Development Release: Ubuntu 15.10 Alpha 1

Adam Conrad has announced the availability of alpha test images for the family of Ubuntu community editions. The Kubuntu, Lubuntu, Ubuntu MATE and UbuntuKylin projects have released development snapshots of their upcoming 15.10 releases for people who want to test the distributions and report bugs. “The first alpha….

It’s all about containers! ODS keynote


It’s all about containers. All attention is turning to new and innovative variants of this cloud development technology. From LXC and Docker to our recent introduction, LXD – all signs point to an explosion in appetite for for containers, and the many benefits they bring to developers.

Containers are revolutionizing the way the enterprise manages cloud infrastructure. They provide flexible safe-havens to allow innovation to flourish, and, in the case of LXD, the speed and density it takes to launch hundreds of machines on a single server.

In Vancouver at ODS, the focus for the Canonical team was to bring to life the power and flexibility of LXD. Is it a hypervisor? What about Docker? How does LXC fit in and does it really crush KVM on density and speed? We’ve captured James Page and Ryan Harper’s OpenStack Summit keynote above which sought to answer all these questions and more.

Development: GNOME 3.17.3 released

Hey all,

The development of the next GNOME release, 3.17, is going on and a new
snapshot, 3.17.3, is now available.  Give it a shot!  Some of us will
gather in San Francisco next week for the West Coast Summit 2015, and
a month later we will all gather for GUADEC in Gothenburg, Sweden (no
relation whatsoever with a conspiracy that doesn't even exist).

To compile GNOME 3.17.3, you can use the jhbuild[1] modulesets[2]
(which use the exact tarball versions from the official release).


The release notes that describe the changes between 3.17.2 and 3.17.3
are available. Go read them to learn what's new in this release:

  core -
  apps -

The GNOME 3.17.3 release is available here:

  core sources -
  apps sources -


This release is a snapshot of early development code. Although it is
buildable and usable, it is primarily intended for testing and hacking
purposes. GNOME uses odd minor version numbers to indicate development

For more information about 3.17, the full schedule, the official
module lists and the proposed module lists, please see our 3.17 page:

For a quick overview of the GNOME schedule, please see:



Python Vulnerabilities Closed in Ubuntu OSes

Canonical published details about a couple of Python vulnerabilities that had been found and corrected in its Ubuntu 14.10, Ubuntu 14.04 LTS, and Ubuntu 12.04 LTS operating systems.

Amidst discussions about the implementation of Python 3.5 in the latest Ubuntu systems, the maintainers have been quick to update the python2.7, python3.2, and python3.4 packages in the supported Ubuntu systems.

For example, “It was discovered that the Python CGIHTTPServer incorrectly handled… (read more)

Announcing Benchmarking with Juju


Benchmarking and performance are interesting problems, especially in today’s growing cloud-based microservice scene. It used to be a question of “how does this hardware compare to that hardware,” but as computing and service-oriented architectures grow the question has evolved. How does my cloud and application stack handle this? It’s no longer enough to run PTS on your web server and call it a day.

Measuring every microservice in your stack, from backend to frontend, is a complex task. We started thinking about how you would model a system to benchmark all of these services. It’s not just a matter of measuring the performance of one service, but also its interactions with other services. Now multiply that by every config option for every service, like PostgreSQL, which has hundreds of options that can affect performance.

Juju has been modeling service orchestration since 2010. It’s done a great job of taking complex scenarios that are now booming, such as containerization, service oriented architectures and hyperscale, and condensing those ideas down into composable, reusable, pieces. Today we’re adding benchmarking. The ability not just to define the relationships between these services, but how they should be measured in relation to each other.

As an example, monitoring the effect of adjusting the cache in nginx is a solved problem. What we’re going after is what happens when you adjust any service in your stack in relation to every other service. Turn every knob programmatically and measure it at any scale, on any cloud. Where exactly will you get the best performance: your application, the cache layer, or the backend database? Which configuration of that database stack is most performant? Which microservice benefits from faster disk I/O? These are the kinds of questions we want answered.

With Juju Actions, we can now encapsulate tasks to run against a single unit or service in a repeatable, reliable, and composable way. Benchmarking is a natural extension of Actions, allowing authors to encapsulate the best practices for measuring the performance of a service and serve those results — in a standard way — that any user or tool can digest.

