Knysna donations – a huge lesson about Ubuntu for kids

Littles ones from Sunny Smile Assisted Learning Centre, a special needs care centre in Radiokop, were taught about the spirit of uBuntu when their principal Diane O’Carroll gave them the task of collecting goods for the school’s charity drive for the Knysna fire victims.

O’Carroll said, “We cater for children with a special need, [who] require individual attention in a home environment where they will feel safe and secure.

“The lesson behind the drive was to educate the children about charity, kindness and giving.”

The food items are packed in a box covered with drawings activities made by the children.

The centre will be commemorating 10 years since its establishment.

Community activist and school assistant, Helen Mc Donald, told Roodepoort Northsider that the initiative was their small way of providing aid to those affected in Knysna.

“What is one can [of food] going to cost a home?” she asked, appealing to residents to open up their cupboards and wardrobes to the thousands of victims who are now trying to pick up the pieces.

The school’s donation was wrapped up nicely with drawings by the children and dropped off at Caxton Joburg North West at 1187 Cornelius Street in Weltevreden Park.

ALSO READ: Cookware among many items donated by legal firm


Article source: http://roodepoortnorthsider.co.za/253149/knysna-donations-a-huge-lesson-about-ubuntu-for-kids/

Ubuntu Phone project failed because it was a mess: claim

Simon Raffeiner stopped working with the project in mid-2016, about 10 months before Canonical owner Mark Shuttleworth announced that development of the phone and the tablet were being stopped.

He said he had started working on Click apps in December 2014, began writing the 15-part “Hacking Ubuntu Touch” blog about system internals in January 2015, became an Ubuntu Phone Insider, got a Meizu MX4 from Canonical, and worked on bug reports and apps until about April 2016 when he sold off/converted all my remaining devices in mid-2016.

Raffeiner said that the decision to stop developing the Ubuntu Phone had been made around October 2016 but the public were only told about it in April 2017.

He put the failure down to seven factors:

  • It didn’t target a profitable niche;
  • The user experience was bad and priorities skewed;
  • The devices were hard to get and didn’t deliver;
  • Communication and marketing were rather chaotic and sometimes misleading;
  • There was too much focus on technical features the users and app developers didn’t care about;
  • The life of an app developer was too hard; and
  • It wasn’t as open and community-driven as intended.

Unlike the Ubuntu GNU/Linux operating system which was able to create a niche for itself due to the cost (Windows, Mac) and usability (Red Hat, SUSE) factors, Raffeiner said Ubuntu Phone, which was first released in 2015, was entering a saturated market where Android and iOS had already grabbed marketshare.

He said he had heard from someone that Ubuntu Phone needed to capture about 1% of the mobile market at the time to stay alive. But, he pointed out, given that Ubuntu Phone could neither be better than the competition – because must-have apps like WhatsApp, Twitter, Instagram and Google were not available – nor cater to a niche with deep pockets, the chance of getting this number of users was very slim.

Secondly, Raffeiner said, there were too many bugs that made life intolerable when using the device. “The phones were slow and had to be rebooted on a regular basis. The Meizu MX4 overheated. The battery indicator tended to show bogus data. Mobile data was unreliable, (national) roaming often didn’t work at all. The location service was very unreliable. The phone didn’t always ring when called, or you couldn’t make an outgoing call because the UI hid the buttons. The alarm didn’t work reliably. Bluetooth only supported audio devices, and later input devices, but not even basic file transfer. Wi-Fi would not connect to WPA Enterprise networks until OTA-5. I think at one point the music player even started deleting files while indexing them,” he said.

Despite so many bugs being present, developers were not concentrating on fixing them, but rather on adding support for more devices. Additionally, it was difficult to obtain devices from suppliers.

Internally, Raffeiner said, there was poor communication. “I spent a huge amount of time every day trying to keep up with development, but most of the time even I didn’t know what would come next or what would end up in the next OTA,” he said.

“Mailing lists, IRC, Telegram channels, Launchpad, the official websites, private conversations between developers, sprints, Ubuntu Online Summit – there was just too much. And that doesn’t even include all the non-public conversations going on at Canonical when they had to keep a secret to ensure maximum news coverage when they unveiled it.”

Canonical put emphasis on technical features which neither the developers nor users cared about, Raffeiner said. He cited the aim to not simply have a GUI, but one that could work on all devices and adapt to all form factors. “It wouldn’t just isolate applications against each other the way the Linux kernel or Android did, it would have full-blown confinement which also protected your data and privacy. It would magically prevent apps from draining the battery. And so on. Whatever the others did on the technical side, Ubuntu would do it better and in a more elegant way.”

The expectation that other systems would adapt to the Ubuntu way of doing things was overblown, he said, citing the example of “some key developers over at Canonical (who) really thought Ubuntu was so important that all service providers would change their server code to use the Ubuntu Push Notification service, solving the problem. No-one except Telegram ever even gave this a thought”.

Raffeiner said development was very difficult. “Ubuntu for mobile devices was fundamentally incompatible with every runtime environment which had existed before. It couldn’t run Android, Windows, X11 or iOS apps. You couldn’t just cross-compile Android, Windows, X11 or iOS apps. The graphics system, system services, confinement, set of base libraries, it all was different.”

And, finally, the project was not half as open as the Ubuntu desktop operating system was. One example of this that Raffeiner cited was the fact that “Canonical and its commercial partners had a whole private Launchpad area with private bug reports. Quite often links on public bug reports would point to private reports, so you only had like half of the information”.

He said he began to have doubts about the project in December 2015 and left in mid-2016, saying he had done so because his work no longer made him happy and also because he had lost interest in software development.

After the project was officially shut down, the operating system is being developed as UBPorts.

Article source: https://www.itwire.com/open-source/78641-ubuntu-phone-project-failed-because-it-was-a-mess-claim.html

Embrace ubuntu & return to work, striking mortuary employees requested

JOHANNESBURG – Assistant forensic pathologists involved in the Gauteng mortuary strike are being asked to embrace the spirit of Ubuntu and return to work.

The Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) says given that the majority of their demands have been agreed to by the Health Department, workers now need to consider what bereaved families are going through.

More than 200 families are still waiting for the bodies of their loved ones to be released.

Forensic assistants at some mortuaries in Gauteng refused to conduct postmortems, saying they weren’t being paid for the job.

With talks between unions and the department nearing an end, the IFP’s Bonginkosi Dlamini is pleading with workers to return to their posts.

“We must provide this service because it is essential, this is one very crucial service and they cannot punish innocent families of those who have departed. We are appealing to everyone that service must prevail.”

Dlamini says the strike is only causing unnecessary pain for grieving families.

Nehawu says it is optimistic that the strike will be called off before the end of June.

WATCH: Tears Trauma: Forensic strike leaves over 200 incomplete autopsies

UNQUALIFIED STAFF CONDUCT POSTMORTEMS

As talks continue to end the mortuary strike, the Democratic Alliance (DA) says it’s emerged that unqualified staff, including cleaners, have been assisting with postmortems.

The party says the Health Department admitted during a portfolio committee briefing on Tuesday that unqualified employees have been carrying out the task.

DA MP Semakaleng Kopane says the portfolio committee has heard how the department in some provinces failed to maintain the mortuary structure inherited from the SAPS, resulting in the lack of order.

“Immediately when the service was transferred over to the Department of Health in Gauteng according to the DG, the danger allowance was something that was destroyed and the dissection allowance was also no longer there.”

Kopane says the department has revealed that random unqualified staff has been conducting postmortems.

“Going forward, they end up doing the real job of the pathologists, sometimes it happens not under the supervision of and that’s where the problem lies.”

The department’s Joe Maila has declined to comment on the issue until he consults with the director general.

Article source: http://ewn.co.za/2017/06/21/embrace-ubuntu-and-return-to-work-striking-mortuary-employees-requested

My Ubuntu for mobile devices post mortem analysis

Icon

Now that Ubuntu phones and tablets are gone, I would like to offer my thoughts on why I personally think the project failed and what one may learn from it.

