Xubuntu 14.04 Final Beta

The Xubuntu team is pleased to announce the immediate release of Xubuntu 14.04 Beta 2. This is the last beta towards the final LTS release.

If this is the first time you’ve looked at a Beta this cycle then much has changed. Please see the notes from Beta 1 for more details on those.

The Beta 2 release is available for download by torrents and direct downloads from
http://cdimage.ubuntu.com/xubuntu/releases/trusty/beta-2/

Release notes can be found here.

Thanks to the 11 who tested the images and reported results for us

  • lyz
  • paulw2u
  • knome
  • elfy
  • texadactyl
  • scottbomb
  • irihapeti
  • slickymaster
  • toz
  • wkrekik
  • jibel

Known issues

Some of the known issues include:

  • Thunar doesn’t automatically mount removable devices and media (1210898)
  • Network shares aren’t shown on the desktop (1284914)
  • Wallpaper selection dialogue empty (1271713)
  • Wallpaper once installed is XFCE (1297170 )
  • Installed keyboard layout changes after boot (1284635 , 1231520 )

Thanks to everybody contributing to Xubuntu! As always, new contributors are always welcome to join us. There are various different tasks to do, from testing daily ISOs and new package versions to writing and translating documentation to fixing bugs. To learn more about contributing, read the Get Involved section on the Xubuntu website.

Xubuntu 14.04 Beta 1

The Xubuntu team is pleased to announce the immediate release of Xubuntu 14.04 Beta 1. This is the first beta towards the final LTS release, and with it we have landed a lot of new features and improvements we’ve been preparing since the last LTS release two years ago.

The beta 1 release is available for download by torrents and direct downloads from
http://cdimage.ubuntu.com/xubuntu/releases/trusty/beta-1/

Highlights and known issues

The highlights of this release include:

  • Light Locker replaces xscreensaver for screen locking, a setting editing GUI is included
  • The panel layout is updated, and now uses Whiskermenu as the default menu
  • Mugshot is included to allow you to easily edit your personal preferences
  • MenuLibre for menu editing, with full Xfce support, replacing Alacarte
  • A community wallpapers package, which includes work from the five winners of the wallpaper contest
  • GTK Theme Config to customize your desktop theme colors
  • Updated artwork, including numerous enhancements to themes

Some of the known issues include:

  • xfdesktop crashes after logging in to the desktop (1282509)
  • Thunar doesn’t automatically mount removable devices and media (1210898)
  • Network shares aren’t shown on the desktop (1284914)
  • Wallpaper selection dialogue empty (1271713)

To see the complete list of new features, improvements, changes and bugs, read the release notes.

The first beta release also marks the end of the period to land new features in the form of Ubuntu Feature Freeze. This means any new updates to packages should be bug fixes only which the Xubuntu team is committed to fix as many of the bugs as possible before the final release.

Other efforts & thanks

As always, contributors to Xubuntu have worked on various projects not directly visible in the release. While any of these would be worth mentioning, the following are a few we felt may be of interest to the community:

  • QA efforts, including ISO and package testing as well as bug reporting and triaging
  • Marketing projects, including work on a flyer to promote Xubuntu for people still running Windows XP
  • Website updates, including a theme refresh

While many of the improvements in Xubuntu since the last LTS are, indeed, not directly visible. Some of the major improvements have been in design and theming, and as such we hope that you don’t see them – good design should be invisible.

Thanks to everybody contributing to Xubuntu! As always, new contributors are always welcome to join us. There are various different tasks to do, from testing daily ISOs and new package versions to writing and translating documentation to fixing bugs. To learn more about contributing, read the Get Involved section on the Xubuntu website.

Xubuntu Marketing with StartUbuntu Flyer

The StartUbuntu project seeks to spread Ubuntu to individuals and organizations who are migrating away from Windows XP when support runs out later this year. As one of their initiatives, Pierre van Male created a flyer featuring Ubuntu and Linux Mate (available here, A4 size only). We decided that this would be a great opportunity to create our own variation – with Xubuntu!

