Xubuntu 17.10 released!

The Xubuntu team is happy to announce the immediate release of Xubuntu 17.10.

Xubuntu 17.10 is a regular release and will be supported for 9 months, until July 2018. If you need a stable environment with longer support time, we recommend that you use Xubuntu 16.04 LTS instead, or wait for 18.04, the next LTS version to be released in April 2018.

The final release images are available as torrents and direct downloads from
xubuntu.org/getxubuntu/

As the main server might be busy in 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

Highlights

  • The GNOME Font Viewer is now included by default. This application simplifies viewing and installing fonts.
  • Client side decorations (CSD) now consume much less space with the Greybird GTK+ theme.
  • New device, mimetype, and monochrome panel icons have been included with the elementary-xfce icon theme.

We usually link directly to the Ubuntu release notes, but there are several significant improvements that affect all flavors and our users:

  • Accelerated video playback with Intel hardware should now work more reliably out of the box. The changes might also bring some performance improvements for Parole and Chromium users. More information here.
  • Bluetooth and USB audio devices should now work better by default due to changes in BlueZ and PulseAudio.
  • Driverless printing has been added to Ubuntu. This provides support for most modern printers: IPP Everywhere, Apple AirPrint, Mopria, PCLm, and Wifi Direct as supported. Other printers can still be added from the Printers dialog.

Known Issues

System encryption password set before setting keyboard locale (1047384). Workaround: Start the installation with the correct keymap. Use F3 to set your keymap before booting to Try or Install Xubuntu from that menu.

Currently at times the panel can show 2 network icons, this appears to be a race condition which we have not been able to rectify in time for release. While this is an appearance issue only as far as we know, you can if you wish restart networking, the affected plugin or the panel. This fixes the issue in your running session but does not prevent the issue from re-appearing.

For more information on affecting bugs, bug fixes and a list of new package versions, please refer to the Release Notes.

 

Xubuntu Quality Assurance team is spreading out

Up until the start of the 17.04 cycle the Xubuntu Quality Assurance team had been led by one person. During the last cycle, a break was needed by that person. The recent addition of Dave Pearson to the team meant we were in a position to call on someone else to lead the team.

Today, we’re pleased to announce that Dave will be carrying on as a team lead. However, starting with the artfully named Artful Aardvark cycle, we will migrate to a Quality Assurance team with two leads who will be sharing duties during development cycles.

While Dave was in control of the show during 17.04, Kev was spending more time upstream with Xfce, involving himself in testing GTK3 ports with Simon. The QA team plans to continue this split roughly from this point; Dave will be running the daily Xubuntu QA and Kev will focus more on the QA for Xfce. For the most part it is unlikely that much change will be seen by most, given that for the most part we’re quiet during a cycle (QA team notes: even if the majority of -dev mailing list posts come from us…) – other than shouting when things need you all to join in.

While it is obvious to most that there are deep connections between Xubuntu and Xfce, we hope that this change will bring more targetted testing of the new GTK3 Xfce packages. You will start to see more calls for testing of packages before they reach Xubuntu on the Xubuntu development mailing list. Case in point, the recent requests for people to test Thunar and patches direct from the Xfce Git repositories – though up until now this has come via Launchpad bug reports.

On a positive note this change has solely been possible by the creation of the Xubuntu QA Launchpad team some cycles ago. Specifically set up to allow people from the community to be brought in to the Xubuntu setup and from there become members of the Xubuntu team itself. People do get noticed on the tracker and they do get noticed on our IRC channels. Our hope is that we are able to increase the numbers of people in Xubuntu QA from the few we currently have. Increasing numbers of people involved, help us increase the quality and strength of the team directly.

Xubuntu 17.04 released!

The Xubuntu team is happy to announce the immediate release of Xubuntu 17.04.

Xubuntu 17.04 is a regular release and will be supported for 9 months, until January 2018. If you need a stable environment with longer support time, we recommend that you use Xubuntu 16.04 LTS instead.

The final release images are available as torrents and direct downloads from
http://xubuntu.org/getxubuntu/

As the main server might be busy in 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, Notes and Known Issues

Highlights

Several Xfce panel plugins and applications have been ported to GTK+ 3, paving the way for improved theming and further development. Core Xfce libraries exo and libxfce4ui have also been updated with full GTK+ 3 support, the latter adding support for Glade development in Xubuntu with the installation of libxfce4ui-glade. The Greybird and Numix themes have also been refreshed with improved support for the toolkit.