To recapitulate my involvement in the project: I had been using Ubuntu Touch on a Nexus 7 on an on-and-off-basis between its announcement in 2013 and December 2014, started working on Click apps in December 2014, started writing the 15-part “Hacking Ubuntu Touch” blog post series about system internals in January 2015, became an Ubuntu Phone Insider, got a Meizu MX4 from Canonical, organized and sponsored the UbuContest app development contest, worked on bug reports and apps until about April 2016, and then sold off/converted all my remaining devices in mid-2016. So I think I can offer some thoughts about the project, its challenges and where we could have done better.

Excellent and detailed explanation of why Ubuntu Phone failed.

Article source: http://www.osnews.com/story/29880/My_Ubuntu_for_mobile_devices_post_mortem_analysis

Finding healing in Ubuntu

Hout Bay residents had an opportunity to learn more about Ubuntu and how they can live peacefully with each other.

Ubuntu, a Nguni word widely used in the county has different meaning from humanity and compassion amongst others.

Hout Bay Partnership in collaboration with Nucleus Integrated Financial Development Services welcomed Mike Boon to Hout Bay to the community about Ubuntu and how to solve conflicts from the other person’s view. Boon is well versed on the subject of Ubuntu and has many years of experience in connecting people and entire communities through the philosophy.

Boon has hosted religious leaders and statesmen from all around the world and helped facilitate talks that have shaped the futures of communities and countries, including South Africa. “It was an interesting evening as we learnt a lot from him. He taught us to speak about creating a sense of community with those around us through detaching ourselves from generational conditioning and creating connections, regardless of demographics. We said should be speaking of ‘us’ rather than ‘I’. More emphasise was put on paying attention to body language and what we do rather than what we say. Most importantly he spoke of creating connections through the simple act of learning to speak a new South African language by learning a few new words a year which will make communities better and live peacefully,� says Ashley Newell, project coordinator for Hout Bay Partnership.

NGOs, residents, business owners, community leaders, youth came to the event.

“Boon introduced the audience to concepts such as approaching relationships or conflict from the perspective of the other party. Being able to understand what their interpretation of the situation is and communicating from that viewpoint instead of one’s own, can change the entire direction of a conflict and result in real resolutions being made, that really last,� she says.

“He made examples of us in South Africa being able to describe the traditional attire of a Scottsman from head to toe when asked, yet when shown images of different tribes or cultures in South Africa we could not describe or distinguish between them. We were shown how little we actually know about one another, not to make us feel bad about ourselves, but for us to become aware of what we were paying more attention to and what we were taking for granted so that we can,� says Newell.

Those who attended also shared the spirit of Ubuntu with warm oven-baked bread, home-made snoek pate’, hot-off-the-braai chicken kebabs,locally sourced wines and beverages.

The talk ended with the audience in a state of introspection and thinking on how they can improve their communities and live in the spirit of Ubuntu

Article source: http://www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/Local/Peoples-Post/finding-healing-in-ubuntu-20170619

Laba! festival brings Ubuntu spirit to city

Ubuntu simply means “spirit of togetherness in all humanity regardless of gender, age, race, or colour. And it was the theme of this year’s Laba! Festival held on May 27 in the Kamwokya suburb of Kampala city.

The festival held annually along a section of Bukoto Street in Kamwokya where the organiser; the Goethe Zentrum Kampala (UGCS), occupies a niche as a street art festival. Its core objective is to facilitate engaging, interacting, and entertaining the audience in a mish- mash of art, music, and food. It is a podium to expose art to a larger audience with no price tag attached.

But it is also an opportunity for young artists to showcase their creativity without being constrained or intimidated by the demands of conventional art spaces like galleries and museum. As a result, Laba! has successfully launched many art careers.

As if to emphasise its evolution as a comfortable space for budding artists to showcase their art, this year’s Laba! was missed by many of the usual big names like usual suspects Ronex, Edison Mugalu, Afriart gallery, and Karibu Art gallery.

Their absence was both good and bad. Their creativity was of course missed but it gave the festival a relatively lower tempo than past festivals which facilitated easy up-close engagements with the artists by some visitors.

One artist who captured the collaborative spirit of Ubuntu and effectively engaged the public with his art is Denis Komaketch.

He presented an installation titled `Make some Noise’ which, on the face of it, appeared not in the least related to Ubuntu. His artwork was inspired by noise often created by metal fabricators. Komaketch who is a professional instrumentalist, worked with artisans from metal fabrication sites in Nakawa; another city suburb to create the initial sounds which he fused with guitar and flute sounds to produce music that is layered by different types of sound. The merged sound-the baseline- was amplified and boomed out in a megaphone-like installation at the festival. It was an experimental idea of (re)constructing and deconstructing sound that involved the artist and the community of metal fabricators who are often disregarded. That is the spirit of Ubuntu.

A similar integration of different elements of daily life into art was at work in another installation titled `Sabaala Embaata’ interpreted as `hit that duck!’.  The phrase is often used by selfish motorists threatening to knock-down pedestrians along city roads. It is often an empty threat but the artists from Kikaali Studios use it to show that its self-centered spark is contrary to the concept of Umbutu.

The artists who included an illustrator and animator used this life experience to create a short video that is viewed by the audience inside a small booth covered by a black curtain at the entrance. This re-erection of the video hall on the open street continues the conversation of experimentation while exploring the subject of togetherness. In the spirit of Ubuntu, the video hall or booth ceases to be only a venue of watching films but is a platform for people to meet and make friends regardless of color, age and sex. This year’s festival was also different as it was not an open market filled with crafts like was the case in previous fetes.

****

Article source: https://www.independent.co.ug/laba-festival-brings-ubuntu-spirit-city/

Canonical and Dell release new Ubuntu developer computers

A few years ago, Canonical and Dell launched the XPS 13 Developer Edition, which, you guessed it, was aimed at developers. Several years later, Canonical has expanded what it dubs Project Sputnik by adding five new laptops and an All-In-One to the roster of computers, all of which are aimed at developers.

According to an Eclipse Community survey from 2014 and an annual Stackoverflow survey from 2016 Ubuntu was the most popular open source operating system among developers, trailing behind was Debian, Fedora and Linux Mint.

In their blog post, Canonical wrote:

In the last two years the project has kicked into high gear with 100% year over year growth. As the Sputnik line of developer systems goes forward, it will continue to evolve. As it has been since the effort began, this evolution will continue to be guided by community input. The entire Sputnik team would like to thank the community whose input turned a speculative project into a line of products. Your support and input has guided the products from day one and is what keeps the effort moving forward.