This month Elizabeth Krumbach Joseph and Pasi Lallinaho got to work on text and graphical updates to make this a reality and we’re pleased to announce that the flyers have been created and uploaded to SpreadUbuntu.org! Since uploading, we’ve also been inspired by community members who have begun translating it.

Find the links to the flyer as well as all translated versions on the Products page. (Edit 2014/04/15)

If your language isn’t represented yet, we encourage you to create translations in your own language and submit them to spreadubuntu.org. Once uploaded email Elizabeth at lyz@ubuntu.com with the spreadubuntu link to get it included on the Products page.

Ready to see it in the wild? A contributor at the University of Toledo, Ohio, USA has posted it at the University:

ohio_start_ubuntu-xubuntu

Elizabeth has also printed out flyers to have them on hand at the upcoming Southern California Linux Expo in Los Angeles, California:

california_start_ubuntu-xubuntu

Thanks to everyone who has contributed so far. We’re looking forward to seeing more translations, remixes and pictures of printed copies around the world.

Reporting is caring

While testing the developer versions in any way possible is a great idea, there isn’t much benefit in messages telling us Xubuntu works on machine X, or there were no problems with upgrading machine Y.

Why? It’s not measurable.

The following sections will explain the kind of figures we would like to measure, why those figures are important and will hopefully give you some motivation to start running and and reporting tests.

Measuring success or failure

The tests reported on the package and ISO trackers help us measure several figures, including:

Bugs that are being reported. The number and quality of bugs help us measure how smooth the user experience is. In addition, since the bugs are found when running specific testcases, reproducing them is usually trivial, which in turn allows us to get working on them and get them fixed faster.

Of course, doing exploratory testing helps us find bugs that our usual routines do not catch. This is why it’s also important to do tests that go beyond the testcases. If you find such bugs while running a testcase, please report them as well.

The amount of testing that has been done. While quantity doesn’t replace or imply quality, it’s important to know how thoroughly the tests have been run. This is all the more true when people are able to run tests with varying hardware and not just virtualized environments.

The number of people testing. Usually, more eyes find more bugs. Along with the number of tests run, this helps us get a sense of how thorough the testing was.

Furthermore, the last two figures also help us decide whether we need to run more calls for testers as we prepare for the next milestone or cadence testing.

Bring out your results

Simply put, reported results are the only reliable way we have to gauge these figures. In the ideal situation, the number of bugs reported is going down while the number of testers and tests run is going up.

However, if the reported results we are currently looking at are the reality, then on average Xubuntu gets released after being tested by somewhere in the region of 20 people. After the release, the version in question is used by thousands. We’re sure that you’d not like to think that!

As you might gather, reporting tests is almost as important as your testing in the first place. Starting reporting will be an extra step or two for you, but don’t be afraid – we will help you to get started and help you throughout.

Getting started

If you are one of those unsung heroes who is regularly out there testing for us – let us know, we’ll be looking, as always, for new names on the trackers. Reports are made at each meeting on how testing has gone in the preceding week.

To get started, subscribe to the Xubuntu development mailing list – you’ll see all the calls from QA that way.

If you have any questions about how to get involved, then members of the Xubuntu QA team can usually be found in #xubuntu-devel on Freenode and will be happy to help, as will most that you’ll see in there.

Again, please remember that Xubuntu is a completely community driven project. If you are reading this and are running Xubuntu, consider giving back. Thank you!

Xubuntu 12.04.4 released

Xubuntu 12.04.4, the last point release for 12.04, has been released today along with the rest of the Ubuntu flavors. Users using Xubuntu 12.04 will be upgraded to 12.04.4 automatically along with normal upgrades.

The 12.04.4 point release brings in completely updated documentation that is also specifically targeted for 12.04. The complete release notes for this last point release can be found at https://wiki.ubuntu.com/PrecisePangolin/ReleaseNotes/Xubuntu.

The support window for Xubuntu 12.04 will end on April 2015. The Ubuntu core for 12.04 is supported until April 2017.