Ubuntu One Rocking The House

I have a crazy-busy day today, so I am going to keep this short. I just wanted to share how cool Ubuntu One is working out for me, and how it can rock your world too as it ships in the upcoming Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala, released next week! There are two particularly cool things that Ubuntu One has enabled me to do, which I wanted to share.

I use TomBoy to manage my world. I manage my TODO list there, I track each member of my team’s work there, and I use it as a means to note down ideas and other bits of information. If I lost my notes, I would be devastated: I can replace software, but I can’t replace information. For some time now TomBoy has supported syncing, but it was a faff to set up. To do so required SSH keys and my own server. In Karmic, you can sync your TomBoy notes to Ubuntu One, and not only that, but I can also go to the Ubuntu One web interface and browse and edit my notes there, and changes will be synced back to my desktop. Awesome does not sufficiently convey how tip top this is.

Secondly, with the freshly announced Shot Of Jaq out there in the open, when Aq and I recorded our first few shows, we used Ubuntu One file sharing to move the content around. Aq, based in England, and myself, based in California, would record our respective side of the conversation locally and then Aq shared a folder with me and he would drop his recording in there and it would appear on my desktop. Simple as that. Wickeed.

Karmic is rocking, and Ubuntu One is just another great reason why. Good work, Ubuntu One folks!

  • http://melniczuk.eu Damian Melniczuk

    Tomboy synchronization via Ubuntu One is exactly what I need. I just wander how to do that on jaunty :/

  • anti

    Step 1: Upgrade to Karmic

  • http://sulinux.apoth.hu maraxush

    Hmm… I can’t login to my Ubuntu One… :-( It says ‘Internal server error’… anybody knows, what is the problem? :-(

  • Jullian Gafar

    I already got Dropbox. Why do I need Ubuntu One?

  • http://grillbar.org Mikkel Kamstrup Erlandsen

    Excuse my ignorance, but how would I enable this note syncing? My files sync nicely, but my Tomboy notes don’t…

  • Zac

    I have a pre-installed Ubuntu 9.04 on Dell’s Latitude 2100, so how do I sync Tomboy notes with UbuntuOne?

    I would love to upgrade to 9.10 on this netbook but I better wait because of Dell’s hardware.

    UbuntuOne is getting there. More features (eg bookmark syncing) and preferences settings would be nice in the future.

  • http://hungfu.wordpress.com Iain Farrell

    I too am loving the syncing of notes! I’m a recent Tomboy convert and now wish everyone could use it on other systems. It’s another delightful tool that makes using Linux so nice.

  • http://www.becomeyourfursona.com/ Jared Spurbeck

    Are there any plans for Ubuntu One to be released under a Free / Open-Source license? I’d like to use it myself, but I don’t like the idea of using a service that only has one vendor.

    Failing that, are there any plans to disengage it from Ubuntu? There are a lot of nice people helping non-profits and third-worlders, setting them free from monopoly software and services provided by first-worlders and showing them free alternatives. I’d like for that momentum to continue behind Ubuntu, and I think it’d be bad if they had to switch to something else. There’s so much momentum already?

  • http://krul.nu Dennis Krul

    I like the fact that you can sync your precious data with an external source.

    I also like the fact that it’s easy to set up: ‘syncing for human beings’ if you like.

    What I don’t like is that I have to put my precious data on an untrusted server.

    It would be great if there was a way to set up your own Ubuntu one server.

    Are there any plans to opensource the server-side components of Ubuntu One some day?

    I have a gut feeling the whole Ubuntu One project has been set up as a way to monetize upon Ubuntu. And that’s ok, you have to find a viable business model somehow, but closed services around an open platform is not the way forward. Keep it open, give users a choice. That’s what free software is about after all.

  • http://grillbar.org Mikkel Kamstrup Erlandsen

    @Jared: I think that you can set up your own remote CouchDB instance to sync against if you want. I am not sure of the details, but you probably need to enable OAuth on the remote CouchDB…

  • haxu

    it could be more rocking if only it didn’t ask for the password everytime i login…

  • https://launchpad.net/~strycore Mathieu Comandon

    UbuntuOne sure rocks. Another nice feature is the possibility to store Evolution contacts with CouchDB.

  • JGJones

    Having lost my Tomboy notes in the past…having this sync is just fantastic. While there’s always Dropbox so one would ask what’s the point of Ubuntu One…I’m using it because I know it doesn’t end at file sync – more will come and I look forward to it – such as preferences and so on – ie something like MobileMe on OSX after all.

    Yes an opensource server for Ubuntu One would be nice though mind you :)

  • http://www.becomeyourfursona.com/ Jared Spurbeck

    So wait … is it or is it not a proprietary service built on proprietary, closed-source software, which is being tied into a F/OSS desktop by default? Because if it’s not, I think I’m confused here.

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  • http://www.becomeyourfursona.com/ Jared Spurbeck

    I hear there’s another F/OSS web app that anyone can create their own installation of, and lots and lots and lots of people do. And yet they’re still making oodles of money off of their own hosted service.

    Of course, they’ve also experimented with their own proprietary tie-ins, so I could be mistaken …

  • http://krul.nu Dennis Krul

    My point exactly.

  • http://grillbar.org Mikkel Kamstrup Erlandsen

    Ubuntu One has CouchDB as an absolute central piece of the software stack to my knowledge (I may be deluded though ;-)). Both for the client and server ends.

    CouchDB is very open indeed; find it on apache.org.

  • Rodney Brown

    @Jared, the client software is open source, but the service itself isn’t…

    For others that asked about it working with 9.04 (Jaunty) the Ubuntu One webstie has instructions on how to install it on 9.04. I don’t know if that includes tomboy syncing.

