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Ubuntu 'Lucid' Alpha 2 released

From:  Steve Langasek <>
Subject:  Lucid Alpha 2 released
Date:  Thu, 14 Jan 2010 17:19:50 -0800
Archive-link:  Article, Thread

Welcome to Lucid Lynx Alpha 2, which will in time become Ubuntu 10.04 LTS.

Pre-releases of Lucid are *not* encouraged for anyone needing a stable
system or anyone who is not comfortable running into occasional, even
frequent breakage.  They are, however, recommended for Ubuntu developers and
those who want to help in testing, reporting, and fixing bugs.

Alpha 2 is the second in a series of milestone CD images that will be
released throughout the Lucid development cycle.  The Alpha images are
known to be reasonably free of showstopper CD build or installer bugs, while
representing a very recent snapshot of Lucid. You can download it here: (Ubuntu) (Ubuntu Server for UEC and EC2) (Ubuntu ARM) (Kubuntu) (Xubuntu) (Edubuntu) (Mythbuntu)

See for a list of mirrors.

Alpha 2 includes a number of software updates that are ready for wider
testing.  Please refer to for
information on changes in Ubuntu.

This is quite an early set of images, so you should expect some bugs.  For a
list of known bugs (that you don't need to report if you encounter), please

If you're interested in following the changes as we further develop
Lucid, have a look at the lucid-changes mailing list:

We also suggest that you subscribe to the ubuntu-devel-announce list
if you're interested in following Ubuntu development. This is a
low-traffic list (a few posts a week) carrying announcements of
approved specifications, policy changes, alpha releases, and other
interesting events.

Bug reports should go to the Ubuntu bug tracker:

Steve Langasek
On behalf of the Ubuntu release team

(Log in to post comments)

Ubuntu 'Lucid' Alpha 2 released

Posted Jan 15, 2010 14:54 UTC (Fri) by sylware (guest, #35259) [Link]

nvidia with its proprietary driver is *really* becoming a *pain*.
Hope they release the hardware programming manual soon enough, because I doubt the nouveau guys will be able to code a good, performance wise, driver without it.
I checked the removal of HAL... software seems to switch to libudev.

Ubuntu 'Lucid' Alpha 2 released

Posted Jan 15, 2010 17:59 UTC (Fri) by einstein (subscriber, #2052) [Link]

LOL "becoming a pain"? Having full-on nvidia drivers for an alpha release is awesome. Kudos to nvidia for keeping up with linux developments and keeping their driver up to date with the kernel.

Ubuntu 'Lucid' Alpha 2 released

Posted Jan 15, 2010 18:29 UTC (Fri) by donbarry (guest, #10485) [Link]

yeah, a driver without modern xrandr support, dependent on its own proprietary
tools for fiddling with, and with an uncertain future based on the whims of the
corporate masters. No thanks. Slavery, even when of the most cossetted and
luxurious kind, is still slavery.

Ubuntu 'Lucid' Alpha 2 released

Posted Jan 15, 2010 19:14 UTC (Fri) by drag (subscriber, #31333) [Link]

People have requirements and priorities. That is important to remember.

If you: A) Want to use Linux and B) Need modern OpenGL support

Then you probably need the proprietary Nvidia drivers. They support Linux, in their own special way, and it's about the only way your going to get modern OpenGL APIs supported.

Nvidia has OpenGL 3.2, gpu programming, and video codec acceleration.

Open Source drivers are right at about OpenGL 1.4 for the most part (Only 8-10 years behind Nvidia or Windows), pretty much no video acceleration (except for mpeg2, which is no so old that my cpu can handle it without even blinking), and no GPU programming features at all as far as I can tell.

In other words: If they don't have nvidia proprietary drivers for Linux then a lot of people will just be forced to use proprietary drivers in Windows.


That being said lousy OGL performance and API support is vastly better then none and what Intel and OSS can offer me is what I need. It's acceptable so I choose it even though there are better options in terms of performance and features since I value the openness and ease of use.

It's not perfect, but nothing is. Just this week the Debian 2.6.32 kernel update ruined my long track record of success with my laptop.

Hopefully soon the support for ATI cards that you can actually still purchase in Linux OSS will be stable enough to use. (as opposed to the normal state of affairs were usable OSS drivers only exist for ATI products that are nearly impossible to find in the market place since they are really old) And I will happily purchase that hardware. Maybe even pick up a new laptop, even though that is unlikely.

At least that way I can have my OpenGL 1.4 be fast until Gallium and a sane Linux video driver model stabilize. Then Linux and OSS video drivers might have a chance to actually be competitive on equal terms with the proprietary stuff.

