Tag Archives: Mark Shuttleworth


Red Hat to acquire Inktank, a company in which Mark Shuttleworth invested $1 million

Red Hat is acquiring Inktank, a provider of scale-out, open source storage systems for approximately $175 million in cash. The transaction is expected to close in May 2014, subject to customary closing conditions.

What makes this acquisition even more interesting is that Red Hat competitor Canonical invested $1 million through a convertible note in the start-up back in 2012. Shuttleworth’s money helped the start-up grow big enough to become a target for Red Hat.

Bad news for Canonical?

Does this make Mark upset as Benjamin Kerensa, a Mozilla evangelist, says on Google+? I think not for various reasons. One of the biggest reasons is that Red Hat is the world’s number one Open Source company which is also the #1 contributor to many open source projects so this acquisition won’t lock Canonical out of the company that they once funded.

Allan Bell, an Ubuntu developer opines that Canonical may have actually made a lot of money via this investment as it was a convertible bond. He says, “He invested $1m in a convertible note http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Convertible_bond must have given him a fairly substantial holding in 2012, it was certainly newsworthy http://www.inktank.com/news-events/new/shuttleworth-invests-1-million-in-ceph-storage-startup-inktank/ and now it has been sold for $175m. I think he made a lot of money on this in less than 2 years.”

Mark has not reacted to this acquisition yet.

Inktank will bring a lot of value to Red Hat as it “delivers world class object and block storage software to enterprises deploying public or private clouds, including many early adopters of OpenStack clouds. Combined with Red Hat’s existing GlusterFS-based storage offering, the addition of Inktank positions Red Hat as the leading provider of open software-defined storage across object, block and file system storage.” says Red Hat in a statement.

What’s Inktank?

Founded in 2012, Inktank’s main objective has been to drive the widespread adoption of Ceph, a scalable, open source, software-defined storage system that runs on commodity hardware. Ceph was developed by Inktank’s founder and chief technology officer, Sage Weil, and is a replacement for legacy storage systems and provides a unified solution for cloud computing environments.

Inktank’s primary goal has been to help customers scale their storage to the exabyte-level and beyond in a cost-effective way. Inktank has provided customers with expertise, processes, tools and support with their enterprise subscription and service offerings. Inktank’s customers include Cisco, CERN and Deutsche Telekom, and its partners include Alcatel-Lucent and Dell. The company has offices in Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Mark Shuttleworth

Ubuntu tablets will be launched with Ubuntu phones: Shuttleworth

All those who have been eagerly waiting to lay their hands on Ubuntu tablets may not have to wait too long. Canonical founder, Mark Shuttleworth has said that Ubuntu tablets will arrive in the market ‘simultaneously’ with the first set of Ubuntu smartphones.

Ubuntu has been talking a lot about convergence and releasing both Ubuntu running tablets and smartphones simultaneously just strengthens their plot.

Shuttleworth further revealed that after talking to the mobile networks via the Carrier Advisory Group, Canonical took the unanimous decision to ‘push back’ its plan to bring the phone early on. Now it will be released alongside the tablet. The developers are working aggressively on the development of a tablet interface.

In fact if you see, the present Ubuntu 14.04 development cycle is focusing hard on getting the tablet spec up-to-spec for a v1.0 release this April. Additionally, the work on enhancing Mir display server to work in a convergence environment has also caught speed.

Shuttleworth told Steve Costello for MWL TV, “[Tablets] will arrive pretty much simultaneously with phones. Q3, middle of this year we’ll see both phones and tablets running Ubuntu on the market.”

Coming to the names that will be manufacturing them, one probable name could be Bq, which is also among the early names launching Ubuntu smartphones. Or it could be Canonical’s laptop parters like Lenovo or HP. Some rumours even suggest that System76 may be roped in for the same. Stay tuned to know more about it…

Source: OMGUbuntu.co.uk


Canonical delays Mir Display Server release until 2016

Canonical is working on Ubuntu’s next generation display server, Mir, as an alternative to Wayland and successor of XServer. Now recent reports suggest that Mir release could be facing further delays, before it finally arrives to the desktop.