  • http://grillbar.org Mikkel Kamstrup Erlandsen

    It appears that I was not exactly right… There is a fairly detailed spec at https://wiki.ubuntu.com/UbuntuOne

  • http://www.faenix.ca Davoid

    I’ve been doing the same for a while now with dropbox for Ubuntu. It’s stable & pretty reliable. Ubuntu One is pretty much pnwd by the fact that it is not cross platform. Still it’s a good idea, but if you need cross-platform files synchronisation, dropbox is still the way to go. :)

  • http://www.faenix.ca Davoid

    I assume you went in Tomboy’s preferences, in the synchronisation tab & chose Local Folder(pointing to you Ubuntu One or Dropbox folder), right?

    If so, from a note(any note) choose Tools from the top menu bar. Synchronisation should be the first option. You have to do this to “commit” your changes. There is no way to do it automatically that i’m aware of. I you do, please let me know. Thanks.

  • http://automorphic.blogspot.com Sandy

    You’ll be able to sync with U1 in Jaunty if you upgrade to Tomboy 1.0.1, which will be released soonish, at which point you can get it from the official Tomboy PPA at:


  • http://automorphic.blogspot.com Sandy

    Actually, Tomboy is available on Windows and Mac OS X, too, though our primary focus is of course Linux.

    You should be able to sync with U1 via the Windows or Mac version (once we release 1.0.1 in a couple of weeks).

  • http://launchpad.net/~dobey Rodney Dawes

    Zac, there is the bindwood package/extension for Firefox which will store your bookmarks in CouchDB, which can then be replicated. I believe there a few small fixes that need to happen on the Ubuntu One server to get CouchDB replication to the server working, but I believe the client side is ready.

  • http://launchpad.net/~dobey Rodney Dawes

    For tomboy, there’s the snowy server, which is shipped and installable anywhere.

    For the couchdb bits, the desktopcouch bits allow replication across a local network, as I understand, or could be set up for any arbitrary couchdb.

    For the file sharing, most all of the bits used on the server are already open source. The protocol is entirely open source, and anyone is allowed and able to build their own server. We’re also looking into allowing syncing of files between two machines on the local network.

  • http://launchpad.net/~dobey Rodney Dawes

    That’s probably gnome-keyring asking for a password, and not ubuntuone? If you set your login keyring passphrase to the same password you use to log in to your computer with, it will get unlocked automatically when you log in, instead of asking you every time.

  • http://paul.kishimoto.name Paul Kishimoto

    I guess it should also work with Gnote, then!

  • http://www.becomeyourfursona.com/ Jared Spurbeck

    Then why make any of it proprietary, and therefore unreplicable by other distros / enthusiasts?

    How many projects in the Ubuntu One “suite of online services from Canonical” are going to be like that? And how long until there’s a Free / Open-Source replacement that everyone can use, and that doesn’t have one first-world company as the sole provider?

  • http://automorphic.blogspot.com Sandy

    Nope, the Gnote developers haven’t implemented synchronization yet, but it shouldn’t be too much work, and the web sync API is decently documented via wiki and source code (obviously we’re working on improving the docs). 😉

  • http://automorphic.blogspot.com Sandy

    Sorry, we haven’t implemented automatic sync yet, but it’s my top priority for Tomboy 1.2 (which will be available for Karmic through our official PPA when it’s released in ~5 months).

  • neo

    Rodney Brown,

    Not only the service but also the service side bits are entirely proprietary, just like landscape. I see a pattern there.

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  • haxu

    my computer logs in automatically (i chose the corresponding option), and my passwords are the same..

  • bigbloke

    I just wish karmic netbook remix worked properly with the stock atheros WIFI card in my pimped EEE900.

    just tried replacing network manager with wicd and…doesnt work…nor can I regress….

    so back to 9.04, then freeze my kernel at – at least I had slow wifi then, better that than no wifi ;-))

  • http://blog.mahboy.com Isaiah Heyer

    How do you get shared files to appear on the desktop? I thought they always went into “~/Ubuntu One/Shared with Me/”.

  • http://launchpad.net/~magicfab Fabian Rodriguez

    Unfortunately Ubuntu One requires NetworkManager (!): https://bugs.edge.launchpad.net/ubuntuone-client/+bug/357395

  • http://www.cellularity.co.uk 6tricky9

    I always had an uneasy feeling in the back of my mind that Mark Shuttleworth was intent on becoming the “Bill Gates” of the open source world; that he was planning to make his second fortune on the back of the FLOSS community. This is starting to become reality with the launch of the secret, proprietary, Ubuntu 1.

    Both Neo and Jared above have highlighted the proprietary nature of Ubuntu 1 and the response has been a dismissive one. Indeed, Mikkel Kamstrup Erlandsen even attempted, in the first instance, to deny this fact.

    Furthermore, I thought that Jono Bacon was a champion of FLOSS development but it just goes to show how ideals can be tempered by a job at Canonical.

    My advice to anybody who supports FLOSS is to boycott Ubuntu 1.

  • http://www.r4i-karte.at/ r4 ds games

    does Ubuntu have as good driver library as XP? Please provide information over it. Provide links to related topics if possible.

  • Craig Laughlin

    The only way I was able to get my evolution calendar to sync up with Ubuntu One was, I had to save my current calendar in the Ubuntu One folder. After I did that, I went back to evolution, and created a new calendar. I selected the custom options and selected my file that I had saved earlier in the Ubuntu One folder, and told it to update periodically. As for on the other computers for work and home, I just simply added a new calendar into evolution. and now I have synced calendars across all computers. it works great.