Will It Route?

Chances are that if you're a LoCo team contact you've received an email message from me recently *encouraging* you to get your team signed up for the Ubuntu Global Jam. Or maybe you didn't...

Horror of horrors! You have an email issue.

Are you a "Team Contact?" Does your @ubuntu.com address still work? Check it. Fix it!

Are you a "Team Contact?" Are you cloaking your email address? Hmm. That would make you less than "contactable". ;) Fix it!

And by extension, if you are an Ubuntu Member it's a grand idea to check your email settings in Launchpad to ensure that yourlaunchpadID@ubuntu.com routes to some address that you check periodically.

This concludes my Public Service Announcement on routable email addresses. Happy messaging!

Ubuntu Global Jam - Events are Starting to Appear!

The Ubuntu Global Jam (Raring Ringtail edition) is coming! Four absolutely amazing teams have already announced their intention to Jam. Thank you!

I would like to encourage you to register an event for your team for the upcoming Ubuntu Global Jam. Remember, it's happening

  • Friday March 1, 2013
  • Saturday March 2, 2013
  • Sunday March 3, 2013

Please add your event to the LoCo Team Portal http://loco.ubuntu.com/events/global/2221/detail/ so the world can start seeing all the amazing things that you're doing for Ubuntu.

More information is here:

Thanks in advance for Jamming, Ubuntu style!

Ubuntu Global Jam - Call for Events!

The Ubuntu Global Jam (Raring Ringtail edition) is coming! This event is an incredible opportunity for the Ubuntu community to unite together to improve Ubuntu.

Everyone is able to contribute to the Jam, and everyone is welcome and encouraged to get involved. Are you curious about how to make a real difference to Ubuntu? This is a great chance to make that difference.

I would like to encourage you to register an event for your team for the upcoming Ubuntu Global Jam occurring on these dates:

  • Friday March 1, 2013
  • Saturday March 2, 2013
  • Sunday March 3, 2013

This part is important! Please add your event to the LoCo Team Portal http://loco.ubuntu.com/events/global/2221/detail/ so the world can start seeing all the amazing things that you're doing for Ubuntu.

Good documentation about how to create a successful Global Jam event is here: https://wiki.ubuntu.com/UbuntuGlobalJam

A short video explaining the most basic steps is here:

Gathering Ubuntu people together is always fun and I'm sure you are going to have a great time with your team! Thanks in advance for participating in this cycle's Global Jam event. If you have any questions, please feel free to get in touch.

Ubuntu Holiday Gift

Soon people all over the world will be celebrating holidays, and for many that means shopping and gift-giving. I'm here from the "school of hard knocks"[1] to give you some important advice:

If you are looking to buy (or ask for) a computer system that runs Ubuntu flawlessly (and who isn't, right?) then there are 3 places that you can (and should) check before you make that purchase:

Ubuntu-Certified systems: http://www.ubuntu.com/certification/desktop/ <-- any of these are excellent choices for Ubuntu. Be sure to check the current Ubuntu version though.

Ubuntu Friendly systems: https://friendly.ubuntu.com/ <-- look for 4 stars or more.

Ubuntu pre-loaded. System76 is a great choice and they are all about Ubuntu! http://system76.com <-- just be aware that they are located in the USA which means you'll likely pay for shipping and some extra fees to get your system past the border mafia in your country.

If you are expecting to recieve an Ubuntu-ready computer, I strongly recommend that you pass this advice along to your loving gift-giver-to-be. And, encourage them to get a gift receipt for the purchase, just in case ;)

Enjoy Ubuntu in style, hassle-free, and without the pain that people experience on other platforms. [2]

Happy holidays!



[1] 20 years in IT and 6 years supporting Ubuntu. Hundreds of people asking me "How do I get my (graphics card|wifi|suspend| function keys|hockey stick) working with Ubuntu. Years of reading blog posts and bug reports about how the latest Ubuntu release "broke my (uncertified) system."

[2] You can share this gift too. Do you have system that works flawlessly (i.e. with not even one minor issue) with Ubuntu but is not on the lists above? Please tell me about it in the comments.

(Original image by asenat29, CC-BY-2.0, http://www.flickr.com/photos/72153088@N08/)

Community Docs Jam Today!

Today, Thursday Dec 13th, with your help, we're going to make Ubuntu even more awesome by adding a strong dose of community.

Head on over to:


on the Freenode IRC network.

Create fresh, interesting, and exciting content for www.ubuntu.com/community.

More info:

Make Community More Awesome This Thursday... There's Jam!

Happy 12/12/12 12:12:12 everyone! The world is apparently still in tact, so let's get on with the mission to make Ubuntu even more awesome by adding a strong dose of community.

What am I talking about? The website above is not exciting enough! Jono Bacon recently invited us all to participate in a Community Docs Jam that is happening this Thursday December 13th (2012) to fix it! So, if it is Thursday in your time zone, you need to head on over to:

#ubuntu-doc (see note [1] below if you don't know what it is)

What will we be doing?
Creating fresh and interesting content for www.ubuntu.com/community. Content that shows Ubuntu for what it is: a project that we can all participate in. Ubuntu is an exciting place to be right now and we want that excitement to be clear.

The whole event description is here: http://www.jonobacon.org/2012/12/09/improving-community-getting-involved...
Please read it before the event if possible. (That will save us time and energy during the event.)

