Ubuntu is Everywhere at OSCON

by Ostatic Staff - Jul. 23, 2008

The Ubuntu community hit the ground running at OSCON this week. Scarcely a couple of days into the event, there's already a new version of the distro to peruse and updates to the code hosting platform Launchpad to talk about. In the meantime, the project's founder, Mark Shuttleworth, still found time to deliver a presentation at the event and meet with a local tech group to talk about his vision for the future of Linux.

Let's start with Ubuntu Netbook Remix, a complete distribution designed to run on Atom-based Netbook PCs. The main difference that sets it apart from it's big brother Hardy Heron is the Ubuntu Mobile Edition (UME) Launcher, a user interface created specifically for use on the teensy screens and keyboards of today's popular ultra-portable computers.

PC World's Robert Strohmeyer tried out Netbook Remix and says "Although the Netbook's Atom processor is decidedly anemic even by subnotebook standards, the OS booted quickly. Navigation in the simplified UME menus was quick, and applications such as OpenOffice.org Writer, Firefox, and Pidgin launched about as rapidly as I would expect. Though not terribly snappy, it was competent compared with other Netbook OS installations (including Windows XP)."

He says that though Canonical reps remain mum on where Netbook Remix will make it's first appearance on retail devices, they say it will be on store shelves by the end of the year.

Also making news at OSCON is the upcoming release of Launchpad Version 2.0, also expected to be available within the year. The Register is reporting that 2.0 will include "a beta version of a planned API that'll allow third-party applications to authenticate, query and modify data in the massive Launchpad database, without a user needing to manually access the system via a browser."

The new version of Launchpad will also include GPL plugins for access to Bugzilla and Trac bug tracking systems, as well as an updated Bazaar version control system that will support a greater number of projects.

Mark Shuttleworth has been meeting with reporters to talk about everything from the evolution of leadership in the open source community to who he considers his heroes. Despite the busy schedule, he still found time to give a presentation to a local group, Legion of Tech, about space exploration (he says it should be mainly unmanned) and his ongoing mission to deliver Linux to the masses. He then went on to give a talk at OSCON itself, where he suggested Linux could gain better market share it if had better eye-candy than Apple.