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website Mark Shuttleworth
Planetary perspectives
feed text Fraud alert – scams using my name and picture
Thu, 28 Jun 2018 10:00:25 +0000

I have recently become aware of a fraudulent investment scam which falsely states that I have launched new software known as a QProfit System promoted by Jerry Douglas. I’ve seen some phishing sites like http://www.bbc-tech.news and http://pipeline-stats.club, and pop up ads on Facebook like this one:

I can’t comment on whether or not Jerry Douglas promotes a QProfit system and whether or not it’s fraud. But I can tell you categorically that there are many scams like this, and that this investment has absolutely nothing to do with me. I haven’t developed this software and I have no desire to defraud the South African government or anyone else. I’m doing what I can to get the fraudulent sites taken down. But please take heed and don’t fall for these scams.


text Cue the Cosmic Cuttlefish
Tue, 08 May 2018 14:45:42 +0000

With our castor Castor now out for all to enjoy, and the Twitterverse delighted with the new minimal desktop and smooth snap integration, it’s time to turn our attention to the road ahead to 20.04 LTS, and I’m delighted to say that we’ll kick off that journey with the Cosmic Cuttlefish, soon to be known as Ubuntu 18.10.

Each of us has our own ideas of how the free stack will evolve in the next two years. And the great thing about Ubuntu is that it doesn’t reflect just one set of priorities, it’s an aggregation of all the things our community cares about. Nevertheless I thought I’d take the opportunity early in this LTS cycle to talk a little about the thing I’m starting to care more about than any one feature, and that’s security.

If I had one big thing that I could feel great about doing, systematically, for everyone who uses Ubuntu, it would be improving their confidence in the security of their systems and their data. It’s one of the very few truly unifying themes that crosses every use case.

It’s extraordinary how diverse the uses are to which the world puts Ubuntu these days, from the heart of the mainframe operation in a major financial firm, to the raspberry pi duck-taped to the back of a prototype something in the middle of nowhere, from desktops to clouds to connected things, we are the platform for ambitions great and small. We are stewards of a shared platform, and one of the ways we respond to that diversity is by opening up to let people push forward their ideas, making sure only that they are excellent to each other in the pushing.

But security is the one thing that every community wants – and it’s something that, on reflection, we can raise the bar even higher on.

So without further ado: thank you to everyone who helped bring about Bionic, and may you all enjoy working towards your own goals both in and out of Ubuntu in the next two years.


text Scam alert
Thu, 03 May 2018 13:00:35 +0000

Am writing briefly to say that I believe a scam or pyramid scheme is currently using my name fraudulently in South Africa. I am not going to link to the websites in question here, but if you are being pitched a make-money-fast story that refers to me and crypto-currency, you are most likely being targeted by fraudsters.


Congratulations to Team *Buntu on the release of our Artful Aardvark 17.10, featuring all your favourite desktop environments, kubernetes 1.8, the latest OpenStack, and security updates for 9 months, which takes us all the way to our next enterprise release, Ubuntu 18.04 LTS.

A brumous development cycle always makes for cool-headed work and brisk progress on the back of breem debate.

As always, 18.04 LTS will represent the sum of all our interests.

For those of you with bimodal inclinations, there’s the official upstream Kubernetes-on-Ubuntu spell for ‘conjure-up kubernetes’ with bijou multi-cloud goodness. We also have spells for OpenStack on Ubuntu and Hadoop on Ubuntu, so conjure-up is your one-stop magic shop for at-scale boffo big data, cloud and containers. Working with upstreams to enable fast deployment and operations of their stuff on all the clouds is a beamish way to spend the day.

If your thing is bling, pick a desktop! We’ve defaulted to GNOME, but we’re the space where KDE and GNOME and MATE and many others come together to give users real and easy choice of desktops. And if you’re feeling boned by the lack of Unity in open source, you might want to hop onto the channel and join those who are updating Unity7 for the newest X and kernel graphics in 18.04.

And of course, if your thing is actually a thing with internet smarts, then it’s Ubuntu Core that will get you flying (or driving or gatewaying or routing or, well, anything your thing desires) in a snap.

It takes a booky brilliance to shine, and we celebrate brilliance in all its forms in our community. Thanks to the artists and the advocates, the brains and the documenters, the councils and yes, the crazies who find entirely new ways to contribute, Ubuntu grows and reflects the depth and breadth of free software. For many upstream projects, Ubuntu represents the way most users will enjoy their contribution to society. That’s a big responsibility, and one we take seriously. Leave the bolshy, blithe and branky BS aside, and let’s appeal to all that’s brave and bonzer as we shape the platform on which others will build.

