Ubuntu’s Parent Company Canonical is Heading for an IPO

By John Paul

Wall Street

Earlier this year in April, Canonical, the creators of Ubuntu, announced that they would be making some major changes. One of the biggest changes was the end of development for the Unity desktop and Canonical’s mobile efforts. There were also a large number of layoffs.

At the time, Abhishek wondered about the possibility of an IPO (Initial Public Offering). He wasn’t alone. I remember reading several articles and even listening to a couple podcasts, that suggested the same thing.

In a recent eWEEK interview, Mark Shuttleworth, the founder, and CEO of Canonical announced just that.

He said in part “What you’ll see at some stage soon is that we have broken even on all the pieces that we do commercially without Unity. At some stage after that, we will take a round of investment which will be a growth round and that will be aimed at helping us to become a public company in due course.”

This is a significant move. For many years, Shuttleworth has bankrolled the development of Ubuntu. It appears that he is looking for investors to help push the company to the next level.

Not the First Linux company to go public

Canonical is not the first Linux-based company to consider going public. Red Hat, the company behind Fedora Linux, went public in 1999. Currently, their stock is valued at over $120 a share. Today Red Hat is a billion dollar company.

However, having an IPO does not automatically mean success. VA Linux followed in Red Hat’s footsteps and jumped into the market several months later. Their path wasn’t quite as rosy. Today known as GeekNet, the company is no longer involved in Linux development. The massive failure of this IPO caused ripples that were felt for years.

Thoughts

I think that this is a big step of Canonical. It will go a long way to give them an air of legitimacy. Make them one of the big boys. It certainly worked for Red Hat.

In 2016, Red Hat revenues of $2.6 billion. Since Canonical is a private company, their numbers are not readily available. They did reveal in 2014, that they have revenue of $21 million in 2013.

As I noted above, having an IPO does not mean automatic success. Shuttleworth is going to keep his eye on the ball. Now that he has returned to his duties as a CEO, he seems ready to do that. Hopefully, he doesn’t bring people in the management circle of Canonical who understand running a public business but don’t understand the importance of the open source foundation it is built on.

Over the past few years, awareness of Linux in general and open source overall has increased. This has happened mainly through the spread of Android (though it’s not quite open source anymore). This new awareness should hopefully bring investors who understand what Canonical and Linux as a whole stands for.

Good luck, guys.

From: It’s FOSS

Ubuntu’s Parent Company Canonical is Heading for an IPO

By John Paul

Wall Street

Earlier this year in April, Canonical, the creators of Ubuntu, announced that they would be making some major changes. One of the biggest changes was the end of development for the Unity desktop and Canonical’s mobile efforts. There were also a large number of layoffs.

At the time, Abhishek wondered about the possibility of an IPO (Initial Public Offering). He wasn’t alone. I remember reading several articles and even listening to a couple podcasts, that suggested the same thing.

In a recent eWEEK interview, Mark Shuttleworth, the founder, and CEO of Canonical announced just that.

He said in part “What you’ll see at some stage soon is that we have broken even on all the pieces that we do commercially without Unity. At some stage after that, we will take a round of investment which will be a growth round and that will be aimed at helping us to become a public company in due course.”

This is a significant move. For many years, Shuttleworth has bankrolled the development of Ubuntu. It appears that he is looking for investors to help push the company to the next level.

Not the First Linux company to go public

Canonical is not the first Linux-based company to consider going public. Red Hat, the company behind Fedora Linux, went public in 1999. Currently, their stock is valued at over $120 a share. Today Red Hat is a billion dollar company.

However, having an IPO does not automatically mean success. VA Linux followed in Red Hat’s footsteps and jumped into the market several months later. Their path wasn’t quite as rosy. Today known as GeekNet, the company is no longer involved in Linux development. The massive failure of this IPO caused ripples that were felt for years.

Thoughts

I think that this is a big step of Canonical. It will go a long way to give them an air of legitimacy. Make them one of the big boys. It certainly worked for Red Hat.

In 2016, Red Hat revenues of $2.6 billion. Since Canonical is a private company, their numbers are not readily available. They did reveal in 2014, that they have revenue of $21 million in 2013.