Ubuntu 'Lucid' Alpha 2 released

Posted Jan 15, 2010 20:29 UTC (Fri) by Alterego (guest, #55989) [Link]

Nvidia drivers are a real pain:
my not so old laptop (750 MB ram, 2GHz athlon) still has debian sarge kernel because nvidia do not maintain driver for so called "legacy" hardware (and the old driver do not compile on 2.6.26 lenny kernel)

No doubt i'll never again buy nvidia cards until they provide documentation and/or open source driver (and i advise the same to my clients).

Ubuntu 'Lucid' Alpha 2 released

Posted Jan 15, 2010 20:46 UTC (Fri) by drag (subscriber, #31333) [Link]

Yeah. I feel your pain.

LWN lack a user preference : censorlist add #31333

Posted Jan 16, 2010 11:52 UTC (Sat) by Alterego (guest, #55989) [Link]

Reminder lwn policy : "Please try to be polite, respectful, and informative"

Adding censorlist woudl be a great feature, for collaborative filtering of trolls and uninformative posts.

Lets says the top 10 censored #id are warned and cannot post comment.

LWN lack a user preference : censorlist add #31333

Posted Jan 16, 2010 12:56 UTC (Sat) by modernjazz (guest, #4185) [Link]

Before reporting to the censor police, perhaps you should have considered
the possibility that drag's comment was genuinely sympathetic. I don't
know the answer myself, of course, but drag's previous post was reasoned,
and that might be encouragement to give him/her the benefit of the doubt.

Online communication doesn't allow for the subtle clues of body language,
so it's almost always safer (and causes far fewer misunderstandings) to
assume someone is being genuine rather than sarcastic. And in the worst
case of being wrong, it can make you seem oblivious to barbs, which has
its own advantages.

LWN lack a user preference : censorlist add #31333

Posted Jan 16, 2010 17:57 UTC (Sat) by drag (subscriber, #31333) [Link]


There is a reason why I avoid proprietary Nvidia drivers like the plague. I've dealt with older hardware that no longer has driver support and it can
be quite difficult to get the older nvidia stuff working.

Plus you end up with a buggy older and unsupported Nvidia driver.

Were as with at least older ATI stuff the latest and greatest stuff still
mostly works.

But sometimes, like I pointed out before, the requirements of the computer
and application dictate proprietary Nvidia hardware. I am hoping that it's
not going to be like that forever.

Ubuntu 'Lucid' Alpha 2 released

Posted Jan 15, 2010 20:51 UTC (Fri) by ajross (guest, #4563) [Link]

What does the CPU type of your laptop or its amount of installed DRAM have to do with NVIDIA's support for your video part? What GPU do you have? I have a 3.25 year old Dell laptop with a quite well supported video chip, FWIW.

I *think* they pulled support for the NV2x chips a few years back, though. It bears pointing out that these parts are so old even the Nouveau folks aren't really interested in supporting them in 3D.

Ubuntu 'Lucid' Alpha 2 released

Posted Jan 15, 2010 21:04 UTC (Fri) by drag (subscriber, #31333) [Link]

> What does the CPU type of your laptop or its amount of installed DRAM have
to do with NVIDIA's support for your video part?

I think his point is that it's still a fairly fast/modern laptop.

The nice thing about ATI vs Nvidia on old hardware like that is that ATI is
still fairly well supported. I have a Pentium3 laptop with a ATI mobility
graphics and it works fairly well* with the latest and greatest kernel.

* as good as it has ever done in the past in Linux. Including basic 3D
acceleration, stability, and suspend.

Ubuntu 'Lucid' Alpha 2 released

Posted Jan 15, 2010 22:09 UTC (Fri) by foom (subscriber, #14868) [Link]

Did you try the nvidia-kernel-legacy-71xx-source package? It's still present in Unstable in debian, although I don't know if it actually can compile or not.

There's two bugs filed against it, and they both look like they have workarounds, so you might be in luck. But, I dunno.

Ubuntu 'Lucid' Alpha 2 released

Posted Jan 15, 2010 22:16 UTC (Fri) by foom (subscriber, #14868) [Link]

PS: in my experience, nVidia actually *does* support the old cards fairly well -- the "legacy" drivers
get new releases periodically....all 3 series of them that they have now.

It'd certainly be less of a pain if they had a single driver instead of 4, but, at least the older ones are
updated. has the latest releases of all driver series, and
tells you which driver series supports your card.

