Dear Ubuntu- Please provide this simple instruction

One of the selling points we all use in our Linux advocacy to Windows users is that they can run their favorite Windows applications under WINE on Linux. That sounds great.
However, I’ve noted on Ubuntu Lucid Lynx that the above sales pitch seems to have been torpedoed, at least superficially. When you install WINE and attempt to run a .exe file with it, you get a notification that tells you “…the file is not marked as executable.”
Fine. So what to do? Nothing. No “hey dude, click here to set it as such.” That dialog box is absolutely clueless as to what to do to get the file marked as executable. If I have installed Ubuntu for an erstwhile Windows user and she’s trying to run a game or any other application she probably swears by, this would be a big set off.
Sure I believe that was done for security reasons, but at least there should be some guidance to tell people to just right-click and mark the file as executable. That will sure go a long way to make life both easy for them and at the same time cut down the number of people who run back to the ‘evil’ they are used to screaming how Linux is a geeky OS.

Looking back- Popular Lucid Lynx posts on Ghabuntu

Now that the dust has settled following the release of Ubuntu 10.04 aka Lucid Lynx, it is worth a look back at some of the most popular Lucid Lynx related posts on this blog. Here we go

5 Reasons why Ubuntu Lucid Lynx May be a Game Changing Release– By far the most popular post on Lucid here that attracted over 10,000 hits from Google alone on the day the Lucid Lynx was released and following few :-).

What if the Lucid Lynx boots in 10 seconds?- Written during the excitement surrounding the announcement of Google Chrome OS by Google last year.

Ubuntu Lucid Lynx- Separate home partition by default– A suggestion about making the installer separate the home partition by default

Ubuntu is not suitable for you if– Quite a controversial one that was written in response to the 14th comment on the first item linked above.

These are by far the most popular Lucid Lynx articles here on Ghabuntu. Catch up with those you missed. Now that the cat is out of the bag, tell me what you think!

5 lessons for other Linux distros from the success of the Lucid Lynx

It probably now sounds like a cliche, but the Lucid Lynx is the best release Canonical has come out with since its inception. The following 5 lessons can be gleaned from the overwhelming success of Ubuntu 10.04 by other Linux distros which can go a long way to help increase the overall market share of Linux in the desktop OS market.

1.Define who your user base is
It is no longer acceptable to just put code over the kernel and call it an OS. You must define who you are targeting to use that OS. The success of the Lucid Lynx, and for that matter Ubuntu, is partly based on the fact that Ubuntu is focused on first time Linux users, those who are now making the shift to the unknown “other OS” out there.

This is reflected in every decision that is taken with regards to all spheres of development. Be sure to know who you want to use your distro, whether it’s the geek who reads his newspaper  through the Linux terminal or the granny who wants to send a birthday email to her 7th grand son.

2.You may dislike anything proprietary, but never so those who use it.

Sure you may dislike proprietary software or system in one way or the other, but never ever despise the people that use those systems. I think this simple but over looked fact is part of the success of the Lucid Lynx. As an example, I have read comments after comments of how people are now able to flawlessly use their iDevices on the Lucid without any need for fidgeting whatsoever. Other Linux distros must try as much as possible to accommodate the needs of people that use other systems, not try to shove the distros own ideals down their throat.

3.Try to become an answer
Ubuntu Studio, Lubuntu, Edubuntu, Ubuntu server among others are part of what I call the Canonical suite which helps to gain more users in that it is able to meet more needs. Do not narrowly focus on being just an OS, try to be an answer to more specialized needs.

4.Clearly define the role of your community
It is necessary to clearly define the role your user community will play in the growth and development of your OS. The faux pas that happened following the change of the window buttons from right to left in the Lucid Lynx could have had a devastating consequence had it been a smaller distro.

5.It does not hurt to apply marketing to Linux
If there is any one Open Source company that does marketing right, it is Canonical. And as is clear now, it does not hurt at all to invest some time and if possible some money to marketing your distro, it really pays.

These are the five lessons that can be gleaned from the critically acclaimed Ubuntu Lucid Lynx. I know there are more that I have not thought of and would be more than happy to have you point them out in the comments.

The Phoronix Ubuntu Lucid Lynx benchmarks- what is that really?

“As much as we would have liked to see Ubuntu’s Lucid Lynx handily beat Windows 7, this was not the case, but to some extent the opposite.” That about summarized the conclusion on the *11th* page of an article titled Is Windows 7 actually faster than Ubuntu 10.04? written by the folks over at Phoronix.
I am not against their conclusion whatsoever. What I have a problem with is the way the story is titled. I find it very unfair to title a story this way only to have conducted a series of game tests on the two OS to reach such a conclusion. Would it have been so difficult to title it to reflect the fact that the conclusion is based on a series of tests in a gaming context.
I would be woefully unfair to Windows 7 should I claim Ubuntu 10.04 has more eye candy than the former without making it known afore-hand that I have Compiz running. It should be made clearly known that there is no way Windows 7 can be faster than the Lucid Lynx (yes I am sticking my neck here) in a general purpose context.
Forget all the fancy benchmarks with all those powerful machines that are common only in North America and some parts of Europe. You want to see how fast Windows 7 is as compared to Ubuntu, try installing and running them on a 2Ghz Intel Celeron powered machine with 1GB of RAM. Then you will actually understand which is faster.
Only a minute fraction of both OS users are gamers, so to use gaming as the standard to compare the two OS under such a heading is not so fair and balanced. And to the folks there, please check the banner ads, I could not read some of the paragraphs because the banners had covered them.

