News Archives

Yesterday, as first reported by The VAR Guy, if you would have went to Dell.com/Ubuntu, you would have seen a “top 10″ list of “things you should know about Ubuntu.” The best one on the list at the time was number 6, which stated:

6) Ubuntu is safer than Microsoft Windows The vast majority of viruses and spyware written by hackers are not designed to target and attack Linux.

Today, if you visit the same Dell.com/Ubuntu, you’ll see the following change:

6) Ubuntu is secure According to industry reports, Ubuntu is unaffected by the vast majority of viruses and spyware.

Pretty comical huh?  Many of us in the Linux industry are claiming that this is probably an evil doing of Microsoft pressuring Dell to ‘correct’ the statement.  Which, really, would not surprise me the least bit.

I suppose I understand why Dell changed their tune, but in actuality, the first statement was nothing but a simple true fact.

What do you guys think?  Should Dell have kept their ground?

I’m Linux

By now we’ve all seen the “I’m a PC” and “I’m a mac” ad’s on the TV and on the Internet.  Now the Linux Foundation is holding a contest and getting community members to submit their best “I’m Linux” videos and picking a winner which will be revealed in April.  Some of the videos are actually pretty cool.

Here are a few of my favorites:

For more videos and details go here.

Over at Internet News Sean Kerner writes that the IT industry is turning to Linux in our current economic downturn.

A new report out today from IDC, sponsored by Linux vendor Novell indicates that the current economic downturn is a good thing for Linux adoption. with more than half of the IT executives surveyed planning to accelerate Linux adoption in 2009… According to IDC, in a poll of 300 IT professionals more than 72 percent reported that, “they are either actively evaluating or have already decided to increase their adoption of Linux on the server in 2009.”

I’m sure most of our readers have heard that Linux, as well as open source, is a great option during times of economic stress.  Companies and even every day users are turning to cheaper and free alternatives to expensive software and operating systems and Linux is just the right place to turn.

This is a great thing for Linux, even though it sucks for our current state of the economy.  Let’s just hope Linux can prove worthy and benefit in these tough times.

Read the full article here.

Is HP Developing Its Own Version of Linux?

HP to develop its own Linux version

It’s been rumored in the past week or so that HP may be developing a flavor of Linux to allow them to move past all of the headaches that come with Windows Vista.  Nobody really knows at this point, but I do think that if it is true, it’s both a good move for HP, and a good thing for the Linux community in general.

If HP were to develop a flavor of Linux for their systems, there are a number of things that could finally come to the forefront for Linux.  A wider audience, official hardware and driver support, and better technical support, to name a few.  However, it’s unlikely that HP will develop a flavor of Linux made for distribution across all hardware platforms, though the Linux implementation may be easier to move to new systems than it’s current proprietary Unix implementation HP-UX.  But that doesn’t mean the contributions to further improve Linux will not help the entire community.

For Linux to finally make it as a mainstream desktop operating system, a backing like this from a major player such as HP is the final push it needs to compete with Apple and Microsoft.  This could mean big things for Linux.  Let’s hope the rumors are true, it could be interesting.

WordPress 2.5 Upgrade

I’ve finally had some time to upgrade to WordPress 2.5. Let me say that not only did the upgrade take only 5 minutes, but it was very smooth and simple.

The WordPress team has done a great job with the 2.5 release. It looks a lot cleaner, runs a lot faster, and they have finally put some thought into the design and layout for ease of use. All in all, this is a spectacular release. If you have a blog and have not yet upgraded to WordPress 2.5, I highly recommend you do.

Mark Shuttleworth, founder of Canonical Ltd. and leader of the Ubuntu Linux distribution, discussed the Windows based UBuntu Installer, Wubi, on his blog today.

Windows is a very important platform, and our justifiable pride in Linux and the GNU stack shouldn’t blind us to the importance of delivering software that is widely useful. I believe in bringing free software to people in a way that is exciting and empowering to them, and one of the key ways to do that is to show them amazing free software running on their familiar platform, whether that’s Windows or the MacOS.

Firefox, for example, is an inspiring free software success story, and I’m certain that a key driver of that success is their excellent support for the Windows environment. It’s a quick download and an easy install that Just Works, after which people can actually FEEL that free software delivers an innovative and powerful browsing experience that is plainly better than the proprietary alternatives. I’ve noticed that many of the best free software projects have a good Windows story. MySQL and PostGres both do. Bazaar works well too. And users love it – users that may then be willing to take a step closer to living in the GNU world entirely.

