Archive for the 'ubuntu-za' Category

Ubuntu-ZA reapproved

As Nick Ali mentioned, the Ubuntu South Africa LoCoTeam went through the (now annual) review process with the LoCoCouncil and got reapproved.

As Nick says,

The yearly review gives LoCos a chance to take stock of how a LoCo is doing, what can be improved, and make plans for the future. The LoCo Council is here to make sure LoCos have the resources and help they need to support their areas.

I’m really energised by the increasing participation in ubuntu-za, and I’m looking forward to the coming year. Doing these reviews definitely helps put the focus on sustained activity.

Ubuntu South Africa release parties

Jonathan Carter already wrote about the Johannesburg release party. Here are his photos from that event.

I went to the Cape Town event which was held at Camps Bay High School’s tuXlab – an Ubuntu-powered school lab. We had about 30 people attending, which was awesome, considering that only a few signed up on the planning wiki page.

We distributed CDs, talked about hardware issues, and did several installs. I took some photos, and Reenen Laurie has posted his as well.

Thanks to:

  • Eleanor Lenders of Inkululeko for arranging the venue, posting signs, fetching pizza and going in search of balloons!
  • Rob Burger, the sysadmin of the CBHS tuXlab for spending the whole of Saturday upgrading machines to Intrepid so we could have some freshly installed machines to use – and for burning CDs.
  • Andy Rabagliati for organising the event and handling the complaints about bluetooth so well…
  • Everyone who attended! This community is about you!

It was great to have the event at a tuXlab, and it’s definitely worth holding our release parties at the same, or similar, tuXlabs in the future.

On that note, these school labs are largely supported by volunteers, so if you are available to help, please speak up on the ubuntu-za mailing list.

[ubuntu-za] Ubuntu 8.10 – the Intrepid Ibex is released!

The official release announcement is out – see if you aren’t on the ubuntu-announce list or didn’t see mail yet.

On behalf of Ubuntu-ZA, thanks to the developers behind this release – upstream, debian, ubuntu – you rock!

Thanks also to the many people involved in helping people to get Ubuntu, run it and fix problems. This is a distro for human beings, and we can all contribute to the end result.

Ubuntu-ZA is more than just a user community – because we do more than just use the software. This is the place to get involved, in whatever way you can. Here’s our 5 step plan to success!

1. Check out our website at This is a community site that anyone can edit and contribute to.

2. Join our mailing list: – you can keep up
to date with what’s happening in Ubuntu-ZA, find help, and get involved in Ubuntu-ZA projects.

3. Join Ubuntu-ZA by joining our team on Launchpad: Launchpad is Ubuntu’s infrastructure for support, bug tracking, translations, interfacing with upstream software, building packages from source, bzr repositories, source code mirror and many more things. If you want to contribute to Ubuntu, Launchpad is a key.

Our community team is up for review during November, and getting our members on launchpad is a great way to show that we are serious about being a local Ubuntu community. We’re up to 73 members on Launchpad, but there are 289 of us on the mailing list, so please join up!

4. Sign the Ubuntu Code of Conduct: – this makes you an Ubuntero and is the next step on the journey to Ubuntu Membership.

5. Get involved! lists some great ways to contribute, whether technically or not. Our own page lists ways to get
involved locally too. Consistent involvement leads towards Ubuntu membership:

A further reminder about our release parties on Saturday: – come along and meet fellow Ubuntu enthusiasts, get a copy of Intrepid, bring your system to install – let’s celebrate the new release.

Ubuntu South Africa Release Parties

We have two confirmed release parties so far for Ubuntu 8.10 in South Africa: Cape Town and Johannesburg. Both are happening at schools equipped with tuXlabs – Ubuntu computer labs set up with donated/funded hardware.

Thanks to the Inkululeko people for arranging the venues!

Join Ubuntu South Africa!

We’re now using Launchpad for membership of Ubuntu South Africa, so please join the team at – even if you’re on the mailing list. The Launchpad team will give us more visibility.

If you are new to Launchpad, you’ll get the following benefits from registering:

  • Being able to log bug reports and comment on them
  • Being able to ask support questions and provide answers
  • Being able to translate Ubuntu, and other open source projects
  • (many other things!)
  • And now… membership of Ubuntu-ZA!