The Dell Precision 5720, All-In-One includes:

  • Preloaded with Ubuntu 16.04 LTS
  • 7th generation Intel Core and Intel Xeon processors
  • 27” UltraSharp UHD (3840*2160) both touch and non-touch
  • Up to 64GB of memory and Up to (1) M.2 PCIe SSD and up to (2) 2.5” SATA
  • Thunderbolt 3
  • Radeon Pro graphics
  • Availability: worldwide
  • Price: $1597.50

The Dell Precision 5520, mobile workstation includes:

  • Preloaded with Ubuntu 16.04 LTS
  • 7th generation Intel Core and Intel Xeon processors
  • 15.6” UltraSharp FHD (1920*1080) or UltraSharp UHD (3840*2160)
  • Up to 32GB of memory and 2TB of storage
  • Thunderbolt 3
  • NVIDIA Quadro graphics
  • Availability: worldwide
  • Price: $1297.50

The Dell Precision 3520, mobile workstation includes:

  • Preloaded with Ubuntu 16.04 LTS
  • 7th generation Intel Core and Intel Xeon processors
  • 15.6” HD (1366×768), FHD (1920×1080) and FHD touch
  • Up to 32GB of memory and 2TB of storage
  • ECC memory, Thunderbolt 3 and NVIDIA graphics options
  • Availability: worldwide
  • Price: $897.50

The Dell Precision 7520, mobile workstation includes:

  • Preloaded with Ubuntu 16.04 LTS
  • 7th generation Intel Core and Intel Xeon processors
  • 15.6” FHD (1920×1080), UltraSharp FHD (1920×1080) both Touch and Non-Touch, UltraSharp UHD (3840×2160)
  • Up to 64GB of memory and 3TB of storage
  • Thunderbolt 3
  • NVIDIA Quadro and Radeon Pro graphics options
  • Availability: worldwide
  • Price: $1097.50

The Dell Precision 7720, mobile workstation includes:

  • Preloaded with Ubuntu 16.04 LTS
  • 7th generation Intel Core and Intel Xeon processors
  • 17.3” HD+ (1600×900), UltraSharp FHD (1920×1080) or UltraSharp UHD (3840×2160)
  • Up to 64GB of memory and 4TB of storage
  • Thunderbolt 3
  • NVIDIA Quadro and Radeon Pro graphics options
  • Availability: worldwide
  • Price: $1497.50

All of these devices can be preloaded with Windows 10 Pro for an extra $101.50 or with Windows 7 Professional for $30.

Source: Ubuntu

Article source: https://www.neowin.net/news/canonical-and-dell-release-new-ubuntu-developer-computers

Ubuntu 17.10: Finally, an exciting Ubuntu release

ubuntuhero.jpg

The days of the boring Ubuntu releases are over.

The release of Ubuntu 17.10 was going to be the final iteration to include the ousted Unity desktop interface. Instead of following the pattern Ubuntu has held since it attempted to bring convergence to the Linux desktop, Canonical is going to jettison its in-house desktop earlier than originally scheduled. That means the next release of Ubuntu will be the first in years to bring about some major change. That change comes by way of the one-two punch of GNOME Shell and Wayland. You read that correctly…where Ubuntu had been pushing hard for Unity 8/Mir, they’ve scrapped them both and are going with an environment already proven to work well.

This should be exciting news to the Ubuntu faithful who jumped ship due to either a distaste for Unity or frustration over stagnant development.

The idea of replacing X.org with Wayland is long overdue. Ubuntu 17.10 will offer the Wayland session along with an X.org session so you can select which one, but my guess is Wayland will be the only X server with the 18.04 release. Even so, the fact that Ubuntu is bringing about these changes one release earlier than expected should be a clear sign that Canonical has finally opened its eyes to what their user base wants and needs.

SEE: Ubuntu Linux: Go from Beginner to Power User (TechRepublic Academy)

Already smooth

I’ve tested the daily build of Ubuntu 17.10, and it’s slicker than any release to come from Canonical in a long time. Why? GNOME.

I was a fan of Unity for a very long time. I truly enjoyed and relied upon a couple of features (namely the HUD and the Dash), but saw that the Unity desktop, as a whole, was quickly falling further and further behind. GNOME has managed to become one of the most solid and smooth desktops on the market—hands down. Seeing GNOME as the default Ubuntu interface makes one feel that things are as they should be in the world of Ubuntu, and that their new vision can be trusted (Figure A).

Figure A

Figure A

The default look of the new Ubuntu.

Which version of GNOME will ship with Ubuntu 17.10?

It is unclear which version of GNOME will ship with Ubuntu 17.10. My up-to-date daily build currently runs GNOME 3.24.2. In September 2017, GNOME 3.26 will be released, and that iteration is important because it will bring really important features to GNOME, including:

  • GNOME Usage, a new app that will display the host system’s current resource usages.
  • A new sharing framework that will make use of portals for sharing files across social networks.
  • GNOME Photos will finally be able to import photos from digital cameras.
  • The Seahorse application for storing passwords and keys will be replaced by a more modern app.
  • Non-integer HiDPI scaling, which means support for Apple retina displays will be rolled in.
  • A new UI that will allow the creation of recurring events.
  • Todoist integration.
  • Control Center redesign.
  • Quarter window tiling.

My guess is GNOME 3.26 will not make its way into Ubuntu 17.10; it could arrive in the 17.10.1 update.

What GNOME means for Ubuntu

The best thing to come from Ubuntu dropping Unity and picking up GNOME is a two-way street of evolution. Not only will the Ubuntu distribution benefit from having a desktop that is developed by top-notch programmers around the globe, but GNOME will get input from the Ubuntu developers, as well as the branding that comes with Ubuntu. This is a win-win for both sides, and it’s a situation that will go a very long way to continue improving GNOME, which will have the added benefit of improving Ubuntu.

SEE: How Mark Shuttleworth became the first African in space and launched a software revolution (PDF download) (TechRepublic)

It may not seem like much, but…

We’ve seen Linux distributions released with far greater new feature lists, though I cannot think of a more important release within the last five years. Ubuntu returning to its GNOME roots will bring about a significant shift in the distribution landscape.

I’m expecting great things to come of Ubuntu. Now that Canonical can put the “boring releases” behind it, what was once the darling distribution of the Linux community can finally start to evolve at the speed of imagination.

Also see

Article source: http://www.techrepublic.com/article/ubuntu-17-10-finally-an-exciting-ubuntu-release/

How to Create a Laravel-Based LAMP Stack on Ubuntu

Laravel, has become the most used PHP framework for projects of all scopes (there are other PHP frameworks too like CodeIgniter, Symfony, Yii, and Zend). Whether you’re working on a simple web app or a huge corporate portal, Laravel is up for the task. The robust framework is very versatile and is supported by a very passionate community of developers and users. Another good thing about Laravel is how easy installing and launching a Laravel project is in all development environments.

One exception to this rule is the installation of Laravel framework on cloud servers. In this tutorial, you’ll go through the steps required to set up a Laravel-powered LAMP stack on Ubuntu. For the purpose of this tutorial, you’ll be using a DigitalOcean-based cloud server running Ubuntu 16.04.2. DigitalOcean is a cloud infrastructure provider out of New York City. You don’t need to use DigitalOcean, you just need access to an Ubuntu server, which could be located on your own network or in the cloud on one of the many services that compete against DigitalOcean (for example, Amazon).

Creating Digital Ocean Server

Go to the DigitalOcean sign up page and sign up with your ID. An email will be send to your ID, and you should verify it and log in to your DigitalOcean account. Once you’re logged in, go to Create a New Droplet. Choose your distribution, size and the data center of your server, as shown in the following GIF.

 

Connect to the DigitalOcean Cloud Server

In order to install the Laravel PHP framework, you’ll need access to a server’s command line interface (CLI). The most common and convenient way of connecting to a Linux-based cloud server’s CLI is with the Secure Shell (SSH) application. This shell offers a secure communication channel for connecting to and executing commands on the cloud server.

As an application, SSH comes pre-built into Linux and Mac OS X environments. If you want to access the server’s CLI with Windows, download and use PuTTY. In this example, you’ll use PuTTY. To connect to the cloud server, you must have the following credentials:

  • Server IP address
  • Username
  • Password or SSH key

Fire up PuTTY and fill in the server IP address. Putty launches directly into this dialog box.

Click Open. You’ll see a security alert notifying that you’ve not connected to this server before. If you’re sure that you’ve got the IP address right, click Yes.

Next, you’re prompted for your login credentials first thing in the terminal window. Insert the login credentials (username and password) for the server.

Note: You won’t be able to see the password in the console screen.

Now, you’re successfully connected to the server.

Introduction to the LAMP Stack

A LAMP stack is an integrated and interconnected setup of open source software. The setup comprises of Linux, Apache web server, and PHP. The M traditionally refers to MySQL, an open source relational database management system (RDBMS).

