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Ubuntu is the most popular Linux distribution in the world. It may (or may not) be the best, but it is definitely the most popular. The distribution, or packaged “brand” of Linux, is developed by Canonical Ltd. for use on desktops, servers, and many other applications.

Ubuntu is also the most popular operating system in the cloud. It’s the operating system Google built its Android development tools around. Ubuntu was the first Linux distribution supported by Valve for Steam. When most people think of Linux, they’re probably thinking about Ubuntu.

What Is Linux Then?

Even though Linux drives a majority of the Internet, most people haven’t even heard of it, let alone using it. So, what exactly is Linux?

Technically speaking, Linux is just a kernel, the core of a computer operating system. That Linux kernel is at the center of much more than what people typically think of as “Linux,” including Android. The software typically referred to as the Linux operating system is actually a combination of the Linux kernel and a set of open source tools, many of which come from the GNU project, leading some people to call it GNU/Linux.

To put it all simply, GNU/Linux (many call it “Linux” for short. though that is incorrect) is an open source operating system built around the Linux kernel. It’s a descendant of the Unix operating system, making it a cousin to the BSD operating systems and macOS. Even though the applications built for these related operating systems won’t work directly on Linux, software is often ported between them. After all, the underlying systems are actually fairly similar, and you probably won’t have too hard of a time switching from a Mac to Ubuntu or vice-versa.

How Did Ubuntu Get Started?

Ubuntu wasn’t always the most popular Linux distribution. In fact, it’s actually a comparatively young distribution. With that said, the rise of Ubuntu lines up pretty well with the uptick in Linux popularity as a whole.

The initial goal of Ubuntu was to take Debian, which was fairly difficult to install at the time (2004), and make a Linux distribution that anyone could use. Actually, the first bug filed for Ubuntu stated that Microsoft Windows dominated the desktop operating system market, and Ubuntu was there to change that.

Ubuntu’s earliest releases focused on developing user friendly features, like a graphical installer that walked users through the steps of setting up Ubuntu. Ubuntu configured your computer for you, which wasn’t a given in the Linux world at the time. It provided a ready-to-use desktop right out of the install. Ubuntu also made a point of making thirdparty software, like drivers, easily accessible, another sore point for Linux users.

Clearly, the effort to make Linux accessible worked because Ubuntu quickly won the hearts of longtime Linux users and newcomers alike.

What Can You Do with Ubuntu?

In case it wasn’t already clear, you can do pretty much anything you want with Ubuntu. It’s a powerful and versatile Linux distribution. You can theoretically install and run Ubuntu on every device you own. That means you can run Ubuntu on your desktop and laptop.

Then, you can use Ubuntu to host your website on a server. You can build a network attached storage device to back up your files on your network using Ubuntu. Next, install Ubuntu Core on a Raspberry Pi to use it as an IoT device. Finally, connect it all with your custom-built router, also running Ubuntu. If you’re feeling really creative, there are even a couple of ways to run Ubuntu on your Android phone.

Chances are if you’re reading this, you’re probably considering installing Ubuntu on your desktop or laptop. Even there you’ll find plenty of options. Ubuntu comes in a variety of “flavors,” each built for a specific purpose or around a desktop environment. The desktop environments determine the look and feel of Ubuntu. They also dictate which graphical system utilities – like file managers, archive tools, and PDF viewers – you get.

From there, Ubuntu is like any other desktop operating system. You can find any type of software you may need on Ubuntu, and most of it comes free of charge. Ubuntu also makes an excellent gaming operating system. You can install Steam on Ubuntu and use it to play thousands of games, including some exclusive to Windows. It’s also not a hard feat to install the latest graphics drivers for your card on Ubuntu. Even though you might not find the exact same programs, it’s hard to think of anything you can’t do on a Ubuntu desktop.

What’s on the Horizon for Ubuntu?

