Monthly Archives: April 2008

Upgrading From Beta To RC And Beyond…

I keep seeing this question pop up in IRC so I thought I’d post something about it…

“How do I upgrade from Ubuntu Beta to Ubuntu RC (and eventually to Final)?”

If you’ve installed Beta and want to upgrade to RC (and eventually Final) simply continue to update your machine.  There isn’t anything special that needs to be done, just run Update Manager and apply any available updates.  Updating your machine in this way will take you from Beta to RC to Final.

I hope that helps for anyone still wondering.  Also, for those of you that are still on Ubuntu 7.10 “Gutsy” that are going to be updating I’ll have instructions on that over the next two days.

Origami (previously Now In PPA!

Its been a while since I’ve blogged about my [email protected] management tool, now called Origami.  There was a lull there in development for a while, but this last week I’ve done probably 20+ commits, which puts us up to version  There are now also two branches being maintained on Launchpad (bzr).  One for trunk, which has the latest-greatest features, and another branch called debian which will track the package source files.  As usual, if anyone would like to check out the code and offer improvements feel free.

I also wanted to announce that it is now available in package form via my Launchpad PPA!  Launchpad FTW!  The current .deb is based on the current debian branch.  If any packagers want to take a look and tell me how to improve the package (this is my first one afterall) I’d be very interested.

I should also mention that with the rename there has bit a bit of an overhaul in the code base.  Origami is not directly backwards compatible with! I have to say that the simplest method for the transition is uninstalling (sudo erase) and then installing the Origami package.  This will cause you to lose your current work progress, so maybe wait until you’ve just started a new work-unit and give it a go.

Installing Origami via Launchpad PPA

To install Origami using Launchpad’s Personal Package Archive system, simply add the following line to your /etc/apt/sources.list file or “Add” in System > Admin > Software Sources.

deb hardy main

Once that line is in your config file make sure to update (sudo apt-get update) and then install the origami package.  Currently it is only built for Ubuntu 8.04 “Hardy”, but by the end of the week I’ll have the other supported releases built as well.  (To install for a previous release simply replace “hardy” with “release” in your configuration.)

I’ve been happy with all the feedback so far.  Thanks to those that have reported bugs and helped me make Origami even better.  If anyone finds any additional bugs or has feature requests please let me know!

Updating Ubuntu Images With Jigdo

Well its that time again, the Ubuntu community is just about ready to launch another fantastic release and with that release the worlds interweb tubes are going to get clogged as everyone upgrades.  It’s about this time that I always start thinking about ways to be more efficient with my bandwidth.

Bittorrent, of course, is a great improvement over the traditional direct download method but in some cases there are potentially more efficient methods to use.  I’d like to outline (as I do with every release) how to update your current ubuntu images using Jigdo.

Jigdo, if you’re not familiar, takes a current Ubuntu image and compares its contained packages with the packages within an updated image (ie; alpha vs beta, beta vs RC, RC vs final).  Using this method you’re only downloading the packages that have *changed* between images and not the entire image again.  The morning RC was released I used jigdo against my local ubuntu package mirror and had the new image in about a minute!

Installing Jigdo

Jigdo is available within the Ubuntu repositories.  To install Jigdo you can run the command:

sudo aptitude install jigdo-file

Using Jigdo

Jigdo requires a .jigdo file, which outlines what the latest image *should* have, which is then compared to the previous image file that you already have on the machine.  The previous image can be burned and in the drive or loop-mounted (mount -o loop file.iso /mnt).  So, to begin you’ll need to start Jigdo and give it the path to a .jigdo file:


The .jigdo file can be found on most download sites, look for it just below the .iso or .torrent files.

Jigdo will then download that .jigdo file and read the contents of what package versions should be in the latest release.  It will then ask you for the image you want to compare it to, which you can point it to your loaded disk or mounted .iso.

If not much has changed between the images (its *really* efficient for updating dailies!) it should be finished pretty quickly.  The more changes there are the more packages it’ll have to download.  When it has being able to find, or has downloaded the required updated packages, it’ll create a new .iso image for you.  Tada!  You have an upgraded image and you’ve used much less bandwidth than traditional methods.

note: using Jigdo to compare a 7.10 image vs an 8.04 image is not going to offer any improvements–everything has been changed.  It is best used for incremental updates, like beta to RC, RC to final, etc.