It’s builders that we celebrate – the people that build our upstream applications and packages, the people who build Ubuntu, and the people who build on Ubuntu. In honour of that tireless toil, our mascot this cycle is a mammal known for it’s energetic attitude, industrious nature and engineering prowess. We give it a neatly nerdy 21st century twist in honour of the relentless robots running Ubuntu Core. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you 18.04 LTS, the Bionic Beaver.


text The mouse that jumped
Mon, 17 Oct 2016 12:23:29 +0000

The naming of Ubuntu releases is, of course, purely metaphorical. We are a diverse community of communities – we are an assembly of people interested in widely different things (desktops, devices, clouds and servers) from widely different backgrounds (hello, world) and with widely different skills (from docs to design to development, and those are just the d’s).

As we come to the end of the alphabet, I want to thank everyone who makes this fun. Your passion and focus and intellect, and occasionally your sharp differences, all make it a privilege to be part of this body incorporate.

Right now, Ubuntu is moving even faster to the centre of the cloud and edge operations. From AWS to the zaniest new devices, Ubuntu helps people get things done faster, cleaner, and more efficiently, thanks to you. From the launch of our kubernetes charms which make it very easy to operate k8s everywhere, to the fun people seem to be having with snaps at snapcraft.io for shipping bits from cloud to top of rack to distant devices, we love the pace of change and we change the face of love.

We are a tiny band in a market of giants, but our focus on delivering free software freely together with enterprise support, services and solutions appears to be opening doors, and minds, everywhere. So, in honour of the valiantly tiny leaping long-tailed over the obstacles of life, our next release which will be Ubuntu 17.04, is hereby code named the ‘Zesty Zapus’.


text Thank you CC
Tue, 17 May 2016 20:16:55 +0000

Just to state publicly my gratitude that the Ubuntu Community Council has taken on their responsibilities very thoughtfully, and has demonstrated a proactive interest in keeping the community happy, healthy and unblocked. Their role is a critical one in the Ubuntu project, because we are at our best when we are constantly improving, and we are at our best when we are actively exploring ways to have completely different communities find common cause, common interest and common solutions. They say that it’s tough at the top because the easy problems don’t get escalated, and that is particularly true of the CC. So far, they are doing us proud.


text Y is for…
Thu, 21 Apr 2016 23:40:46 +0000

Yakkety yakkety yakkety yakkety yakkety yakkety yakkety yakkety yak. Naturally 🙂


With the release of LXC 2.0 and LXD, we now have a pure-container hypervisor that delivers bare-metal performance with a standard Linux guest OS experience. Very low latency, very high density, and very high control of specific in-guest application processes compared to KVM and ESX make it worth checking out for large-scale Linux virtualisation operations.

Even better, the drivers to enable LXD as a hypervisor in  OpenStack, are maturing upstream.

That means you get bare metal performance on OpenStack for Linux workloads, without actually giving people the whole physical server. LXD supports live migration so you can migrate those users to a different physical server with no downtime, which is great for maintenance. And you can have all the nice Openstack semantics for virtual networks etc without having to try very hard.

By contrast, Ironic has the problem that the user can now modify any aspect of the machine as if you gave them physical access to it. In most cases, that’s not desirable, and in public clouds it’s a fun way to let the NSA (and other agencies) install firmware for your users to enjoy later.

NSA-as-a-Service does have a certain ring to it though.


I am delighted to nominate these long-standing members of the Ubuntu community for your consideration in the upcoming Community Council election.

* Phillip Ballew https://launchpad.net/~philipballew
* Walter Lapchynski https://launchpad.net/~wxl
* Marco Ceppi https://launchpad.net/~marcoceppi
* Jose Antonio Rey https://launchpad.net/~jose
* Laura Czajkowskii https://launchpad.net/~czajkowski
* Svetlana Belkin https://launchpad.net/~belkinsa
* Chris Crisafulli https://launchpad.net/~itnet7
* Michael Hall https://launchpad.net/~mhall119
* Scarlett Clark https://launchpad.net/~sgclark
* C de-Avillez https://launchpad.net/~hggdh2
* Daniel Holbach https://launchpad.net/~dholbach

The Community Council is our most thoughtful body, who carry the responsibility of finding common ground between our widely diverse interests. They oversee all membership in the project, recognising those who make substantial and sustained contributions through any number of forums and mechanisms with membership and a voice in the governance of Ubuntu. They delegate in many cases responsibility for governance of pieces of the project to teams who are best qualified to lead in those areas, but they maintain overall responsibility for our discourse and our standards of behaviour.

