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Full Circle #100 is unleashed!

At 100 pages this is the biggest issue EVAR!

This month:
* Our Great Ancestor: Warty Warthog
* Command & Conquer
* How-To : Python, LibreOffice, Website with Infrastructure, and Programming COBOL
* Graphics : Inkscape.
* Survey Results
* Chrome Cult
* Linux Labs: How I Learned To Love Ubuntu
* Site Review
* A Quick Look At: Linux in Industry, and the French Translation Team
* Ubuntu Phones
* [NEW!] Linux Loopback
* Ubuntu Games: The Current State of Linux Gaming
plus: News, Q&A, and soooo much more.

I’m also trying new avenues to promote FCM, so please take the time to upvote my Reddit post to help bring FCM awareness to the masses: https://www.reddit.com/r/Ubuntu/comments/3iqy13/full_circle_magazine_releases_issue_100/



Windows 10: is it finally time to migrate to Ubuntu?

Public and private enterprises across the world have been using Microsoft Windows for years, but it calls into question whether this is in fact the best choice or simply force of habit?

With recent security and performance issues coming to the fore, an increasing number of companies are exploring the benefits of using alternative Operating Systems, and harvesting the benefits of ultra secure, robust, high performance options. Plus, the cherry on the top is that royalty, maintenance and training costs for users can be reduced by as much as 70 percent!

Ten years ago, such alternatives were only something companies could dream of. They were locked into proprietary models that financially squeezed them, yet still failed to provide all the services required. This is slightly reminiscent of Henry Ford’s choice of color for  ‘Model T’ …. ‘you can have a car painted any color so long as it is black.’

Increasingly, CTOs are questioning whether they actually need to remain in this locked-in situation. Frequently asked questions include: can I deploy an alternate OS in our computer park without compromising on productivity whilst reducing costs? Will the performance of the OS deliver on its promise? Will I be able to drive down royalty costs without having to make hefty financial investments on technical support and training? The answer is yes. Ubuntu can offer this and more.

So, now that Windows 10 has been announced, customers  should ask themselves is this the right time to transition? The ‘comfortable’ next move would be to simply upgrade; however, the heavy resource constraints on devices and meatier royalty fees have turned off even the most fervent Windows followers. Top media across the globe are analyzing ways to snub Windows 10 (see Le Monde August 4, 2015 article ‘5 operating systems to snub Windows 10’) and, in my opinion, for mainstream users who care about their privacy, this is probably the best possible time to take a closer look at other choices.

Ubuntu continues to grow in popularity, not only with mainstream consumers, but also with Fortune 500 companies. Moreover, government and top notch education entities across the globe have realized they can save millions of dollars, and invest funds more prudently for social programmes.

Microsoft is offering a free download of Windows 10 for a limited time. This is great for many users, but it’s only available to those running Windows 7, Windows 8.1, and selected Windows Phone 8.1. For everyone else, it’ll be available for $199USD for Windows 10 Home* or $199USD Windows 10 Pro*.

This is great if you are in the category of people that are able to spend this kind of cash. However, that money might be better put towards more altruistic or even epicurean objectives, whilst still allowing you to benefit from a tremendous OS. Food for thought?

*MSRP from Microsoft. There is a ‘free’ upgrade option if you have a previous Windows 7 or 8X versions, but users must hold a Windows license .

Another successful Developer Hackathon in China


The second in a series of Chinese developer hackathons took place last weekend (22nd and 23rd August) in Shenzhen. Once again there was an overwhelming positive response, with over 170 people signing up online for the pre-hackathon and 30 people turning up onsite.

This developer hackathon unlike the prior one in Beijing not only focused on Ubuntu Phone Scope and app development but brought IoT into the fold. Canonical team members carried an entire workshop during this hackathon focused on ‘Snappy’ Ubuntu Core, the super-lightweight version of Ubuntu that powers even the smallest of devices.

Over the course of this 30+ hour hackathon, seven different teams formed and presented their work through a series of demo sessions. Throughout the event, there were constant interactions with people online as well through Weibo.



Whilst there were many noteworthy contributions, a couple of ones stood out such as Project MrRobot which is an Ubuntu Phone enabled Robotics app that has the feature, touch and handshake controls to interact with Rapiro robot. This submission has already gleaned some media attention with Softpedia already publishing an article about it.

Another noteworthy contribution was IoT Ranger, an app that integrates both Ubuntu Phone and Ubuntu Core. This submission received the coveted IoT Beaglebone Black prize at the event.

