Ubuntu 13.04 Raring Ringtail

Most important change here is the way how network printing works. Formerly, a CUPS-specific mechanism was used. The server broadcasted information about the printers it shares and the clients listen to these broadcasts making the printers available on the client side, looking like local print queues for the applications.

Recently, the Printer Working Group (PWG), an association of printer and software industry for developing standards related to digital printing, has created a standard for broadcasting information about shared printers. This standard is broadcasting the information via Bonjour, a protocol also used for many other network services, like shared files systems, screens, music/video servers, …

CUPS has adopted this standard in 1.6.x, but only broadcasts and does not listen to broadcasts of CUPS daemons (or generally print servers using Bonjour) on other machines, letting remote printers not automatically get available locally. CUPS also dropped the old broadcasting protocol without transition period.

To overcome the problems and keeping network printing as easy as before (this is why 10 years ago the distros switched to CUPS) the cups-filters project ofOpenPrinting introduced cups-browsed, an extra daemon which by default listens to Bonjour broadcasts of remote CUPS daemons (of IPP printers coming soon) and automatically creates local print queues pointing to the shared printers making pure CUPS 1.6.x networks working out-of-the-box.

If your network still contains machines running CUPS 1.5.x and older, cups-browsed also has legacy support for the old CUPS broadcasting, browsing (listening), and BrowsePoll. Please see the comments in /etc/cups/cups-browsed.conf, edit the file appropriately, and restart cups-browsed (“sudo restart cups-browsed”) or reboot. When upgrading to Raring, BrowsePoll directives are overtaken from CUPS to cups-browsed automatically.

For everyone developing embedded or mobile systems based on Ubuntu, the CUPS package is split up into more binary packages to get a minimum client-only printing stack, of the packages cups-daemon, libcups2, and cups-browsed, occupying only ~1 MB. This only listens for Bonjour broadcasts (legacy CUPS broadcasts and BrowsePoll optional) of remote CUPS servers and makes the printers available locally. No drivers and filters for locally connected printers are available then.

Another thing to mention which was available before but never told about in release notes: When sharing local printers they are automatically available also for Apple’s iOS devices (iPhone, iPad, iPod touch).

Python 3.3

We eventually intend to ship only Python 3 with the Ubuntu desktop image, not Python 2. The Ubuntu 13.04 image continues this process, although we will not be able to convert everything to Python 3 for Ubuntu 13.04 final image.

If you have your own programs based on Python 2, fear not! Python 2 will continue to be available (as the python package) for the foreseeable future. However, to best support future versions of Ubuntu you should consider porting your code to Python 3. Python/3 has some advice and resources on this.

Automatic Apport crash reporting has been enabled by default again to catch problems early on. It now checks for duplicates on the client side, which will avoid uploading debug data and creating Launchpad bug reports unnecessarily in many cases now.

Software Updater

Software Updater in 13.04 has a simplified details panel that most prominently shows applications and manually-installed packages. Libraries and packages that belong to the base system are collected under a single item.

Upstart User Sessions (technology preview)

This Ubuntu release includes a “tech preview” of Upstart User Sessions, which allow Upstart to supervise a user’s desktop session. This feature is disabled by default for Ubuntu 13.04, but can be manually enabled for testing.

To enable Upstart User Sessions for all users:

  1. Uncomment “ubuntu” in file /etc/upstart-xsessions.
  2. Logout of any desktop sessions.
  3. Login to the default Unity session.

To disable, simply comment out “ubuntu“, logout and log back in again.


Social networking for 13.04 is now handled by the Friends service, which replaces the backend Gwibber provided in previous Ubuntu releases. There is no transition required, if you have social networking accounts setup in Ubuntu Online Accounts, the Friends service will just work. The Gwibber lens in Unity has been replaced with a Friends lens and works in much the same way. The Gwibber client application is no longer included by default, for similar functionality friends-app can be installed from Software Center.

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27 thoughts on “Ubuntu 13.04 Raring Ringtail

  1. I like Ubuntu now because I read that it is more secure from viruses and malwares unlike Windows.
    My only problem is when I connect my laptop to a TV using either VGA or HDMI, it connects but the screen is stationary in the TV. There is no response unlike in Windows which is in sync with the Laptop.

    Any help would be appreciated.

    Thank you.

  2. “You should also be aware that the support time for this release has been reduced from 18 months to 9 months.”

    Only 9 months of support?!? No thanks Canonical. I would rather take my chances with Debian Sid-based distros like Siduction or Semplice. At least then I wouldn’t have to wait long at all for new updates. Of course, I can play it safe with Debian Testing-based distros like AntiX or Linux Mint Debian Editon and get updates within weeks.

