Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Ubuntu Studio 12.10 Released


The Ubuntu Studio development team is proud to announce the release of Ubuntu Studio 12.10.

General

Ubuntu Studio is the Ubuntu flavour designed for content creation.

It’s produced as a DVD image that can also be converted to an USB stick and includes support for most languages by default.

UI and Applications


Improved Interface:

 * A new web page is out. The help button on the main menu points there.
 * Task Manager has been switched to System Monitor for better memory use display.
 * A main menu tool has been added to setting to allow the user to change their menu.
 * Add/fix text plymouth theme for those video cards that won’t see graphics so it says Ubuntu studio.
 * Set up Software Center menu items for our workflows.
 * Fixed submenu icons for accessories, education and network.

New Software:

 * Xfce updated to version 4.10 (based off of Xubuntu)
 * Kernel (lowlatency) is now of version 3.5

Ubuntu Studio Applications:

 * The menu has been fixed moving audio production tools out of Media Playback.
 *  A MIDI router and MIDI tools menu have been added.
 * Add qmidiroute to audio workflow to cover missing functionality
 * Added open-clip-art package to graphics seed
 * Move mixer applications from media playback menu to audio menu.
 * Nautilus is default file manager for everything now

Installation Notes


Installation:

Preparing your computer for Ubuntu Studio is now simpler, with a wider range of disk setup options. Each of these are detailed at length to provide you with a clear understanding of the actions that will take place with your selection.

You can reinstall or upgrade an existing copy of Ubuntu Studio with the Ubuntu Studio DVD installer, provided that your computer is connected to the Internet.

Download:

Ubuntu Studio 12.10 images are available for download from:
http://cdimage.ubuntu.com/ubuntustudio/releases/12.10/release/

System Requirements:

The minimum memory requirement for Ubuntu Studio 12.10 is 768 MB of memory. It is highly recommended that you have 2GB or more memory though so that the system will perform much better. More information about other recommended hardware on the new Ubuntu Studio website when it is released.

Upgrading:

To upgrade from Ubuntu Studio 12.04, press Alt+F2 and type in "upgrade-manager"(without the quotes) into the command box. Update Manager should open up and display following message: "New distribution release ’12.10′ is available. Click Upgrade and follow the on-screen instructions".

Since the upgrade does not include the new “photography” and “publishing” metas, so if you want the photography and publishing packages in your upgrade, please install them manually after upgrade by typing "sudo apt-get install ubuntustudio-meta-photography ubuntustudio-meta-publishing" in your terminal.

Known Issues


Drivers:

Proprietary drivers are now installed using software-properties-gtk (Software Sources), under the tab “Additional Drivers”.

We have received reports that booting the Ubuntu installer in UEFI mode from a USB disk on certain Samsung laptops (530U3C, NP700Z5C) may trigger a firmware bug that renders the machine unbootable. While this bug has not been confirmed to affect Ubuntu 12.10, users are advised to use caution when installing on Samsung laptops and ensure that they are configured for legacy BIOS mode, not UEFI mode. (1040557)

Kernel:

Haswell processor graphics is not fully supported. (1066975)
On some systems, when opening lid, there is a kerneloops with a suspend/resume failure message seen. (1054732)
On certain ASUS machines with AMD graphic chips, a WMI event and ACPI interrupt are sent at the same time when hitting the hotkey to change display mode, resulting in the display mode being changed twice in succession. Users can work around this using the Displays panel in System Settings for changing display modes. (1052278)
On ASUS N53SN laptops, the kernel does not boot without noefi on commandline. (1053897)


Networking:

In order to improve compatibility with other local nameserver packages, NetworkManager now assigns IP address 127.0.1.1 to the local nameserver process that it controls instead of 127.0.0.1. If the system’s /etc/resolv.conf is absent or is a static file instead of the symbolic link to ../run/resolvconf/resolv.conf installed by default then this static file will have to be updated by the administrator in order to continue using the NetworkManager-controlled nameserver.