Camera functionality has been restored in Mugshot, Parole introduced a new mini mode and improvements for network streams, and a number of welcome fixes have made their way into Thunar and Ristretto. Simon Tatham’s Portable Puzzle Collection (sgt-puzzles), an addicting collection of logic games, has been included along with the new SGT Puzzles Collection (sgt-launcher).

Notes

For new installs a swap file will be used instead of a swap partition. Upgrades from earlier versions are not affected.

Known Issues

  • System encryption password is set before setting the keyboard layout (bug 1047384), giving users errors about the wrong password when decrypting in some cases. The workaround for this is to start the installation with the correct keyboard layout; press F3 to set your keyboard layout before booting either installation option.
  • While recent patches for Thunar fixed problems for many, it still has some unresolved issues.
  • Parole has some issues as well and can crash in certain situations.

For more information on affecting bugs, bug fixes and a list of new package versions, please refer to the Release Notes.

Winners of the #lovexubuntu Competition!

As Xubuntu’s tenth anniversary year is now over, it’s time to announce the winners of the #lovexubuntu competition announced in June!

The two grand prize winners, receiving a t-shirt and a sticker set, are Keith I Myers with his Xubuntu cookie cutters and Daniel Eriksson with a story of a happy customer. The three other finalists, each one receiving a set of Xubuntu stickers are Dina, Sabrin Islam and Michael Morozov.

Congratulations to all winners!

Finally, before presenting the winning submissions, let us thank everybody who submitted a story or a picture – we really appreciate it! For those who want to see more, all of the submissions are listed on the Xubuntu wiki on the Love Xubuntu 2016 page.

The Grand Prize Winners

Keith I Myers

Xubuntu cookie cutters by Keith I Myers

After seeing a simple metal cookie cutter created by the Xubuntu Marketing lead, Keith was inspired to make a plastic 3D-printed version of the Xubuntu cookie cutter. He printed several of them and also shared the design on Thingiverse so others could also print it.

If you decide to print and use these, we’d love to see the resulting cookies!

Daniel Eriksson

We run a small business, mainly doing computer service and maintenance, app programming and other similar things. One of the things we do are customized Linux desktops, where we build a user interface based around a customers wishes; tweaking everything from themes, colors and fonts to panels, widgets and other content. When we started doing this we tried out and evaluated loads of distributions and desktop environments, eventually deciding that Xubuntu was the perfect choice. We wanted to maximize the amount of customization we could do while still having a system that was light on resources (since customers often have old computers.)

It was a choice we have never regretted, as it has always fit our needs perfectly. We can get everything from design to workflow just as we want it, and it is stable as rock while still often introducing new features for us to play with.

One of our best experiences was with a person who wanted an interface on a laptop that was just as simple and scaled down as that of an iPad, while still being able to do all things a computer ought to do. This was not an especially computer-savvy person, so it needed to be straightforward and simple. We managed to discard most classic desktop parameters and build a very unique interface, all within what was provided by stock Xubuntu. (Though we did some art ourselves.) It turned out great, our customer was very happy with it and other people have shown interest in having something similar on their computers. Needless to say, this was a success story for us which had not been possible without Xubuntu.

So thanks for all your hard work! We keep on designing our users desktops and will continue to use the excellent Xubuntu for it. :)

Finalists

Dina

I live in Israel, and in Hebrew, the slang word “Zubi” is an insolent and extreme way to say “No way I’ll do it”.

Also, according to the Hebrew Wikipedia, Xubuntu is pronounced as “Zoo-boon-too” rather than “Ksoo-boon-too” (its name is written in Hebrew, which solves that ambiguity).

Therefore, when I told a friend that my old computer would not boot because of a hard disk problem, and all the technicians advised me to buy a new one, but I installed Xubuntu and it works, he noted that “Xubuntu” actually sounds like “I’m not doing that, I’m moving to Linux!”

Sabrin Islam

@Xubuntu A teacher once asked me, “how did you get Windows to look like that”, to which I replied it’s Xubuntu sir #LoveXubuntu

– @Ornim on Twitter
Original tweet

Michael Morozov

I #LoveXubuntu because it’s top-notch, minimalistic neat and helps me focus on real things.

– @m1xo_0n on Twitter
Original tweet

Beyond Year 10

As we look forward to 2017 and the 11th year of Xubuntu, keep an eye out for other ways you can help celebrate and promote Xubuntu. And as always, we could use more folks contributing directly to the development, testing and release of Xubuntu, see the Xubuntu Contributor Documentation to learn more.