Ubuwiki Live released to mark Software Freedom Day

David Robert Lewis, one of the ubuntu-za crowd, announced this today:

Ubuwiki Live, a digest of free content specially formatted for Ubuntu, has been released to mark Software Freedom Day. What is unique about the Internet bundle available from, is that it exists entirely within a self-contained XHTML file. The application is the result of work carried out by the Wiki on a Stick (WoaS) project in conjunction with Indlovu, a South African Intermediate Technology initiative. As the person responsible, I can say I am quite pleased with the result and hopefully similar such offerings will be on the way to enliven the Ubuntu experience. However,  I’ve probably destroyed Windows in the process and life is never going to be the same.

Download it at:

Bash tip: $CDPATH

I heard about bash’s $CDPATH recently and it is an awesome productivity tip. Enjoy!

Ubuntu-ZA leadership change

On Monday Craig Adams stepped down as co-leader of the Ubuntu-ZA
LoCoTeam, as he has had no time to contribute in recent months.

After a long conversation with Jonathan Carter on Tuesday night I’m very
happy to announce that Jonathan will be the new co-leader. For those
of you who don’t know him, Jonathan is a long time contributor to
Ubuntu, specifically Edubuntu where he was the first project webmaster
and community contact. He is an Ubuntu member, and has been involved
with local projects including Skubuntu and the tuxLabs derivative
distro. Jonathan has worked for the Shuttleworth Foundation,
Inkululeko and Impi Linux.

Ubuntu-ZA: Month of Education – March 2008

I proposed monthly themes for participation in Ubuntu South Africa, a couple of weeks ago – now written up at

Let’s kick off with Education.

If you are at all involved with education, please go back and read that mail, and then:

  • Introduce yourself to the list and tell us what you do or how you are interested in education
  • Think about what the needs are, relating to IT and education
  • Think about what we can do as a community to meet some of those needs

Please put [Education] in the subject line of mails about this topic so people can see at a glance that this is related to the current theme.

We’ll track the output of discussions at

Ubuntu-ZA participation: monthly themes

(also posted to the ubuntu-za list – reply there if appropriate)

Ubuntu-ZA Participation

I’d like to propose that we pick an area of participation in Ubuntu South Africa each month for six months, and during that month we put as much as we can into discussing and moving that theme, or topic, forwards.

The topics I have in mind are (in no specific order):

  • Education
  • Small Business
  • Software Development
  • System Administrators
  • Spreading Ubuntu in South Africa
  • [insert your idea here!]

The Goal

By the end of that month, the goal would be to achieve the following:

  • Identify those in our community who are active or interested in this area – by introducing ourselves on the mailing list
  • Identify the relevant needs and issues we face (e.g. skills in administering a school network, or a small business server, etc)
  • Identify people in the community who can meet those needs or offer relevant services for a fee
  • Nominate a person to act as the team leader for that area to continue promoting relevant activities in our community
  • Report back to Ubuntu South Africa and the global Ubuntu community the results of the month’s activities (

After six months, we’ll have Software Freedom Day in September, and this year we’ll be prepared in advance and coordinate activities with relevant LUGs and see if we can’t get some rockin’ events happening (with Karl to lead the way at Sandton Convention Centre)!

Your Mission

Please contribute topic/theme ideas, and choose one to start with for March. Here are more details on some of the topics I listed above to show what I mean:


Within our community we have:

  • Educators
  • People running IT infrastructure for education
  • Students and Learners
  • Developers of educational software or content

Issues: Why use Ubuntu instead of Microsoft’s educational pricing? How to run a school network? How to convert to Ubuntu? Who are the experts and service providers in Edubuntu / LTSP / thin client networks? Where does Ubuntu not meet people’s needs?

Small Business

  • Small business owners
  • Small business IT people (often the same people)
  • IT providers servicing small businesses

Issues: How to do X/Y/Z with Ubuntu? Setting up a small business server? Integration with non-free software… Document format compatibility… Who to call on if it breaks…

Software Development

  • Developing desktop software for/on Ubuntu
  • Ubuntu as a development platform for the web