We’re announcing charm-benchmark, a library written in Python that includes bash scripts so you can write benchmarks in any language. It uses action-set under the covers to create a simple schema that anyone can use and parse.

While we may intimately know a few services, we’re by no means the experts. We’ve created benchmarks for some of popular services in the charm store, such as mongodb, cassandra, mysql and siege, in order to provide a basic set of examples. Now we’re looking for community experts who are interested in benchmarking in order to fill the gap of knowledge. We’re excited about performance and how Juju can be used to model performance validation. We need more expertise on how to stress a service or workload to measure that performance.

For example, here’s what a benchmark for siege would look like:


siege: description: Standard siege benchmark. params: concurrent: description: The number of simultaneous users to stress the web server with. type: integer default: 25 time: description: The time to run the siege test for. type: string default: "1M" delay: description: | Delay each simulated user for a random number of seconds between one and DELAY seconds. type: integer default: 3


#!/bin/bash set -eux # Make sure charm-benchmark is installed if ! hash benchmark-start 2&>/dev/null; then apt-get install -y python-pip pip install -U charm-benchmark fi runtime=`action-get time` concurrency=`action-get concurrency` delay=`action-get delay` run=`date +%s` mkdir -p /opt/siege/results/$run benchmark-start # Run your benchmark siege -R $CHARM_DIR/.siegerc -t ${runtime:-1M} -c ${concurrency:-25} -d ${delay:-3} -q --log=/opt/siege/results/$run/siege.log # Grep/awk/parse the results benchmark-data transactions $transactions hits desc benchmark-data transaction_rate $hits “hits/sec” desc benchmark-data transferred $transferred MB desc benchmark-data response_time $response ms asc # Set the composite, which is the single most important score benchmark-composite transaction_rate $hits hits/sec desc benchmark-finish || true

We’ll be covering benchmarking in the next Juju Office Hours on July 9th at 1600 EDT/20:00 UTC and we’d love to help anyone who wants to get started, you can find me, Adam Israel (aisrael), Marco Ceppi (marcoceppi), and Tim Van Steenburgh (tvansteenburgh) on #juju on Freenode and on the Juju mailing list.

Calligra’s Kexi 3.0, a Microsoft Access Alternative for Linux, to Use KDE Frameworks 5

Jaroslaw Staniek, one of the developers of the Kexi open-source database creation tool distributed as part of the Calligra office suite for the acclaimed KDE desktop environment, has unveiled details about the development progress of Kexi 3.0.

The current version of Kexi, a Microsoft Access alternative for GNU/Linux operating systems, is 2.9.5, distributed as part of the Calligra 2.9.5 office suite, which also includes the famous Krita 2.9.5 digital painting utility, but ve… (read more)

Red Hat, Samsung Ramp Up Enterprise Mobility

Red Hat and Samsung Business Services on Tuesday announced a strategic alliance to deliver the next generation of mobile solutions for the enterprise. The alliance, announced at the Red Hat Summit 2015, combines the strengths of each company — Samsung’s mobile device portfolio and Red Hat’s open source middleware, mobile and cloud technologies. This mobile solutions partnership will allow the firms to go to market both individually and together, said Cathal McGloin, vice president of mobile platforms for Red Hat.

Introducing the Unofficial WhatsApp Client for Linux, Mac, and Windows

Today we have some great news for all you WhatsApp fans out there, as it appears that there’s now an unofficial desktop client for all mainstream operating systems, including GNU/Linux, Mac OS X, and Microsoft Windows.

Dubbed Unofficial WhatsApp for Desktop, the project is, in fact, a wrapper for the official WhatsApp Web App introduced by Facebook a while ago. However, it has been modified and tweak… (read more)

Ubuntu 15.04 Now Available for Haswell Chromebooks and Chromeboxes, Unofficially

It would appear that there’s now a special, unofficial edition of the Ubuntu Linux operating system optimized for Chromebook and Chromebox computers that are powered by an Intel Haswell processor.

The operating system is based on the current stable release of the world’s most popular distribution, Ubuntu 15.04 (Vivid Vervet), and has been tested with the Dell Chromebook 11 (Wolf), Acer C720 (Peppy), HP Chromebook 14 (Falco), Asus Chromebox (Panther), HP Chromebox (Panther),… (read more)

GNOME: GUADEC 2015 Registration is now open!