It was being earlier said that Mir technology may be shipped by default on the desktop but putting all speculations to an end, Canonical founder, Mark Shuttleworth revealed that Mir may not be coming to the Ubuntu desktop until 2016, when Ubuntu 16.04 LTS is released.

Shuttleworth said during the Q&A session that, “I expect Mir to be the display server [to be default]as soon as it’s rock solid and we have a story we’re really proud of on it. You can run it on your desktop [now], but we don’t want to let a love of technology interfere with our mission to be great for the user. This is a great place for us to set the bar very high in terms of performance…where we have freedom to get it right, without having to worry too much about compatibility. By 16.04 it’ll be the default display server…That’s the kind of timeline we’re looking at.”

It, however, remains unclear how this news will impact Unity 8, which is due to arrive on desktops in October this year. Also, it is not known whether Shuttleworth meant that 2016 will see the debut of a pure Mir experience or something that comes as a package.

Mir was initially planned to be released with Ubuntu 13.10 but owing to technical flaws, it was delayed for later releases.

It is noteworthy to add that despite the delay, Mir is evolving at a fast pace. It may not be available as default but users have the option of installing Mir session in Ubuntu 14.04 LTS.

Source: OMGUbuntu

Here’s why Mark Shuttleworth is growing beard

During Mark Shuttleworth’s keynote speech at the 14.03 Ubuntu Developer Summit, one could hardly miss his bearded look. Here we tell you why an otherwise fastidious Shuttleworth chose to sport a caveman look.

Well, for starters he feels it is super fashionable. “Occasionally I am a slave to fashion.” He shared how he recently read an article which had a collection of his dumbest hairstyles ever. While critics may feel so, he is adamant about playing with his looks. “The beard is fashionable and masculine in a way.”

However, it is not only the masculine avatar that made Shuttleworth sport the beard. “There is a slightly serious angle to beard. One of my colleagues was stopped and held by transport police in UK. He was questioned for hours. There was no justification to it and so while he was leaving, he asked them the reason and they said it was the beard. This is disgusting. A society should be civilised enough to not judge people on the basis of how they look.”

Shuttleworth ended the ‘beardy’ discussion by saying, “Part of me hopes that a goon will try the same on with me and the other part of me just likes being manly. I don’t get the opportunity too often.”

Mark Shuttleworth

Mark Shuttleworth calls Ubuntu Touch apps better than Windows

During the keynote for the Ubuntu Developer Summit, Canonical founder, Mark Shuttleworth spoke extensively about the company’s convergence plans and how it will change the way people work on devices today.

Starting his presentation with an introduction to the fifth LTS release, 14.04 LTS, Shuttleworth proudly announced that statistics suggest that enterprises using Linux are fast moving towards Ubuntu and LTS releases. Moreover, some of the largest desktop deployments are also running on LTS releases.

Talking about his ambitious convergence plans, Shuttleworth said, “We have created a mission of convergence layered on top of all the goodness of Ubuntu. We have created something very special by creating it. In the last 2 years, we have created this convergence platform uniting all computing -phone, tablet, PC, TV. We have made tremendous progress in allowing people to hop on to any screen and start working.”

Shuttleworth claimed that Ubuntu will be able to provide a better experience than what Microsoft is trying, and better yet, it will be free. He added, “We are not alone in doing this. If you look at Windows 8 for example, there’s a lot of work happening on the proprietary side, to make convergence possible, but I think that what we’ve got is pretty special. These apps seem to me better than what I see happening on the Windows front and that’s something that we should be really proud of.”

Shuttleworth also displayed his Nexus 4 device running the new version of the kernel and said that “this phone is feeling super tight, super fantastic.” He recently went to South Africa and in the process of getting a local SIM, handed over his phone to a local dealer who easily paved through it and handed him the phone back saying ‘the SIM is working’. “While I know there is a lot of scope for improvement but seeing Ubuntu in the wild is important. A local man could easily work on it without knowing the difference and that’s an achievement for us.”