Asus was one of the main sponsors behind this event who granted each registrant with a prize and supplied a portable projector as one of the grand prizes. Beyond the projector, there were a host of other prize giveaways such as a Meizu MX4 Ubuntu Edition smartphone, a Cherry Mechanic keyboard, an Ubuntu backpack and a portable speaker which was sponsored by Ubuntu Kylin.

In addition to all l the great contributions that were revealed at the event, the hackathon provided participants with a fun environment in which to develop. The location sponsor, Huangqiangbei Maker Center, not only provided ongoing meals and snacks but kept spirits high by providing a midnight hot-pot as a treat to keep the momentum going during the wee hours of the night.


This was a truly great and rewarding hackathon and we thank and congratulate all of those who participated to make the event a success.


Winners crowned in the China Mobile & Ubuntu developer contest

Just recently the ‘’And your Dream come true’’ Innovation contest, launched by China Mobile and Canonical, drew to a close. The competition attracted both Ubuntu enthusiasts and developers nationwide, affording them the opportunity to help fast-track the new Ubuntu mobile ecosystem. This contest has provided a creative platform for young developers to flourish and pave the way for new opportunities.

The winners have been selected after an intense six month long competition. Fu Xixi created the winning entry for his dictionary app in the Students category. Wang Guojian came in first place for his plug-in based native music player in the Professional category. The contest was open to University students, independent developers and the open source community in China. The prizes for the top submissions included 70,000RMB in cash, mobile devices and an internship opportunity with Canonical for the winner of the student track.

In addition to the contest itself, a host of online and offline training sessions were carried out. A series of face-to-face training sessions were conducted by Canonical to educate participants on the Ubuntu Phone OS, provide hands-on demos and tutelage on how to develop for Ubuntu Phones. Many of these sessions were organised through a host of academic institutions:  Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou University, Zhongshan University, Chongqing University, Wuhan University, Nanjing University, Inner Mongolia University, Nankai University, Sichuan University, and many more. These face-to-face training  sessions were complemented with the regular online training and technical troubleshooting support.

Another real highlight of this contest was the launch of the first Ubuntu Phone hackathon in China. The event was held in Beijing and attracted a large pool of participants, many of whom were developers. Developers utilised  the Ubuntu SDK to create Ubuntu Phone Scopes & applications and for many of them it was their first opportunity to experience Ubuntu Phone. After 30 hours straight, the hackathon yielded more than 10 pieces of innovative content output. The hackathon also served to substantiate Canonical’s mantra that the best way to encourage innovation is by putting technology in innovators’ hands.

All in all this contest was a huge success which provided Chinese students and professionals with the opportunity to develop for a brand new mobile OS and produce some remarkable content to enrichen the Ubuntu phone content proposition.


A midsummer night’s Juju Office Hours

Our biweekly catchup of all things happening in the land of Juju. Here’s our summary of today’s session, first off, all the URLs we discuss during the list, followed by some handy shortcuts if you want to skip around this episode.

Rick Harding takes us through the bundle transition format, doc web improvements, and some cool features his team is using from Juju core: https://youtu.be/E0x0SISDRaI?t=1m40s
Wayne Witzel outlines what him and his team is working on around process and workload management in Juju core: https://youtu.be/E0x0SISDRaI?t=16m59s

Kevin Monroe shows us some of the work the Ecosystem Big Data group has been working using extended status, actions, hadoop and bit of the hadoop ecosystem: https://youtu.be/E0x0SISDRaI?t=23m57s

Cory Johns demos something he’s been working on with others “juju compose” where you can build a charm from multiple layers that are independent. Very cool pattern: https://youtu.be/E0x0SISDRaI?t=32m33s

Deploying a Juju Cluster on Brightbox Cloud

Juju is described as a state-of-the-art, open source, universal model for service oriented architecture and service oriented deployments.

It takes the configuration scripts written in other tools and wraps them into a charm which can be deployed either with the Juju CLI tool or its GUI interface.

And it’s really easy to run up a cluster to play with on Brightbox Cloud.


In the Brightbox Platforms repository on GitHub there is a juju directory that will build a Juju cluster automatically.

So once you have the Brightbox CLI installed and SSH working, then clone the repository.

git clone https://github.com/brightbox/brightbox-platforms.git

Change into the Juju directory

cd juju

and run the cluster build script

This will build a Juju management station running the GUI and a single 4gb SSD server to be managed by by it.

Building Juju cluster from trusty base image img-548oh
Juju Cluster #1 security group id is grp-ytzon
Building Juju Cluster #1 Management Jumpstation
Creating a 512mb.ssd (typ-1j3zh) server with image ubuntu-trusty-14.04-amd64-server (img-548oh) in groups grp-ytzon with 0.82k of user data

id status type zone creat... image_id cloud... name
srv-z0iwb creating 512mb.ssd gb1-a 2015-... img-5... Juju ...