The GUADEC organizing team is excited to announce the availability of the registration for the upcoming GUADEC that will take place in Gothenburg, Sweden.

More information about this year’s edition of GUADEC, including travel and venue information is available on the GUADEC website . Let’s meet in Gothenburg!


The GNOME Users and Developers European  Conference (GUADEC), is the annual conference taking place in Europe, whose prime topic is the development of the GNOME desktop environment which sees many participants from all over the world.

Ford Is Using Ubuntu to Test and Develop Its Autonomous Cars

Ford is trying to enter the world of autonomous vehicles, and the company is trying to play catchup with the rest of the crowd, and it looks like they are also using Ubuntu to make that happen.

Automotive companies are already working for a few years on autonomous vehicles and they’ve had some moderate success. Ford is just now joining the other companies, and it looks like they mean business. It’s not just Google with it’s driverless cars, other companies are looking to ma… (read more)

quasardb joins the Charm Partner Programme


Canonical is excited to announce that quasardb has joined the Charm Partner Programme. Canonical’s Charm Partner Programme helps solution providers make best use of Canonical’s universal service modeling tool, Juju; enabling instant workload deployment, integration, and scaling on virtually any public or private cloud, as well as bare metal, at the click of a button. The Juju Charm Store has over 300 cloud based applications ready for use.

quasardb is a a very fast and scalable distributed key-value store used in production in several banks, including Exane Derivatives, an affiliate of BNP Paribas. It scales horizontally and vertically for virtually unlimited capabilities, without any compromise regarding reliability and consistency.

Edouard Alligand, CTO of quasardb, said, “We are very happy to join the Juju ecosystem and are excited to work with Canonical to provide users with the best integration possible. There is a lot of value in deploying instantly a lot of nodes and it fits perfectly with quasardb hot plug’n’play model.”

“We are thrilled to welcome quasardb to our growing Juju ecosystem, and to offer our users a highly scalable key-value database to integrate into their deployments,” said Stefan Johansson, Global Software Alliances Director.

To learn more about Canonical’s partner programmes, including the Charm Partner Programme, please visit

So you want to buy a Meizu MX4 huh?

Well, you need to show you’re up for the challenge of owning an Ubuntu phone.

From tomorrow you’ll be able to buy the Meizu MX4, but only if you earn an invite. When you first visit the site you’ll see some hotspots on the origami themed wall.


If you’re lucky enough to find a hotspot with an invite then you’ll be able to cash in that invite and buy a brand spanking new MX4.


The invites are randomly generated, and if you’re not lucky enough to find one then you can try again over several days.

The idea behind it is to limit the amount of buyers, but without doing flash sales (thank God!) and making sure that people realise that it’s an Ubuntu phone they’re buying, and not an Android device.

It’s a novel idea, but I just hope there’s enough invites and units to supply the demand.

Cossacks 3 to Arrive on Linux by the End of 2015

Cossacks 3 is a new real time strategy from GSC Game World that is scheduled to be released by the end of 2015, and it will have Linux and SteamOS support.

GSC Game World is a famous for its STALKER series, but it turns out that they also have the rights for the Cossacks games, which they also developed back in the day. They figured the market is ripe for the major comeback of the series, and they have already done most of the work. The fact that it will also run on Linux i… (read more)

Galactic Civilizations III Will Arrive on Linux After Vulkan Is Released

Galactic Civilizations III is a massive strategy game developed by Stardock Entertainment, and it was released on the Windows platform all the way back in May 2015. Now the developers are saying that there might be a chance to see the game on Linux, after Vulkan launches.

You might be wondering what Vulkan is, and you would be right to do so. As you might know already, the majority of games on the Linux platform are running on OpenGL, but that is a rather old technology, an… (read more)

Plex Media Server Now Works with Old Ubuntu Systems

Plex Media Server, a software that makes it easy for everyone to play movies and TV shows on the computer, has been upgraded to version and is available for download.

Plex Media Server is a complex piece of technology that can be used on any platform, Windows, Mac OS, or Linux, to interface with a number of devices like smart TVs and other hardware. It’s easy to turn your PC into a local media library and it also comes with a ton of plugin that can expand the use o… (read more)

Sword Coast Legends D&D to Arrive in September for SteamOS and Linux

Sword Coast Legends is a new RPG developed by n-Space and published by Digital Extremes on Steam. The developer confirmed the fact that it would be available for the Linux and SteamOS platforms as well.