Ubuntu is the most used OS for production OpenStack deployments

According to an official OpenStack User Survey Ubuntu is the most used Operating System for production deployment of OpenStack. OpenStack is an Open Source project to build a framework for the creation of cloud platforms, predominately Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) platforms. The survey found that Ubuntu accounts for 55% of the host Operating Systems used for OpenStack deployments, CentOS accounts for 24% and Red Hat for 10%. These results are not completely surprising as Canonical invests heavily in Ubuntu’s OpenStack development, it was one of the founding members of The OpenStack Foundation and is a Platinum Sponsor of the foundation.

Commenting on the survey, Mark Shuttleworth, the founder of Ubuntu and Canonical said, “We were founding members and are platinum sponsors of the OpenStack Foundation. But what’s more important to us, is that most OpenStack development happens on Ubuntu. We take the needs of OpenStack developers very seriously – for 14.04 LTS, our upcoming bi-annual enterprise release, a significant part of our product requirements were driven by the goal of supporting large-scale enterprise deployments of OpenStack with high availability as a baseline. Our partners like HP, who run one of the largest OpenStack public cloud offerings, invest heavily in OpenStack’s CI and test capabilities, ensuring that OpenStack on Ubuntu is of high quality for anybody who chooses the same base platform.”

Cloud is major area of development for Ubuntu and it seems to be paying off for them. Red Hat and CentOS are seen as Ubuntu’s biggest competition in the enterprise Linux market, so to have a larger user base than both combined in OpenStack deployments is great news for Canonical.

Mark described in his blog Canonical have positioned themselves as the best choice for OpenStack deployments. OpenStack and Ubuntu have the same release cycle (6 months), they maintain a stable release archive of OpenStack releases for  Ubuntu LTS (Long Term Support) and provide a clear upgrade path as new versions of OpenStack and Ubuntu are released. This means that operators have less headaches when they want to deploy OpenStack and can focus on building they’re cloud services.

As seen in the survey these efforts seem to be paying off for Ubuntu and as adoption of OpenStack continues to grow, so will the adoption of Ubuntu. Its often easy to forget that Ubuntu relies on its parent company Canonical to make money to continue its development. Canonical does this by selling  support to enterprise customers. So any increase in the number of enterprise customers is good news for the average Ubuntu user as it means more resources for Canonical to continue to develop and improve Ubuntu.

Mark Shuttleworth in space

Mark Shuttleworth wants you in space, with Ubuntu

Mark Shuttleworth, the founder of Ubuntu and Canonical, has grand vision for his free and open source operating system. Though Ubuntu has not experienced the same kind of success that Facebook, which was created in the same time-frame and by a guy who shares the same first name, it has definitely made an impact on desktop Linux. To be honest it’s not about Linux at all; it’s all about business. There was no company with huge pile of money to invest in desktop (by desktop here I mean home users) Linux and actually present it to customers. The so-called failure of Linux on the desktop was all about the lack of a player to survive in Microsoft owned world where every competitor was nipped in the bud. Look at Google, they have made Linux the leading mobile OS and is now fast taking over the desktop landscape with ChromeOS.

While Google is invading Microsoft’s home-turf – desktop, Canonical seems to be heading in a totally different direction – putting desktop on the back-burner and shifting focus to mobile. One may think of it as as another massively missed opportunity by Canonical as Windows XP is reaching end of life and Canonical could have nabbed the opportunity had they planned it the way Google planned ChromeOS. Ubuntu could have become the obvious ‘upgrade’ path for Xp users.