As I noted above, having an IPO does not mean automatic success. Shuttleworth is going to keep his eye on the ball. Now that he has returned to his duties as a CEO, he seems ready to do that. Hopefully, he doesn’t bring people in the management circle of Canonical who understand running a public business but don’t understand the importance of the open source foundation it is built on.

Over the past few years, awareness of Linux in general and open source overall has increased. This has happened mainly through the spread of Android (though it’s not quite open source anymore). This new awareness should hopefully bring investors who understand what Canonical and Linux as a whole stands for.

Good luck, guys.

From: It’s FOSS

Ubuntu 18.04 LTS Codename and Release Date are Out Now!

By Abhishek Prakash

Ubuntu 18.04 codename

Brief: This is a continually updated article to inform you about Ubuntu 18.04 release date, features and everything important associated with it.

Ubuntu’s founder Mark Shuttleworth has just revealed the codename of Ubuntu 18.04. It’s called Bionic Beaver.

This is not surprising considering the logic behind the codename and versioning of Ubuntu releases. All Ubuntu releases are codenamed with two words, both starting with the same letter. The first word of the codename is an adjective and the second word is usually an endangered species and sometimes mythical characters. The release codenames are in incremental order as well.

Since Ubuntu 17.10. is named Artful Aardvark, it was obvious that Ubuntu 18.04 release name will start with the letter B. Now let’s dig into the codename of Ubuntu 18.04.

If you are into science fiction, you should already know the meaning of bionic. Bionic refers to having an artificial, electromechanical body part.

Beaver is a large nocturnal rodent. It is known for building dams, canals, and homes. The English verb “to beaver” meaning to work hard and constantly actually comes from the industrious nature of a beaver.

In fact, Shuttleworth dedicated this hardworking attribute of beaver to the Ubuntu team:

“It’s builders that we celebrate – the people that build our upstream applications and packages, the people who build Ubuntu, and the people who build on Ubuntu. In honour of that tireless toil, our mascot this cycle is a mammal known for it’s energetic attitude, industrious nature and engineering prowess. We give it a neatly nerdy 21st century twist in honour of the relentless robots running Ubuntu Core. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you 18.04 LTS, the Bionic Beaver.”

Ubuntu 18.04 release date

The release date for Ubuntu 18.04 LTS is out as well. Here it goes:

  • 30th November: Feature Definition Freeze
  • 4th January: Alpha 1 release
  • 1st February: Alpha 2 release
  • 1st March: Feature Freeze
  • 8th March: First beta release
  • 5th April: Final beta release
  • 19th April: Final Freeze
  • 26th April: Stable Ubuntu 18.04 LTS release

So now that you are aware of Ubuntu 18.04 release date, keep watching this space as I list new features of Ubuntu 18.04 as they are developed.

From: It’s FOSS

Ubuntu 18.04 LTS Release Date and New Features

By Abhishek Prakash

Ubuntu 18.04 codename

Brief: This is a continually updated article to inform you about Ubuntu 18.04 release date, features and everything important associated with it.

Ubuntu’s founder Mark Shuttleworth has just revealed the codename of Ubuntu 18.04. It’s called Bionic Beaver.

This is not surprising considering the logic behind the codename and versioning of Ubuntu releases. All Ubuntu releases are codenamed with two words, both starting with the same letter. The first word of the codename is an adjective and the second word is usually an endangered species and sometimes mythical characters. The release codenames are in incremental order as well.

Since Ubuntu 17.10. is named Artful Aardvark, it was obvious that Ubuntu 18.04 release name will start with the letter B. Now let’s dig into the codename of Ubuntu 18.04.

If you are into science fiction, you should already know the meaning of bionic. Bionic refers to having an artificial, electromechanical body part.

Beaver is a large nocturnal rodent. It is known for building dams, canals, and homes. The English verb “to beaver” meaning to work hard and constantly actually comes from the industrious nature of a beaver.

