Archive for October, 2009

Karmic Koala Release Candidate

The Karmic Koala (9.10) release candidate is now available. It is mostly bug-fixed, and available for inspection before the final release on October 29, 2009.

As always, to upgrade from Ubuntu 9.04 on a desktop system, press Alt + F2 and type in “update-manager -d” without the quotes. Update manager will then come up and tell you: New distribution release 9.10 is available. You then need to click on upgrade and follow the instructions.

Downloads and ISOs for desktop systems are available at http://releases.ubuntu.com/releases/9.10/. I found the download slow, because people are already starting to pound the servers getting ready for October 29 and the final release.

If you have not upgraded your Ubuntu system before – let’s say you joined us with 9.04, Jaunty Jackalope – I have a bit of advice for you:

1) Update to the release candidate while the servers are still responding – or be prepared to wait a week while hundreds of thousands of people are pounding every available Ubuntu mirror to get the final release. I do not mean to sound harsh. I have read that there are about 600,000 of us Ubuntu users. Some of them will be using the last LTS (long-term support) version, Hardy Heron – but that still leaves a sizable number of people who will be trying to upgrade all at the same time.

2) If you can, use a different mirror. To do this, go to System > Software Sources:

You will find an area that says Main Server – you want to click on that and choose Other.

Then you will have the option to test for the best server to switch to. Be forewarned – this is sometimes a bit flakey. One time, I was told that the best available server for me was in Poland. I live in Colorado (USA). (That only happened once!)

I must admit that I am doing all I can to avoid H-e-double toothpicks week. I learned with the transition from Gutsy Gibbon to Hardy Heron. If I can spare you my travails, I will be happy indeed.Technorati Tags: , , ,

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Change in Policy for Shipping Free Ubuntu CDs

Everyone who has posted on this has titled it, “Keeping Ubuntu CDs Available.”  I am not going to go so far as to use that title.  The Ubuntu Fridge has an official message from Canonical explaining the change. It involves who will or will not be able to get a free CD shipped from Canonical via the Shipit page.

Right now, the Shipit page is making copies of Karmic Koala CDs available via pre-order. The change has not shown up yet, but a forewarning is there: the page lists the other orders you have put in for an Ubuntu CD. Canonical has found that due to the growth of Ubuntu, the company cannot afford providing CDs for people who are currently running an Ubuntu version that they can upgrade via update-manager, but still knows there is a need to provide free CDs for people who are just discovering Ubuntu.

According to the release, Canonical is limiting shipments to people that they think have alternative paths of getting Ubuntu. The examples are people who can:

– upgrade to the new release without a CD

– download their own CD for free

– become an Ubuntu member by contributing to Ubuntu and thereby become eligible for more CDs

– can purchase CDs.

I am probably misunderstanding the article a bit – it sounds as if, if you have a small amount of spare change after feeding your children, you will be expected to buy your CD. I pray that what they really mean is that people like me who have sent for CDs of previous versions should not expect to get Karmic on a free CD with all the CD wallet artwork. I am willing to concede that I have burned the beta on a CD, and can simply wipe the disk and burn the final release.

I am thankful that Canonical is looking into ways to continue to make Ubuntu CDs available, at least to the people who most need them. My own preference is that they come up with a way on Shipit that people can buy the latest CD if they want the distinctive cover and the distinctive CD artwork that will keep them (er, us?) from losing the latest copy.

Two Ways to Save Your Bookmarks in Firefox

As an alpha (and now beta) tester, I have had more than one occasion where I needed to reinstall Ubuntu. Today, I’d like to point out two Firefox extensions that make a reinstall far less catastrophic than it could be:

Xmarks keeps your Firefox bookmarks (and optionally passwords) backed up and synchronized. You can use it on more than one computer. For instance, I have gone on my husband’s (Windows) computer in the past to hose the latest set of viruses. I set Firefox up with my bookmarks in case I needed to use any of them. (Somewhere, I have a link to www.download.com. I don’t believe in paying for overpriced anti-virus software even on Windows.)

The Google toolbar also has a bookmark area, which is saved on one of Google’s servers and can be accessed from more than one computer. (I use this bookmark list for bookmarks that I use often, since it seems to me to be more easily accessible than the Firefox bookmarks.)

In the past, when I lost my bookmarks, it would take me ages to reconstruct the list – and I would sometimes lose a favorite bookmark to the great bit bucket in the sky. With Xmarks and the Google toolbar, I no longer have such worries. I recommend both highly.

Karmic Koala Beta Has Been Released

Karmic Koala Beta was released on October 1, 2009. It comes with the standard warning not to install it on a production machine. The final stable version will be released on October 29.

To upgrade from Ubuntu 9.04 on a desktop system, press Alt + F2 and type in “update-manager -d” without the quotes. Update Manager should then tell you that the new distribution release 9.10 is available. Then, all you need to do is to click Upgrade and follow the instructions.

Ubuntu desktop ISOs and torrents, for those who want to burn the Beta to disk and install it fresh, are available at:

http://releases.ubuntu.com/releases/9.10/

I will only include one screenshot, since screenshots are available elsewhere:

The new default wallpaper is so beautiful that right now I am using it instead of arc-brave. The default theme is now a darker, more beautiful shade of brown for the top. I am so thankful they got rid of the old brownish shade of orange! It used to remind me of ripe baby diapers. I can’t praise it enough.

As always, there is a need for testers for the Beta version. I have found no “show-stopper” bugs, but the more testers there are, the more the likelihood will be of shaking out any last bugs before the final release October 29.


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