It’s hard to say what’s coming up for Ubuntu, but it continues to be a major player in most of the cutting edge areas of the tech world. Ubuntu has always been a favorite on the cloud, and it continues to make progress there, with improvements to deployment and containers. It’s also becoming a favorite in the AI and machine-learning fields. This popular Linux distribution also has an IoT specific version, Ubuntu Core, and it continues to grow in that space, too.

The IBM acquisition of Red Hat now makes Canonical the largest independent Linux company. That could go a couple of ways, and it’s too soon to know which it will be. Depending on IBM’s handing of Red Hat, former Red Hat and CentOS users could find themselves turning to Ubuntu. That’d cement Ubuntu’s place as the biggest player on both desktops and in the business world.

Of course, the amount of money involved in the Red Hat acquisition could also inspire a Canonical IPO or even a purchase from a different tech giant. If the often-dreaded rumors are true, that could be someone like Microsoft. This really isn’t anything but rampant speculation, so don’t worry too much about it.

Whatever the future has in store for Ubuntu, it’s probably going to be bright. All signs point to continued growth for Canonical and Ubuntu in the business world and improvements in usability and compatibility for home Ubuntu users.

Nick Congleton

Nick is a freelance tech. journalist, Linux enthusiast, and a long time PC gamer.

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Ubuntu 10.10 Alpha: Slouching Toward Ubuntu Gnome

Ubuntu 10.10, codenamed Maverick Meerkat, is still two months from its final release. However, if the first alpha and the forecasts about it are an accurate indication, the release is already taking on a character all its own.

Specifically, Maverick may be the release in which the Ubuntu version of GNOME differs from generic GNOME to the point where it should be recognized as a separate desktop — call it Ubuntu GNOME.

Of course, at this point, the character of the release could change. If you look at the blueprints for the release, you will notice that many features are incomplete, or still to be implemented at all. Still, the fact that many of the visible desktop changes are among the first implemented may suggest the emphasis that Ubuntu places upon them (although the ease of implementation or the enthusiasm of the developers may be factors, as well.) At any rate, this is a change that has been coming for at least a year, and in Maverick it is starting to become noticeable. Although all the changes in Maverick do not contribute to this impression, many do.

Those who want to explore Maverick for themselves can download one of the daily build Live CDs. Alternatively, you can see some of the new features in Maverick through the collection of MaverickMovies, a selection of videos about major features. Many of the videos are matched with inappropriate music, but if you turn the sound off, you can at least see some of the upcoming features. You can also try installing from the Live CD to a hard drive, although, if you do, the usual warnings about doing serious work on unstable software apply.

Not all the changes in Maverick contribute to the sense that Ubuntu is developing its own sub-version of GNOME. Of these neutral changes, the most obvious is the installation program.

The installer also features a simpler, starker look. What is most obvious, though, are the adjustments in functionality.

Over the years, Ubuntu has done its best to keep its installer simple. In the 10.10 release, simplicity obviously remains the goal, and some steps, such as the placement of the startup options in the installer, rather than a separate menu and reducing them to two — Try Ubuntu and Install Ubuntu — continue the move toward simplicity. So does the simplified partitioner, in which the options are reduced to automatically using the whole disk and manual partitioning.

However, at the same time, experience has apparently taught Ubuntu developers that more complexity is needed. Before you can start making any choices, the installer suggests that “for best results” you need 2.7 gigabytes of hard drive space, a system plugged into a power source (and not, apparently, one running from a battery), and an Ethernet connection (rather than a wireless one).

The installer also offers an option to install proprietary software — mostly music codecs — “if it is needed for a better experience” and another to choose the hard drive. Only then does the 10.10 installer settle into the choices of previous versions, such as the time zone, keyboard, and user account, or encrypting the drive.