In fact, Shuttleworth dedicated this hardworking attribute of beaver to the Ubuntu team:

“It’s builders that we celebrate – the people that build our upstream applications and packages, the people who build Ubuntu, and the people who build on Ubuntu. In honour of that tireless toil, our mascot this cycle is a mammal known for it’s energetic attitude, industrious nature and engineering prowess. We give it a neatly nerdy 21st century twist in honour of the relentless robots running Ubuntu Core. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you 18.04 LTS, the Bionic Beaver.”

Ubuntu 18.04 release date

Ubuntu 18.04 release schedule

The release date for Ubuntu 18.04 LTS is out as well. Here it goes:

  • 30th November: Feature Definition Freeze
  • 4th January: Alpha 1 release
  • 1st February: Alpha 2 release
  • 1st March: Feature Freeze
  • 8th March: First beta release
  • 5th April: Final beta release
  • 19th April: Final Freeze
  • 26th April: Stable Ubuntu 18.04 LTS release

So now that you are aware of Ubuntu 18.04 release date, let’s see the new features of Ubuntu 18.04 as they are developed.

New features in Ubuntu 18.04 LTS

New features in Ubuntu 18.04

Ubuntu 18.04 development has begun. Let’s see how things are rolling there.

1. Native support for color emojis

Ubuntu 18.04 will provide native support for color emojis by default. Until now, only monochrome emojis are supported out of the box on Ubuntu. You can do some tweaking and get color emojis even today but a default support will always be better.

Ubuntu will be using the same open source emojis that are being used on Android. Does it mean we’ll have the ‘wrong burger emoji‘ in Ubuntu?

2. Brand new default theme developed by community

There has been no significant change in the default Ambiance theme of Ubuntu for years. It looks more or less the same in last several Ubuntu releases.

But this is changing with Ubuntu 18.04. Canonical has initiated a collaborative project to develop the default Ubuntu 18.04 theme with contribution from the community.

If you are interested in helping Ubuntu in developing its new theme, then do check out the details.

3. Suru is the new icon theme for Ubuntu 18.04

Suru is the default icon theme in Ubuntu 18.04
Suru is the default icon theme in Ubuntu 18.04

Not only the GTK theme, Ubuntu 18.04 will also have a new icon theme. Suru is going to be the new default icon theme. It’s an already existing icon theme developed by the same developer who gave us icon themes like Moka and Paper.

Download Ubuntu 18.04

Ubuntu 18.04 daily builds are available to download now. It means that you can download and install it.

But before you do that, let me tell you that it is in very unstable phase and you’ll encounter a number of issues. So don’t use it on your production system or on your regular computer. If you want to try it out or test to help Ubuntu team, you can get the images from the link below:

Get Ubuntu 18.04 Bionic Beaver Daily Builds (Unstable)

What else?

I’ll keep on updating on all the major happenings around 18.04. If you have something to add to this list, feel free to inform me in the comment section.

From: It’s FOSS

Use Mender to Provide Over-the-air Software Updates for Embedded Linux Devices

By Abhishek Prakash

Mender brings OTA software updates to Embedded Linux devices

Brief: Mender is an open source tool for updating your embedded devices safely and reliably, over the air. This helps to solve the problem of updating embedded and connected devices.

Internet of Things and connected devices are everywhere. And though they solve a number of specific problems, these Internet of Things devices can easily be converted into the Internet of Threats if they are not patched for security vulnerabilities.

If you manage connected devices, you should already be aware of the challenges it throws in terms of updates. If you have a fleet of such devices, it will become a nightmare to timely update the software on them. The complexity increases if your devices are located over a wide area or in locations difficult to reach.

But this cannot be an excuse to delay the critical updates and make the devices vulnerable to hacking. Remember, in 2016, hacked IoT devices caused internet outage across half the globe?

You don’t want to be in a situation like that but then, as we already saw, updating the embedded devices is no easy task. And this is the problem that Mender tries to address.

Easily provide OTA updates to connected devices with Mender

Meet Mender. An open source tool for updating your embedded devices over the air. This means that you can provide automatic updates to the remote devices without the need of physical access.

