New Wiki pages for Testers

During the last few weeks of the 18.04 (Bionic Beaver) cycle, we had 2 people drop by in our development channel trying to respond to the call for testers from the Development and QA Teams.

It quickly became apparent to me that I was having to repeat myself in order to make it “basic” enough for someone who had never tested for us, to understand what I was trying to put across.

After pointing to the various resources we have, and other flavours use – it transpired that they both would have preferred something a bit easier to start with.

So I asked them to write it for us all.

Rather than belabour my point here, I’ve asked both of them to write a few words about what they needed and what they have achieved for everyone.

Before they get that chance – I would just like to thank them both for the hours of work they have put in drafting, tweaking and getting the pages into a position where we can tell you all of their existence.

You can see the fruits of their labour at our updated web page for Testers and the new pages we have at the New Tester wiki.

Kev
On behalf of the Xubuntu Development and QA Teams.

“I see the whole idea of OS software and communities helping themselves as a breath of fresh air in an ever more profit obsessed world (yes, I am a cynical old git).

I really wanted to help, but just didn’t think that I had any of the the skills required, and the guides always seemed to assume a level of knowledge that I just didn’t have.

So, when I was asked to help write a ‘New Testers’ guide for my beloved Xubuntu I absolutely jumped at the chance, knowing that my ignorance was my greatest asset.

I hope what resulted from our work will help those like me (people who can easily learn but need to be told pretty much everything from the bottom up) to start testing and enjoy the warm, satisfied glow of contributing to their community.
Most of all, I really enjoyed collaborating with some very nice people indeed.”
Leigh Sutherland

“I marvel at how we live in an age in which we can collaborate and share with people all over the world – as such I really like the ideas of free and open source. A long time happy Xubuntu user, I felt the time to be involved, to go from user-only to contributor was long overdue – Xubuntu is a community effort after all. So, when the call for testing came last March, I dove in. At first testing seemed daunting, complicated and very technical. But, with leaps and bounds, and the endless patience and kindness of the Xubuntu-bunch over at Xubuntu-development, I got going. I felt I was at last “paying back”. When flocculant asked if I would help him and Leigh to write some pages to make the information about testing more accessible for users like me, with limited technical skills and knowledge, I really liked the idea. And that started a collaboration I really enjoyed.

It’s my hope that with these pages we’ve been able to get across the information needed by someone like I was when I started -technical newby, noob- to simply get set up to get testing.

It’s also my hope people like you will tell us where and how these pages can be improved, with the aim to make the first forays into testing as gentle and easy as possible. Because without testing we as a community can not make xubuntu as good as we’d want it to be.”
Willem Hobers

Xubuntu 18.04 released!

The Xubuntu team is happy to announce the immediate release of Xubuntu 18.04. Xubuntu 18.04 is a long-term support (LTS) release and will be supported for 3 years, until April 2021.

The final release images are available as torrents immediately from the links below.

64-bit systems32-bit systems

The images are also available as direct downloads from xubuntu.org/getxubuntu/. As the main server and mirrors might be busy for the first few days after the release, we recommend using the torrents if possible.

We’d like to thank everybody who contributed to this release of Xubuntu!

Support

For support with the release, navigate to Help & Support for a complete list of methods to get help.

Highlights and Known Issues

The below is just a quick peek at the most important highlights and issues. More updates and new features are listed on the very thorough release notes.

Highlights

  • Some GNOME applications are replaced with corresponding MATE applications for improved consistency with almost identical set of features
  • The Sound Indicator plugin is replaced with the Xfce PulseAudio plugin in the panel, improving controlling the volume and multimedia applications from the panel
  • The new xfce4-notifyd panel plugin is included, allowing you to easily toggle “Do Not Disturb” mode for notifications as well as view missed notifications
  • Significantly improved menu editing with a new MenuLibre version
  • Better support for HiDPI screens, better consistency and other improvements from the Greybird GTK+ theme

Known Issues

  • The “Force UEFI installation” dialog has non-working Go Back/Continue buttons (1724482).
  • The automatically selected keyboard layout does not necessarily match the chosen region (1706859).

As always, check Launchpad for bugs related to your hardware to make sure there aren’t any critical bugs that could potentially make your system unbootable or otherwise unusable.

Xubuntu 18.04 Community Wallpaper Contest Winners!

The Xubuntu team are happy to announce the results of the 18.04 community wallpaper contest!