Video Drivers:

Several video drivers are not functioning with some legacy chip-sets.

xserver-xorg-video-trident with some Trident Cyberblade chip-sets. Black screen and lock-up. Bugs
xserver-xorg-video-intel with i810 chip-sets. Segfault. 1060492
xserver-xorg-video-sis with 315 series (SiS 315/E/PRO, 550, [M]650, 651, 740, [M]661[FMG]X,[M]741[GX]) chip-sets. Black screen or loops around login screen. 1034812

Workarounds:

Test with a Live CD to see if your hardware is effected.
Trident Cyberblade – As the vesa driver doesn’t work with this chip-set the only solution is to remain with 12.04.
Intel i810 – A new install can only be accomplished from the Alternate ISO. On reboot go to Recovery Mode and delete/blacklist video driver. On reboot create suitable xorg.conf or use RandR to get correct resolution if necessary.
SiS 315 Series – As Intel i810

Support

Ubuntu Studio 12.10 is supported for 18 months.
Security and bugfix updates for Ubuntu Studio are provided by the Ubuntu Studio Team and Community
Support via email can be found at the Ubuntu Studio Users Mailing List.
Support via IRC can be found in the #ubuntustudio channel on the freenode network


Please download the release and try it out and we thank you for your support on Ubuntu Studio!


Regards,
Ubuntu Studio Team

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Video Editing with Blender Example


I've talked about using Blender for video editing and here is a quick example.

The video is by David McSween and his blog has quite a few interesting posts about using Blender for video editing.


Friday, August 24, 2012

Content Highlight: Youtube Minecraft Series

I have talked recently about using Ubuntu Studio for content creation and I would to start sharing what I have been doing recently.

My sons and I have started creating a series of Youtube Minecraft videos. It's been very fun and I have learned quite a large amount of video production. I expect that I will also create some documentation for my work flow soon to share.

Planet Ubuntu: I feel slightly bad about including video on the roll, I'm not sure people usually do this or if it is bad form. I will be vigilant to ensure this is a rarity just to sporadically highlight something that was created with Ubuntu Studio.



As i mentioned previously, the next project is to work on an audio album - I am already demoing riffs - but during the next three months I am thinking about also working in a silly, quirky video ad, some graphical logo/banner type things, and a few tutorial/explanatory videos into the schedule...work and family allowing, of course.

Rock on.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Content Highlight: YouTube Minecraft Series

I have talked recently about using Ubuntu Studio for content creation and I would to start sharing what I have been doing recently.

My sons and I have started creating a series of Youtube Minecraft videos. It's been very fun and I have learned quite a large amount of video production. I expect that I will also create some documentation for my work flow soon to share.

Planet Ubuntu: I feel slightly bad about including video on the roll, I'm not sure people usually do this or if it is bad form. I will be vigilant to ensure this is a rarity just to sporadically highlight something that was created with Ubuntu Studio.



As i mentioned previously, the next project is to work on an audio album - I am already demoing riffs - but during the next three months I am thinking about also working in a silly, quirky video ad, some graphical logo/banner type things, and a few tutorial/explanatory videos into the schedule...work and family allowing, of course.

Rock on.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Working the Work Flows or I Woke Up in a Soho Doorway

Here at your friendly neighborhood Ubuntu Studio development team, we consider Ubuntu Studio as more than just a collection of applications.

This might sound like fancy, highfalutin talk - and I really thought I had talked about this before on my blog, but can't find anything - but considerable thought has been dedicated to exploring how we can make Ubuntu Studio more than the sum of its parts.

One aspect exists that I would really like to improve and I will start this series of posts by expanding my thoughts on it with you. So, sit back, enjoy the ride, and tell me where I'm an idiot and wrong;)

Curiouser and Curiouser

During the development of Ubuntu Studio 12.04 the application set (i.e. the multimedia applications shipped for content creation) was stripped down and rebuilt based on work flows. Work flows were developed to document the preferred tool chain that provided potent, complete support for a tasks Ubuntu Studio users want to accomplish. You can read more about them here.

However, I feel that the work flows are not optimally being utilized unless they are provided to users in a simple and transparent manner so engagement is immediately accessible and intuitive. Wow, that's a lot of crazy words that might not really make sense.  Yes, users can read the work flow documentation, but I believe that a way exists that makes their usage as intuitive and natural. Like breathing, or at least with minimal exploration or thought.

I especially think this is an important consideration given that the development team defined our target audience as content creators who are new to Linux.

