Ubuntu in transition: what’s in store for the popular Linux distro?

To coincide with the release of 17.10, Canonical has opened a new community hub which, Will Cooke says, is a way to make it easier for people to engage with Ubuntu: “We’ve got loads of different places for people to get involved with forums, ask Ubuntu and launchpad and all the subreddits, but what we wanted to do was put something front and centre that people know is the place to start.”

The hope is that its more contemporary design will make it easier for people to get involved in projects and find other folks interested in working on similar things.

Ubuntu has a stylish new community hub to go with its 17.10 release

Ubuntu has a stylish new community hub to go with its 17.10 release

Once the hub becomes established, Cooke says, they are planning various community events: “For instance, we want to do a community-driven theme for 18.04. Our own theme will be the default, but we’d like to also ship a community-derived theme and we’ve got our design team ready to offer consultancy and assistance to the team we hope will form around the new theme via the hub.” At the time of writing, the theme was yet to be officially announced.

“We’ll also start finding community champions to help flag bugs we think are relatively easy to fix,” says Cooke, in a rerun of the popular 100 cuts initiative that focused on minor bugs that the community could help to fix.

Canonical will help people get on board, explaining how to run the project in launchpad, where to upload their code and get those patches in: “We’ll be upstreaming as many patches as we can,” says Cooke. “It’s in our interests to have all these fixes upstream in the product rather than trying to maintain hundreds of patches and then every time a new version comes out we have to port those patches and make sure they still work. That’s hard, complicated and tricky work.”

(This interview was first published in issue 185 of Linux User & Developer).