For more information on using Jigdo for updating Ubuntu images see the JigdoDownloadHowTo Wiki page.

Announcing the Release Candidate for Ubuntu 8.04 LTS

The Ubuntu team is pleased to announce the Release Candidate for Ubuntu 8.04 LTS (Long-Term Support) on desktop and server.  Codenamed “Hardy Heron”, 8.04 LTS continues Ubuntu’s proud tradition of integrating the latest and greatest open source technologies into a high-quality, easy-to-use Linux distribution.

We consider this release candidate to be complete, stable, and suitable for testing by any user.

Ubuntu 8.04 LTS Desktop Edition features incremental improvements to familiar applications, with an emphasis on stability for this second Ubuntu long-term support release, and is easier than ever to try out with the new Wubi installer.

Ubuntu 8.04 LTS Server Edition follows in the footsteps of Ubuntu 7.10 with even more virtualization support and security enhancements – enabling AppArmor for more applications by default, improving protection of kernel memory against attacks, and supporting KVM and iSCSI technologies out of the box.

The Ubuntu 8.04 LTS family of variants, Kubuntu, Xubuntu, UbuntuStudio, and Mythbuntu, also reach RC status today.

The final release of Ubuntu 8.04 LTS is scheduled for 24 April 2008 and will be supported for three years on the desktop and five years on the server.

Before installing or upgrading to Ubuntu 8.04 LTS please read

About The Release Candidate
The purpose of the Release Candidate is to solicit one last round of testing before the final release. Here are ways that you can help:

  • Upgrade from Ubuntu, Kubuntu, or Edubuntu 7.10 to the Release Candidate by following the instructions given above.
  • Participate in installation testing using the Release Candidate CD images, by following the testing and reporting instructions at

Desktop Features
Improved application selection: the GNOME desktop sports a number of improvements to the default applications, including more feature-full clients for BitTorrent and VNC, as well as an advanced UI for mastering CDs and DVDs.

File browsing: an enhanced filesystem layer brings greater performance and flexibility to Nautilus, the GNOME file browser.

Pluggable audio and video output: the PulseAudio sound server is integrated in the GNOME desktop for more flexible sound output, and a new Screen Resolution utility allows easier configuration of multiple video displays.

Wubi installer: a new Windows-based installer option makes it easier than ever to try out Ubuntu, letting users install a full desktop on Windows systems without needing to partition their hard drive.

Server Features
AppArmor profiles: a greater number of server applications are now protected by default with AppArmor, a kernel technology that limits the resources an application is allowed to access, providing added protection against undiscovered security vulnerabilities.

Memory protection: additional protection now prevents direct access to system memory through /dev/mem and /dev/kmem, and the lower 64K of system memory is no longer addressable by default, changes which help to defend against malicious code.  The kernel now also loads Position Independent
Executables at randomized addresses, making it harder for application security vulnerabilities to be exploited.

Virtualization and iSCSI: KVM is now an officially maintained option, which combined with libvirt (CLI) and virt-manager (GUI) management tools allows for a simple and efficient virtualization option on hardware that supports virtualization extensions (AMD-V or Intel-VT).  Mounting iSCSI targets is
now supported (including in the installer), allowing Ubuntu to interoperate with this class of cost-efficient Storage Area Network solutions.

Ubuntu Education Edition
Add-on configuration: Edubuntu is now provided as an add-on to Ubuntu rather than a separate stand-alone flavor, permitting even greater reuse of Ubuntu technologies.

Kubuntu Features
Kubuntu comes with the rock solid KDE 3 for those who want a commercially supported desktop.

For those who want something more exciting, a KDE 4 Remix is available bringing this cutting edge new version to you first.

Please see for details.

Xubuntu Features
Xubuntu comes with the light-weight Xfce 4.4.2 desktop environment for those who want to a desktop that is easy to use, but places particular emphasis on conserving system resources.

New Additions To The Family
Two new variants join us for this Ubuntu release.  UbuntuStudio and Mythbuntu have done releases separately in the past, and with Hardy Heron we’re happy to be able to welcome these fine community projects into the main Ubuntu release process.

For a more in-depth tour of the features new in 8.04 LTS, see

About Ubuntu
Ubuntu is a full-featured Linux distribution for desktops, laptops, and servers, with a fast and easy install and regular releases.  A tightly-integrated selection of excellent applications is included, and
an incredible variety of add-on software is just a few clicks away.