Why not include the Ubuntu Manual in a default install?

The official Ubuntu Manual for Lucid was released shortly before the final release. It is a community developed manual for *everyday* people on how to literally hit the ground running with Ubuntu Lucid Lynx. 
The manual has received a lot of praise for being a straight to the point no nonsense guide. This then prompts me to wonder how feasible it will be to add the community developed and officially sanctioned Ubuntu manual to future releases. 
Why not just make life easy for people in that when they download and install Ubuntu, this handy manual is easily accessible from the accessories menu for their convenience rather than having to go to the manual site to make use of it.
After a fresh Ubuntu install, one of the first things I do is to remove the default Ubuntu docs which takes about 250MB. Can’t that space be saved with this less than 5MB manua?

Update: Over on Identi.ca, @mohanpram brilliantly suggests if it can even be made to autorun for new users to Ubuntu. If you are new, there is a handy and concise manual that will run you through what Ubuntu is. If you are an old comer, you just skip it. Win- win. Thanks pal for your input.

Show you care about the success of Linux- Send out FREE Lucid Lynx CD

The Lucid Lynx is finally out. And we are all very much excited right? Well not everyone is. There are more people that cannot get their hands on it than those that can. What are YOU doing about that? Canonical’s shipit program cannot accommodate all the requests it receives. We those in the Ubuntu community will have to step in to do the rest.
If you really want to show your support for the Lynx and thus Linux, what Lucid way than to help others get their hands on it? All you need to do is is fill out the form below. You will then be contacted with the name and mailing address of people that have requested an Ubuntu CD though the OMG Africa! Project for onward shipping to them.
Help in your own small way to spread Linux across Africa and at the same time help the Ubuntu Lucid Lynx become a great success story. What are you waiting for? Just do it! Give Linux to human beings.

Get the Official Ubuntu Manual for Lucid Lynx

In just about a few hours’s time (depending on where you are anyway), Canonical will be releasing the LTS of Ubuntu code named Lucid Lynx. If you are a beginner or introducing it to a beginner, a great way to help them help themselves around the OS is give them a copy of the Official Ubuntu Manual.
It is a community developed, step by step how to on using Ubuntu Linux released under the CC license that will help you become familiar with everyday tasks such as surfing the web, listening to music and scanning documents. With an emphasis on easy to follow instructions, it is suitable for all levels of experience.
It is a handy guide that I believe will go a long way to help Ubuntu establish itself in the OS market. So go ahead and get a copy of the guide. It will come in handy sometime later.

Ubuntu default wallpapers- Why not add some nostalgia?

One thing that changes constantly with every Ubuntu release is the default wallpaper. All the past releases have had theirs, some very nice, others not so nice. My personal favorite of all time is the Hardy Heron default wallpaper which to date, I cannot use Ubuntu without.
 
Hardy Default wallpaper
The upcoming Lucid Lynx release is also set to introduce its own flavor of wallpapers. What I would love to see Canonical do is to include some default wallpapers of the past Ubuntu releases in every new one. So for instance, Lucid may have the default wallpaper of Intrepid and Jaunty as part of the stack of wallpapers that it ships with.
 
This is just to give people a certain sense of nostalgia and also make it easy to (as is said in the local parlance here) keep in touch with the current release’s “ancestors.” Not all the past wallpapers are nice, but that of Hardy and Intrepid do not deserve to be forgotten just like that. 
Of course I can get all those from the Internet anytime, but there is a certain sense of ‘specialness’ when it comes bundled with the OS. What do you think?

And Ubuntu changed again!

If there is one thing I do not like about Ubuntu, or better still, that irritates me about the project, it is the frequency with which things keep changing on the GUI front. Heck, seems every release has a learning curve in terms of GUI!
And come April 29, Lucid is not going to break from the tradition of GUI interface inconsistency. I think this is just getting way too much. Yes there should be some change along the line, but that should not mean change of familiarity all the time.
In the screenshots of the upcoming default themes, the lower panel has been removed. Why was it removed? Sure the themes look really cool, even if they are distant cousins to the Mac OSX, but to have moved the window buttons to the left and taken out the lower panel in my view is just not necessary.
I stand for change and innovation, but not at the expense of breaking down familiarity and having people relearn  new things all the time. I hope Lucid is going to mark the end of changing the UI of Ubuntu almost every release cycle.

Ubuntu One Music Store in Private Beta

According to the Register, Canonical is privately beta testing the much rumored Ubuntu One Music store slated for 10.04. The music store, which is going to be DRM-free, with no “watermarks’ of any kind on the MP3s,” is part of Canonical’s plans of making Ubuntu attractive and marketable to more people.
An Ubuntu One account will be required to purchase tunes from the store, with the songs being available by geographic locations. The store will be different in that
“Songs purchased through the Ubuntu One Music Store are available in high quality 256 kbps (sometimes higher) MP3 audio encoding and without digital rights management (DRM). MP3 purchases can be:
  • burned to a CD any number of times
  • played through any software on any type of computer that you own that supports MP3
  • synced to any MP3-enabled device such as a portable music player”
As has been pointed in the beginning, the beta testing is currently private and so just like you, I’ve also not had the chance to test it. However, Poppy, who has “along with a few others, been helping privately beta test the store,” has an in depth post about the upcoming service that is worth a read.
So sit tight, keep your fingers crossed as both you and I wait for the public testing of this service. As a side note, I’ve finally gotten around to download the 3rd alpha of Lucid and currently playing around with it. I will let you know my take of it.