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Univention Corporate Server 4.0 released

This major release includes many new features. For example:

  • complete redesign of the Univention Management Console
  • virtualization of OpenStack and Amazon EC2 environments
  • based on Debian GNU/Linux 7.7 (Wheezy)
  • centralised management functions for the App Center
  • simplified installation process via Debian installer and web-based system configuration
  • performance boost of the OpenLDAP directory (mdb as storage backend by default)
  • support of UEFI SecureBoot for installation processes

Release notes at: http://docs.univention.de/release-notes-4.0-0-en.html

 

 

Linutop OS 14.4 is released

New Linutop OS 14.04 for PC

Linutop announced the latest version of its Operating System 14.04 for PC and Intel NUC PC:

Linutop OS is an optimized version of Ubuntu XFCE LTS 14.04 including up to date Linux drivers and major softwares VLC 2.1 , Firefox 32, Libre Office 4.2 in the smallest package (< 1GB)

Linutop Security Lock: A simple solution for Secure Desktops in public spaces

The system can be locked into read only mode, preventing alterations by viruses or other mishaps. Its ability to recover its initial state at each startup is key to minimizes maintenance costs.

IDEAL for schools, libraries, associations that want to provide a desktop in a public space without needs for maintenance.

Linutop Kiosk software :

-Internet Kiosk: Allows to easily setup an internet/intranet web kiosk

IDEAL for hotels that want to provide an internet cafe OR stores/libraries that need to provide online catalog browsing

-Display Kiosk: Allows users to configure a playlist of Images, Web Pages, URLs, Video, folders, PDF  and sounds files with an intuitive interface, in order to  display the media in full screen.

IDEAL for information, orientation, advertising

 

Linutop OS 14.4 complete details and download are available at: http://www.linutop.com/software.en.html

 

 

A brief tour of new features in the management console for UCS 4.0

UCS 4.0 will be released in November. The second milestone, released last week, already includes the completely redesigned and restructured Univention Management Console (UMC).

People who are interested in finding out more about the new design and the motives behind it, are invited to read the article from Alexander Kläser, product developer at Univention, who explains it all in there.

The second milestone of UCS 4.0 is available to download for anyone and feedback for the improvement of this next major release is more than welcome.

http://blog.univention.com/new-features-umc-ucs-4-0/

 

Second milestone of Univention Corporate Server 4.0

Today, Univention has released the second milestone of Univention Corporate Server 4.0. This is aimed at channel partners, technology partners and interested parties, who want to take a first glance at the upcoming release of Univention Corporate Server (UCS), which is planned for mid of November 2014.

It already includes a preview of the completely redesigned Univention Management Console, the web-based graphical interface of UCS' infrastructure management system, with the aim to improve overall usability.

It also includes a connection with OpenStack and Amazon EC2 to manage hybrid clouds.

Further information on: Univention forum

 

New computing centers for Afghanistan with UCS

The center for international and intercultural communication (ZiiK) at the Technical University Berlin (TU) is dedicated to offering students from developing countries long-term perspectives focussing hereby on sustainable help in information technology.

Since 2002, Dr. Nazir Peroz, born in Afghanistan and Director of the Ziik, supervised the setup of new IT centers in five Afghan universities with the use of open source software. “From the beginning, our aim was always to create something that will continue to help Afghanistan in the long term as well, something which opens up perspectives for the future for the nation, and offers the people hope”, explained Peroz. “The IT sector is ideal for achieving these goals because it is indispensable for modern economy on the one hand and requires lower investments in hardware than other branches of trade on the other.”

When the team arrived in Kabul first in 2002, the situation was dreadful. After decades of war and the tyranny of the Taliban, there was not much of the academic education system left. In the whole of the capital’s college there were just a handful of old computers, some of which didn’t even work anymore. When establishing the computer centers, the Germano-Afghan project employed Open Source software right from the start. “Naturally, the license costs were the most important reason for choosing Open Source software”, said Daniel Tippmann, Project Planner and Coordinator at the ZiiK.

As to the operating system to use, the team wanted a system, which puts the Afghan staff in a position to perform all the necessary work with as little training as possible and if possible without our support. Over the years, the ZiiK team and its Afghan partners tried out numerous different operating systems, primarily different Linux distributions. The youngest of the computer centers, the IT Center Kandahar (ITCQ), was the first to set up all the servers on the basis of Univention Corporate Server (UCS), which proved to be the best for them in terms of ease of use, flexibility and scope of action due to its App Center, which offers the installation and integration of numerous other proven open source solutions. Until the end of 2015, the other four universities will follow and migrate completely to UCS.

More information at: IT for Afghanistan: German project supports the training of young IT professionals

 

First milestone of UCS 4.0 released

Univention has released the first milestone of its Enterprise Linux distribution Univention Corporate Server. New features:

  • based on Debian 7.6 aka "Wheezy"
  • new Linux kernel 3.16
  • a prerelease of Samba 4.2
  • the LDAP directory service now with the better performing MDB backend.