We want to send out a huge thanks to every contestant; last time we had 92 submissions but now you all made us work much harder in picking the best ones out with a total of 162 submissions! Great work! All of the submissions are browsable on the 18.04 contest page at contest.xubuntu.org.

Without further ado, here are the winners:

Note that the images listed above are resized for the website. For the full size images (up to 4K resolution!), make sure you have the package xubuntu-community-wallpapers installed. The package is installed by default in all new Xubuntu 18.04 installations.

Testing for Xubuntu

Xubuntu 18.04 “Bionic Beaver” is just around the corner. The first beta milestone arrives next week, and the final release is a little over a month away. 18.04 is an LTS release, meaning it has a 3-year support cycle and is definitely recommended for all users. Or it would be, if we knew it was ready. Stick around… this is a bit of a long read, but it’s important.

The ISO Tracker has seen little activity for the last few development cycles. We know we have some excited users already using and testing 18.04. But without testing results being recorded anywhere, we have to assume that nobody is testing the daily images and milestones. And this has major implications for both the 18.04 release and the project as a whole.

From the perspective of the QA team, and with full support from the development team – If we aren’t able to gauge an ISO at any of the milestones (Beta, Final Beta, Release Candidate, and the LTS Point Release), how can we possibly mark those as “Ready for Release”? And why should we?

It is notable that following any of our releases, often within less than a day, we have multiple reports of issues that were NEVER seen on the ISO Tracker. With the current SRU procedure, this means that all users will now have a minimum of 7 days before they can possibly see a fix. With development and testing time, these fixes may take significantly longer or never even make it into the 3-year support release.

Xubuntu is a community project. That includes all of you. If the community doesn’t care until it’s too late, what should we take from that? In fact, community support is part of the deal every flavor makes with Canonical to enable all of the things that make it possible for the flavor to exist. It’s actually the first bullet point in remaining a recognized flavor:

  • Image has track record of community interested in creating, supporting and promoting its use.

Ready to help? Let’s do this.

It is now time for the community to step up. Test ISOs, test the versions of packages you regularly use, check for any regressions, and record your results! Our ISO builds EVERY day around 0200UTC and the newest daily ISO is then available shortly after. The daily build can always be found on the daily builds page, regardless of the current development release name.

For those of you who do not believe you can help… you can!

Regression Testing

How hard is it to check for regression? Use the software you use every day. Does it work differently than it used to?

  • If not, no regression!
  • If it does, but works better than before, no regression!
  • Anything else, you’ve found a regression. Report it !

ISO Testing

How hard is it to check an ISO? If you have at 1Gb of disk space available, read on.

  • If you have sufficient disk space for a 10Gb file, you can probably use a virtual machine to run installation and post-installation tests.
  • If you are able to virtualize but lack the disk space for a full installation, consider using a VM to verify the ISO boots and applications run on the live disk.
  • If you have physical media available, either a DVD-R (RW to not waste the media on daily tests) or 2+ Gb capacity USB stick, you can boot Xubuntu from the media and perform installation, post-installation, and live testing.

More Information

In May of 2017, we ran a session on IRC for prospective testers. Other than our regular visitors, one new prospective tester attended and shared in the discussion. The logs for that session are still available if you want to spend 10 minutes checking out how easy it is to help.

We hope that you’ll join us in making Xubuntu 18.04 a success. We think it’s going to be the best release ever, but if the community can’t find the time to contribute to the release, we can’t guarantee we can have one.

Xubuntu 18.04 community wallpaper contest

We’re on our way to the 18.04 LTS release and it’s time for another community wallpaper contest!

How to participate?

For a chance to win, submit your submission at contest.xubuntu.org.

Important dates

  • Start of submissions: Immediately
  • Submission deadline: March 15th, 2018
  • Announcement of selections: Late March

All dates are in UTC.

Contest terms

All submissions must adhere to the Terms and Guidelines, including specifics about subject matter, image resolution and attribution.

After the submission deadline, the Xubuntu team will pick 6 winners from all submissions for inclusion on the Xubuntu 18.04 ISO, and will also be available to other Xubuntu version users as a xubuntu-community-wallpaper package . The winners will also receive some Xubuntu stickers.

Any questions?

Please join #xubuntu-devel on Freenode for assistance or email the Xubuntu developer mailing list if you have any problems with your submission.

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