At least when it comes to Linux-based servers, the LAMP stack is for the most part what’s minimally needed to run a website. For this reason, it’s perhaps the most common solution for setting up servers for web development. An important reason for this universal choice is the cost factor — all components of the LAMP stack are open source and, therefore, are free to use.

Article source: https://www.programmableweb.com/news/how-to-create-laravel-based-lamp-stack-ubuntu/how-to/2017/06/14

Open Source TurtleBot 3 Robot Kit Runs Ubuntu and ROS on Raspberry Pi

The TurtleBot 2, which Open Robotics calls the “world’s most popular open source robot for education and research,” has long been the de facto development platform for the open source Robot Operating System (ROS). Many TurtleBot developers run ROS from Ubuntu, but Windows is also available on the netbook “brain” nestled inside the two-wheeled bot. The newly shipping TurtleBot 3 replaces the Intel Core based netbook with a choice of two embedded Linux computers running Ubuntu with ROS: the TurtleBot 3 Burger runs Ubuntu on a Raspberry Pi 3 while the larger TurtleBot 3 Waffle instead integrates a more powerful, Atom-based Intel Joule computer-on-module.

The Robotis-built TurtleBot3 is smaller, cheaper, simpler, and more powerful than the TurtleBot 2. The kit design is also “the most affordable robot among the SLAM-able mobile robots equipped with a general 360-degree LiDAR,” says Open Robotics, a subsidiary of Open Source Robotics Foundation (OSRF), which first developed ROS.

SLAM (simultaneous localization and mapping) algorithms work with laser-based LiDAR and other depth-imaging systems to help the robot map an unknown environment while keeping track of its position within it. Both the $549 Burger and the $1,799 Waffle integrate 360-degree HLS-LFCD LDS LiDAR systems, thereby enabling autonomous navigation. The Waffle also provides Intel’s RealSense depth-finding camera as an alternative to LiDAR.

The Raspberry Pi or Intel Joule boards work together with a fully open source OpenCR control board built by Robotis that runs Arduino IDE code on a Cortex-M7 STM32F7 MCU. The board controls sensors including a built-in IMU and optional touch, IR, color, and other sensors. It also controls one of the other major innovations on the TurtleBot 3: the integration of high-end Robotis Dynamixel actuators.

Located in the TurtleBot’s two sprocket wheel joints, the Dyamixels provide velocity control for the wheels, as well as torque or position control for the joints. The Burger’s Dynamixel XL420 supports four operating modes while the Waffle’s Dynamixel XM430 supports six modes, providing even greater flexibility.

The TurtleBot3 is equipped with an 1800mAh battery, and can be remotely operated with a variety of wireless devices, including keyboards, gaming joysticks, and the LEAP Motion controller. The design is highly modular, and Robotis sells optional sensor and chassis components, as well as a variety of Robotis arms and grippers.  

Between the Raspberry Pi and Joule on the one hand and the I/O studded OpenCR control board on the other, there should be plenty of opportunities for hardware hacking with different cameras, sensors, and other gizmos. The TurtleBot3 design ships with 3D CAD files for mechanical parts, as well as schematics, PCB Gerber, and BOM for the OpenCR board.

Although the TurtleBot 3 defaults to Ubuntu 16.04.2 with ROS Kinetic, you can likely use any ROS-compatible Linux distro that runs on the Raspberry Pi or Intel Joule. An Ubuntu Insights announcement of the robot noted that both the Pi and Joule support Ubuntu Core. Conceivably, experienced hackers could also swap out the Pi and Joule for another embedded Linux computer that supports ROS.

Other Pi- and Linux-Based Robots

Most robots that run on the Raspberry Pi are less sophisticated devices that lack LiDAR, such as the mobile GoPiGo and Piborg’s six-wheeled DiddyBorg. Other choices include the open source, Raspberry Pi and Arduino-based FarmBot Genesis farming robot. Some additional Pi-based kits are summarized here, but there are many more designs posted online.

A variety of higher end robots integrate other embedded Linux boards, such as the ambulatory, humanoid Poppy Humanoid, which runs Ubuntu 14.04 on an Odroid XU4. The most famous tuxified humanoid bot these days is the Softbank/Aldeberan Pepper hospitality robot. Linux robots have also entered the industrial space with models like Rethink’s Sawyer manipulation bot.

More information on the TurtleBot 3 may be found in this LinuxGizmos post and IEEE Spectrum hands-on story, as well as the TurtleBot3 shopping page and TurtleBot community site.

Connect with the Linux community at Open Source Summit North America on September 11-13. Linux.com readers can register now with the discount code, LINUXRD5, for 5% off the all-access attendee registration price. Register now to save over $300!

Article source: https://www.linux.com/news/event/open-source-summit-na/2017/6/open-source-turtlebot-3-robot-kit-runs-ubuntu-and-ros-raspberry-pi

Laba! festival brings Ubuntu spirit to city – The Independent Uganda

Ubuntu simply means “spirit of togetherness in all humanity regardless of gender, age, race, or colour. And it was the theme of this year’s Laba! Festival held on May 27 in the Kamwokya suburb of Kampala city.

The festival held annually along a section of Bukoto Street in Kamwokya where the organiser; the Goethe Zentrum Kampala (UGCS), occupies a niche as a street art festival. Its core objective is to facilitate engaging, interacting, and entertaining the audience in a mish- mash of art, music, and food. It is a podium to expose art to a larger audience with no price tag attached.

But it is also an opportunity for young artists to showcase their creativity without being constrained or intimidated by the demands of conventional art spaces like galleries and museum. As a result, Laba! has successfully launched many art careers.

As if to emphasise its evolution as a comfortable space for budding artists to showcase their art, this year’s Laba! was missed by many of the usual big names like usual suspects Ronex, Edison Mugalu, Afriart gallery, and Karibu Art gallery.

Their absence was both good and bad. Their creativity was of course missed but it gave the festival a relatively lower tempo than past festivals which facilitated easy up-close engagements with the artists by some visitors.

One artist who captured the collaborative spirit of Ubuntu and effectively engaged the public with his art is Denis Komaketch.

He presented an installation titled `Make some Noise’ which, on the face of it, appeared not in the least related to Ubuntu. His artwork was inspired by noise often created by metal fabricators. Komaketch who is a professional instrumentalist, worked with artisans from metal fabrication sites in Nakawa; another city suburb to create the initial sounds which he fused with guitar and flute sounds to produce music that is layered by different types of sound. The merged sound-the baseline- was amplified and boomed out in a megaphone-like installation at the festival. It was an experimental idea of (re)constructing and deconstructing sound that involved the artist and the community of metal fabricators who are often disregarded. That is the spirit of Ubuntu.

A similar integration of different elements of daily life into art was at work in another installation titled `Sabaala Embaata’ interpreted as `hit that duck!’.  The phrase is often used by selfish motorists threatening to knock-down pedestrians along city roads. It is often an empty threat but the artists from Kikaali Studios use it to show that its self-centered spark is contrary to the concept of Umbutu.

The artists who included an illustrator and animator used this life experience to create a short video that is viewed by the audience inside a small booth covered by a black curtain at the entrance. This re-erection of the video hall on the open street continues the conversation of experimentation while exploring the subject of togetherness. In the spirit of Ubuntu, the video hall or booth ceases to be only a venue of watching films but is a platform for people to meet and make friends regardless of color, age and sex. This year’s festival was also different as it was not an open market filled with crafts like was the case in previous fetes.

****

Article source: https://www.independent.co.ug/laba-festival-brings-ubuntu-spirit-city/

How The Knysna Fires Showcased The Power Of Ubuntu

The last few days have been devastating for Knysna. It shook me to my core and came completely unexpected. Extremely dangerous fires, fueled by gale force winds of up to 120 km/h brought by the #capestorm. Between 500 and 600 homes have been destroyed to the date this article was written. It resulted in the death of seven people so far and thousands of people had to evacuate.

