Archive for January, 2010

Ubuntu Switching its Default Search Engine from Google to Yahoo

I just finished reading an article at lifehacker.com, talking about the switch, to be part of Lucid Lynx, of search engines from Google to Yahoo. Google has always given back to the Linux community (Google Summer of Code, products such as Picasa and Google-Desktop being ported to Linux). Google supports Mozilla, the company behind Firefox.

I know that Google’s attempt to come up with its own version of the Ubuntu distribution may have hurt some feelings, but using this as a good time to accept blood money from Yahoo/Microsoft What has Yahoo ever done to support the Linux community? Yahoo uses Bing to power its search engine. The Yahoo leadership tried to work out a plan to sell Yahoo to Microsoft. I understand that the deal between Canonical and Yahoo is supposed to generate some more money to pay Ubuntu developers – but so would selling crystal meth or tobacco. Canonical should be above this.

Here is what I sent to webmaster@ubuntu.com – since there was no other place on the Ubuntu website that I could find to post suggestions:

What is going on with Ubuntu now subsidizing Yahoo/Microsoft by putting Yahoo/Bing as the search engine instead of Google? Is this some MBA’s version of a cruel joke? Google gives back to the Linux community – Google Summer of Code, Google toolbar, Picasa and other products being ported to Linux, etc. Yahoo, on the other hand, uses Bing to power its searches. What percent of the money Yahoo gets from captive Ubuntu users is going to go to Microsoft to try to get rid of Linux? What is next – switching us directly to Bing?

If this very poorly thought out idea is forced upon the Ubuntu community, I will have no choice other than to switch my personal search engine back to Google, and to tell other people who read my blog (ubuntulady.wordpress.com) how to do so. I do not dual-boot M$. I do not want M$ anywhere near my computer. I am not the only one who feels this way. Please look at the reactions on http://www.lifehacker.com to the announcement of the switch there.

How many more of these MBA-type travesties are going to be shoved down our throats? You can tell by my blog that I have been a loyal Ubuntu supporter, even testing Alpha releases. I would hate to have to switch to another distribution.

P.S. I don’t know if anyone in the upper reaches of Canonical knows or cares that many of us use Gmail, the Google toolbar, Google bookmarks (yes, my bookmarks are somewhere on a Google server!), and other Google products? I use Google Scholar, for instance, and Google Reader. What the frag was somebody thinking, to come up with this farce?
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Ubuntu Sources List Generator – Now Including Lucid

The Ubuntu Sources List Generator is an excellent source of third-party repositories. It supplies a sources.list that you can use to update or replace your own /etc/apt/sources.list, or use through System > Administration > Software Sources.

The home page, before any selections have been made, looks like this.

You select your country and your distribution – even Lucid, which is on its second alpha! Then, along with the standard Ubuntu repositories, it gives a large number of choices of third-party repositories that you can select. I was very pleased to see that, in the case of Lucid, Medibuntu, Ailurus, and the Google repositories were available, among others.

Here is a sample sources.list generated by this site.

As you may know, I initially ran into a great deal of trouble trying to upgrade to Lucid Lynx. Karmic has a bug in it that would not allow me to do a standard Alt + F2, update-manager -d number. I finally got around this by typing sudo update-manager -d in the box after clicking on “run in terminal.” If you are having trouble with Karmic, Lucid may be more to your liking. Because it is an LTS (Long Term Support) release, a great deal of work is going into getting all the bugs out. (Not as many new things get into an LTS because of this.)

LTS means the release is supported for 5 years on servers and 3 years on desktops, rather than 18 months.Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Lucid Lynx Alpha 2 Has Been Released

Ubuntu Lucid Lynx Alpha 2 was released on January 14. I am late in reporting this because I wanted to install it and give it an independent review. I ran into a problem: Instead of installing Lucid normally, my install disk caused a kernel panic.

I found out very quickly that Launchpad, Ubuntu’s bug reporting and testing site, does not support reporting a bug if you do not know the exact package that has broken and the bug occurs while you are installing. Thankfully, update-manager -d, which is the normal way to upgrade from an existing Ubuntu installation, isn’t working either. This meant I could use the command ubuntu-bug updte-manager to get the proper file information collected and sent to Launchpad. Once I got that done, I also mentioned the other bug.

The old system, where you could report a bug without having to go to all of these information-collecting steps, was better IMHO. That way, you could just go to the Ubuntu Bugs section of bugs.launchpad.net and file a bug manually. I know that this did not always give the developers every piece of information they wanted, but the problem as it now stands is that whole classes of bugs are difficult if not impossible to report at all.

Back to Lucid Lynx Alpha 2: As the website says, get it while it’s hot! ISOs and torrents are available at:

http://cdimage.ubuntu.com/releases/lucid/alpha-2/ (Ubuntu Desktop and Server)
http://uec-images.ubuntu.com/releases/lucid/alpha-2/ (Ubuntu Server for UEC and EC2)
http://cdimage.ubuntu.com/ports/releases/lucid/alpha-2/ (Ubuntu ARM)
http://cdimage.ubuntu.com/kubuntu/releases/lucid/alpha-2/ (Kubuntu Desktop and Netbook Remix)
http://cdimage.ubuntu.com/xubuntu/releases/lucid/alpha-2/ (Xubuntu)
http://cdimage.ubuntu.com/edubuntu/releases/lucid/alpha-2/ (Edubuntu)
http://cdimage.ubuntu.com/mythbuntu/releases/lucid/alpha-2/ (Mythbuntu)

May your testing be enjoyable! Lucid Lynx is going to be an LTS (long-term support) release. This means everything will have to work on it. I had a feeling that Karmic included so much new stuff that it wasn’t possible for the developers and testers to take care of everything. I am looking forward to the Lucid Lynx final release.

Ubuntu Tweak 0.5.0 Has Been Released

Ubuntu Tweak Version 0.5.0 was released on January 10. There are a great many changes, including a new interface and many new options.

One change that may take some getting used to is that Ubuntu Tweak will now support only the current version of Ubuntu. This means that support for Ubuntu 9.04 and prior versions has been dropped.

The Add/Remove area has been made into a new Application Center, which supports online data sync from the Ubuntu Tweak website. This means that the applications data will keep up-to-date, even if you haven’t updated to the very latest version of Ubuntu Tweak. The Source Center – improved from Third-Party Sources – also has the ability to sync.

I have not tested Ubuntu Tweak 0.5.0 as much as I would have liked because the server would not respond when I tried to sync my applications information. I cannot imagine how many people must have been pounding the server on the day the new version was released!

I still recommend Ubuntu Tweak as a must-have for anyone who is serious about running Ubuntu. It keeps adding more and more functions to its already impressive array – yet it remains easy to use. Ubuntu Tweak version 0.5.0 can be downloaded here.

Is Cedega On Its Way Out?

Recently, I ran across an article by Jeff Hoogland, with troubling news. He presents evidence that Transgaming, the company behind Cedega, is letting it go slowly into the night. Cedega, as serious Linux gamers know, is based on Wine. It has some modifications that have allowed Linux users to play more Windows games than would be possible with Wine alone.

Although I am sad to hear that Cedega may be leaving us, I wish to note that Codeweavers is still alive and doing a very good job. With the latest revision of Codeweavers’ Crossover Games for Linux, I noticed that I was able to get some games working that I hadn’t been before.

If you are new to Linux and still want to play some of your Windows games, feel free to give Crossover Games a try. It is more than worth the money.

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