Ubuntu 'Lucid' Alpha 2 released

Posted Jan 16, 2010 2:30 UTC (Sat) by madscientist (subscriber, #16861) [Link]

The problem is that the older drivers do NOT work with newer versions of X. I had this exact same problem and was stuck with Ubuntu 8.04 (which was a good release and all, but I needed newer versions of various things and it got to be a pain). To top it off my system needed AGP and hardly anyone sells any reasonably modern, supported AGP video cards.

I finally decided the system was too old and bought a new one (gave the old one to my kids to replace their pathetic Dell minitower). This one has an Intel onboard graphics chip which is fine for me (I basically just do development) _except_ it doesn't support dual-head. I have that at work (nVidia) and it absolutely rocks. I tried to add an nVidia borrowed from an old system at work to my new system at home but the power supply isn't up to it.

But, someday when I get around to buying a better power supply I'll be in the market for a decent 3D graphics card with good dual-head support. Hopefully it'll be something with good FOSS support.

Ubuntu 'Lucid' Alpha 2 released

Posted Jan 16, 2010 18:02 UTC (Sat) by drag (subscriber, #31333) [Link]

Intel can support dual head if you get one of those ADD2 break-out boards.
The Linux OSS driver should support ADD2 boards, but I have yet to see one
in the wild.

For future reference the easiest way to get dual head on Intel drivers is to
buy a Intel-based laptop and use the VGA or DVI output to add a extra
monitor. Which is what I do and it works well.

Ubuntu 'Lucid' Alpha 2 released

Posted Jan 16, 2010 18:49 UTC (Sat) by madscientist (subscriber, #16861) [Link]

That's a good idea, except that laptops aren't really my favorite. I like to be able to upgrade my system components (I usually try to keep a system for 5-7 years or so) and I don't have enough fu to feel confident hacking a laptop.

Ubuntu 'Lucid' Alpha 2 released

Posted Jan 16, 2010 19:20 UTC (Sat) by drag (subscriber, #31333) [Link]

Laptops parts are generally proprietary for make and model and you can't
interchange them. So except for the memory, harddrive, and, occasionally
cpu, your stuffed if you want to upgrade.

I've had good luck with my Dell 1420n. The cpu is still very fast even
though it's now aging. I am reaching the point now were I am going to have
to buy a new keyboard and I've worn out one of the usb ports, but besides
that it's holding up ok.

on a side note:

Shuttle has recently introduced a standardized laptop form factor called
SPA and Micro SPA.

That should allow laptop users to enjoy the same level of standardization
that desktop users enjoy with the ATX-based form factors. Providing, of
course, that it takes off.

This is the not the first time people tried to do this. Hopefully it will
take off this time.

Ubuntu 'Lucid' Alpha 2 released

Posted Jan 16, 2010 14:47 UTC (Sat) by davi (guest, #18853) [Link]

> No thanks. Slavery, even when of the most cossetted and luxurious kind, is still slavery.

Long live to slavery. Just choose the slavery mode you like more :D

I'm joking. Sorry.

Ubuntu 'Lucid' Alpha 2 released

Posted Jan 18, 2010 4:13 UTC (Mon) by bryce (guest, #16388) [Link]

> LOL "becoming a pain"? Having full-on nvidia drivers for an alpha release is awesome. Kudos to nvidia for keeping up with linux developments and keeping their driver up to date with the kernel.

Not exactly; because Lucid is a LTS release we chose to go with kernel and versions that already had nvidia drivers released for them. We are doing some significant packaging rework on the proprietary video drivers this time through, so having the proprietary drivers available to users through the alpha should make it easier to get more testing done during the development period.

Ubuntu 'Lucid' Alpha 2 released

Posted Jan 18, 2010 11:01 UTC (Mon) by liljencrantz (guest, #28458) [Link]

I have made specifically sure that I do not own any nVidia-powered GPUs because I do not want to cater to their whims when it comes to software support. But even so, because nVidia are big, Ubuntu uses the version of X and the Linux kernel that the nVidia people like and I end up getting a less than optimal operating system. Boo!

In no way do I blame Canonical for this choice. You've made the choice to support nVidia hardware, and if you hadn't, you probably would have a significantly lower market share. I respect the choices you've made and understand the reasoning behind them. While it may piss me off to no end that nVidia is worsening my software experience like that, I don't blame you for it.

HAL removal?

Posted Jan 16, 2010 5:54 UTC (Sat) by eru (subscriber, #2753) [Link]

What is the story here? I feel it was just yesterday that HAL was supposed to bring order to the comings and goings of devices. Don't all modern desktop environments depend on it heavily?

HAL removal?

Posted Jan 16, 2010 6:41 UTC (Sat) by JohnLenz (subscriber, #42089) [Link]

I read on a mailing list somewhere (can't find the message at the moment) that HAL turned into a huge mess because it tried to support too many types of devices in a single project.

Instead, HAL has been replaced with several programs, each one focusing on abstracting a single device type. They all mostly operate the same as HAL by providing dbus services, or some other common interface, and provide events for coming and going of devices. But they are separate projects so can evolve independently.

DeviceKit - takes care of providing a common interface to disks, notification of disk events, and so forth.

NetworkManager - networks (notification of network up/down, etc)

PulseAudio - sound cards - input is something that was removed from HAL and is not coming back. Instead the x server will have OS specific code to handle input devices. On linux, it uses udev so will still have plug/unplug etc. (

HAL removal?

Posted Jan 16, 2010 14:10 UTC (Sat) by nix (subscriber, #2304) [Link]

DeviceKit per se no longer exists. Instead, individual subsystems have
abstraction layers like DeviceKit-disks, DeviceKit-power and so on: these
are simple library layers around libudev (thus Linux-specific), exporting
an OS-independent API that other OSes can provide.

PulseAudio uses libudev itself to find sound hardware (being pretty
Linux-specific already it has no need to use an abstraction layer) just as
it used to use HAL.

I have no idea what NetworkManager does and having just rescued a friend's
Debian system from that pile of trash I have no desire to know. (He
installed GNOME, which pulled in network-manager, which *of course*
decided to pull down his Ethernet connection and replace it with nothing
whatsoever. Why? I have no idea, but it's bizarre to both of us that
installing a desktop environment should ever destroy your network

HAL removal?

Posted Jan 16, 2010 18:14 UTC (Sat) by drag (subscriber, #31333) [Link]

With Debian if you have it configured in /etc/network/interfaces then Network-Manager should ignore it completely and if you were to try to use it it will say that it is 'unmanaged'. This is designed so that if a user has a complex networking setup then network-manager won't go in and take a crap all over it.

I think that is the default configuration for Debian after a fresh install... that the wired ethernet device gets configured to use DHCP. So if you want to use network- manager with it you have to manually go in and comment out the eth0 (or whatever) configuration and then reboot. Then Network-Manager will be able to manage it correctly.

That can be confusing and maybe was the source of your difficulties? But I don't know.

As far as udev vs hal.. I think the major problem is that there ended up just having a huge overlap in functionality and configuration between the two things. It was confusing for users and developers trying to get hardware supported and configured to know whether to muck around with hal or muck around with udev.

So it turned out that having Hal was a poor choice in the division of responsibilities and that just having Udev handle all of the hardware configuration stuff made sense.


Pulse-Audio should not be Linux-specific. Maybe working with the hardware and configuring it is so Linux-specific that it can't be avoided and working without the extra abstraction makes the most sense.. but P-A itself should happily exist on many different operating systems like FreeBSD, Solaris, Windows, and OS X.

Not that it is probably needed on Windows or OS X.

HAL removal?

Posted Jan 16, 2010 19:46 UTC (Sat) by marcH (subscriber, #57642) [Link]

> This is designed so that if a user has a complex networking setup then network-manager won't go in and take a crap all over it.

Indeed I find NM great for basic DHCP networking (including Wifi), but if you have anything atypical in your network configuration I suggest not even bothering with NM.

I have a bit of experience using NM and I also have been following the mailing list quite closely. NM is really trying to make networking on Linux as easy as on Windows or MacOX. But while reaching this laudable goal, he is not interested in preserving all the flexibility that used to be available in /etc/network/interfaces (or similar).

See for instance: <>
"There are two reasons I've not yet added pre-up and pre-down. They are:..."

... and then the explanation is really focused on the limited needs of the average desktop user, mostly ignoring the years of experience that Debian already has with pre-up and pre-down.

See also: <>

HAL removal?

Posted Jan 16, 2010 21:17 UTC (Sat) by johill (subscriber, #25196) [Link]

FWIW, Dan's pretty much the only person working on this, and he obviously has limited time. I'm sure at least part of the reason for not adding support for more complex things is that it all needs not just writing but also testing and maintenance. And I'd tend to agree that other things really are more important, like getting decent 3G support.

HAL removal?

Posted Jan 16, 2010 22:13 UTC (Sat) by drag (subscriber, #31333) [Link]

Personally I don't mind having two systems; Debian's and Network-Manager's.