Waiting for server srv-z0iwb to complete build.......
Mapping cip-h9v3l to interface int-nxdiz on srv-z0iwb

id status public_ip destination reverse_dns name
cip-h9v3l mapped srv-z0iwb cip-109-107-35-57.gb1...

id status public_ip destination reverse_dns name
cip-h9v3l mapped srv-z0iwb cip-109-107... Juju Cluste...

Waiting for ssh logon for ubuntu@cip-h9v3l.gb1.brightbox.com.........
Bootstrapping Juju GUI
Bootstrapping environment "manual"
Starting new instance for initial state server
Installing Juju agent on bootstrap instance
Logging to /var/log/cloud-init-output.log on remote host
Running apt-get update
Installing package: curl
Installing package: cpu-checker
Installing package: bridge-utils
Installing package: rsyslog-gnutls
Installing package: cloud-utils
Installing package: cloud-image-utils
Fetching tools: curl -sSfw 'tools from %{url_effective} downloaded: HTTP %{http_code}; time %{time_total}s; size %{size_download} bytes; speed %{speed_download} bytes/s ' --retry 10 -o $bin/tools.tar.gz <[https://streams.canonical.com/juju/tools/releases/juju-1.22.6-trusty-amd64.tgz]>
Bootstrapping Juju machine agent
Starting Juju machine agent (jujud-machine-0)
Bootstrap complete
Added charm "cs:trusty/juju-gui-38" to the environment.
Building cluster service machines
Creating a 4gb.ssd (typ-sdipw) server with image ubuntu-trusty-14.04-amd64-server (img-548oh) in groups grp-ytzon with 0.00k of user data

id status type zone creat... image_id cloud... name
srv-y3z8f creating 4gb.ssd gb1-a 2015-... img-548oh Juju C...

Waiting for server srv-z0iwb to complete build
Waiting for server srv-y3z8f to complete build........
Adding machines to cluster...
Waiting for ssh logon for ubuntu@cip-h9v3l.gb1.brightbox.com..
Logging to /var/log/cloud-init-output.log on remote host
Running apt-get update
Installing package: curl
Installing package: cpu-checker
Installing package: bridge-utils
Installing package: rsyslog-gnutls
Installing package: cloud-utils
Installing package: cloud-image-utils
Fetching tools: curl -sSfw 'tools from %{url_effective} downloaded: HTTP %{http_code}; time %{time_total}s; size %{size_download} bytes; speed %{speed_download} bytes/s ' --noproxy "*" --insecure -o $bin/tools.tar.gz <[https://srv-z0iwb.gb1.brightbox.com:17070/tools/1.22.6-trusty-amd64]>
Starting Juju machine agent (jujud-machine-1)
created machine 1

Juju bootstrapping complete.

Juju GUI will shortly be available at:


The username is "admin" and the password, taken from
~/.juju/environments/manual.jenv on cip-h9v3l.gb1.brightbox.com is:

password: 52029095a7947f349f392fd34455ff70

Add additional service machines from the management server by creating
them with the Brightbox CLI or the management GUI and then add them into
the cluster by running:

juju add-machine srv-xxxxx

Point a browser at the url given and login with the username and password shown. You’re then ready to deploy a charm!

Deploy a charm

Once you have the GUI working, you can deploy ‘charms’ by dragging them from the search bar on the left to the main canvas.


Let’s run through a simple WordPress/MySQL combination to get the idea. First find the wordpress and mysql charms using the search tool on the left and drag them to the canvas.


Click on the wordpress icon to reveal the build relation menu


drag across to the wordpress icon to create a relationship.


Next click on the machines tab and for each ‘new unit’ on the left hand side select a machine and container that unit should be deployed to – in this case machine #1.


once you’ve placed all the units on machines, hit the Commit button


Go back to the canvas screen and wait for the icon indicators to go green to show they have installed and configured. You’re then ready to use WordPress.

About the author


Neil Wilson is a consultant at BrightBox and an expert in finance and information systems. He is an advocate for the free software community and loves to make things happen. You can read more from Neil on the BrightBox blog.