Many of the other features of the Maverick alpha are simple version changes of standard features and applications, such as the GNOME and KDE desktops, or the Linux kernel. Still others are changes in default applications, such as the replacement of F-Spot with Shotwell. For the most part, though, such changes have minimal effects on the Ubuntu menus’ content or order. If you know earlier versions of Ubuntu, you are unlikely to have much trouble navigating the Maverick menus.

Yet the most noticeable changes are those that are starting to make the experience of working in GNOME different in Ubuntu than in any other distribution.

So far, there is no implementation of the so-called “windicators” — the equivalent in windows of the panel’s notification tray on the desktop, and elements that may supercede the window’s bottom status bar. Those who are curious about whether the benefits of windicators can justify having the title bar buttons on the left side of the window will have to wait to see.

Another still-to-be-implemented feature (at least in the nightly build that I am currently investigating) is Multitouch, which adds touch-screen capacities to the desktop.

Ubuntu 18.04 Review: Tough Love

Also see: Ubuntu History: Linux Evolves

This Ubuntu review of 18.04 is going to be more blunt than what you’ve seen elsewhere. Perhaps a bit of tough love.

Not because there is anything wrong with the release or the distro. Rather the fact that in 2023 Ubuntu’s big push isn’t for the desktop any longer. The 18.04 release is about developing technologies, not desktop technologies.

This Ubuntu 18.04 review will touch on the areas we need to consider before upgrading or switching to a new distro. Allow me to say: my opinions may not be terribly popular, but they are my own.

I’m all for the idea of choosing to opt in for hardware data collection. Done effectively, it allows us to expand on challenges like dual-graphics switching on select notebook PCs, oddball wireless configurations and other issues that might crop up that better hardware detection might solve.

Where 18.04’s data collection completely loses me is the idea that the Ubuntu development team needs to know my “general” location (West Coast, etc.) or why they need to know which applications I have installed. Historically, I’ve never been a fan of Ubuntu crash reporting as it’s the very first thing I disable. Ubuntu 18.04 data collection feels like apport and then some with geo and software popularity data collection.

To make matters worse, you must disable data collection from three separate places. The first thing to disable is the hardware use data collection. Benign enough, but none of Ubuntu’s business as far as I’m concerned. Second, the application popularity reporting. Not only is this the absolute dumbest thing I’ve ever heard of with a distro, it’s again, none of Ubuntu’s business. The last item is in my opinion, the only data collection feature I’d argue is anyone’s business.

Apport data collection while tremendously annoying with its past popups, does lead to bug fixes. Despite any value of apport reporting, I do not like my distro doing anything without me explicitly choosing to enable these features. I will never be okay with data collection by default.

Now before we move on from the data collection element of Ubuntu, I need to state that the Ubuntu devs have been transparent in what is being collected. The report collection GUI allows you to see the contents of the hardware collection report. So that is a positive move for a feature that should still be disabled by default.

The idea behind live kernel patching is fantastic. And for servers, cloud instances and other enterprise specific examples not needing to reboot live hardware is a huge benefit. Enter the desktop space: Does it really matter for desktop users? On reasonably modern hardware, I’d argue it’s a convenience at best. Regardless of my own view of it for desktop users, Ubuntu 18.04 kernel live patching has a decent GUI.

It’s made pretty clear that the GUI for the live kernel patching is being aimed at enterprise users. The general idea being you can update the kernels on up to three workstations without rebooting any of them. The capability of doing this comes down to the Ubuntu One account service. This again makes this the GUI kernel updater useless for casual Ubuntu users in my opinion. But perhaps there are instances where such a non-reboot option is useful for workstations somewhere along the line.

While the option to install a minimal Ubuntu install may not do much for saving disk space, it does offer a lot in terms of avoided application clutter. I personally think this is the best feature thus far with the Ubuntu 18.04 release. Now I will grant you that the concept of an Ubuntu minimal install isn’t completely new. It is however, new for its inclusion on a standard Ubuntu desktop ISO.