So while desktop is on back-burner how is Mark driving the mobile development? With two manufacturers revealing devices recently, the drive towards mobile is of primary focus for Ubuntu. Mark is pursuing convergence at a time when the iron is hot for the Linux desktop. One then has to ask if this large shift in focus is leaving the Ubuntu desktop in the dust. Will this vision of convergence work for users who want the focus of the desktop experience separate? It had already been proven precision driven applications do not work well on a touch based OS. A user could care less about a convergent interface. What they want, is an optimized experience for whichever platform they are currently using, something ChromeOS has capitalized on. Many applications for the desktop will not work on a mobile device, much less a touch interface.

The topic of convergence is no small matter either. The concept of having one singular and cohesive OS that covers multiple devices, in a range of hardware and specifications is a bit far-fetched to me personally. Disagree with me if you must, but the similarity here from what Microsoft has done is striking. We all know how that panned out. While having a codebase between the desktop and touch interface that shares 95% of the codebase, soon to close on 100%, the majority of differences will lie in applications, not the core of the system. I do have a fear that the Ubuntu team will make this same mistake as Microsoft, but I will hold my tongue until the touch-based avenue of Ubuntu matures more. With 2 Ubuntu phones to ship later this year, expectations will be high, and the stakes even higher. With competition closing in from Sailfish OS and Firefox OS, the narrow gap for wide success is very small.

One can hope that bloatware is kept to a minimum, with Mark noting in an interview to The Next Web, “…what we’ve done is taken the bloatware and reduce it to what are the key retail or content experiences that the manufacturer wants you to start with.” Shuttleworth notes that users will be able to remove search Scopes, the integrated search platform for Ubuntu, but it is unknown what Scopes will be on by default, and if those can be removed. It is no secret the perceived privacy of Scopes is a concern shared by many users. Mark notes that the first batch of devices won’t impress or move everyone, noting: “For some people this [smartphone]will make them happy, for others, it will make them a little bit sad – and that’s not because it’s a bad product.” We will have to see how true these words ring this year, as the collective opinions of journalists and technologists worldwide asses Ubuntu’s initiatives laid out here.

While some big names have joined Ubuntu’s Carrier Advisory Group, none have been named or revealed yet to have plans for making a Ubuntu based phone. Mark hopes that the lack of commitment will turn around once this year’s phones debut, changing those device manufacturers’ minds for the better. For some, the lack of commitment at this stage is a bit concerning. Mark is doing his best to dispel those concerns, noting: “So, what we’ve done is taken the bloatware and reduce it to what are the key retail or content experiences that the manufacturer wants you to start with.” While this is quite a hopeful statement, I must air on the side of caution until this year’s devices are put through the test. With tablets, TV’s, and smartwatches planned to get the convergence treatment in the future, Shuttleworth is attacking all fronts. Such a monumental task is a huge undertaking, and so broad that I have to wonder if they can truly deliver.

Shuttleworth, concerning native application availability, says “We’ll have an app catalogue that’ll be as good as the one Microsoft launched with and it won’t have cost us $100m because we’re really trying to work to be great for developers.” With how small that base was, and still is in contrast to the mammoth iOS and Android application base, I have to be concerned a bit that cut won’t include some of the most popular applications gobbled up by today’s users. Relying on “developer love,” Mark forecasts application development as a non-issue. The controversial CLA arguments that pan the web cannot be ignored though, but I’m sure there are many developers that are excited to start a new avenue of mobile development.

With wearable technology rapidly passing by the Ubuntu team, Mark still believes Ubuntu will be able to carve out their own respective place in this sector, telling us “In the absence of a profound form factor disruption, the world will be iOS and Android. We could take share, we could do a classy job and have passionate followers and have ten percent of the market.” Those are hungry words, and as always, must be taken lightly. If Ubuntu is to take such a chunk of the market, they will need more than the charismatic words of Shuttleworth.

If the grand vision of Mark Shuttleworth’s Ubuntu anywhere, anytime, any device is to be a reality, many things will need to take shape, a journey that is a sure to be quite a marathon in and of itself. But, as always, the upbeat Shuttleworth is not deterred, and pushes on with what he believes is the future of computing.

Source: The Next Web


Ubuntu to ditch Upstart and switch to systemd

Canonical and Ubuntu founder Mark Shuttleworth says that Ubuntu will switch to systemd ditching their own Upstart init system.