Licensed under Apache 2.0, Mender is a client-server application, where the client is installed on the embedded devices running Linux. The Mender client regularly checks with the Mender server to see if it has an image update available for deployment, and deploys it if there is. The deployment is done securely using HTTPS.

Mender architecture

Mender also provides a fallback option to revert to the previous version in the event of an incomplete or corrupted deployment installations.

To summarize its features:

  • Image-based updates using a dual A/B rootfs partition layout with rollback support
  • Manage and see reports of deployments with the GUI or use the REST APIs
  • Completely open source with Apache 2.0 open source license
  • Intuitive UI
  • Group your devices for controlled rollout management
  • Secure TLS communication between client/server
  • Support for state scripts (pre/post install scripting)
  • Raw flash support
  • User management features

In short, Mender removes the vast effort of building and maintaining a homegrown solution or struggling through an assortment of tools so that you can focus on your product and/or devices. If you have more questions about Mender, you can refer to their FAQ page.

If you want to give it a try, they have pretty good documentation to get you started. You can also visit their GitHub repository to get the source code.

You can also opt for their professional software support. At present, there are few devices that are supported out of the box such as BeagleBone. Other devices may require tinkering of their own and to save the trouble, there is a premium board support available as well.

Mender also has a beta program called ‘Hosted Mender’ that allows you to you use scalable Mender server infrastructure instead of maintaining your own server infrastructure. You can find more information on their website:

Mender

From: It’s FOSS

Use Mender to Provide Over-the-air Software Updates for Embedded Linux Devices

By Abhishek Prakash

Mender brings OTA software updates to Embedded Linux devices

Brief: Mender is an open source tool for updating your embedded devices safely and reliably, over the air. This helps to solve the problem of updating embedded and connected devices.

Internet of Things and connected devices are everywhere. And though they solve a number of specific problems, these Internet of Things devices can easily be converted into the Internet of Threats if they are not patched for security vulnerabilities.

If you manage connected devices, you should already be aware of the challenges it throws in terms of updates. If you have a fleet of such devices, it will become a nightmare to timely update the software on them. The complexity increases if your devices are located over a wide area or in locations difficult to reach.

But this cannot be an excuse to delay the critical updates and make the devices vulnerable to hacking. Remember, in 2016, hacked IoT devices caused internet outage across half the globe?

You don’t want to be in a situation like that but then, as we already saw, updating the embedded devices is no easy task. And this is the problem that Mender tries to address.

Easily provide OTA updates to connected devices with Mender

Meet Mender. An open source tool for updating your embedded devices over the air. This means that you can provide automatic updates to the remote devices without the need of physical access.

Licensed under Apache 2.0, Mender is a client-server application, where the client is installed on the embedded devices running Linux. The Mender client regularly checks with the Mender server to see if it has an image update available for deployment, and deploys it if there is. The deployment is done securely using HTTPS.

Mender architecture

Mender also provides a fallback option to revert to the previous version in the event of an incomplete or corrupted deployment installations.

To summarize its features:

  • Image-based updates using a dual A/B rootfs partition layout with rollback support
  • Manage and see reports of deployments with the GUI or use the REST APIs
  • Completely open source with Apache 2.0 open source license
  • Intuitive UI
  • Group your devices for controlled rollout management
  • Secure TLS communication between client/server
  • Support for state scripts (pre/post install scripting)
  • Raw flash support
  • User management features

In short, Mender removes the vast effort of building and maintaining a homegrown solution or struggling through an assortment of tools so that you can focus on your product and/or devices. If you have more questions about Mender, you can refer to their FAQ page.

If you want to give it a try, they have pretty good documentation to get you started. You can also visit their GitHub repository to get the source code.

You can also opt for their professional software support. At present, there are few devices that are supported out of the box such as BeagleBone. Other devices may require tinkering of their own and to save the trouble, there is a premium board support available as well.

Mender also has a beta program called ‘Hosted Mender’ that allows you to you use scalable Mender server infrastructure instead of maintaining your own server infrastructure. You can find more information on their website:

Mender

From: It’s FOSS

Linux Foundation Introduces Open Source License Agreement for Data Sharing

By Abhishek Prakash

Community Data License Agreement

Brief: In open source philosophy, you share source code. Why not share data along the same line? That’s what Linux Foundation’s Community Data License Agreement tries to address.