On Wednesday, I was in Joburg with two friends who live in Knysna, throughout the day there was a lot of sadness and feelings of complete helplessness, then the big breakdown came. I witnessed my one friend watching her family evacuate their home, over facetime. She cried uncontrollably and I wasn’t quite sure what to do, but at that very moment it ripped my heart out. This was before we boarded the plane back to Cape Town. During the flight, I thought a bit.

From the very beginning of my life, it became very clear to me, that nothing would mean anything if I did not live a life that is of use to others. I could not understand how some people were being left completely homeless with nothing, and yet I still had a house I could return to, where I could be safe. I could not seem to wrap my head around that, but I did what being South African required of me, and that was to embody the spirit of ubuntu.

I immediately contacted my colleagues at DASO Stellenbosch and DA Youth Western Cape, and we managed to buy some food for the Knysna fire victims and got a car to go to Knysna with. Upon arrival, we were shocked to see the state of despair the fires left Knysna in. I have visited Knysna before and I couldn’t understand how such a beautiful place could look so hopeless. We immediately went into the main informal settlement there and went to see how we could help. The informal settlement area, White Location was hit the hardest.

I saw a lady wiping up the dignity she once had, a humble RDP house/shack with a broom. Nothing but ashes were left, through the twin windows of her soul I could see that she had no family, and now no house. I felt so helpless because all I could give her, was food. I wanted to build her a house, give her clothes, I wanted to give her back her dignity. There were so many more like this woman. We visited a donation centre, and there I saw that there was still some good left in this world. Every five minutes a vehicle would stop and drop off some food. It was amazing to see how much people care, and how everyone came together regardless of race, to help each other out.

This inspired me beyond measure because you see we are all really on the same path and the same journey. We want the best for South Africa and for our children. We want dignity and we want to feel like we matter. I have never before witnessed such compassion in South Africa, than I did in Knysna. The spirit of Ubutu was truly preset , because it’s true, I AM BECAUSE WE ARE.

Article source: http://www.huffingtonpost.co.za/dano-taljaard/the-knysna-fires-showcased-the-power-of-ubuntu_a_22136644/

Tuning your Intel graphics card in Ubuntu 16.04

Eons ago I wrote a guide on how you can install Intel graphics drivers on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS. That guide is still good and it should still work but with a few caveats which we will examine below. I have subsequently discovered that further tweaks and tuning are required in order to get that perfect graphics set up.

Assumptions

  • You have Ubuntu 16.04.2 LTS installed, if you have been regularly updating your operating system (normal daily updates) this is what you should be running
  • This is a 64 bit operating system
  • You have an Intel Graphics Video Card installed
  • You have an active internet connection

Install the graphics driver

  • Before you do anything please make sure you computer has a Intel Graphics Card installed:

    [email protected]$ sudo lshw -C video
    *-display
    description: VGA compatible controller
    product: Broadwell-U Integrated Graphics
    vendor: Intel Corporation
    physical id: 2
    bus info: [email protected]:00:02.0
    version: 09
    width: 64 bits
    clock: 33MHz
    capabilities: msi pm vga_controller bus_master cap_list rom
    configuration: driver=i915 latency=0
    resources: irq:45 memory:c3000000-c3ffffff memory:b0000000-bfffffff ioport:6000(size=64)
  • Download the Intel graphics installer. You cannot use the latest installer since it does not support Ubuntu 16.04
  • Install the installer:
  • Run the installer and let it install the driver. Follow the guide here.

Living on the edge

Following the guide above should allow you to have a working installation but as I discovered further tuning will be in order. You will need the latest mesa drivers and paraphernalia. Don’t worry if you do not know what these are just know they will enhance your experience.

Ubuntu allows you to install Personal Package Archives (PPA). These are privately maintained repositories that come with the latest goodies for a given piece of software. They are more frequently updated when compared to the official repositories. For example the version of Kodi media player in the official repositories is always behind the official Kodi PPA.

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Using PPAs allows you to live on the edge but it comes with some risks-however remote- of breaking your system. There are several teams who maintain Mesa PPAs out there but the most consistent is the x-swat PPA.To get the latest mesa drivers type the following commands:

  • Reboot your system and you are done.
  • Should things break you can always reverse the updates by typing the following commands in the terminal:

    If for some reason after booting you cannot see the logon screen you can always access a terminal by typing Ctrl+Alt+F6 and login into the terminal

NB You should install the graphics drivers first before updating Mesa. If you have the latest Mesa drivers the graphics installer will not work due to a bug that cannot recognize some of the latest drivers. If you have the latest drivers before installing the graphics driver run the ppa-purge command above or one that purges the Mesa PPA you are using, install the Graphics Driver and then update Mesa utils.

Tuning the Card

Sometimes using applications that rely on hardware acceleration like Chrome, Kodi or VLC you will see a lot of flickering which can range from mild to annoying. Try opening YouTube or Facebook and clicking and scrolling around. You video might also freeze if you play it in full screen and get a Chrome notification e.g. from TechZim or Gmail.

To attempt to fix this run the following commands:

In gedit make sure you file looks like this:

Section "Device"
        Identifier  "card0"
        Driver      "intel"
        Option      "Backlight"  "intel_backlight"
	Option 	    "AccelMethod" "sna"
	Option      "TearFree" "true"
	Option 	    "DRI" "3"
        BusID       "PCI:0:2:0"
EndSection

NB Do not change the identifier if it does not match what is above. Rather add the option lines that are lacking. The most important ones are the sna, DRI and TearFree. It is possible to set Acceleration method to uxa. Without getting into the technicalities you should know sna is faster and to be preferred. uxa should only be used if something goes wrong.

In my next installment I will be looking at fixing Ubuntu’s sound to allow it to work through HDMI.

Article source: http://www.techzim.co.zw/2017/06/tuning-intel-graphics-card-ubuntu-16-04/

Tuning your Intel graphics card in Ubuntu 16.04

Eons ago I wrote a guide on how you can install Intel graphics drivers on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS. That guide is still good and it should still work but with a few caveats which we will examine below. I have subsequently discovered that further tweaks and tuning are required in order to get that perfect graphics set up.

Assumptions

  • You have Ubuntu 16.04.2 LTS installed, if you have been regularly updating your operating system (normal daily updates) this is what you should be running
  • This is a 64 bit operating system
  • You have an Intel Graphics Video Card installed
  • You have an active internet connection

Install the graphics driver

  • Before you do anything please make sure you computer has a Intel Graphics Card installed:

    [email protected]$ sudo lshw -C video
    *-display
    description: VGA compatible controller
    product: Broadwell-U Integrated Graphics
    vendor: Intel Corporation
    physical id: 2
    bus info: [email protected]:00:02.0
    version: 09
    width: 64 bits
    clock: 33MHz
    capabilities: msi pm vga_controller bus_master cap_list rom
    configuration: driver=i915 latency=0
    resources: irq:45 memory:c3000000-c3ffffff memory:b0000000-bfffffff ioport:6000(size=64)
  • Download the Intel graphics installer. You cannot use the latest installer since it does not support Ubuntu 16.04
  • Install the installer:
  • Run the installer and let it install the driver. Follow the guide here.

Living on the edge

Following the guide above should allow you to have a working installation but as I discovered further tuning will be in order. You will need the latest mesa drivers and paraphernalia. Don’t worry if you do not know what these are just know they will enhance your experience.

Ubuntu allows you to install Personal Package Archives (PPA). These are privately maintained repositories that come with the latest goodies for a given piece of software. They are more frequently updated when compared to the official repositories. For example the version of Kodi media player in the official repositories is always behind the official Kodi PPA.