The decision taken by the Debian technical committee, to use systemd, left Canonical with two choices – either user Upstart and patch things heavily against the upstream or adopt what Debian is choosing.

Canonical already have more than they can handle on their plate and projects like Mir continue to get delayed, so it’s wise to stick to upstream instead forking everything or suffering from NIH syndrome. This way Canonical will be able to use it’s engineering talents on other areas which can improve Ubuntu instead of re-inventing the wheel.

However it was a ‘defeat’ for Canonical which was fighting hard to get Upstart in Debian and it was also a matter of ‘pride’. Shuttleworth criticized systemd for being ‘invasive’ and attracted un-necessary anger from the free software community.

Mark made the announcement in a blog post titled ‘losing graciously‘. Praising Upstart he said, ” Upstart has served Ubuntu extremely well – it gave us a great competitive advantage at a time when things became very dynamic in the kernel, it’s been very stable (it is after all the init used in both Ubuntu and RHEL 6 ;) and has set a high standard for Canonical-lead software quality of which I am proud.”

Then he talked about switching to systemd, “Nevertheless, the decision is for systemd, and given that Ubuntu is quite centrally a member of the Debian family, that’s a decision we support. I will ask members of the Ubuntu community to help to implement this decision efficiently, bringing systemd into both Debian and Ubuntu safely and expeditiously.”

systemd is certainly not going to make into Ubuntu 14.04 and there is no clear deadline as to when it will arrive. Mark says “It will no doubt take time to achieve the stability and coverage that we enjoy today and in 14.04 LTS with Upstart, but I will ask the Ubuntu tech board (many of whom do not work for Canonical) to review the position and map out appropriate transition plans. We’ll certainly complete work to make the new logind work without systemd as pid 1. I expect they will want to bring systemd into Ubuntu as an option for developers as soon as it is reliably available in Debian, and as our default as soon as it offers a credible quality of service to match the existing init.”

Lennart Poettering, the co-creator of syetemd welcomed the move, “This was a tough decision to make for Ubuntu! I am pretty sure it wasn’t easy for them. I certainly believe it is the right decision, of course. I’d like to welcome Ubuntu to the +systemd community! I am looking forward to a fruitful collaboration! Let’s hope we can leave the past behind us, and work together in future!”

With this move Canonical has slowed the alienation of Ubuntu from the rest of the Linux community. It also shows that Canonical also understand that it can’t fork it’s path too much from the mainstream Linux community, especially from mommy Debian. In a nutshell it’s a wise and welcome decision by Ubuntu leadership and will help them focus on more pressing issues which will help make Ubuntu better.


Valve offers free games to Ubuntu developers

Valve Software recently announced that they would offer free Valve games to all Debian developers, which was considered a way of saying thank you to the base that is used to create Steam OS.

While Steam OS has nothing to do with Ubuntu, the company is now expanding that offer to Ubuntu developers as well. All registered Ubuntu developers will get complete access to all current and future Valve games for fee.

Canonical top-shots have expressed their excitement for this announcement.

Mark Shuttleworth wrote on the mailing list, “That’s super – thanks Neil! Please pass appreciation on to the relevant person at Valve.”

Jono Bacon, the Community manager at Canonical, writes on his Google+ page, “Many thanks to +Valve for offering Ubuntu developers free games in addition to Debian – https://lists.ubuntu.com/archives/ubuntu-devel-announce/2014-February/001079.html – well there goes their weekends. :-)”

The offer is being managed by Collabora. Registered Ubuntu developers can request their key by emailing to Jo Shields. Get more info here.


Mark Shuttleworth

Mark Richard Shuttleworth is the founder and sponsor of Canonical company and Ubuntu operating system. Mark is the first citizen from Africa to travel to space. Under the leadership of Mark Ubuntu has become one of the leading Gnu/Linux based operating system which is estimated to be used by several millions of people around the globe.


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