I am here at the first day of Open Source Summit 2017 Europe edition, in Prague. Things have just started. Mostly I hear the buzz around containers but among all these, one of the major new announcement that came today is the Community Data License Agreement.

In his keynote this morning, Jim Zemlin, head of the Linux Foundation, introduced this new open source license for sharing data for mass collaboration. The idea is similar to the open source philosophy of sharing source code.

Jim states that these “CDLA licenses are an effort to define a licensing framework to support collaborative communities built around curating and sharing “open” data”.

You probably have heard about Big Data. It plays an important role in machine learning, artificial intelligence etc. Now imagine that the vast amount of data available for the community to analyze and use them to create new machine learning and AI projects.

For example, self-driving cars rely heavily on AI systems and they need massive volumes of data to function properly. They could actually generate nearly a gigabyte of data every second on the road. For the average car, that means two petabytes of sensor, audio, video and other data each year. If automakers can share data, they may be able to improve safety and overall experience, thanks to community projects utilizing those data in their AI projects.

The CDLA licenses will help individuals and organizations to share data as easily as they share open source software code at present. Carefully drafted licensing models can help “people form communities to assemble, curate and maintain vast amounts of data, measured in petabytes and exabytes, to bring new value to communities of all types, to build new business opportunities and to power new applications that promise to enhance safety and services”.

Community Data License Agreement

From: It’s FOSS

Linux Foundation Introduces Open Source License Agreement for Data Sharing

By Abhishek Prakash

Community Data License Agreement

Brief: In open source philosophy, you share source code. Why not share data along the same line? That’s what Linux Foundation’s Community Data License Agreement tries to address.

I am here at the first day of Open Source Summit 2017 Europe edition, in Prague. Things have just started. Mostly I hear the buzz around containers but among all these, one of the major new announcement that came today is the Community Data License Agreement.

In his keynote this morning, Jim Zemlin, head of the Linux Foundation, introduced this new open source license for sharing data for mass collaboration. The idea is similar to the open source philosophy of sharing source code.

Jim states that these “CDLA licenses are an effort to define a licensing framework to support collaborative communities built around curating and sharing “open” data”.

You probably have heard about Big Data. It plays an important role in machine learning, artificial intelligence etc. Now imagine that the vast amount of data available for the community to analyze and use them to create new machine learning and AI projects.

For example, self-driving cars rely heavily on AI systems and they need massive volumes of data to function properly. They could actually generate nearly a gigabyte of data every second on the road. For the average car, that means two petabytes of sensor, audio, video and other data each year. If automakers can share data, they may be able to improve safety and overall experience, thanks to community projects utilizing those data in their AI projects.

The CDLA licenses will help individuals and organizations to share data as easily as they share open source software code at present. Carefully drafted licensing models can help “people form communities to assemble, curate and maintain vast amounts of data, measured in petabytes and exabytes, to bring new value to communities of all types, to build new business opportunities and to power new applications that promise to enhance safety and services”.

Community Data License Agreement

From: It’s FOSS

Let’s Bring FDM to Linux

By It’s FOSS Team

Free Download Manager for Linux

Brief: Free Download Manager is a popular open source application but unfortunately it is not available for Linux yet. But your vote can help bring it to Linux.

Isn’t it a shame that the list of best download managers for Linux doesn’t include Free Download Manager?

Free Download Manager (popularly known as FDM) is a download accelerator and a bit torrent client. The first version was released in 2004 as a proprietary software but it has been released as an open source software under the GPL license since 2010.

Despite being open source, FDM is only available for Windows and macOS, and not for Linux.

If you are wondering what makes FDM so special, let me tell that FDM has over 30 different awards for being a clean freeware, and it’s available in many languages (27 to be exact), and many consider it to be a drop-dead alternative for IDM (Internet Download Manager)—a commercial download manager —if not better.