Please join us Thursday and help us make the new Community content the best ever! See you there!



[1] #ubuntu-doc is a chat channel on the Freenode network. It's easy to join. Just point your browser at: http://webchat.freenode.net/ type #ubuntu-doc as your channel name, or use your favourite IRC program like Empathy or Pidgin.




We Are *All* Making Ubuntu - Part 2

Yesterday, I introduced an opportunity for everyone who wants to help make Ubuntu's search feature the best in the world to participate in a specification hosted here:


(Note: You will need to login with your Ubuntu SSO, and also be a member of the ubuntu-etherpad[1] team on Launchpad. Join it here: https://launchpad.net/~ubuntu-etherpad

There are already some good ideas and constructive discussions on the Pad. Go ahead. Take a look, then add some more.

One thing missing though are mock-ups, wireframes, and prototypes. Do you have a background in designing interfaces? We need you!

I am not a programmer, nor do I play one on TV. But I do know that code does not look like this:

Really bad code that doesn't make Ubuntu better.Really bad code that doesn't make Ubuntu better.

Will the people that invest all that time and energy contributing to the bickering, name-calling, and dredging up the past take the time to participate in building a constructive future together?

Paul Ferson, Mohit Kumar, Emil Protalinski, Alex Williams, and others, I challenge you to use your words for good, not click-throughs. Join us here and become part of the solution: http://pad.ubuntu.com/4OnwYN3HVT

We Are *All* Making Ubuntu


Yesterday, an internet opinion snowstorm ensued over the Canonical's treatment of search queries that are entered into Ubuntu's Dash.

RMS, Jono, then a gerjillion others: dog-piling, re-reporting, thrashing, re-hashing... This (fun?) will continue for days, probably weeks, and maybe even years. Generations will look back at this as the moment in time when free software ceased to be free, or the world ended, or both, or worse.

Or will they?

Full stop. Did we forget somewhere along the line that we are all making Ubuntu? It does no one any good to sit at the keyboard and rant, bicker, blame, name-call, etc. That isn't how software is built. That isn't Ubuntu.

Good software begins with a spec. Do you have a better way to build Ubuntu's search feature? You can (and should) participate.

The best search feature in the world begins here:

Please click and contribute. Yes, even you, Richard Stallman.


Important Technical Note: "You need to login with Ubuntu SSO, and also be a member of the ubuntu-etherpad[1] team on Launchpad. When we first started user Etherpad, we had some problems with people vandalizing existing documents, so we created this step to prevent that problem." (Michael Hall, from comments)

[1] https://launchpad.net/~ubuntu-etherpad

"Raring" to Try Your Nexus 7 with Ubuntu?

Back at UDS-R in Copenhagen, I had the fortune to meet the fine folks on the (Canonical) Ubuntu Nexus 7 team. One thing that impressed me is just how open they were to community input and how eager they were to make Ubuntu the best it can be on a tablet form factor. Oops! That's two things.

Actually, I have a bit of a funny story. On the second day of UDS, I was sitting in the dining hall beside one of Ubuntu Vancouver's finest co-conspirators and pulled out my shiny new Nexus 7, freshly (that morning) flashed with Ubuntu 12.10. He asked, "So, what do you think of Ubuntu on the tablet?" I was just about to launch into a rant about how difficult it was to use the touch interface, the lack of automatic screen rotation, and the dreaded "button 1 lock-ups", but then my inner voice said, "Randall, this is a proof-of-concept, an alpha. Be nice." Also, there was a kind looking gentleman sitting across the table from us who looked quite interested in the device and our conversation. Who was he?

So, instead of answering my friend's question I said, "Try for yourself." He played with it for a bit and then handed it back to me with a smile. We both knew what that smile meant.

That turned out to be the right move. The gentleman across the table soon identified himself as one of the developers on the Ubuntu Nexus 7 team. Face-palm averted. More importantly, a demotivating whine from a community member likely wouldn't have helped morale.

The next thing that happened was what I call a "classic Ubuntu moment": The gentleman mentioned that he had observed our interaction with the device and noticed several things (tweaks) I could do to make my Ubuntu tablet experience more enjoyable and usable. I thanked him for that, and I also thanked him for his hard work to get Ubuntu up-and-running in the first place. He encouraged me to find more bugs and to help the team.

Here I am.

I am testing Ubuntu on the Nexus 7. I'm using it everyday. And by doing so, I am trying to help the project even if in a small way. I attend the weekly Nexus 7 team meetings on IRC. I demo the Nexus 7 at Ubuntu gatherings in my city. I gather friendly people to pose for pictures.

Friendly Ubuntu Nexus 7 team meets the Ubuntu community at UDS-R.Friendly Ubuntu Nexus 7 team meets the Ubuntu community at UDS-R.

Even though the first functional Ubuntu Nexus 7 image represents a baby step towards the goal to have Ubuntu on all form factors by 14.04, these are exciting times for Ubuntu and I feel invigorated (and honoured) to be involved in a really big thing. I am not Canonical. I am part of the jedi force that is often called Community. You are part of that community too. I'd love for you to get involved.

Oh! I almost forgot: As of today, Raring Ringtail is now available for the Nexus 7. Re-flash and have a great time! https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Nexus7/Installation

Ubuntu is not just software.


(additional photo added Dec. 8, 2012, based on comments)
Awesome tablet people!Awesome tablet people!

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