Aquaris E4.5 and E5 Ubuntu Editions debut in India with Snapdeal

  • The Aquaris E4.5 and Aquaris E5 Ubuntu Editions to be sold through Indian online marketplace, Snapdeal
  • Marks the inaugural launch of Ubuntu phone in India following a successful rollout of the Aquaris E4.5 and Aquaris E5 Ubuntu Editions in Europe
  • Phones will come preloaded with a number of scopes developed specifically for the Indian market

The Aquaris E4.5 and Aquaris E5 Ubuntu Edition handsets are set to launch in India through Snapdeal, India’s largest online marketplace. This follows on from two successful Aquaris Ubuntu Edition handsets launched in Europe earlier this year; the Aquaris E4.5 in February, and the Aquaris E5 in June. The devices will be available for purchase from Snapdeal by end of August at a price of Rs 11,999 for the Aquaris E4.5 and Rs 13,499 for the Aquaris E5.

There’s been palpable demand for Ubuntu Phones in India since the Aquaris E4.5 Ubuntu Edition was launched earlier this year. India has long been, and continues to be, a priority market for Ubuntu, having had a successful and established PC business in the region for many years.

The sleek, 8GB Aquaris E4.5 Ubuntu Edition features a five megapixel front camera and eight megapixel rear camera with autofocus, dual flash and full HD (1080p) for super sharp video. It boasts a MediaTek Quad Core Cortex A7 processor and  1GB RAM for a faster experience.

The Aquaris E5 Ubuntu Edition comes with a host of impressive features including a 5’’ display with IPS HD technology, HD screen resolution of 720 x 1280 pixels and 380 cd/m2 maximum brightness. The device features a five megapixel front camera and thirteen megapixel rear camera, equipped with high quality Largan lenses and BSI sensors. Both devices will be sold in black and come fully unlocked with dual SIM functionality so that users can select their operator of choice and can use SIMs from two different operators at the same time.

Both handsets being sold through Snapdeal in India come with all the same great Scopes available on the European Editions along with a new ones created especially with Indian users in mind. Some of the new Scopes on offer include Zomato, Star Plus, Zee TV, Eros Now, NDTV and Times of India.

“The success we have seen with the Aquaris E4.5 and E5 Ubuntu Editions in Europe has precipitated this follow-on launch with Snapdeal in India”, remarks German Lopez, COO of Spanish handset manufacturer BQ. “Snapdeal has proven to be an ideal launch partner given its fervent commitment to introducing exclusive and novel products to the Indian market, to ensure customers get a broad and differentiated choice’’.

Cristian Parrino, VP Mobile at Canonical states: ‘”Launching Ubuntu phones in India is a fantastic milestone as we strive to make Ubuntu phones available to enthusiasts and developers in as many markets as possible, during this first phase of our launch. I am thrilled that our partners BQ and Snapdeal have the drive and foresight to make this happen.”

Tony Navin, Senior Vice President, Partnerships and Strategic Initiatives, Snapdeal comments: “India is now globally one of the most attractive smartphone markets. Online, we are seeing an increasing demand for differentiated and versatile mobile devices that are feature rich at an affordable price and the Aquaris E4.5 and E5 with Ubuntu OS are great fits for the Indian market. We are very excited about our partnership with Ubuntu and look forward to successful relationship ahead”

The Aquaris E4.5 and Aquaris E5 Ubuntu Editions will be available for purchase by end of August from Snapdeal for Rs 11,999 for the Aquaris E4.5 and Rs 13,499 for the Aquaris E5.

About BQ

BQ is a leading European technology company. Its goal is to help people to understand technology, encourage them to use and inspire them to create it.  It is committed to education in technology, DIY philosophy and the Open Source Initiative.  BQ applies this philosophy to its products (smartphones, 3D printers, robotics and much more) and software solutions by working to make technology a tool for improving the world and the lives of its users.

About Snapdeal

Snapdeal’s vision is to create India’s most impactful digital commerce ecosystem that creates life-changing experiences for buyers and sellers. In February 2010, Kunal Bahl along with Rohit Bansal, started Snapdeal.com – India’s largest online marketplace, with the widest assortment of 15 million+ products across 500+ diverse categories from thousands of regional, national, and international brands and retailers. With millions of users and 150,000 sellers, Snapdeal is the shopping destination for internet users across the country, delivering to 5000+ cities and towns in India. In its journey till now, Snapdeal has partnered with several global marquee investors and individuals such as SoftBank, BlackRock, Temasek, eBay Inc., Premji Invest, Intel Capital, Bessemer Venture Partners, Mr. Ratan Tata, among others.

For further information, visit www.snapdeal.com

About Canonical

Canonical produces Ubuntu, the leading open-source platform for cloud, personal computing and next-generation devices.  Ubuntu introduces a new mobile experience for phone users, a smarter ecosystem dynamic for developers, and unprecedented differentiation opportunities for carriers and device manufacturers. Ubuntu ships on millions of PCs annually, aimed at education, government and enterprise markets.  Ubuntu also enables next-generation devices at the heart of the internet of things.