The Kids Are Alright

Let's explore a demonstration to underscore the point. For this example we will consider a studio experienced musician who wants to record demo riffs with some simple drum patterns for an upcoming album.

A most common approach (and one documented in the work flow) is to use qjackctl (the JACK sound server control application), Ardour (the DAW), and Hydrogen (the drum machine). The actual (and simplified) work flows is as follows:

  • qjackctl is first used to manage and start the JACK sound server
  • Ardour would then be started and a new project started and tracks for guitar and drums added
  • Hydrogen can then be started and a simple pattern created on repeat
  • qjackctl is again used to make audio connections between Hydrogen and the guitar to Ardour
  • the record button is pressed in Ardour, which starts Hydrogen and records the guitars and drums

This may seem straightforward...but you cheated because I told you what would work. For a new user, there are several significant disadvantages already present which make this a difficult, although not insurmountable, proposition. In particular I would mention:
  • the requirement to start and control a sound server; which is neither intuitive nor conventional in other operating systems (especially a second sound server)
  • the "do one thing and do it well" philosophy results in multiple applications required, which is a  contrast to other operating systems' more monolithic approach
  • the preferred applications designated for a particular work flow are not immediately evident; unless the new user found the documented work flow and read it, but I do not consider this "immediately evident"
  • the Audio Production menu in particular has a lot of applications in it, finding the one needed can be difficult (although the new sub-menus in 12.04 help quite a bit...thanks Len!)
I hope that you can appreciate that even a musician with studio experience might experience difficulty transitioning to Ubuntu Studio (and perhaps Linux audio). It is an appreciable paradigm shift and I believe we need to recognize this.

My Generation

Some might be saying to themselves at this point, "Hey Self! I think Scott is being pretty depressingly critical on Ubuntu Studio." To which you might reply to yourself, "For Linus' sake, he's the bloody project lead, isn't he supposed to tell me Ubuntu Studio provides free sunshine, rainbows, giggles, warm feelings and kittens?"

I suppose I could, and maybe I should. But I can't and I shan't.

I prefer to be open and direct about such things and I think an honest assessment can provide appreciable benefit and growth.

So, the next post we will continue this exploration and discuss goals I think need to be achieve to address these (and other) issues. If I can be succinct enough (hah, probably not) I'll even describe some solutions that have been considered.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

I'm not Dead and I'm not for Sale

Some might have noticed that I have not been very active or vocal regarding Ubuntu Studio since 12.04 was released. There are reasons and I'll share them with you along with my future with Ubuntu Studio.

Also, I have begun to pursue some interesting ventures and I would like to share a some of the beginning results with you.

Lastly, I should wrap up my post by mentioning my intentions for this blog.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

2nd Test Post

redux....

If you would indulge me, I would like to test some features of this blog.

Interesting things are afoot and, with one eye to the future, I am curious to the features that are available.

Test Post or the Attack of the 50 Foot Lorem Ipsum

If you would indulge me, I would like to test some features of this blog.

Interesting things are afoot and, with one eye to the future, I am curious to the features that are available.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

UDS-Q Day Three

After some delay, I am continuing the posting on the third day of the Ubuntu Develop Summit for Quantal Qeutzal in Oakland, California.

Getting Home

In order to maximize my weekend before returning to work, my flight leaves at 06:00 on Saturday.  Apparently I naively expected to take the BART but I have learned that the first BART is at 06:30.

Turns out the answer is a local shuttle service (thanks Elizabeth and Charles) who will pick me up at 03:30.  I might not even go to sleep Friday night :/

QA

I learned about some remarkable things today related to available QA tools which hopefully will reduce the work load on our small team.

During a ubuntu-qa-tools session, I learned about automated ways to download and start a new image in KVM from a single command.  Rock on!

Turns out there are many other tools that will lower the threshold for new testers to easily join and help with testing..  I will certainly be  exploring these tools more. Also, during this session Gema mentioned her Plenary presentation for QA.  I look forward to learning more :)

Improving the testing tools used by Ubuntu Studio is another important aspect for our future.  By automating the basic ISO test we should be able to devote more time to deeper testing.

Learning of the available QA tools, along with the available backports tools, should really have significant impact to Ubuntu Studio starting with this cycle :)

Pictures

Last UDS I only took two pictures, this year I intend to do much, much better.  Hopefully tomorrow I start taking them.