The reason I like this option so much is that I get to choose what my default applications will be. And while this may sound silly on the surface, I’d counter with the idea that it allows me to better customize multiple installations without having to remove stuff I don’t want. I also see this as yet another enterprise focused benefit. If you had to deploy a number of workstations and each of them had different application needs, this would be a huge time saver.

I’m actually pleased to discover that this Ubuntu release will be relying on the aging yet always compatible Xorg display server. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, Wayland has a long way to go before it’s ready for use. Last time I checked, no dual monitor support, no proprietary driver support and of course, oodles of applications that still rely heavily on Xorg over Wayland.

To be fair, one can deep dive into XWayland and Weston for some of those legacy applications such as screen recording applications. Personally, I’ll stick with the Ubuntu default of Xorg as it means less messing around with Wayland tweaks and whatnot. One can make the argument that Wayland is more modern and elegant. However I’ll go on record in stating that it’s not the right choice for Ubuntu yet. Clearly, the developers agree it is best a secondary option for the time being.

I must first disclose that despite trying to use GNOME 3.x over the years, I simply prefer the simplicity of more traditional desktops in its stead. That said, Ubuntu has definitely found its stride with the GNOME desktop. From the application menu to the launcher to the indicators in the upper right hand corner, Ubuntu is making the GNOME menu work for them in a positive light.

So what does Ubuntu 18.04 hold for the future? Well as it stands now, 32bit images are off the table and are no longer available. It’s becoming readily apparent that 18.04 is about change and much of that change is centered around the needs of IoT and cloud services. At the same time, it’s fair to point out that Ubuntu hasn’t dumped casual desktop users.

How To Record Terminal Session In Ubuntu

If you are a frequent terminal user, you may come across situations where you need to debug the code or copy the output of a script for future reference. For such cases, you may want to record the terminal session to obtain the log file of all the input commands you have entered and their outputs. Here is one way that you can use to record terminal session in Ubuntu.

Setting Up

Open a terminal and install bsdutils

sudo

apt-get install

bsdutils

Once installed, you will be able to use two commands script and scriptreplay to record the existing session and play back the recording.

Usage

The usage is pretty simple. To start the recording, you just need to use the command:

Once you entered the command, you should see the line “Script started...“. Everything that you enter in the Terminal (including its output) will now be recorded.

Once you are done with the recording, simply type exit to end the recording. You should see the line “Script done,...” that denotes the end of recording.

To view the recording, you can either open the saved file (recording.txt) in your text editor or use the command scriptreplay

scriptreplay ~

/

timing.txt ~

/

recording.txt

That’s it. While it is simple, it can be really useful for debugging, or even troubleshooting your friend’s computer by showing them what you have typed and the expected output they should see in the terminal.

Is this helpful to you? What other uses can you think of?

Image credit: Macro Of Digital Dictaphone by BigStockPhoto

Damien

Damien Oh started writing tech articles since 2007 and has over 10 years of experience in the tech industry. He is proficient in Windows, Linux, Mac, Android and iOS, and worked as a part time WordPress Developer. He is currently the owner and Editor-in-Chief of Make Tech Easier.

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Ubuntu Freezing Or Not Starting In Virtualbox

Virtual Machines are like a gateway to enjoying multiple OSs on a single system. A Windows user can enjoy Linux, Mac, and other operating systems. However, a lot of users are complaining that Ubuntu is freezing in Oracle VirtualBox. We are going to resolve this issue with some simple solutions.

Why is Ubuntu on VirtualBox so slow?

A very logical reason why Ubuntu runs slow on your system is the lack of resources. If you have a ton of applications running in the background, you can’t be expecting VirtualBox to run smoothly. It needs some resources and when you distribute your CPU, GPU, RAM to other apps as well, VirtualBox is left with scarce resources.

Talking about resources, when you create the VM, you allocate RAMs, CPUs, etc to it. Your VM tries to adjust its performance as per the resources you allocate to it, so, if you feed it fewer resources, it will make sure that it doesn’t crash by dialing down the resources.