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Using PPAs allows you to live on the edge but it comes with some risks-however remote- of breaking your system. There are several teams who maintain Mesa PPAs out there but the most consistent is the x-swat PPA.To get the latest mesa drivers type the following commands:

  • Reboot your system and you are done.
  • Should things break you can always reverse the updates by typing the following commands in the terminal:

    If for some reason after booting you cannot see the logon screen you can always access a terminal by typing Ctrl+Alt+F6 and login into the terminal

NB You should install the graphics drivers first before updating Mesa. If you have the latest Mesa drivers the graphics installer will not work due to a bug that cannot recognize some of the latest drivers. If you have the latest drivers before installing the graphics driver run the ppa-purge command above or one that purges the Mesa PPA you are using, install the Graphics Driver and then update Mesa utils.

Tuning the Card

Sometimes using applications that rely on hardware acceleration like Chrome, Kodi or VLC you will see a lot of flickering which can range from mild to annoying. Try opening YouTube or Facebook and clicking and scrolling around. You video might also freeze if you play it in full screen and get a Chrome notification e.g. from TechZim or Gmail.

To attempt to fix this run the following commands:

In gedit make sure you file looks like this:

Section "Device"
        Identifier  "card0"
        Driver      "intel"
        Option      "Backlight"  "intel_backlight"
	Option 	    "AccelMethod" "sna"
	Option      "TearFree" "true"
	Option 	    "DRI" "3"
        BusID       "PCI:0:2:0"
EndSection

NB Do not change the identifier if it does not match what is above. Rather add the option lines that are lacking. The most important ones are the sna, DRI and TearFree. It is possible to set Acceleration method to uxa. Without getting into the technicalities you should know sna is faster and to be preferred. uxa should only be used if something goes wrong.

In my next installment I will be looking at fixing Ubuntu’s sound to allow it to work through HDMI.

Article source: http://www.techzim.co.zw/2017/06/tuning-intel-graphics-card-ubuntu-16-04/

Linux Mint 18.2 ‘Sonya’ Beta Ubuntu-based distribution now available with KDE or Xfce

MintHands

This has been an interesting week for Linux Mint. The team released the official beta for the Cinnamon and Mate versions of “Sonya,” signaling a final release should be here soon. While that is good news, there was some bad news too. While technically not a Linux Mint issue, it was discovered that the MintBox 2 had a bios vulnerability. Luckily, there is already a patch for the diminutive computer.

Today, we can get back to the positive news, as there are two new Linux Mint releases. You can immediately download Linux Mint 18.2 ‘Sonya’ Beta ISO images with the KDE or Xfce desktop environments. True, the Mint experience is usually all about Cinnamon and Mate, but the team offers a choice to those that dislike the standard environments.

The Ubuntu 16.04 base and Linux kernel 4.8 used for Linux Mint 18.2 ‘Sonya’ is the same regardless of desktop environment, so all changes in that regard are identical to the previous beta release for Cinnamon and Mate. For KDE users, you will see Plasma 5.8 being used, while Xfce users will get version 4.12.

Besides the move to Plasma 5.8, listed changes in the KDE version are scant, but the Linux Mint team shares the following significant changes for the Xfce variant.

The Whisker application menu was upgraded to version 1.7.2:

  • Launchers can now be edited from the context menu.
  • Desktop actions are now supported.
  • Category names can be hidden in the preferences.
  • Applications load immediately.
  • This new version also brings translation updates and bug fixes.

The xfwm4 window manager was upgraded to version 4.13 to bring the following improvements:

  • VSync support to prevent screen tearing
  • Support for scaled cursor when zooming
  • Bug fixes and I18n improvements

Mint_KDE

Linux Mint 18.2 ‘Sonya’ Beta KDE

Linux Mint 18.2 'Sonya' Beta Xfce

Linux Mint 18.2 ‘Sonya’ Beta Xfce

Ready to download? You can use the following torrent links. If you aren’t sure which to try, I would recommend opting for KDE if you have a more modern computer, and choosing Xfce for older hardware.

  • Linux Mint 18.2 ‘Sonya’ Beta KDE 64-Bit: Download
  • Linux Mint 18.2 ‘Sonya’ Beta Xfce 64-Bit: Download

Photo Credit: StepanPopov/Shutterstock

Article source: https://betanews.com/2017/06/12/linux-mint-sonya-beta-kde-xfce/

Skill Success Ubuntu Linux for Beginners course review

Reed.co.uk is best known as a recruitment website, but it also hosts a number of online courses including Ubuntu Linux for Beginners. These are in fact designed by third parties, and this course actually comes from the good people at Skill Success – the reason we recommend subscribing via Reed is that the course is currently available for £18 ($23), which is a huge 89% discount on the usual price of £157 (around $200).

Ubuntu Linux for Beginners is available as a series of video lectures, allowing you to learn at your own pace. However, it’s worth noting that the Skill Success course page seems a little confused over who exactly is teaching it.

The introduction section claims that the instructor ‘Nick’ has over 10 years’ experience as a Linux administrator and developer. The ‘About the Instructor’ section on the page claims it’s a man named Jerry Banfield who has a Bachelors and Masters Degree in unspecified subjects.

But any vagueness concerning who is teaching the course isn’t that big a deal when you consider that there is a no-quibble 30-day money-back guarantee, should you be unsatisfied with the quality of the course.

The training itself is divided into 11 topics. The first topic focuses on getting started with Ubuntu Linux, while discussing other distributions. This is important for newcomers, who may have heard of other types of Linux and might be unsure about why the course is focusing on Ubuntu specifically.

Having reassured trainees that Ubuntu is the best Linux distro for beginners, the following topic covers the specifics of installing VirtualBox and setting up a virtual machine. This section also covers downloading an ISO image of Ubuntu and installing it within VirtualBox. 

The following section allows trainees to tweak their initial setup. Unlike other courses we’ve reviewed, the instructor covers installing ‘Guest Additions’ in VirtualBox so that your Ubuntu virtual machine supports features such as reading from USB devices and full-screen mode. You’ll also receive some handy tips on customising your desktop by installing the Unity tweaking tool, although this will soon be obsolete in future versions of Ubuntu due to Canonical’s decision to switch back to the Gnome desktop environment.

The course then goes on to explain how to install Ubuntu alongside your current Windows installation. This can be tricky to set up correctly on certain machines, but will generally result in better performance than a virtual machine, so it’s good to know the instructor is presenting you with a choice in terms of setup. 

The fifth topic is all about getting started with the Linux command line. This is a bold choice of subject to introduce immediately to new users, but the explanations are clear. Trainees are introduced to a few simple commands as well as learning how to invoke administrative privileges from within the Linux terminal.

This section also covers how to install new software, a subject which often isn’t covered early on in the courses offered by rival training providers. It makes perfect sense to discuss this earlier rather than later, however, given that this is one of the most common tasks you’ll perform when setting up a new system. Furthermore, the instructor gives a brief summary of software repositories as well as looking at how to install third-party apps.

The following section allows you to learn about some of the more advanced commands available in the Terminal such as using ‘grep’ and ‘gind’ as well as scheduling tasks via crontabs.

The learning curve continues in the seventh topic, which teaches how to ready your Ubuntu system to create apps. This includes downloading the Java IDE (Integrated Development Environment) ‘Eclipse’ and the Python IDE ‘PyCharm’. This section also provides an introduction to Github as well as discussing how to set up your own repository.

There’s even an extensive tutorial on using Meteor to develop web apps, as well as installing software such as Apache to set up your own server. The next section takes this a step further by discussing how to deploy a Meteor app on your own web server, installing and configuring PHP, as well as setting up a WordPress installation. There’s also a brief discussion of some of the practical applications of Python.

The following sections cover managing users and file permissions, a must for any admin, as well as some common network administration tools such as ‘netstat’ and ‘traceroute’, presumably so you can check all is well with your new server.

The final topic covers using SSH to connect to a remote host, as well as setting up an SSH host on your local machine. This is one of the few sections that seems out of order as it could easily have been merged into the subject matter regarding setting up your own server or network administration.

