Thursday, May 27, 2010

Ubuntu Foundations and Maverick Meerkat 10.10


For those that don't know, The Ubuntu Foundations Team is responsible for delivering the core Ubuntu system, which is common to the whole Ubuntu family of products and services. For the past couple months, I had the pleasure and honour to work with the Foundations team, assisting in preparation for the Foundations Track at UDS and planning for the 10.10 cycle.

Below I will give a brief summary of the major topics covered at UDS which, in turn, generated scheduled work items. They are listed in alphabetical order.

Boot Work

Several boot-related areas were identified for work during Maverick. These include the following:
  • cd boot - by converting CD boot to use grub2 with its new graphical goodness, we will only need to maintain use of a single bootloader
  • continued performance improvements
  • grub2 framebuffer - the end goal being a near flicker-free graphical boot splash experience
  • UEFI - support booting on systems that use UEFI firmware

Related blueprints:


In Maverick, we will be adding support for btrfs. Our tasks include such work as making ureadahead work with btrfs, adding btrfs support to grub2, integration work, and features support.

Related blueprint:


Just after an LTS release is a perfect time to clean house. We will be taking this opportunity to do so, with such work as dropping unused/unneeded packages from the base system, double-checking package dependencies, and investigating space-saving measures.

Related blueprints:

Installer Redesign

The installer is getting a serious make-over. Foundations and the Design team are working very closely together, improving the workflow, minimizing user clicks, improving the look-and-feel, and providing utility with increased ease of use.

Related blueprint:

Software Center

We want to get new applications into the Software Center, ideally providing developers with a means of generating revenue with the applications. For the former, we need to define some good social and technical processes to ensure ongoing quality and excellent producer/consumer experience. In conjunction with that, we need to work on getting a billing system in place.

Related blueprint:
Upstart is getting major work this cycle. New and improved features include the following:
  • Manual mode
  • Resource limits
  • Dependencies
  • Better support for UIs that want to use Upstart
  • Simple skeleton to make life easier for sysadmins
  • Provide an API for services and tasks so that folks don't have to think about the event-based model if they don't need to
  • Explore the conversion of conf files into jobs
  • Possibly extend the debug capabilities into an interactive mode
  • Improve job disabling

Foundations will also be working closely with the server team to get their init scripts converted to Upstart. Conversely, the Kernel team will be providing new features that will allow Foundations to fully develop the planned Upstart features.

Related blueprint:


There is lots of other work we'll be doing, some of which are highlighted in the following:
  • i686 Default Compile
  • Stop building the ia64 and sparc community ports
  • Multiarch Support for gcc, binutils, dpkg, and apt
  • Foundations Python improvements
  • Upgrade and install testing
Related blueprints: