ubermix 5 is here!

Posted by ubermix On Wednesday, January 27, 2021 1 comments

We are pleased to share that ubermix v5 based on Ubuntu 20.04 (Focal Fossa) is now available for download! With full support and updates through 2023, ubermix 5 brings with it a number of improvements and innovations, including:

  • A faster UI with a sleeker look and custom ubermix wallpaper
  • Faster boot times
  • Fractional scaling for HD displays
  • Custom app folder creation with a familiar drag and drop scheme
  • Faster Google apps access
  • Both Python 2 and Python 3 pre-installed for both the latest applications and solid backward compatibility
  • Completely overhauled overlay partition scheme
  • Full support for snap packages and the new, fully snap based software center
  • Full multi-user support
  • Linux kernel 5.4, supporting the latest hardware and a range of new security features
  • A redesigned installer key that supports the latest devices
  • Tons of application updates
ubermix 5 is the culmination of over a decade of work, and we hope you enjoy it! Download today!


ubermix 4.40 Released and Other Developmets

Posted by ubermix On Saturday, February 1, 2020 0 comments
We are pleased to announce that ubermix 4.40 has been released! This new version contains a number of improvements and enhancements made to the ubermix 4 platform, including:

Update to Linux kernel 5.3
Kernel updates typically bring significant improvements in hardware support, with this version making the move to the 5.x kernel. Version 5 brings with it many features, enhancements, and new functionality, such as the following:

  • AMD Radeon FreeSync support
  • Support for a new VegaM
  • NVIDIA Xavier display support
  • Continued work on Intel Icelake Gen11 graphics
  • Intel VT-d Scalable Mode support for Scalable I/O Virtualization
  • New Intel Stratix 10 FPGA drivers
  • Fixes for F2FS, EXT4 and XFS
  • Btrfs file-system restores support for swap files
  • Fscrypt Adiantum support for helping with fast data encryption on low-end hardware. This replaces the infamous Speck algorithm by NSA.
  • Realtek R8169 driver improvements
  • Logitech High Resolution Scrolling support
  • Raspberry Pi Touchscreen driver
  • x86 laptop drivers improvement
  • Improved power management

User Interface Stack Updates
The user interface stack (Xorg and related software) provides all of the underpinnings for the user interface, including touchpads and touchscreens, accelerated graphics processors, etc. ubermix 4.40 brings ubermix in line with the Ubuntu 19.10 (Eoan Ermine) Xorg stack.

Other Updates
ubermix is ever evolving, and over the past several updates there have been some significant changes, including:
  • Full support for multiple users, including resets and imaging: The instant reset functionality is one of the best features of ubermix, however it was originally only designed to work for the primary user. ubermix now fully supports multiple users for imaging and resets, making it possible to create several user accounts with varying access levels, while still retaining full reset capabilities across all of them. This was a complete overhaul of the reset system, bringing added flexibility and functionality.
  • Touch setup improvements: ubermix makes setting up for a touchscreen device easy by doing all of the necessary tweaking of various system and visual settings for you, which is ordinarily quite a chore with a default Ubuntu install. The latest version brings with it much better support for variable resolutions, including automatic detection and scaling for HiDPI displays, and it does a better job of maintaining Gnome extensions already in place.
  • Added sound input/output selector to the system menu: One of the shortcomings of the Gnome desktop on which ubermix runs is that managing multiple sound input and output sources can be quite tedious and confusing. Recent versions of ubermix now include an easy to use input and output device selector and volume control, saving users from having to hunt down sound settings every time the need to make a change.
Upcoming Work
Recently we were approached by Green Studio, a African company based in Cabo Verde, West Africa who has been teaching kids in 9 schools how to code, using single board computers with Linux on them. They have been working on plans to expand the project, not only in Cabo Verde, but in all African continent. 

As you may or may not know, only 10% of households in Africa has a computer at home, so this is an amazing, powerful effort that might do great good in Africa by bringing an affordable device to many kids. We believe in this project and this team, and are excited to be a part of it!

Single-board computers, like the Raspberry Pi and VIM are extremely inexpensive and surprisingly capable, however they are small, low-power devices with limited memory and storage, so they can be a bit of a challenge to build for. ubermix is already very efficient, however this new challenge and completely different architecture required a rebuild-from-scratch, with an eye toward maximum performance on minimal hardware.

We are pleased to report that preliminary builds for the VIM2 are working extremely well and we are about to begin testing in Africa! Once we tighten things up, we'll work to get images posted and toward support for more single boards in the near future.


ubermix in East Africa

Posted by ubermix On Thursday, July 11, 2019 0 comments

Thrilled to learn that Peder Kjærgaard and Henrik Zilstorff have been deploying ubermix in rural schools in Tanzania! Funded by a small Danish NGO (http://marafiki.dk/aims) via Danish government funds, Henrik and Peder sent a box of computers to a small ruaral school and health clinic in Tanzania. In addition, the team built a small set of tutorials on https://freecomputersystem.wordpress.com . We're humbled to have a small part in this exciting effort, and wish the team all the success in the world with their efforts!

ubermix 4 is here!

Posted by ubermix On Friday, May 11, 2018 1 comments
We are pleased to announce that ubermix 4 is finally here! Based on Ubuntu 18.04 (Bionic Beaver), ubermix 4 is the culmination of years of work and experience, with the feedback and support of thousands of users all over the world!

As with prior ubermix releases, ubermix 4 is based on a Long Term Support (LTS) release of Ubuntu, which means that it will receive support and updates from for a full 5 years, through April 2023. LTS releases are the most reliable and stable versions, making them an ideal base to build from. That said, it is time to say goodbye to ubermix 2, as it has just passed its support window. Images will remain available on the ubermix site, however they will no longer be supported or updated.

ubermix 3.23 released!

Posted by ubermix On Tuesday, July 4, 2017 1 comments
ubermix 3.23 is out and available for your consideration. With nearly 9 years of active development behind it, ubermix is ready to take on your next generation devices, with strong touch support and updates that make it an excellent choice for both personal and school use.
Here are just a few of the new features of ubermix 3.23:

Touch Support

ubermix now includes hardware support, tools and theming that are designed specifically for touch devices, like the excellent Acer Travelmate Spin B1.

One of the challenges for most operating systems designed for laptops - even Windows - is that they typically run in one of two User Interface (UI) modes: Standard or HiDPI. Standard UI mode is most common for displays with High Definition (HD) resolutions, which typically run 1920×1080 to 2560×1440 on modern hardware. For ultra-high resolution displays, like Apple's Retina and Dell/HP's Quad HD displays running at 3200×1800 or more, the operating system will switch to HiDPI mode, which essentially doubles the size of everything on the screen.

App Spotlight - FeedReader

Posted by ubermix On Wednesday, December 28, 2016 0 comments
Welcome to the first in a series of posts about awesome apps you can install on ubermix to make it your own!

If you are like me, you try to keep tabs on a number of news feeds from a variety of sources, using Feedly or some other RSS feed aggregator. And while Feedly's web reader is fine, it's far from spectacular, especially when used on a touchscreen device, like the excellent Acer Switch Alpha 12 or Spin 7 (both great choices for ubermix).

Enter FeedReader.

FeedReader is a standalone RSS reader app for Linux desktops that does a nice job of fetching and organizing feed content. It performs all of the functions you would expect, including marking items as read, starred, tagging, and the like, and will even share articles to your Instapaper or Pocket account. And best of all, it caches content, so you can read offline, should you find yourself without an internet connection.

To check it out, open a terminal (ctrl-alt-t is the fastest way to get to one) and copy and paste the following commands:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:eviltwin1/feedreader-stable sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install feedreader


ubermix 3 now avalable!

Posted by ubermix On Friday, June 10, 2016 10 comments
After months of testing, ubermix 3, the latest and greatest version of the popular operating system, has been released into the wild! Based on Ubuntu 16.04 (Xenial Xerus), ubermix 3 brings with it a wealth of improvements and interface refinements, based on feedback from thousands of students and educators from all over the world. User experience and flexibility have been a big focus for this release, as has been support for the latest hardware and a host of new, default applications.

At first glance, the thing that jumps out is the new dock along the bottom of the screen, which offers a familiar, icon-based experience that people have become accustomed to in the UIs of modern devices. The dock offers an immediate "something to do" and a familiar location to find and switch between running applications.

At the top right is a new Power & Settings menu, that offers quick, easier access to system settings and functions.

Other things experienced users will immediately notice are that the "Activities" menu has been changed to "Applications" (now that the actions that were there have been moved to the Power/Settings menu), an attractive dark theme throughout, and smoother, more fluid transitions when interacting with the interface.

The default application list has also been updated, with the latest and greatest versions of old favorites and many new ones. New additions include:

Clementine - A new music player with support for listening to internet radio from Spotify, Jamendo, Last.fm, Magnatune, SKY.fm, SomaFM, Icecast, Digitally Imported, Soundcloud and Google Drive and possibly Google Music in the future.
Gazebo - A well-designed robot simulator makes it possible to rapidly test algorithms, design robots, and perform regression testing using realistic scenarios.
Nitroshare - A cross-platform, peer-to-peer application designed to make transferring files from one device to another extremely simple.
TypeCatcher - Google Fonts provides web developers and designers with hundreds of open-source web fonts that can be used for free. This app makes it easy to download and install them.

Shotcut -  A free, open source, cross-platform video editor. Super fast, with a sleek, intuitive design. Supports HD, wide-formats, and a variety of device and transport options.

ArduinoIDE - The Arduino Integrated Development Environment connects to popular, inexpensive Arduino and Genuino open-source hardware to upload programs and communicate with them. Includes Hummingbird robotics support and Ardublock for younger students.

Atom - Atom is a text editor that's modern, approachable, yet hackable to the core. It's extremely flexible and customizable, with a built in package manager, smart autocompletion, and multi-pane views. Ideal for scripts and code.

Darktable - Open source photography workflow application and RAW developer. A virtual light table and darkroom for photographers. It manages your digital negatives in a database, lets you view them through a zoomable light table and enables you to develop raw images and enhance them.

LibreCAD - A fully comprehensive 2D CAD application. LibreCAD can read DXF and DWG files (and others). It writes DXF files, but can also export SVG, JPG, PNG, PDF and other files. It has layers, blocks, splines, polylines, ellipse tools, advanced tangent line & circle tools, transformation tools, an advanced snapping system and more.

Synfig Studio - 2D animation software, designed as powerful industrial-strength solution for creating film-quality animation using a vector and bitmap artwork. It eliminates the need to create animation frame-by frame, allowing you to produce 2D animation of a higher quality with fewer people and resources.

QT QR Code Generator - Software that let's you generate QR codes easily, scan an image file for QR codes and decode them or use your webcam to scan a printed one.

Geary - An email application that allows you to read and send email with a simple, modern interface. Supports Gmail (including labels and archive), Yahoo! Mail, Outlook.com, and popular IMAP servers (Dovecot, Cyrus, Zimbra, etc.)

Getting Things Gnome - Getting Things GNOME! (GTG) is a personal tasks and TODO-list items organizer, inspired by the Getting Things Done (GTD) methodology.

KeepNote - With KeepNote, you can store class notes, TODO lists, research notes, journal entries, paper outlines, etc in a simple notebook hierarchy with rich-text formatting, images, and more. Using full-text search, you can retrieve any note for later reference.

Planner - An planning application with the goal to be an easy-to-use no-nonsense cross-platform project management solution. Features Definition of tasks and subtasks, resources and resource groups, dependencies between tasks, display of the critical path, calendars with working/non-working time, gantt chart and resource usage overview, HTML export of project plans, translated to over 50 languages.

BlueJ - An integrated, interactive Java development environment, featuring class structure diagrams, interactive invocation and an easy-to-use interface.

Python IDLE -IDLE (Integrated DeveLopment Environment or Integrated Development and Learning Environment) is an integrated development environment for Python, which has been bundled with the default implementation of the language.

PiTiVi - An intuitive and flexible video editor that integrates well with ubermix and can appeal to newbies and professionals alike. Pitivi has a beautiful and intuitive user interface, a clean codebase and a fantastic community.

Backups (Deja-dup) - A simple backup tool. Features support for local, remote, or cloud backup locations, such as Amazon S3 and Rackspace Cloud Files, securely encrypts and compresses your data, incrementally backs up, letting you restore from any particular backup, schedules regular backups.

There are a number of changes under the hood as well. Now that storage is less of an issue and devices typically include at least 32Gb of space, the default size of the user changes space has been increased to 8Gb and automatic update prompts have been turned on. What this means, however, is that system updates will begin to take up the user space as they are applied. While the default settings will be fine for most users, advanced installers should consider this when selecting a size for the user changes partition while doing an advanced install.

This release will carry ubermixers well into the future, with updates through May 2019. To download, click Download and Install above.