It’s our review of Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr LTS. It’s Canonical’s latest and greatest, with five years of support. But are there storm clouds on the horizon for this major distribution?
We discuss what’s great about Ubuntu 14.04, what needs some serious work, and why we’re excited about what comes next.
Plus: TrueCrypt audit wraps up, Docker stands out at Red Hat summit…
AND SO MUCH MORE!
All this week on, the Linux Action Show!
— Show Notes: —
Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr
Brought to you by: System76
Ubuntu 14.04 LTS will be supported for 5 years for Ubuntu Desktop, Ubuntu Server, Ubuntu Core, Kubuntu, Edubuntu, and Ubuntu Kylin. All other flavours will be supported for 3 years.
New Features in Ubuntu 14.04 LTS Desktop:
- Linux kernel updated to version 3.13
- Ability to change application menu position
- Ability To click-to-minimise Application from the Launcher
- Borderless windows
- A wider range of launcher icons – from 16 to 64 pixels
- Appearance improvements for very high-resolution displays
- New language status icon in the top menu bar
- Harmonised appearance for the lock screen
- System Settings (GNOME Control Centre) replaced by Unity Control Center
- Multi-task filtering by text input
- Opening a guest session triggers a ‘changes are temporary’ warning
- Since Ubuntu One is to close in June, 2014, this 14.04 will not support Ubuntu One File Services
- First time for Ubuntu community flavours (Edbuntu, Kubuntu etc) to also be approved for LTS status
- New Upstart — its last outing before Ubuntu switches to systemd
Settings > Appearance > Behavior [x] Enable Work Spaces and Show Menus in the Windows title bar.
Here’s a list of 10 useful things to do to get a near perfect desktop.
Ubuntu Software Center Disappoints…. Still.
- Steam is not well exposed or featured.
- Installing Steam requires I “buy” Steam.
- “Buying” Steam requires I have an Ubuntu One account.
- I thought Ubuntu One was shut down?
- Confusing messaging throughout the process. A bad onboarding for new XP switchers.
Chris’ Final Take
- Ubuntu still impresses, I’d expected my time in ARCH to have made me jaded.
You can feel the reach of the platform when looking up guides/software/info. This can’t be understated for new users or folks short on time.
The theme feels claustrophobically dated now. I quickly added the Numix PPA and installed the full suite.
Ubuntu 14.04 feels fairly modern, with signs of age.
- The top bar looks very old, as does the system menu.
In contrast to the Unity dashboard these stand out even more.
New KDE Plasma Desktop 5, the design teams new work, Gnome 3.x getting better and better are legitimate competition to the Unity desktop which does feel like it’s standing a bit a slow.. Or is at least casually walking the marathon.
On the “cloud” side this is is potentially a great, maybe the greatest LTS.
- Built in Docker.
- Built in btrfs
Kernel 3.13 (legitimately recent for a Enterprise distro)
Ubuntu 14.04 is standing on the edge, and we don’t know what comes next.
- The developers are just discussing the start of coverages between the desktop and mobile apps. Questions are being asked as to which classic applications we’ve come to live will be replaced with in-house Qt solutions.
I am thinking about switching from Fedora 20 KDE to Kubuntu and stick with it for a long time.
The Unity 8/Desktop preview primarily is not a resurrection of Windows 8 – what you are looking at is the Ubuntu for Mobile UI running on your Desktop/Laptop. Changes to the user experience to move this UI to a Desktop/Laptop environment are coming in the next cycles.
It also is not at a quality level you’d expect from a LTS (hence it’s living in Universe), although it works fairly well on my 2 test machines. Due to limitations discussed in a previous post you might not be able to bring up Unity 8 on NVidia or ATI GPUs. We have not spent a lot of time on Hardware compatibility testing for this release and will focus on that as we march towards Ubuntu 14.10.
Download: Ubuntu 14.04
- 32 bit Desktop CD Image
- 64 bit Desktop CD Image
- 64 bit Desktop CD Image for Apple Macbook/MacPro/MacMini
- 32 bit Server CD Image
- 64 bit Server CD Image
- 64 bit Server CD image for Apple computers
– Picks –
It could take 60 more days for the Bluefin-21 to completely search the area “lawnmower” style. On one of its first dives to the floor of the Indian Ocean, the unmanned submarine reached the limit of its 2.8-mile depth range
Desktop App Pick
— NEWS —
On Monday, after seven months of discussion and planning, the first phase of a two-part audit of TrueCrypt was released.
The results? iSEC, the company contracted to review the bootloader and Windows kernel driver for any backdoor or related security issue, concluded (PDF) that TrueCrypt has: “no evidence of backdoors or otherwise intentionally malicious code in the assessed areas.”
While the team did find some minor vulnerabilities in the code itself, iSEC labeled them as appearing to be “unintentional, introduced as the result of bugs rather than malice.”
Matthew Green, a Johns Hopkins cryptography professor who has been one of the people leading this effort, told Ars. “I think the code quality is not as high as it should be, but on the other hand, nothing terrible is in there, so that’s reassuring.”
Overall, the source code for both the bootloader and the Windows kernel driver did not meet expected standards for secure code. This includes issues such as lack of comments, use of insecure or deprecated functions, inconsistent variable types, and so forth.
The team also found a potential weakness in the Volume Header integrity checks.
“It did not seem extremely important, but I think it’s good to know about,” Green noted. “But I think it’s good that we didn’t find anything super critical.”
With Cinnamon 2.2, the System Settings UI was refined, making it look more consistent and also, the settings are better categorized, this allowing the Cinnamon developers to remove the switch between normal and advanced settings modules.
Another interesting improvement added with Cinnamon 2.2 is the way applets work: each applet is now able to register “roles” which tell Cinnamon which functionality they provide and this is used to allow Cinnamon to automatically hide systay icons for which the functionality is already present in an applet.
Here’s an example from the Cinnamon 2.2 release announcement: “Say you remove the network applet, well… you’ll see the Network Manager GTK systray icon appear. Say you put the network applet back in the panel, the Network Manager systray icon will then disappear.”
Better systemd/logind support;
- New Gnome style CSD seems a bit odd:
- Same problem with XFCE, more of a CSD issue:
Red Hat Summit’s 10th Year: Docker Shines
April 14th-17th 2014
A lot of the buzz is around containerization in general and Docker in particular. Docker is set to ship with the latest version of RHEL (RHEL 7.0). Also, Docker will integrate with Red Hat’s Open Shift PaaS. This is in addition to the earlier announcement that Red Hat is launching certification of applications delivered in the Docker container format.
Besides Red Hat, Docker already ran on the Amazon AWS version of Linux, as well as several other Linux distros. Also, sources tell me that we can expect to see more announcements in the weeks ahead about Docker being included by default in several other of the major Linux distros.
Docker is becoming synonymous with containers in Linux. By the time any other project or competitor look up they will have this one sewn up.
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