The milestone aims at channel partners, technology partners and interested parties who want to take a first look at the upcoming release of Univention Corporate Server (UCS) which will be released in November.

Further information at: http://blog.univention.com/technical-overview-ucs-4-0-preview/

 

Patch level release Univention Corporate Server 3.2-3

The latest patch level release UCS 3.2-3 includes all errata updates and an update to Linux kernel version 3.10.11 which involves many bug fixes and improves the hardware support.

Special highlight is the new module "Active Directory Connection", which replaces the previous AD connector for mounting a UCS installation in an AD domain. UCS users can now not only migrate an existing Microsoft server system to UCS but also configure their UCS system as part of an existing AD domain, for example to use UCS as the platform for applications from independent third-party solutions via the Univention App Center. Further highlights are a completely revised system setup wizard, a backport of PHP 5.4.4 and improved replication between OpenLDAP and Samba 4.

Details at: Univention Forum

 

What is Web signage?

signage graphicWhat is Web signage? It's the future of signage aka DOOH. Powered by Linux.

Allow me to explain.

First generation sign - Static

An etching on a cave wall, to a flashing Neon sign. These are static signs usually fixed to a particular location. Their often cumbersome to replace, though are pretty simple and reliable.

Second generation sign - Digital

Using usually a standard TV screen, a series of images are displayed in rotation or a video is simply looped. Some televisions are capable of being programmed to become a sign, simply by inserting a USB stick. Most solutions sadly fail to provide a polished out of the box solution for this use case, requiring someone to setup the DVD player or re-configure the software on the "SMART TV", every single time that device is power cycled or fails. Awkward.

Even though most "SMART TV"s are powered by Linux, typically TV manufacturers provide no documentation or way to modify the existing software to stream line this relatively simple use case. Which is a shame.

This generation of signage is where we are mostly at the moment. Advertisers like this as they can convey "experiences" well with short clips, sometimes with an annoying sounded message, in rotation. They are usually easy to update, but often they are not for hours at a time, since most of them use a USB stick as their source which manually needs to be swapped out.

Third generation sign - Internet powered

There are many players in the "DOOH" industry vying for your custom, peddaling their own proprietary systems that lock customers onto their particular platform, e.g. BrightSign or Harris are leading examples.

You can recognise these locked in systems easily because they are not Web powered or confusingly embrace and extend the Web.

There are even "opensource" platforms to create signage content, but since they do not use Web standards to layout the content, they should be avoided, as they are effectively locking you into their format only they control.

Note that all you need to configure a proper Web signage operating system is a URL. So switching between Web signage players should be even easier than switching between Chrome & Firefox today.

There are a couple of major stumbling blocks to Web signage, the first being that many advertisers and "DOOH" content producers are really quite poor at creating and managing Web content with information.

The second is that the "Web sign" playback devices are typically clumsily put together boxes running a full screen browser, with no "polish".

I don't have quick solutions to offer for the first problem, though for the second problem, one solution is Webconverger Neon.

It runs Linux. It's opensource It supports a wide range of hardware. It's stable. It keeps the browser upto date, supporting the latest standards like the Web Video Text Tracks Format.

Furthermore Webconverger Neon is polished, if it fails in often hostile outdoor environments, such as a hardware issue of loss of connectivity, it defaults to a black screen. No silly network can't be found messages. No blue screens. No modal dialog boxes. And then network/hardware is restored, it lights back up as best it can as it's retrying in the background.

As for networked Web signage itself, information can be delivered as fast as a Web page takes to load. Images, videos and other HTML useful technologies such as caching can be used to deliver useful information. Just like your favourite Web application.

 

Webcast: Mandriva Pulse on Univention Corporate Server

On Friday, July 18, Univention and Mandriva will demonstrate live how their solutions Univention Corporate Server (UCS) and Mandriva Pulse work perfectly together.

Further information at: UCS/Mandriva webcast

 

Mandriva Pulse now on Univention Corporate Server

Univention, the manufacturer of the Linux Distribution Univention Corporate Server, and Mandriva, the supplier of the IT asset management solution Mandriva Pulse, have started a new strategic partnership leading to the expansion of the Univention App Center with Mandriva's popular Open Source solution Mandriva Pulse.

All information on Mandriva Pulse and UCS including a demo film about the synergies can be found at:

http://www.univention.com/mandriva-pulse

 

Sound branding Linux Distributions

As I watch the wallpapers of Linux Mint 17 cinnamon I wonder. What is the music that goes along with these images? This gives me the idea that each Linux distribution release could have its own music. A small playlist of creative commons music. I think relaxing, acoustic or very good audiophile recordings are a given choice. Then you probably would want a dedicated way of playing these. Here I'm thinking of a simple toggle button on the panel and a fast key.

 

LinuxDistributionMusic

 

 

Maybe this could further enhance the Linux experience.

 

 
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