So, I was absolutely delighted with the way Agostino Russo and Evan Dandrea steered the Windows-native installer for Ubuntu into 8.04 LTS. What I think is really classy about it is the way it uses the Windows Boot Manager sensibly to offer you the Ubuntu option. If I was a Windows user who was intrigued but nervous about Linux, this would be a really great way to get a taste of it, at low risk. Being able to install and uninstall a Linux OS as if it were a Windows app is a brilliant innovation. Kudos to Agostino and Evan, and of course also to the guys who pioneered this sort of thinking (it’s been done in a number of different ways). It looks crisp, clean and very professional

There have been some concerns with Wubi not working on various machines.  A lot of people have been saying that it’s not installing at all for them.  Mark is calling out for everyone to test it out before the upcoming Ubuntu 8.04 “Hardy Heron” release.

So – yesterday I suggested folks hammer on the Heron for servers, today, here’s a call for folks who have a Windows machine and would like to see WUBI in action to test it out and let the developers know if there are any last-minute gotchas. Happy hunting!

Read more…

CodeWeavers, Inc has announced that their new application suite, CrossOver Games, similar to their CrossOver Office suite, is now available. Now you can play those popular Windows games on your Mac or Linux with ease.

From the press release:

Crossover Games delivers gamers a low-cost tool allowing them to play popular windows games including World of Warcraft, Guild Wars, and many Steam games including Team Fortress 2, Counterstrike Source, Civilization 4, Peggle, and many others on the platform and machine of their choice.

“One of the differences between CrossOver Games and our current CrossOver products is that it’s going to be a little more ‘bleeding edge’,” said Jeremy White, President and CEO of CodeWeavers. “The Wine development community, including CodeWeavers, is cranking out a lot of important improvements to game support. We want to get those improvements into the hands of gamers now. CrossOver Games, we think, will fit in with the edgier technology needs of gamers.”

CrossOver Games features many recent game advancements developed in the open-source community. “This is our way of promoting the incredible work of the open-source community,” said White. “It also marks a positional change in our product line. There’s a perception that our products primarily make Windows office productivity applications run under our CrossOver products. The truth is, CrossOver also runs many popular games on Macs and Linux PCs as well.”

CrossOver Games is available for purchase directly from CodeWeavers and its authorized resellers. It is a download-only product. The cost for the product is $39.95, which includes 12 months of free product support and software updates.

This is great news for the Linux desktop community. A big reason users have strayed away from Linux is due to the fact that gaming on Linux is just not as good as it is on Windows. Much respect to CodeWeavers for trying to close the gap in the lack of Linux gaming department.

It has been announced that Security-Enhanced Linux (SELinux) will now be available as an alternative security option to AppArmour in Ubuntu 8.04 “Hardy Heron”.

Security-Enhanced Linux (SELinux) is a Linux feature that provides a variety of security policies, including U.S. Department of Defense style mandatory access controls, through the use of Linux Security Modules (LSM) in the Linux kernel.

Here is How to install SELinux on Ubuntu 8.04 taken from the Ubuntu Wiki:

How To Install SELinux on Ubuntu 8.04 “Hardy Heron”

Installing SELinux in Hardy:

  1. Update /etc/apt/sources.list by appending the following:
  2. Update repo:
    • > apt-get update
  3. Install updated packages:
    • > apt-get upgrade
    • These packages have SELinux support patches:
      • libpam0g
      • openssh-server
      • grub
      • login
  4. Install selinux:
    • > apt-get install selinux
    • These packages will be removed:
      • apparmor
      • apparmor-utils
  5. Reboot

If using aptitude instead of apt-get, you will need to manually remove apparmor and apparmor-utils, deselect selinux-policy-dummy, and then choose selinux-policy-refpolicy.

Ubuntu Brainstorm

Ubuntu has opened it’s newest site, Ubuntu Brainstorm, to the public.  The concept behind Ubuntu Brainstorm is similar to Dell’s IdeaStorm, in that users of Ubuntu can submit ideas for improvements to Ubuntu and have the public vote on them.  Similar to Digg, the ideas with the highest votes reach the front page.  What a great idea.  This is further proof that Ubuntu is changing the Linux desktop for the better.

Windows Vista ready for Service Pack 1

Neil Randall has a nice review of Microsoft’s Windows Vista Service Pack 1. The review covers installation, performance differences, security, and more.

Also, for the hard core gamers, Vista Service Pack 1 will support Direct3D 10.1.

A little over a year after the first appearance of Vista, Service Pack 1 (SP1) is nearly ready for download. [There have been a couple of release snafus, including the accidental release, on 2/21/08, of the 64-bit version.–Editor]. SP1 is a useful but not crucial update to the OS, and one that won’t greatly affect your computing day, at least not outwardly. The bulk of the development effort has gone toward upgrading security subsystems—elements that enterprise clients find appealing but consumers and small-business users won’t really notice (although they’ll feel better knowing about them). The bottom line is that there’s absolutely no reason not to download SP1 (which you’ll receive automatically if you have AutoUpdate turned on), so it’s almost a given that it will become the standard in the very near future.

Read more..