There are a huge number of extremely cool and incredible people at UDS and I really hope to document some of this experience with a Picasa photo album.

finis

As happened last year, midweek seemed to slip out of high gear as I didn't find as many interesting sessions. But I am sure I am an outlier at UDS.

Oh, I know of one interesting session coming up on Friday; it is the a session that I will be leading for the 'Desktop Juju (see JuJu Studio section)' blueprint that was approved and scheduled.





Thursday, May 10, 2012

UDS-Q Day Two

Catching up on the blogging for the second day of the Ubuntu Develop Summit for Quantal Qeutzal in Oakland, California.

Backports

My first session on Tuesday was the Backports BoF (Bird of a Feather) session for which I was very interested so that we can better support Ubuntu Studio 12.04 LTS. Backports are an important way to get versions of software with new features released to users for released versions of Ubuntu.  This is in contrast to regular updates which will only handle bug fixes and security.

I believe the Long Term Release (LTS) is an important part of Ubuntu Studio for our users and I want to demonstrate this with developing an active and robust backports program.

Therefore I was very impressed and encouraged to learn about many new tools (available commands at page bottom) and the updated wiki and help pages.  Great work by Evan Broder and others.

I am very excited about this.

Ubuntu Studio Plenary Presentation

I enjoyed the chance to talk about Ubuntu Studio in a "Ubuntu Derivative" [0] UDS Plenary and I chose some very specific goals for my presentation.

The first goal was about public awareness and sharing the vision of Ubuntu Studio.  I find it a little disheartening that even within the Ubuntu ecosystem that many people are unaware that Ubuntu Studio exists.  But also that even when people are aware of it, they don't know what it really is.  So, hopefully I made progress in making people aware that Ubuntu Studio exists as a platform for content creation.

My second goal was to display the activity, both recent and planned, within Ubuntu Studio.  I feel very proud about the improvements in Ubuntu Studio 12.04 LTS and excited about the vision for the future.  Hopefully, I conveyed both emotions.

Hopefully, it accomplished all that I wanted and more, but to be honest, the entire presentation was a bit of a blur and I remember very, very little of it.  Several members of the audience have given me compliments on my presentation but I still fear that I was a bit derpy.  I believe it was all recorded and I wonder if any video is available.  I might watch it to see what I looked like...but then I might not :P

And if anyone was confused how I greeted Allison, hopefully this G+ post will explain the circumstance. I should mention that I'm not really that nervous or shy ;)

Desktop JuJu

While I was originally not attracted to the Ubuntu HUD, I am beginning to find a new appreciation for it while using Ubuntu 12.04 LTS, which is installed currently on my non-production laptop.

As I previously mentioned (see JuJu Studio section), I think it would an awesome and powerful accomplishment to make work flows more directly accessible to users without the need for manually starting many applications, changing settings, and making any audio connections.

In a follow up conversation on another topic, Ben Howard strongly suggested I make a blueprint, get it approved, and on the schedule as he felt this had incredible potential for helping with common desktop usage, problem solving, and improving the user experience.  So I did.

I think it would provide an amazingly helpful tool if users were able to open the HUD, ask a question (e.g. why isn't my wireless working?), and have solutions presented with a heuristically determined most probable solution suggested first.

It is possible that this could be extended to include starting and running many complex processes and then managing them in a similar fashion as JuJu and Charms with web deployment.

I concede the fact that JuJu and Charms are not developed for desktop deployment. But could a similar framework be adapted or developed for the desktop?

If so, this could provide a potentially powerful tool for Ubuntu Studio to help users quickly access their work flows and minimize distractions when they have inspiration. I have found that starting five applications, loading template, and making connections is NOT conducive to the creative process when I find a new riff and want to record and develop it. In many cases that inspirational spark can be either neutered or completely lost.

Google Party

This night ended up with a weird party hosted by Google. Some said they enjoyed it, others said it was weird and strange but stayed.

I left shortly after I arrived and chose to eat a nice chicken Caesar salad in the hotel restaurant away from the strangeness.  I learned later that I was not alone in my choice.

I believe a majority of people did not attend the Google party because there were involved in Canonical-centric meetings (with dinner and drinks presumably) at this time.

finis

The evening winded down for me with a call with the family, some reading, and other busy work.