Some of the other features of FDM are:

  • Supports download from HTTP and FTP sites.
  • Splits a large file into parts and downloads simultaneously.
  • Can choose three modes of traffic: Light, medium and heavy.
  • Schedule downloads and perform a set of actions once done.
  • Resume broken links if the server allows it.
  • Download videos from Youtube.
  • Import a list of URLs from the clipboard
  • Integrates well with most browsers: Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Internet Explorer, etc.
  • Bittorrent support based on libtorrent.
  • Drop box for file drag and drop.

Vote for FDM Linux version

The FDM developers posted a ‘features you want to see’ vote on Google forms asking the users to vote for features they would like to see next. One of those features is the long-awaited support for Linux. And despite it being a popular demand through the years, the feature is not even among the top 3.

It’s a golden opportunity to port FDM to the Linux ecosystem, many people converting to Linux from Windows miss it, and it doesn’t function 100% on Wine as many users reported.

So let’s put our effort and bring a popular software made available for Linux. Please vote for it on the Google Form link below. The option for Linux version is mentioned at number three at present.

Vote for FDM version for Linux

What’s the need of another download manager?

It’s a fundamental issue that goes far beyond FDM. Linux doesn’t have that many commercial software support and so people won’t use it, and when there is a chance for a popular software to be ported to Linux, the community should show support by voting for it. It’s all about making the Linux ecosystem user-friendly and to provide options for users who wish to adopt Linux as a main operating system.

Author detail: This article has been written by Muaad Elsharif, a teaching assistant, blogger and radio host from Tripoli, Libya. He is interested in Linux and open source solutions in general and likes to promote and help open source in his capacity.

From: It’s FOSS

Let’s Bring FDM to Linux

By It’s FOSS Team

Free Download Manager for Linux

Brief: Free Download Manager is a popular open source application but unfortunately it is not available for Linux yet. But your vote can help bring it to Linux.

Isn’t it a shame that the list of best download managers for Linux doesn’t include Free Download Manager?

Free Download Manager (popularly known as FDM) is a download accelerator and a bit torrent client. The first version was released in 2004 as a proprietary software but it has been released as an open source software under the GPL license since 2010.

Despite being open source, FDM is only available for Windows and macOS, and not for Linux.

If you are wondering what makes FDM so special, let me tell that FDM has over 30 different awards for being a clean freeware, and it’s available in many languages (27 to be exact), and many consider it to be a drop-dead alternative for IDM (Internet Download Manager)—a commercial download manager —if not better.

Some of the other features of FDM are:

  • Supports download from HTTP and FTP sites.
  • Splits a large file into parts and downloads simultaneously.
  • Can choose three modes of traffic: Light, medium and heavy.
  • Schedule downloads and perform a set of actions once done.
  • Resume broken links if the server allows it.
  • Download videos from Youtube.
  • Import a list of URLs from the clipboard
  • Integrates well with most browsers: Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Internet Explorer, etc.
  • Bittorrent support based on libtorrent.
  • Drop box for file drag and drop.

Vote for FDM Linux version

The FDM developers posted a ‘features you want to see’ vote on Google forms asking the users to vote for features they would like to see next. One of those features is the long-awaited support for Linux. And despite it being a popular demand through the years, the feature is not even among the top 3.

It’s a golden opportunity to port FDM to the Linux ecosystem, many people converting to Linux from Windows miss it, and it doesn’t function 100% on Wine as many users reported.

So let’s put our effort and bring a popular software made available for Linux. Please vote for it on the Google Form link below. The option for Linux version is mentioned at number three at present.

Vote for FDM version for Linux

What’s the need of another download manager?

It’s a fundamental issue that goes far beyond FDM. Linux doesn’t have that many commercial software support and so people won’t use it, and when there is a chance for a popular software to be ported to Linux, the community should show support by voting for it. It’s all about making the Linux ecosystem user-friendly and to provide options for users who wish to adopt Linux as a main operating system.

Author detail: This article has been written by Muaad Elsharif, a teaching assistant, blogger and radio host from Tripoli, Libya. He is interested in Linux and open source solutions in general and likes to promote and help open source in his capacity.

From: It’s FOSS