Archive for February, 2009

Kubuntu 8.04.2 Released!

The Kubuntu team is proud to announce the release of Kubuntu 8.04.2, the second and final maintenance update to Kubuntu’s 8.04 release. This release includes updated desktop, and alternate installation CDs for the i386 and amd64 architectures. This update is provided in recognition that the current Kubuntu release (8.10) with its cutting edge KDE 4 desktop is not yet appropriate for all users.
In all, over 200 updates have been integrated, and updated installation media has been provided so that fewer updates will need to be downloaded after installation. These include security updates, and corrections for other high-impact bugs, with a focus on maintaining stability and compatibility with Kubuntu 8.04.
The full release announcement can be found at
P.S. Normally non-LTS releases do not get point releases. I’d like to thank Canonical and the Ubuntu Tech Board for making the resources available to do this non-standard update. I’d like to thank the Ubuntu Release team and all the volunteer testers for their help. I do hope this mid-life update of the installation CD for Kubuntu 8.04 makes things easier for the Kubuntu users who still prefer to use KDE3.


Building community and being ready when they show up

If you follow the saga of the clamav anti-virus package in Ubuntu at all, you know it is painful. Anti-virus is one of those areas where you really do want the latest and greatest since the area is such a moving target. There are also quite a number of packages that integrate with clamav that have to be tested before we can bring a new version into the archive.
For coming up on two years now I’ve been working with a small group of people trying to get clamav updates tested and into not only the development release, but also into *-backports too. It’s mostly grunt level testing with occasional forays into “Why the heck did that happen”. It’s not exciting, but it needs doing and for some reason I volunteered to lead the charge. I have struggled with how to find people who will help with this work.
One time, I even ventured into the forums to try and find volunteers. No luck. Or so I thought. A few weeks ago I got a ping on IRC from Gergely Imre (cemc on Freenode). He was interested in getting clamav updated on Hardy. He’d seen that post (a year and a half later) and tracked me down. So it turns out my trip to the forums was helpful, just not on the timescale I’d envisioned.
The intersection of the Hardy release for Ubuntu and Clamav 0.93 was particularly unfortunate. Clamav released 0.93 just very before Hardy’s release and with all the changes there was no way we could test and patch the related packages before release. After release we started working on getting it tested for hardy-backports, but everyone involved is a volunteer, we all have other stuff to do, and it just never quite got done.
Then one day about this time last month, I get a PM from someone I’d never spoken to before. It turns out cemc had seen my forum post and had come to ask me about it. He wanted to get the current clamav into Hardy backports. This is where the being ready part comes in.
If you look at the Ubuntu Clamav wiki page you’ll see that we had a lot of structure in place (thanks everyone, I did some of this, but only the smaller part). In addition to a matrix of what packages need testing, we had test procedures for most of them too. So we had a structure of clearly useful work that was ready and waiting for a new volunteer. This wasn’t accidental. We had done this once before (updated Dapper/Feisty/Gutsy to the same version Hardy was released with) and the people doing the testing had made some good choices about documenting there work.
With one dedicated tester and (as a result) me committing time to keep him up to date in packages to test we had it done in pretty short order. So today you can find the current clamav releast in hardy-backports. You can also find updates to many packages that integrate with clamav. You can also be assured that we looked into the ones that weren’t updated to make sure that the work with the new clamav.
Now he’s also done the testing for Dapper and once the Jaunty Feature Freeze buildd crush passes I’ll get the latest in dapper-backports too.
I’ve learned two lessons from this
1. Don’t be too quick to conclude community outreach efforts have failed
2. When someone does show up and wants to help, it is really benificial to be ready.

Candidate Images for Kubuntu Hardy 8.04.2 – Testers Needed

Normally Ubuntu does not do point updates of non-LTS releases, so in the normal course of preparation for the 8.04.2 milestone, Kubuntu ISO images were not updated.
Because of the KDE3 -> KDE4 transition, we recognize that 8.10 may not be appropriate for all Kubuntu users. We have worked very hard to keep Kubuntu Hardy a well maintained KDE3 release. After the regular Ubuntu 8.04.2 release I asked the Ubuntu Release team (and they got approval from the Ubuntu Tech Board) for a Kubuntu 8.04.2 point update due to it’s special nature. This includes an update to the current (likely final) KDE3 release, KDE 3.5.10.
In order to get this release certified, we need testers. Most of the regular Kubuntu development/test community is running KDE4 now, so we need help from those of you still wanting KDE3.
The ISO tracker lists what needs testing. Please refer to the “Hardy .2” section. Because these images don’t fit a standard set, the links to the ISO images on the tracker are wrong. The Live CD version is here and the alternate installer version is here. Both i386 and amd64 images are available and they all need testing.
Please remember that these are still test images, so handle with appropriate care. Report test results in the ISO tracker and file bugs and link them in the tracker as needed.
We will not be able to get this done without help from people who don’t normally participate. If you feel continued KDE3 support in Kubuntu is important, now is your chance.