Sword Coast Legends takes place in the Forgotten Realms universe and it’s using the Dungeons & Dragons combat system, although it’s not all that transparent for the users, unless they really want to. The game has a dungeon master mode in which he (or she) engages players and… (read more)

Here Are the Three Ubuntu Linux Phones That You Can Buy

It’s been a long journey for Canonical, but the company finally has its Ubuntu system in the wild and in the hands of users. In fact, you can get three Ubuntu phones right now and here they are.

We sometimes forget that not everyone follows Ubuntu news and developments on a daily basis, and there may be some new users out there that are just finding out about the Ubuntu phones. It’s difficult to discern from all the coverage that was done in the past two years what’s been h… (read more)

Humble Bundle Has All the Borderlands Games with Linux Support at Ridiculous Price

The new Humble Borderlands Bundle brings a lot of Linux titles, and it will be available for purchase for the next couple of weeks.

Just a few days after the latest Steam Summer Sale has ended on Steam, 2K and Humble Bundle have put together a new promotion for all the games and DLCs in the Borderlands franchise. Unlike the discount on Steam, the Humble Bundle collection brings all the games under one umbrella, and they can be bought in three different tiers.

As this poi… (read more)

Ubuntu Fan Images

White Fan

This week, Dustin Kirkland announced the Ubuntu Fan Project.

To steal from the description, “The Fan is not a software-defined network, and relies on neither distributed databases nor consensus protocols.  Rather, routes are calculated deterministically and traffic carries no additional overhead beyond routine IP tunneling.  Canonical engineers have already demonstrated The Fan operating at 5Gpbs between two Docker containers on separate hosts.”

My team at Canonical is responsible for the production of these images. Once the official SRU’s land, I anticipate that we will publish an official stream over at But until then, check back here for images and updates. As always, if you have feedback, please hop into #server on FreeNode or send email.

GCE Images

Images for GCE have been published to the “ubuntu-os-cloud-devel” project.

The Images are:

  • daily-ubuntu-docker-lxd-1404-trusty-v20150620
  • daily-ubuntu-docker-lxd-1504-vivid-v20150621

To launch an instance, you might run:
$ gcloud compute instances create
    –image-project ubuntu-os-cloud-devel
    –image <IMAGE> <NAME>

You need to make sure that IPIP traffic is enable:
$ gcloud compute firewall-rules create fan2 –allow 4 –source-ranges

Amazon AWS Images

The AWS images are HVM-only, AMD64 builds.

Version Region HVM-SSD HVM-Instance
14.04-LTS eu-central-1 ami-b4ac94a9 ami-1aac9407
sa-east-1 ami-e9a220f4 ami-59a22044
ap-northeast-1 ami-1aee491a ami-3ae2453a
eu-west-1 ami-07602570 ami-d76623a0
us-west-1 ami-318c7b75 ami-238d7a67
us-west-2 ami-858b8eb5 ami-53898c63
ap-southeast-2 ami-558bf16f ami-ab95ef91
ap-southeast-1 ami-faeaeea8 ami-98e9edca
us-east-1 ami-afa25cc4 ami-b1a658da
15.04 eu-central-1 ami-b6ac94ab ami-14ac9409
sa-east-1 ami-eba220f6 ami-51a2204c
ap-northeast-1 ami-1cee491c ami-50e24550
eu-west-1 ami-05602572 ami-df6623a8
us-west-1 ami-338c7b77 ami-2b8d7a6f
us-west-2 ami-878b8eb7 ami-57898c67
ap-southeast-2 ami-4d8bf177 ami-a995ef93
ap-southeast-1 ami-feeaeeac ami-9ee9edcc
us-east-1 ami-a3a25cc8 ami-8da658e6

It is important to note that these images are only usable inside of a VPC. Newer AWS users are in VPC by default, but older users may need to create and update their VPC. For example:

$ ec2-authorize --cidr <CIDR_RANGE> --protocol 4 <SECURITY_GROUP>

About the author


Ben Howard is an open source and Linux engineer with experience in cloud technologies and large-scale systems engineering. Before joining Canonical, Ben worked for Amazon and Novell.