    In fairness, if I was already a committed Ubuntu user, I would try to hold out for the next LTS release. At least 2 years of support for LTS is a lot better than only 9 months for non-LTS. My professional opinion of course. : )

    1. Ubuntu users can be put in two camps: Those who want to have the very latest features and versions of software and those who want to have a stable system and long support (companies mostly). Those who fall in the first category probably update as soon as possible anyway, so long support periods aren’t really necessary anyway. 😛

      It’s also just simply a way for Canonical to save some money on support.. as you might know, Ubuntu still isn’t quiet profitable yet and Shuttleworth’s big bag of gold isn’t bottomless either..

  3. So far, I am enjoying Ubuntu 13.04, but I don’t know if removing the multiple desktops was planned, but that’s what happened on both machines I’ve updated. Also, on one machine, I had some specifically configured wallpaper settings. There seems to be an issue for updaters where the wallpaper doesn’t appear, or it cannot be changed in the Appearance module. In my case, the wallpaper I have assigned to LightDM login is carried over to my desktop, along with the grid and the gray Ubuntu logo in the bottom left corner. The regular wallpaper I usually have assigned will not appear and changing the wallpaper in Appearance doesn’t work. Hopefully, this is something that will be resolved soon. I have a rather nifty LCARS setup that I’d like to get back.

  4. you seem alway give ubuntu 4/5 why is that do you just like other disro better so not looking at apple to apple sake the is not Perfect disro but so dame good ones some should be getting 5/5.

  5. @Brian Masinick: I’ve checked both torrent and md5sum hashes and I am sure I downloaded correctly. I’ve also installed it and didn’t see any hangings at all after installation, looks like only the live mode was buggy. For the people who didn’t notice: try minimizing anything in live mode.

  6. @serhat: a partially bad download will also exhibit the same kind of buggy state that you describe. Before concluding that it is Ubuntu, run a checkpoint on your media or its source, make sure it matches. Considering trying another download before concluding that Ubuntu won’t work on your system. Maybe it won’t, but there is a 50/50 chance that it will.

    Alex Efrain Sarmiento Muñoz: Yes, we deal with many audiences, and that is precisely, even in the Ubuntu ecosystem, why today there are a couple hundred “spins” and derivatives of Ubuntu, starting with the ones that Canonical themselves at least sanction, then the many Mint derivatives, then the scores of distributions based on either Ubuntu, a Ubuntu derivative, Mint, a Mint (and therefore Ubuntu) derivative, and note that Ubuntu itself is a derivative of Debian Linux. Clearly it is the flexibility and choice that matter here; what appeals to one may not appeal to another; some like simplicity of installation and configuration, others like simplicity of the system and infrastructure, which makes installation and configuration appear cumbersome (Arch and Gentoo are good examples of this).

  7. Each release of Ubuntu just sucks more and more. I get errors while trying to install Wine, Acroread etc. And didn’t noticed any speed improvements in Unity/

  8. I Love UNITY. Also the fact that it is boring,it is the best Linux distro out. No Ubuntu = no Mint. Linux has matured, distro hopping is now a waste. Hell ,60% of the distros out are spins of Ubuntu. Ubuntu has stablized the Linux eco-system.

    1. This is nonsense, if No Ubuntu = No Mint then explain the Mint Debian edition and the Mint KDE edition. Mint only makes use of Ubuntus repos as well as several others the same way Ubuntu does Debians repos. No Debian = No Ubuntu = No Hundreds of other distros.

  9. People complain about change. When gets very mature and stable , then people complain about no changes . Coo Coo

  10. why you froget ubuntu also launche Ubuntu gnome edition also, which will be a killer deal. I also not a big fan of unity.

  11. I wonder if it is my machine or a general problem but the live mode of ubuntu 13.04 was awfully buggy. The screen hanged most of the time. This didn’t occur in 12.04 live. The new ubuntu looks very good overall but I think it has serious stability problems.

  12. Very good ,straightforward review. I tend to agree that the unity desktop experience is what it is. You either hate it or like it.(Never heard of anyone who LOVES it) Ubuntu 13.04 works well, but IMO nothing special.

  13. I’m like you on this: nothing particularly “wrong” with Ubuntu, other than the variations of GNOME that I’ve never been that interested in. For me, Xubuntu, also boring as it is, serves me better. Kubuntu is much more interesting, though like Ubuntu, it’s a bit heavy for my aging hardware on my 5 year+ laptops. Lubuntu is light enough, but for my own interests, Debian and antiX can come in just as light, if not a bit lighter, and with the systemd that you can get with them now, they boot faster.

    To each his own, to me, those are my preferred systems.

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