There are some other settings that we are going to make to make the app work. If you want a smooth run with Ubuntu, then try the solutions and workarounds mentioned hereinafter. Without wasting any time, let us hop into it.

Ubuntu freezing or not starting in VirtualBox

Before going to the troubleshooting guide, it is important to update your system. Sometimes, updating alone can resolve the issue, so, do that and if it didn’t work, move to the solutions.

If Ubuntu is freezing in Oracle VirtualBox, check out the following solutions to resolve the issue.

Close other apps or restart

Turn off 3D Acceleration

Allocate more CPUs

Tweak other settings

Update VirtualBox

Reinstall Ubuntu

Let us talk about them in detail.

1] Close other apps or restart

This may not be a solution, but can be called a permanent workaround. Try closing all the apps before starting your VM. If that doesn’t work, restart your system, and see if it work. You are basically closing all the resource-hogging programs and giving utmost importance to the Virtual Machine. Hopefully, it will do the job for you.

2] Turn off 3D Acceleration

3D Acceleration has been causing problems to VirtualBox users regardless of the Operating System they are using. It was meant to grant a lot of different features to the mix, but in that process, it makes your VM crawl. So, follow the prescribed steps to turn off 3D Acceleration.

Open Oracle VirtualBox.

Untick Enable 3D Acceleration.

Restart your computer and check if the issue persists.

3] Allocate more CPUs

If you have not allocated more resources to your Virtual Machine, then you can still grant it more processors by going into the settings. This works for most users, as people don’t allocate a lot of resources during setting up the VM. You should follow the given steps to allocate more CPUs.

Open Oracle VirtualBox.

Use the slider to increase the Processor(s).

While you are there, go to the Motherboard tab and increase your Base Memory. Finally, restart your VM and system and check if the issue persists.

4] Tweak other settings

Read: VirtualBox displays Black screen and not Booting guest OS

5] Update VirtualBox

Ubuntu or other VM can also crawl on your computer because of a bug. Since you are not an Oracle developer, you can’t change the codes to get rid of the bug. That’s why it is better to check the update for VirtualBox. If you see an update, go ahead and download the package. Then install it and your issue will be resolved.

6] Reinstall Ubuntu

Your OS can get corrupted, which as a result can make your Ubuntu crawl. So, go to chúng tôi and download the Ubuntu ISO. Then install it on your VirtualBox, allocate it a good amount of resources, and hopefully, it will do the job for you.

Read: How to make VirtualBox VM full screen in Windows 11/10

Why is VirtualBox freezing?

VirtualBox usually freezes when it is not getting the perfect environment to run. The environment means an abundant amount of resources such as CPU, RAM, Storage, etc. Usually, we think that we have given everything it needs, but it still requires more. If you have more, give that to the machine and it will respond perfectly, otherwise, it will stutter.

Also Read: How to Install Windows 11 on Oracle VM VirtualBox.

Schedule Ubuntu Shutdown With This Simple Command

While there are plenty of tools that allow you to schedule your Ubuntu to shutdown at a specified time, here is an inbuilt command that you can use to automate the shutdown of your computer. It will save you the effort of installing third party software too.

Open a terminal and type:

sudo

shutdown

-h

now

This will shutdown the computer immediately.

sudo

shutdown

-h

16

:05

The computer will shutdown at 4.05pm.

sudo

shutdown

-h

+

5

The computer will shutdown 5 minutes from now.

If you want it to restart instead of shutdown, use the “-r” flag instead. For example:

sudo

shutdown

-r

now

Isn’t that easy?

Damien

Damien Oh started writing tech articles since 2007 and has over 10 years of experience in the tech industry. He is proficient in Windows, Linux, Mac, Android and iOS, and worked as a part time WordPress Developer. He is currently the owner and Editor-in-Chief of Make Tech Easier.

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