And thus ended day two.


[0] I believe the proper term is flavor rather than derivatives.  I view Linux Mint as a derivative while Kubuntu, Xubuntu, et al are flavors of Ubuntu as were officially recognized within Ubuntu.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

UDS-Q Day 1

I'm starting this series of posting a little late, but it's time for  the Ubuntu Develop Summit for Quantal Qeutzal in Oakland, California!  :)

UDS-Q

I'm excited about attending my second UDS, not the least of which is because I was going to give a presentation Ubuntu Studio during the Plenaries in front of several hundred people.

However, in contrast to UDS-P, I didn't have a particular goal giving the event an overarching direction.  I went to UDS-P in Orlando, Florida with a major goal of building support to get the -lowlatency kernel into the repositories (which happened).  This time I was going with the flow.

Incidentally, an unusual outgrowth of last year's UDS is that I spent quite a bit of time re-introducing myself.  Last UDS I had a beard while this year I reverted back to my normal appearance.

Keynote

It all started off with Mark's keynote speech.  Some of what he spoke about was the HUD, Ubuntu for Android, Ubuntu TV, and the theme for this release.

It was all quite inspirational and it is clearly a very exciting and creative time to be using and working on Ubuntu.  I see that amazing and pervasive things are happening and Ubuntu 12.04 was just the start of it.

What followed next was the blur of many sessions and even more people.  Luckily a few serendipitous meetings stand out for me and Ubuntu Studio.

-lowlatency Kernel

One such meeting resulted in the suggestion that I should attempt to get the Ubuntu Kernel Team to maintain the -lowlatency kernel instead of the Ubuntu Studio team.

The main reason is that the patch to make the changes to the configuration files is very small (a purported "2 lines") and could easy be made into a build option which all could be completely automated.  Every security patch would happen concurrently as the main kernels are updated and without any additional effort.

In contrast, the Ubuntu Studio team needs to manually update the -lowlatency kernel, which is not an inappreciable amount of work, for each security update.  And these sometimes lag a bit due to scheduling.

Although further discussion about the archive reorganization might effect this issue, it seems that obvious blockers do not exists.

This would be a major improvement to remove a significant responsibility and time commitment from our small team.

JuJu Studio

I view things differently than others, quite often seeing things in abstract ways.  I want to disintermediate (oh crap, I realize I've been using this term wrong :P ) the desktop from between the user and their applications.  I want our creative users to have transparent and direct access to their tools to avoid hindering the creative process.

After learning about JuJu and Charms, and seeing how excited Jorge Castro was about them, I wondered if they might help Ubuntu Studio users.

My poor explanation is that JuJu is a framework to deploy and manage web infrastructures and Charms are the recipes defining which actions are necessary.  Think of this as packaging a formula for a string of applications and settings in order to accomplish a specific goal.  Brilliant!

That's what I want to do with work flows and Ubuntu Studio.

For example, let's say that a user wants to record his band.  A typical example might be to open qjackctl, start jackd with certain settings, open Ardour, start with a particular template, open particular effects, set typical settings on said effects, and finally make the typical audio connections.

Could a user employ Studio JuJu to run a "record my band" charm to accomplish the same, repetitive, deterministic steps each time?

I hope so.  I'll be talking to Jorge or someone on his team.

Automated Studio Testing

Often I cannot find session that I immediately know relates to Ubuntu Studio and I pick a session that interests me.  Many times it turns out that it does.

One such session made me aware that the Ubuntu Studio team would probably benefit from some of the tools used by the QA team to perform automated testing on ISO images.

Automating the standard ISO testing of the Ubuntu Studio presents a chance to dramatically reduce the work load on the team, which would afford us more time to do further, deeper testing.  This should result in greater overall quality for our users.

I hope to discuss this with Gema Gomez during the week.

finis

So, a call to my wife and kids (love and miss you all), followed by almost three hours of residual (non-Canonical/Ubuntu) work that I was unable to complete before coming here, and I wrap the day up and look forward to the next.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Ubuntu at CES

Congratulations Canonical and Ubuntu for your success at CES!

To be incredibly succinct...I believe other markets than the desktop will be important areas of growth and success for Ubuntu and Canonical and CES will most likely demonstrate this.