We have been the great beneficiaries of the work of the outgoing CC, who I would like to thank once again for their tasteful leadership. I was often reminded of the importance of having a team which continues to inspire and lead and build bridges, even under great pressure, and the CC team who conclude their term shortly have set the highest bar for that in my experience. I’m immensely grateful to them and excited to continue working with whomever the community chooses from this list of nominations.

I would encourage you to meet and chat with all of the candidates and choose those who you think are best able to bring teams together; Ubuntu is a locus of collaboration between groups with intensely different opinions, and it is our ability to find a way to share and collaborate with one another that sets us apart. When it gets particularly tricky, the CC are at their most valuable to the project.

Voting details have gone out to all voting members of Ubuntu, thank you for participating in the election!


text X marks the spot
Wed, 21 Oct 2015 19:53:30 +0000
LXD is the lightervisor, a pure-container virtualisation system, the world's fastest hypervisor.

LXD is the pure-container hypervisor

What a great Wily it’s been, and for those of you who live on the latest release and haven’t already updated, the bits are baked and looking great. You can jump the queue if you know where to look while we spin up the extra servers needed for IMG and ISO downloads 🙂

Utopic, Vivid and Wily have been three intense releases, packed with innovation, and now we intend to bring all of those threads together for our Long Term Support release due out in April 2016.

LXD is the world’s fastest hypervisor, led by Canonical, a pure-container way to run Linux guests on Linux hosts. If you haven’t yet played with LXD (a.k.a LXC 2.0-b1) it will blow you away.  It will certainly transform your expectations of virtualisation, from slow-and-hard to amazingly light and fast. Imagine getting a full machine running any Linux you like, as a container on your laptop, in less than a second. For me, personally, it has become a fun way to clean up my build processes, spinning up a container on demand to make sure I always build in a fresh filesystem.

Snappy packages have transactional updates with rollback

Snappy Packaging System

Snappy is the world’s most secure packaging system, delivering crisp and transaction updates with rollback for both applications and the system, from phone to appliance. We’re using snappy on high-end switches and flying wonder-machines, on raspberry pi’s and massive clouds. Ubuntu Core is the all-snappy minimal server, and Ubuntu Personal will be the all-snappy phone / tablet / pc. With a snap you get to publish exactly the software you want to your device, and update it instantly over the air, just like we do the Ubuntu Phone. Snappy packages are automatically confined to ensure that a bug in one app doesn’t put your data elsewhere at risk. Amazing work, amazing team, amazing community!

MAAS is your physical cloud

Metal as a Service

MAAS is your physical cloud, with bare-metal machines on demand, supporting Ubuntu, CentOS and Windows. Drive your data centre from a single dashboard, bond network interfaces, raid your disks and rock the cloud generation. Led by Canonical, loved by the world leaders of big, and really big, deployments. MAAS gives you high availability DNS, DHCP, PXE and other critical infrastructure, for huge and dynamic data centres. Also pretty fun to run at home.

Juju is… model-driven application orchestration, that lets communities define how big topological apps like Hadoop and OpenStack map onto the cloud of your choice. The fastest way to find the fastest way to spin those applications into the cloud you prefer. With traditional configuration managers like Puppet now also saying that model-driven approaches are the way to the future, I’m very excited to see the kinds of problems that huge enterprises are starting to solve with Juju, and equally excited to see start-ups using Juju to speed their path to adoption. Here’s the Hadoop, Spark, IPython Notebook coolness I deployed live on stage at Apache Hadoopcon this month:

Juju model of Apache Hadoop with Spark and IPython Notebook

Apache Hadoop, Spark, IPython modelled with Juju

All of these are coming together beautifully, making Ubuntu the fastest path to magic of all sorts. And that magic will go by the codename… xenial xerus!

What fortunate timing that our next LTS should be X, because "xenial" means "friendly relations between hosts and guests", and given all the amazing work going into LXD and KVM for Ubuntu OpenStack, and beyond that the interoperability of Ubuntu OpenStack with hypervisors of all sorts, it seems like a perfect fit.

And Xerus, the African ground squirrels, are among the most social animals in my home country. They thrive in the desert, they live in small, agile, social groups that get along unusually well with their neighbours (for most mammals, neighbours are a source of bloody competition, for Xerus, hey, collaboration is cool). They are fast, feisty, friendly and known for their enormous… courage. That sounds just about right. With great… courage… comes great opportunity!