Introducing the Xubuntu Council

At the beginning of 2016 the Xubuntu team started a process to transition the project to become council-run rather than having a single project leader. After careful planning, writing and approving the general direction, the team was ready to vote on for the first three members of the council for the project.

In this article we explain what the new Xubuntu Council is and who the council members are.

What is the Xubuntu Council about?

The purpose of the council is very similar to the purpose of the former Xubuntu Project Leader (XPL): to make sure the direction of the project stays stable, in adherence to the Strategy Document and be responsible for making long-term plans and decisions where needed.

The two main differences between a council and the XPL, both favoring the council approach, are:

  • The administrative and bureaucratic work of managing the project is split between several people. This means more reliability and faster response times.
  • A council, with a diversity of views, can more fairly evaluate and arbitrate disputes.

Additionally, the council will stay more in the background in terms of daily decisions, the council does not have a casting or veto vote in the same way that the XPL had. We believe this lets us embrace the expertise in the team even more than we did before. The council also acts as a fallback to avoid deadlocks that a single point of failure like “an XPL gone missing” could produce.

If you wish to learn more about the council, you can read about it in the Xubuntu Council section of our contributor documentation.

Who is in the Council?

On August 31st, Simon Steinbeiß announced the results of vote by Xubuntu project members. The first Xubuntu Council contains the following members:

  • Sean Davis (bluesabre), the council chair and the Xubuntu Technical Lead
  • Simon Steinbeiß (ochosi), the Xubuntu Artwork Lead and a former XPL
  • Pasi Lallinaho (knome), the Xubuntu Website Lead and a former XPL and former Xubuntu Marketing Lead

As the titles alone can tell you, the three council members all have a strong history with Xubuntu project. Today we want to go a bit deeper than just these titles, which is why we asked the council members a few quick questions so you can start to get to know them.

Interviewing the Council

What inspired you to get involved with the Xubuntu project?

Sean: I started using Xubuntu in 2006 (when it was first released) and used it all throughout college and into my career. I started reporting bugs to the project in 2012 and contributing to the Ubuntu community later that year. My (selfish) inspiration was that I wanted to make my preferred operating system even better!

Simon: When Dapper Drake saw the light of day 10 years ago (I know, it’s incredible – it’s been a decade!) and I started using LInux my first choice was – and this has never changed – Xfce and Ubuntu. At first I never thought I would be fit to contribute, but the warm welcome from the amazing community around these projects pulled me in.

Pasi: When I converted to Linux from Windows for good in 2006, I started contributing to the Amarok project, my media player of choice back then. A few years later my contributions there slowed down at it felt like a natural step to start working with the operating system I was using.

Can you share some thoughts about the future of Xubuntu?

Sean: Xubuntu has always taken a conversative approach to the desktop. It includes simple, effective applications on top of a traditional desktop. That said, the technologies that Xubuntu is built on (GTK+, GStreamer, Xfce, and many many others) are undergoing significant changes and we’re always looking to improve. I think we’ll continue to see improvements that will welcome new users and please our longtime fans.

Simon: Change is hard for many people, however based on a recent psych test I am “surprisingly optimistic” :) While Xubuntu – and this is heritage from Xfce – has a what many would call “conservative” approach I believe we can still improve the current experience by quite a bit. I don’t mean this change has to be radical, but it should be more than just “repainting the walls”. This is why I personally welcome the changes in GTK+ and why I believe our future is bright.

Pasi: As Sean mentioned, we will be seeing changes in Xubuntu in consequence of the underlying technologies and components – whether we like them or not. To be able to be part of the decision making and that Xubuntu can and will feel as integrated and polished as it does now, it’s important to keep involved with the migration work. While this will mean less resources to put into Xubuntu-specific work in the near future, I believe it leads us into a better place later.

So that people can get to know you a bit better, is there an interesting fact about yourself that you wish to share?

Sean: Two unrelated things: I’m also an Xfce developer and one of my current life goals is to visit Japan (and maybe one day live there).

Simon: My background is a bit atypical: my two majors at University were Philosophy and Comparitive Religious Studies.

Pasi: In addition to contributing to open source, I use my free time to play modern board games. I have about 75 of them in my office closet.

Further questions?

If you have any questions about the council, please don’t hesitate to ask! You can contact us by joining the IRC channel #xubuntu-devel on freenode or by joining the Xubuntu-devel mailing list.

Additionally, if this sparked your interest to get involved, be in touch with anybody from the Xubuntu team. There are a lot of things to do and all kinds of skills are useful. Maybe someday you might even become a Xubuntu Council member!

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