AppFormix newest member of Charm Partner Programme

Canonical is excited to announce that AppFormix has joined the Charm Partner Programme. Canonical’s Charm Partner Programme helps solution providers make best use of Canonical’s universal service modeling tool, Juju; enabling instant workload deployment, integration, and scaling at the click of a button. Juju makes it easy to deliver complete solutions in minutes, on virtually any public or private cloud through the use of Charms. The Juju Charm Store has over 300 cloud based applications ready to be deployed, scaled and managed on most public and private clouds, as well as bare metal.

AppFormix empowers operators to have better visibility and control into their virtualized environments. The software solution allows users to monitor and control in real time how applications consume available infrastructure resources across VMs and containers, whether in the public cloud or on-premise. With AppFormix in the datacenter, IT managers can expect an optimized production environment by ensuring infrastructure resources are being utilized in the most efficient manner while maintaining application performance reliability.

“AppFormix is designed to analyze the complex interactions that occur between applications and the underlying infrastructure to provide a complete view of the health of enterprise clouds and pinpoint problem areas,” said AppFormix founder and CEO, Sumeet Singh. “AppFormix involvement in the Charm Partner Programme will help Ubuntu users have a better experience in operating their cloud clusters.”

Stefan Johannson, Global Software Alliances Director at Canonical, said: “Ubuntu is the world’s most popular platform for OpenStack deployments and the most commonly deployed guestoperating system on all the major public clouds. AppFormix’s ability to easily monitor, analyze and optimize cloud infrastructure will be a welcome addition to our growing ecosystem.”

Both Canonical and AppFormix will be attending OpenStack Day Seattle this week. Come and see us there!

Event Details:

Washington Athletic Club

1325 6th Avenue

Seattle, WA 98101

Thursday, August 20, 2015 from 8:00 AM to 7:30 PM (PDT)

To learn more about Canonical’s partner programmes, including the Charm Partner Programme, please visit http://partners.ubuntu.com/

IO Visor Project Could Change Cloud Networking


The Linux Foundation and PLUMgrid are set to open source IO Visor technology

The IO Visor is more than just a new networking technology, it’s a relatively new concept in how we lay the foundation for any new network technology altogether. Networking is rapidly evolving, with new protocols, new topologies and new designs being developed to address different needs of modern infrastructures.

This new technology makes traditional, hardware-based solutions nearly impossible to use. Even newer, SDN-based overlay networks are changing so fast it’s becoming a burden to maintain them. That’s where the IO Visor Project starts to reveal its importance.

With the IO Visor,underlying network functions are fully programmable and hot-swappable. If your application or your infrastructure has a dramatic shift in IO patterns or requirements, that shift can be accommodated with a kernel module update, as opposed to a swap or change of networking solution, including a reboot to the infrastructure itself.

IO Visor’s ability to meet on-demand changes would not be very beneficial if it couldn’t scale, and much like Ubuntu and Ubuntu OpenStack, the IO Visor was designed with scalability in mind. The data plane (the logically defined paths where all your data flows) is horizontally distributed across all of the nodes in your Virtual Fabric Overlay. So, as your workloads scale, your network IO capabilities automatically and organically scale along with them.

And it isn’t just for networking. It was designed for IO, in general. It makes us wonder, what sort of storage solutions could be designed around a kernel-integrated, dynamic, programmable IO plane? What sort of innovation will our networking partners bring to market based on the IO Visor Project?

It’s really exciting to think about the possibilities when we aren’t constrained to choose one or two network technologies at design time and  locked into them for the duration of deployment. It makes me think of Juju’s service modeling approach to application and solution deployment. You can design, deploy, redesign and redeploy with the same solution purpose, but completely different components underneath. The IO Visor will always give access to IO and networking (the solution purpose), but the underlying technology could be changed just by choosing a different model and moving to it.

Firefox 40 Arrives in All Supported Ubuntu OSes in Record Time

Canonical has just announced that Firefox 40.0 is now available in the official repositories for Ubuntu 15.04. Ubuntu 14.04 LTS, and Ubuntu 12.04 LTS.

The Ubuntu maintainers have been very quick to integrate Firefox 40.0 in the repositories, together with all the new features that have been implemented in the latest version of the browser from Mozilla. Usually, it takes a few days until maintainers get Firefox in the official repos, but it looks like they are doing a lot better now.


Submitted by: Silviu Stahie