Final verdict

At the time of writing, with its current discounted rate via Reed, this course offers excellent value-for-money, although the reduced rate is not always available (that said, the hefty discounts do seem to be recurring affairs).

The subject matter is detailed and explained well, but one can’t help wonder if at times the level of difficulty is too high for beginners. Ubuntu is available as both a desktop and a server edition, and it’s clear that Skill Success has tried to strike a middle ground by mentioning how to set up a system and then detailing how to install your own server. 

The section on developer tools is particularly perplexing as having helped you install both Eclipse and PyCharm, these tools are not mentioned again – rather there’s an extensive tutorial on designing web apps with Meteor. The Meteor platform seems to have been selected to integrate with the web server, but Python would have been a much more sensible choice to help people get started with programming in Ubuntu. 

The server section similarly details an array of wonderful projects you can do with your new Ubuntu server such as setting up a database or WordPress site, but again, it might have been better to focus on one simpler project, as opposed to trying to detail everything Ubuntu can do.

That said, you don’t have to progress in a linear way through the course, so if some sections are too complex and/or of no use, you can always skip ahead, then return to them later. Each section is also explained in a clear manner, so that’s certainly ideal for those who are new to Linux.

Article source: http://www.techradar.com/reviews/skill-success-ubuntu-linux-for-beginners-course

Ubuntu-driven TurtleBot gets a major rev with a Pi or Joule in the driver’s seat

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A new TurtleBot3 rev of the open source, Ubuntu/ROS-based robot kit is available in “Burger” and “Waffle” models with an RPi 3 or Intel Joule, respectively.

The “world’s most popular open source robot for education and research” has received a major upgrade with two modular TurtleBot3 models from Open Robitics that run Linux and Robot Operating System (ROS) on a Raspberry Pi 3 (“Burger”) SBC or Intel Joule COM (“Waffle”). The dual-wheel Turtlebot 3 is smaller, cheaper, simpler, and more powerful than the discontinued TurtleBot 1 and still available, Clearpath Robotics built TurtleBot 2. The latter runs on a Linux- and Intel Core i3-4010U based HP netbook instead of a compute board.

TurtleBot3 Burger (left) and TurtleBot3 Waffle
(click image to enlarge)

The TurtleBot3 was built by Robotis, and the project is maintained by Open Robotics, a taxable subsidiary of the Open Source Robotics Foundation (OSRF). Open Robotics also maintains the open source ROS stack that runs on the other TurtleBots as well as scores of other robots and drones. Other collaborators include Intel, which contributed the Intel Joule module and Intel RealSense cameras, and Onshape, which supplies its “full-cloud” 3D CAD editor for working with the TurtleBot’s open source 3D CAD files.

The TurtleBot3 is “the most affordable robot among the SLAM-able mobile robots equipped with a general 360-degree LiDAR,” says Open Robotics. The TurtleBot3 Burger kit sells for $549, including the Raspberry Pi 3, and the larger TurtleBot3 Waffle kit sells for $1,799 including the Intel Joule. The TurtleBot2 sells for $2,115 fully assembled.

TurtleBot3 Burger (left) and TurtleBot3 Waffle details views
(click images to enlarge)

SLAM (simultaneous localization and mapping) is the type of algorithm required to map an unknown environment while simultaneously keeping track one’s position within it. LiDAR is the advanced pulsed laser location technology that enables SLAM. Both models integrate 360-degree HLS-LFCD LDS planar LiDAR systems, enabling autonomous navigation. The Waffle’s Joule module also offers Intel’s RealSense depth-finding camera, providing an alternative visual approach to SLAM.

Robotis HLS-LFCD LDS LiDAR system (left) and a self-generated Burger SLAM navigaton map
(click images to enlarge)

In addition to leveraging LiDAR and RealSense for location, the TurtleBot3 gains precise spatial data by integrating a pair of Robotis Dynamixel smart actuators in the two sprocket wheel joints. The actuators can be operated by one of four operating modes using the Dymamixel XL420 model used on the Burger, or six modes using the Dynamixel XM430 model on the Waffle. The Dynamixels provide velocity control for the wheels and torque or position control for the joints.

OpenCR control over Dynamixel actuators
(click image to enlarge)

Both TurtleBot3 models run on a Robotis OpenCR board for controlling the Dynamixels and sensors, such as the board’s built-in IMU, as well as touch, IR, color, and others. The board can run Arduino IDE code on its 216MHz, 32-bit Cortex-M7 STM32F7 MCU. The high-end STM32F7 includes an FPU, and is said to offer 462 DMIPS performance.

OpenCR control board detail view
(click image to enlarge)

The open spec OpenCR control board has 18 GPIO pins, 32 Arduino pins, and 3.3V, 5V, and 12V power supplies. There are three RS485 and three TTL interfaces for controlling the Dynamixels. Other peripherals include three UART, five ADC, four 5-pin OLLO, and single CAN, SPI, and I2C connections. A micro-USB port lets you connect with a PC, and various LEDs and buttons are available.

The TurtlBot3 is further equipped with an 1800mAh battery and a 100-240V, AC 50/60Hz power adapter. Tools, cables, and other parts are also available. Fully assembled, the 138 x 178 x 192mm (L/W/H) TurtleBot3 Burger model is about a quarter of the size of the TurtleBot2, and the TurtleBot3 Waffle measures 281 x 306 x 141mm.

TurtleBot3 mechanical and performance specs
(click image to enlarge)

TurtleBot3 can be teleoperated by an Android app, as well as wireless devices such as a keyboard, PS3 and XBOX 360 joysticks, the Robotis RC100 controller, the LEAP Motion controller, and more. The open source navigation software runs on Ubuntu 16.04.2 with-ROS Kinetic. An Ubuntu Insights announcement of the robot notes that both the Raspberry Pi and Joule support Ubuntu Core, giving robot designers “security, transactional updates, and even an app store.”

According to a hands-on story last month in IEEE Spectrum, assembling the Burger took “an hour or two,” while the Waffle took about four hours due to additional parts, including 192 screws. The software setup of ROS on the Burger’s Raspberry Pi took another “few hours,” while the setup on the Joule took much longer due to the need to update the BIOS with the help of a Windows PC. Overall, however, hardware and setup were said to be well documented.

The modular, completely open source TurtleBot3 design, which includes open 3D CAD files, as well as schematics, PCB Gerber, and BOM, is available with optional parts. These include different sensor and chassis components, as well as a variety of Robotis arms and grippers. With a bit of work, you could even swap out the Pi or Joule for another compute board.

Raspberry Pi 3 (left) and Intel Joule
(click images to enlarge)

The Raspberry Pi 3 SBC runs on a Broadcom BCM2837 with four 1.2GHz Cortex-A53 cores and a VideoCore IV GPU. Other features include 1GB RAM, Fast Ethernet, WiFi/Bluetooth, four USB ports, and a 40-pin expansion interface.

The Intel Joule 570x — the higher-end of the two Joule computer-on-modules — provides a quad-core Atom T5700 SoC (1.7GHz clock; 2.4GHz burst) similar to Intel’s Apollo Lake models. The Joule ships with up to 4GB RAM and 16GB eMMC, plus WiFi/Bluetooth, 4K video, CSI/DSI, GPIO, USB, and UART I/O. The module offers built-in support for Intel RealSense.

Assembling the TurtleBot3 Burger

 
Further information

The Robotis built, Open Robotics TurtleBot3 Burger and TurtleBot3 Waffle are available for $549 and $1,799, respectively, at the . More information may be found on the TurtleBot community site.
 

Article source: http://linuxgizmos.com/ubuntu-driven-turtlebot-gets-a-major-rev-with-a-pi-or-joule-in-the-drivers-seat/

Linux Mint 18.2 ‘Sonya’ BETA Ubuntu-based operating system now available for download

mint

With the future of Ubuntu uncertain, and with Canonical abandoning the Unity desktop environment, now is a great time to try Linux Mint. Since it has Ubuntu as a base, but instead uses Mate or Cinnamon — environments with a future — it should be an easy transition for users of Canonical’s Linux-based operating system.

