Ubuntu Touch Developer Preview Available Now

Well that was fast. Canonical, the parent company behind Ubuntu, recently announced itsintentions to provide Ubuntu for tablets, in addition to its goal to launch Ubuntu smartphones in 2014. Good news, tinkerers: the developer preview of Ubuntu Touch is now available for download.

Ubuntu promises the software, which is available for the Galaxy Nexus, Nexus 4, Nexus 7 and Nexus 10, will provide support for WiFi, GSM network connections, functional cameras and the shell and core applications needed to experience the software in full. You’ll need to have some coding chops to get started, however, since there are a few commands required. You also have to make sure your device is unlocked so that Ubuntu can access the bootloader.

Thankfully, if you don’t dig the experience and want Android back, it’s as easy as downloading the factory image and reflashing it to your device. If you run into troubles along the way, you can join the company’s mailing list or head over to its IRC channel at irc.freenode.net and joining the #ubuntu-phone channel.

[Source: TechnoBuffalo]

Valve updating select Steam games with system requirements for Linux users

Linux for Steam might not be ready for mass consumption just yet, but we're now able to get an idea of what system requirements will be for some of the platform's games. Valve has updated select titles with Tux-friendly specifications. While some games don't appear to require a specific distro, Ubuntu appears to be the most supported thus far. If you plan on heading over to Steam's site to see if your setup cuts the mustard, double dippers be warned -- it seems that non-Linux machines will not display system requirements. We're guessing the masses will see something like the screengrab above as time marches on, though.

[Source: Engadget]

Dell's $1,549 Ubuntu-based XPS 13 goes on sale, $50 more than Windows variant

What once was just an internal skunkworks project, Dell's Project Sputnik has taken off with the release of the XPS 13 Developer Edition. The thin and light darling of the Ultrabook crowd is now shipping with a Precise Pangolin Ubuntu build pre-installed, along with feature-complete drivers that ensure maximum peripheral compatibility right out of the box. Also bundled in the XPS 13 are a couple of Project Sputnik's open source tools -- Profile Tool and Cloud Launcher -- that are designed to help developers install and deploy their projects quickly and efficiently. The hardware packs quite a punch, with either an Intel i5 or i7 Ivy Bridge CPU, 8GB of RAM and a 256 GB SATA III SSD. All that Linux goodness comes at a cost, however -- the Developer Edition retails for $1,549, which is around $50 more than the Windows equivalent. Still, it might be well worth it for one of the best specced pre-assembled open-source laptops we've seen to date.

[Source: Engadget]

Netflix finally comes to Linux! (Sort of...)

Netflix's reluctance to support playback on Linux computers is infamous notorious ridiculous well documented. Well, while the company isn't ready to officially start streaming to your Ubuntu box, youcan gain access to its vast library with a specially patched version of Wine. For those of you that don't know, Wine is a compatibility layer that allows Windows apps to run under Linux. Fire up the Windows version of Firefox with this version of the software, install Microsoft's Silverlight and voilà -- Netflix on Linux. Unfortunately, that makes the whole ordeal sound a lot simpler than it is. For the moment you'll need to download Wine from its Git repository, then download and apply five different patches. Then you'll have to download and install Firefox 14.0.1 and Silverlight 4, neither of which are the current (read: easy to find) versions. So far the hack is only confirmed to work on the 32-bit version of Ubuntu 12.10, but we imagine getting it up and running on other distros shouldn't be too difficult. The work around should get easier once the crafty devs get a PPA up and running that will streamline installation. If you're the impatient type you can hit up the source link to get complete instructions.

[Source: Engadget]

Unity 4.0 now on sale with DirectX 11 support, Linux publishing preview, new animation tools and more

The Unity game engine and development platform has reached the 4.0 milestone and is now available for purchase with a slew of new features onboard. Headlining the update are DirectX 11 support, new animation tools and an add-on for publishing games to Flash. In addition, Tux is getting some love with a preview of a deployment option for publishing games to Desktop Linux. Sure, a landmark release might seem like a good time for Unity Technologies to cool its heels and slow down development, but a respite isn't on the roadmap. According to the firm's CEO, David Helgason, Unity 4 will see a faster paced schedule and more frequent releases than the platform previously had. Developers can snag a free version of the software or shell out at least $1,500 for a professional license. For more details on additions and improvements to the engine, hit the jump for the press release or tap the second source link below for the complete rundown.

[Source: Engadget]

Valve opens Steam for Linux beta registration, wants pros only

Right on schedule (ahem), Valve has begun requesting applications for the first Steam for Linux beta test. There are only 1,000 spots available, but the company is looking for "experienced Linux users" only -- presumably, ones that will be better at debugging than spilling zombie brains. So, if you've got a rig running Ubuntu 12.04 or above and decent Linux knowledge, head to the source link to register your interest.

[Source: Engadget]

Ubuntu 12.10 launches with web apps and search, Canonical plans for more secretive 13.04 development

An Ubuntu release is always a momentous occasion for a large portion of the Linux community, although it's coming with a mild share of controversy this time around. Ubuntu 12.10 (Quantal Quetzal) is finished and brings with it support for pinning web apps to the Launcher as well as search that includes web results, detailed photo results and quick previews. They're all appreciated upgrades -- what's raising hackles is the development strategy for 13.04, or Raring Ringtail. Company head Mark Shuttleworth wants a "skunkworks" approach that will silence pre-release discussion of some features outside of key, trustworthy community members. While there will still be open-source code and only a light layer of secrecy, Ubuntu's progress in the near-term won't be quite as transparent as we're accustomed to with Linux. There's a good chance that most end users won't mind the difference enough to skip the download.

[Source: Engadget]