This way I can set up my Debian servers and routers without having to have any desktop stuff installed. When I have a static server configuration I don't want to have to install Gnome or whatever to be able to configure my network properly.

I can setup shorewall and other things to setup complex network configurations for doing special things; Yet still be able to have my Debian laptop be able to effortlessly connect to random networks as I travel around with it.

I see that the needs for Linux networking far far exceed anything that Network-Manager will be able to provide. It's like the difference in goals between Jack vs Pulse-Audio. That the differences in requirements of the job at hand make writing a single application to handle all cases vastly too complex to make sense.

So if N-M just concentrated on the needs for common desktop and make that work correctly then that would be just fine for me.

Anyways the number of times I use pre-up and pre-down were very very few. N-M implements post-up and post-down in the form of the Network-Manager- Dispatcher and that should provide most of what people need for the desktop.

HAL removal?

Posted Jan 17, 2010 0:41 UTC (Sun) by johill (subscriber, #25196) [Link]

I agree, I use NM on my desktops and debian scripts on my servers, though I could probably make NM work on my servers I really don't see why I'd want to use a GUI tool on machines that I only ever ssh to.

HAL removal?

Posted Jan 17, 2010 0:59 UTC (Sun) by rahulsundaram (subscriber, #21946) [Link]

NetworkManager is the name of the interface. There are GUI frontends like nm-applet and the KDE plasmoid but there are also command line interfaces. cnetworkmanager is one and is written in Python. Dan Williams is also working on a command line version written in C. Work is being done to extend NM to support bridging etc.

HAL removal?

Posted Jan 17, 2010 13:43 UTC (Sun) by nix (subscriber, #2304) [Link]

Strongly agreed.

I don't object to NetworkManager per se: it might well do an excellent job
on random no-LAN wireless-only laptops (but I don't own one of those).
What I object to is the damn thing getting installed and turned on by
default when a user merely types

aptitude install gnome

Installing it is one thing. Turning it on by default without even warning
the user 'this may shag your network completely' is just ridiculous.

HAL removal?

Posted Jan 18, 2010 1:56 UTC (Mon) by drag (subscriber, #31333) [Link]

Except it doesn't. Or it shouldn't.

If your using Debian and your interfaces are configured via normal Debian
stuff then it should ignore them and say that they are 'unmanaged'.

HAL removal?

Posted Jan 18, 2010 21:49 UTC (Mon) by nix (subscriber, #2304) [Link]

Well, if /etc/network/interfaces is 'normal', then, uh, it doesn't. As of,
well, yesterday. I suppose I should raise a bug, only it's hard to be
complete enough because I can't get detailed diagnostics when the problem
happens, because I'm remote...

HAL removal?

Posted Jan 17, 2010 13:40 UTC (Sun) by nix (subscriber, #2304) [Link]

With Debian if you have it configured in /etc/network/interfaces then Network-Manager should ignore it completely
It didn't. It took every interface listed in /etc/network/interfaces down other than lo. I don't know why and I don't care -- it was sort of hard to diagnose because I was remote and starting X far enough to use NetworkManager's graphical configuration tools didn't get very far without a network. (Maybe it has command-line tools too, but last I heard it didn't: great stuff, a network autoconfiguration system with no command-line interface.)

I figured out what was wrong by doing 1/10s pings from a remote machine and correlating the times with the times of the boot messages, and noting the network interface go down and stay down *exactly* when NetworkManager started up. (If I'd been local and able to see the console, I'd have seen its startup message and killed it out of hand, but I wasn't local.)

HAL removal?

Posted Jan 18, 2010 1:57 UTC (Mon) by drag (subscriber, #31333) [Link]

Well then it's a bug. It's not designed to do that, at least in Debian.

HAL removal?

Posted Jan 18, 2010 2:05 UTC (Mon) by drag (subscriber, #31333) [Link]

I mean I depend on this for a dozen different machines that I use
virtualization and whatnot were I have a combination of dynamically managed
and statically managed interfaces.

HAL removal?

Posted Jan 16, 2010 10:16 UTC (Sat) by Frej (subscriber, #4165) [Link]

You could say that HAL was successful in showing what was needed, It's actually somewhat old (5+
years?). It just wasn't quite the right way to do it. And designflaws sometimes can provoke more
people to fix it compared to not having any design at all ;). Secondly it ended up influencing quite a
lot of software.

The short story is that user experience used to suck.
Hal fixed quite a lot of this, but it could be considered a prototype in hindsight. The functionality has
been spread out in udev/sysfs, separate daemons per hardware class. And configuration moved back
to say X server, but in a better way, which was inspired from hal (declarative).

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