Today, the upcoming version of Linux Mint, 18.2 “Sonya,” achieves BETA release. It is based on Ubuntu 16.04 and uses Linux kernel 4.8. You can download either the Mate or Cinnamon ISOs now. Yeah, its a pre-release operating system so you should proceed with caution, but historically, these BETA releases have proven quite stable — you will probably be fine.

The Linux Mint team is making a big deal of improved Bluetooth support and settings (Blueberry) in Sonya, but I haven’t experienced issues in that regard in the past. More important to users will be the improved Update Manager, which now includes a new slick help section. Also user-facing is the LightDM display manager, which offers a prettier login screen with HiDPI support.

ALSO READ: OpenELEC 8.0.4 Kodi-focused Linux distro now available for PC, Raspberry Pi, WeTek, and more

Unfortunately, Brasero is no longer being installed by default, which really makes me sad. True, you can still install the CD/DVD burning package, but this definitively highlights the death of optical media for most consumers. The Linux Mint team is probably wise here, since many laptops don’t even ship with CD, DVD, or Blu-ray drives anymore — why bother including it? You can of course connect one using USB Type-A or Type-C.

Ready to download the Linux Mint 18.2 ‘Sonya’ BETA? You can grab the appropriate ISO using the torrent links below.

Photo credit: Volosina/Shutterstock

Article source: https://betanews.com/2017/06/06/linux-mint-182-sonya-beta/

Finally! Ubuntu 17.10 Daily Builds Using GNOME Desktop By Default

Short Bytes: After some wait, GNOME desktop environment has found its place as the default desktop in Ubuntu 17.10 Artful Aardvark daily builds. The current experience is mainly vanilla and one should expect to see some more custom inputs from Ubuntu desktop team in near future. As this is an early development build, you should also be ready for some bugs while trying the Linux distro.

In the past couple of months, the world of open source was dominated by Ubuntu’s upcoming switch from Unity desktop to GNOME. Ubuntu boss Mark Shuttleworth made this announcement and said that Ubuntu GNOME development team will be merging with Canonical’s Ubuntu Desktop team. Since then, people had been wondering about the future of Ubuntu Desktop.

Well, after some wait and development work, the Ubuntu 17.10 daily builds are shipping with default GNOME desktop environment. This way, Ubuntu has finally ditched the Unity desktop in the true sense, which had been the default choice since 2011.ubuntu 17.10 gnome default

As reported by OMGUbuntu, there’s not much to see at the moment. To take a look at the same, I tried out the daily build myself and found the look to be mostly vanilla. In future, you can expect to see certain modifications. Take a look at the image below:ubuntu 17.10 gnome default

At the moment, the LightDM is the Ubuntu display manager, but the final version will ship with GDM. LightDM has two sessions: GNOME and GNOME Wayland. These builds are early releases, so expect few bugs while trying them.ubuntu 17.10 gnome default

We’ll be keeping you updated on the changes being made to Ubuntu 17.10 as its development process moves ahead. If you’re going to try out the latest build, use this download link and don’t forget to share your views with us.

Don’t forget to check out our helpful lists of Linux distributions:



Buy VPN

Article source: https://fossbytes.com/ubuntu-17-10-daily-build-gnome-default/

CBT Nuggets Ubuntu Linux course review

CBT Nuggets is an online learning platform hosting dozens of training courses from big players like Cisco. The website claims the organisation started selling short IT training DVDs on eBay and that has snowballed into the international training portal which the site is today. 

Payment of a monthly fee (around $84 per person – that’s about £65) gives you access to all available courses. Registration is simple, provided you have a valid credit card. There’s also a 7-day free trial before your card is billed.

There are nine Linux-specific courses on the platform. This review focuses on the Ubuntu Linux course, available as a series of video lectures (nicknamed ‘nuggets’) delivered by instructor Shawn Power, which details how to install, administer and maintain your own Ubuntu Server. The CBT website mentions that Power is an associate editor of the digital magazine Linux Journal, so it’s clear he’s well-qualified to teach this subject.

There are no prerequisites for doing the course, although if you’re entirely unfamiliar with Linux, you’re probably best off doing the Linux Essentials course which can also be accessed on the CBT platform.

This is important as in order to get started you need a ‘virtualisation environment’ which supports PXE booting, such as a machine running via the program VirtualBox, as well as the ISO images for Ubuntu, which can be downloaded from Canonical. 

Assuming you’re comfortable with the basics of setting up your own virtual machine and have an Ubuntu ISO image, you can get started by watching the 20 training videos that make up the Ubuntu course.

CBT Nuggets has gone to some lengths to make this a painless process for you, as instead of watching videos on your computer, you can download a mobile app to an Android, Apple or Amazon device and watch them there. The app, like the website, can keep track of which videos you’ve already played.

The website also allows you to record notes in a special tab as you watch each video, and every clip comes with a video transcript, which you can copy into the notes tab and annotate to your heart’s content. Some of the videos also have a quiz section to allow you to check what you’ve learned so far. 

Although Ubuntu has become most famous (and popular) for being a desktop distribution, the instructor takes some time to explain the advantages of Ubuntu Server at the start of the course, such as the benefits of employing an LTS (Long Term Support) distro. This section also details the lifecycle of Ubuntu and distinguishes it from Debian, the distro on which it’s based. 

The setup process covered in the training course is for Ubuntu 13.04 LTS, which is no longer supported. However, as you’ll be interacting with the server via SSH, the videos do not seem to be dated.

The next sections focus on hard drives, installation and setup. The hard drives topic in particular is an excellent guide for would-be server administrators, as it explains the differences between partition types. The install process advises using the cross-platform utility UNetbootin to install the minimal Ubuntu ISO, which is only around 40MB in size. This means it only takes a few minutes to create the installation USB drive. The installation guide also shows how to configure a virtual machine to boot from an Ubuntu ISO image.

The initial setup section also explains the difference between the official Ubuntu repositories and those managed by third-parties. This is essential knowledge for anyone creating their own server. This section also briefly mentions the handy ‘screen’ tool which allows you to run multiple programs at once.

The networking section details various interfaces, as well as Udev, Upstart and managing the firewall. The following videos then allow you to consolidate what you’ve learned so far and learn about specific types of setups such as DNS, databases and mail servers. 

There’s also a detailed ‘security’ video on how to harden your new server. This includes using AppArmor which is installed by default in Ubuntu, and determines exactly what data can be accessed by each program.

The course continues by explaining the differences between virtualisation, clouds and containers. This includes a quick demonstration on how to set up a private container in Ubuntu, which is incredibly simple to do.

The final two videos very sensibly focus on how to use recovery tools as well as where to go should you need further help. This includes a brief rundown on IRC which is the preferred chat protocol for savvy Linux users.

Final verdict

This Ubuntu course is laid out logically and provides an excellent grounding in setting up your own server. If you’re looking for reams of code to copy and paste, you may be disappointed as the instructor prefers simply to narrate his videos as he takes the steps in question. Nevertheless, the amount of material covered is huge, so it’s small wonder he doesn’t go into much detail.

As this course is already a few years old, it’s possible that with the further passage of time, the content may become outdated – you should definitely use your most recent LTS version of Ubuntu Server rather than the version seen in the course.

The instructor has a wonderful flair for making boring concepts entertaining. On one occasion he uses his video lecture tool to draw a picture of a puppy as he launches into a detailed diatribe on software repositories. He also freely acknowledges his ‘nerdiness’ as he explains how he hosts his own copy of Ubuntu ISOs.

If you are able and willing to pay the subscription fee for CBT Nuggets, as mentioned, there are also further training courses you can make use of for Linux and indeed other platforms.

Article source: http://www.techradar.com/reviews/cbt-nuggets-ubuntu-linux-course