Jamie Bennett Speaks

Thoughts from Jamie Bennett

Archive for February, 2010

The New UI for ARM Based Ubuntu Devices

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ARM based platforms traditionally have a problem with graphics drivers and free software. Encumbered by licensing issues, many platforms only ship with 2D based drivers whilst the 3D driver-enabled offerings only frequent the poshest of circles such as Nokia’s N900. There are exceptions, but its a painful reality at the moment.

Vendors are trying to work around it, especially as there is the expectation of a ramp-up in the availability of ARM based hardware. Super long-life netbooks, low powered touch based computers, and even a flurry of smaller embedded devices are forecast to hit the market this year, many of which will be based on the Linux operating system. Ubuntu would be a great match for this.
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Written by JamieBennett

February 15th, 2010 at 9:38 am

Ubuntu live cd’s, now 33% faster

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One of the goals for the Lucid cycle was to investigate why it took so long to boot an Ubuntu live cd session. Why is this important I hear you ask? Well the live cd is usually the first thing a potential new Ubuntu user sees. They get an Ubuntu Desktop (or other flavour) cd from their friend/colleague/random person, insert it into their machine, wait for a while and are then presented with a live session. All well and good but if your running on slower hardware, even a different architecture such as ARM, this initial slowness can be orders of magnitude more than a fast desktop/laptop. For example, the ARM images we shipped for Karmic took over 3 minutes to boot into a live desktop session.
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Written by JamieBennett

February 12th, 2010 at 2:27 am

Posted in Linux,Ubuntu

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Ubuntu Platform Sprint

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Taken from the dinning area in the Hilton Portland & Executive Tower Hotel


So its that time of year again, a great Ubuntu release was made late last year and the team is frantically trying to make the next release even better. So to facilitate this the Ubuntu platform team got together for a sprint in the most awesome city of Portland, Oregon last week. Whoever designed the city must be commended, its easy to explore, well laid out and you never get the sense that you are lost, much kudo’s to them.

Anyway, back to team business. The mobile team managed to get a metric tonne of work done (possibly more) in the 5 short days. To date we now have a new default UNR styled UI, 33% faster-to-boot live-cd images (thats across all images, not just ARM), mature and optimized (can you say Thumb2+NEON) images, the Chrome web browser on ARM, greater integration of testing and many, many, bugs squashed. All this and we are only half-way through the cycle.

ARM hardware is only just proliferating onto the market but when it becomes mainstream, we hope our hard work will make Ubuntu the default operating system. The team is working hard to make Lucid the best ever ARM optimized Linux release and we invite you, if you have hardware, to use, test, and contribute to make Linux the choice for ARM hardware.

Written by JamieBennett

February 9th, 2010 at 9:38 pm

Posted in Linux,Ubuntu

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