Professional technical support is available from Canonical Limited and hundreds of other companies around the world.  For more information about support, visit

To Get the Ubuntu 8.04 LTS Release Candidate CD

To perform a new installation or try out 8.04 LTS “live” from CD, download the Ubuntu 8.04 LTS Release Candidate (choose the mirror closest to you):
Europe: (Belgium) (Bulgaria) (Croatia) (Denmark) (France) (Great Britain) (Greece) (Ireland) (Italy) (The Netherlands) (The Netherlands) (Norway) (Portugal) (Spain) (Sweden)

Asia/Pacific: (Taiwan) (Australia) (New Zealand)

Africa: (South Africa)

North America: (United States)

South America: (Brazil)

Rest of the world: (Great Britain)

Please download using Bittorrent if possible.  See for more information about using Bittorrent.

Upgrading from Ubuntu 7.10 and Ubuntu 6.06 LTS
To upgrade to Ubuntu 8.04 LTS Release Candidate from Ubuntu 7.10 or Ubuntu 6.06 LTS, follow these instructions:

Feedback and Helping
If you would like to help shape Ubuntu, take a look at the list of ways you can participate at

Your comments, bug reports, patches, and suggestions will help turn this release into the best release of Ubuntu ever. Please report bugs through the Launchpad bug tracker:

If you have a question, or if you think you may have found a bug but aren’t sure, first try asking on the #ubuntu IRC channel on FreeNode, on the Ubuntu Users mailing list, or on the Ubuntu forums:

More Information

You can find out more about Ubuntu and about this preview release on our website, IRC channel, and wiki. If you are new to Ubuntu, please visit:

Ehh, What The Hell

I figure I’d join the band-wagon too, but I’ll use *readable* $() vs the absolutely unreadable-horrible-habit `.  (Yes, that is a `.  What?  You can’t tell what character that is?  Yeah, neither can I when you use it in your code!  Its a back-tick and shouldn’t be used because its unreadable!)

[email protected]:~$ history | awk $({a[$2]++ } END{for(i in a){print a[i] " " i}})|sort -rn|head
96 ls
87 vim
70 cd
60 bzr
25 sudo
16 rm
14 ssh
13 grep
13 cat
11 scp

Dapper To Hardy Direct Server Upgrade Works!

The other day I thought I’d give the Ubuntu 6.06 LTS to 8.04 LTS direct upgrade path a try on my Ubuntu 6.06 server.  It ran smoothly (over ssh no less), until I ran into one bug at the end.  I reported it, with a reply back the next day.  Two days later it has been fixed and I tried an upgrade again.  I’m happy to say that the direct upgrade path worked perfectly on a fresh install of Ubuntu 6.06 Server.  Here is how I did it:

Ubuntu 6.06 to Ubuntu 8.04 Upgrade (Server)

I verified that my current install was completely up to date:

sudo aptitude update
sudo aptitude upgrade
sudo aptitude dist-upgrade

Also, to be thorough, this is what my sources.list looked like (each ‘deb’ entry should be one single line):

deb dapper main restricted universe multiverse
deb dapper-updates main restricted universe multiverse
deb dapper-security main restricted universe multiverse
deb dapper-proposed main restricted universe multiverse
deb dapper-backports main restricted universe multiverse

Once I had applied all updates (if you’re already up to date, you don’t need a reboot) I then installed the server-based update utility:

sudo aptitude install update-manager-core

Once this is installed you’re ready to begin the upgrade process.  You can start the upgrade using:

sudo do-release-upgrade -d

note: once Ubuntu 8.04 final is released the -d option will no longer be needed.

At this point it’ll do some checking, verify and update the newer repository and ask you a few questions along the lines of “There is no going back from here, are you sure you want to upgrade?”  After that its smooth sailing.

If you do run into any issues during the upgrade please report them against the update-manager-core package in Launchpad.

April Fools Reminder

After going through my feeds for the morning I thought I’d post a reminder about April Fool’s.  Geek’s love April Fools.  Don’t believe anything you read today! The way I see it, if the news is still around tomorrow and the next its likely valid, otherwise its an April Fool’s joke.

I’ve seen some pretty tasteless jokes today too.  Shame on you, you know who you are.