped out.
        "snap" is a packaged application distributed by the Ubuntu store, which runs in a container to isolate its dependencies.

        Translation: If you're still running Ubuntu 14.04, you can get the latest Google web browser as a self-contained package.

        Whoa. Your translation _is_ super long compared to the original text!

        • Whoa. Your translation _is_ super long compared to the original text!

          Just be happy he doesn't explain the following terms: running, Ubuntu, Google, web, web browser, self-contained, package. The resulting explanation may have words like computers, software, and applications in it requiring further clarification. It's explanations all the way back to the dawn of the universe.

      • Translation: If you're still running Ubuntu 14.04, you can get the latest Google web browser as a self-contained package.

        Then why can't he (we) just say that? All the pseudo-tech marketing horseshit reminds me of Ballmer's squirting Zune. ffs.

        • Then why can't he (we) just say that?

          A summary of a news article cannot define every word used therein; otherwise, every summary would become a dictionary. Thus a summary of an article can use without definition any word whose definition that the expected audience of that article is expected to already know. In this case, anyone who runs Ubuntu 14.04 and has installed Google's web browser has seen the names "Trusty" during installation of the operating system and "Chromium" during installation and launching of the browser. Therefore, communica

        • Then why can't he (we) just say that? All the pseudo-tech marketing horseshit reminds me of Ballmer's squirting Zune. ffs.

          Actually it's the well known names describing accurately the very specifics of what is available and to whom. The simplification which you support now includes the possibilities of multiple different browsers and multiple different package installation methods (snap not being the only containerised package system).

          Or maybe we should abstract it all the way: You can do computery things with your computer!
          Slashdot: News for grandmas who don't Google.

      • "snap" is a packaged application distributed by the Ubuntu store, which runs in a container to isolate its dependencies.

        Surely it's more than that: you can ship a package with its dependencies using RPATH and have been able to do so for years!

        • by tepples ( 727027 )

          A snap also runs in a container to isolate the application from the data in your home directory that you have not yet chosen to expose to the application.

          • And that portion of it still needs work. My home directory is on another drive, snap refuses to let me do anything because 'permission denied'. Despite all the bits being set correctly.

        • RPATH is just a way of loading specific libraries from a different directory.

          Snaps are self contained apps delivered with all dependencies in a dedicated filesystem sandboxed from the main system.

          • Snaps are self contained apps delivered with all dependencies in a dedicated filesystem sandboxed from the main system.

            Ah I guess the last bit (sandboxing) is the important bit, that you don't get with a simple tar file :)

            • Yeah. There's quite a lot of different containerised systems now to chose from that each offer different features and benefits, flatpak, snap, appimage, and some that take on more virtualisation like docker. Some require installation, others can run standalone, some have command line tools, others not. etc.

      • Typing this in Chromium on Trusty Tahr. (with an IBM model M of course)
  • by greenwow ( 3635575 ) on Friday May 18, 2018 @01:08PM (#56633832)

    going to be? IIRC the VLC snap was 190 MB download and about 700 MB on disk.

    • Between Snaps, Unity, and Systemd, it's like Canonical is trying to clone Windows 8.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      And worse are the security problems because you have to wait until the snap is updated rather than just a shared library.

  • by ctilsie242 ( 4841247 ) on Friday May 18, 2018 @01:17PM (#56633900)

    Looks like Ubuntu 18.x doesn't offer user home directory encryption anymore. Not sure how good/bad/ugly this is, but I thought it to be a useful feature.

    • You can still download and run encfs. It just isn't supported by default.

  • by xack ( 5304745 ) on Friday May 18, 2018 @01:29PM (#56633988)
    Ubundows 10 still not for consumption by serious Linux users. Plus playing with all this "snap" nonsense instead of plain .deb files.
    • by HiThere ( 15173 )

      Well, is snap packages actually do run in a good sandbox, it makes some sense. That would make it a lot safer to install packages from sources you don't really trust. And it would limit the damages that mistakes could cause. They should also be easy to remove, with all their requirements, configurations, etc. And it could allow packages with conflicting requirements in configuration to co-exist.

      That said, snap packages are clearly inferior to a deb when it comes to required install space. And a sandbox

      • by Bonker ( 243350 )

        That would make it a lot safer to install packages from sources you don't really trust.

        Even think about installing from sources I don't really trust? This was one of my big joys when I was finally able to ditch Windows. I didn't have to install *anything* I didn't trust any more.

        Snaps abstract too much away, IMHO. You don't know what runtime a given snap is going to require unless you dig. There's *another* place for insecure code to run if everything is not perfectly vetted.

    • by Sesostris III ( 730910 ) on Friday May 18, 2018 @01:58PM (#56634180)
      I'm using 16.04 LTS and will do the standard upgrade to 18.04 LTS once 18.04.1 comes out. I'll ignore 18.10 and wait until 20.04 LTS to upgrade again after that.

      I'm not sure what a 'serious Linux user' is, but clearly I'm not one. However, "snap" sounds great with regards running new software on an old(ish) system without worrying too much about dependencies (or dependency conflict). Also, although I'm clearly not a 'serious Linux user', I think even I will be able to disable/remove any 'Amazon Integration' should I so wish. (And SystemD comes with Debian, and is not specifically an Ubuntu thing).
      • I'm not sure what a 'serious Linux user' is

        Any user who is creative enough to mix the word Ubuntu and Windows 10 but is too stupid to write "man systemctl" or understand why snaps and deb files are two different things.

        Personally I don't associate myself with serious Linux users. They are intolerable.

    • Still got SystemD ...

      And that means support for the last non-systemd LTS will expire while all the remaining supported LTSes use systemd (or at least use it by default).

      Which means I can't stay with Ubuntu, and have to migrate, to avoid systemd.

      It's been a nice ride, guys. Thanks. But goodbye/

  • Translation: (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Gravis Zero ( 934156 ) on Friday May 18, 2018 @02:04PM (#56634226)

    We can and will make this Linux distribution worse! ;)

  • I try it on a intel tablet, boot greath on the live session, but once installed (bare metal), crash big time. No problem with other distro, look like it's made only to work as a demo.

  • Chromium is hard to compile because it is now a compiler monoculture. Gcc 4.9 has all the features it needs, but because Google now only use a single version of a single compiler, other compilers will be lacking the same bugs as that clang version.

    It is particularly incorrect use of constexpr and noexcept clang has trouble with and thus plagues the Chromium code everywhere as their developers are just scattering it around without understanding it.

  • by MichaelSmith ( 789609 ) on Friday May 18, 2018 @04:40PM (#56635290) Homepage Journal

    After the gnome team made such a big deal of their fresh start with gnome 3, I was surprised years later that gnome was still full of bugs. I used it for a few weeks after ubuntu ditched unity, then changed to xfce. I didn't see anything in the article about fixing bugs . Its all about new features, so I won't be going back to gnome.

  • by yusing ( 216625 ) on Friday May 18, 2018 @07:46PM (#56636370) Journal

    Two years after 16.04, 18.04 arrives. Perceptible *useful* differences, as far as I the end-user can tell?

    Miniscule. Again.

    So while I'm glad the boys and girls are enjoying their fine-tuning experiences, in my experience, upgrades to 16.04 would have sufficed. The rest basically boils down to make-work.

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