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A new Virtual Ubuntu Developer Summit (uds-1311) will start next week and some interesting changes will be discussed, such as enabling TRIM for SSDs by default, supporting touch apps on Ubuntu desktop and more.

Below you'll find some of the changes proposed for the upcoming Ubuntu 14.04 LTS (Trusty Tahr) as well as some other interesting UDS tracks.

Enable TRIM for SSDs by default

Intel SSD

The Ubuntu developers want to enable TRIM for SSDs in Ubuntu 14.04 LTS Trusty Tahr. TRIM allows the OS to "inform a solid-state drive (SSD) which blocks of data are no longer considered in use and can be wiped internally". Without this, the write speed on SSDs becomes very slow over time.

The UDS discussion will be about the method that's going to be used in Ubuntu for trimming SSDs. The first one is called online discard and it consists on simply adding a "discard" option to /etc/fstab but many say this isn't a good idea and you'll get a significant performance hit when trying to delete a large number of small files. The second approach is using fstrim and a cron job and this can run daily or weekly and it doesn't affect performance when deleting a large number of small files, but it can occasionally put some potentially unexpected IO load on the machine.

For more information about TRIM or if you want to enable TRIM for your SSD, see our article: Enable TRIM On SSD (Solid-State Drives) In Ubuntu For Better Performance.

More info: Blueprint

Startup Disk Creator redesign & renaming proposal

Another blueprint registered for the upcoming UDS is about redesigning and renaming the Startup Disk Creator. According to the blueprint, "the Startup Disk Creator (SDC) in it's current form has a suboptimal work flow, displays to many unimportant information to the user and requires to many steps to actually create a startup USB stick".

Here are a few mockups with the new Startup Disk Creator (which, according to the proposal, should be renamed to "Ubuntu USB Startup Creator") design:

Ubuntu USB Startup Creator mockup
Ubuntu USB Startup Creator mockup

More info: Blueprint

Support touch apps on Ubuntu desktop

Ubuntu Browser app
Ubuntu Browser app

According to a blueprint, the developers will work on supporting touch apps on the Ubuntu desktop (Camera, Gallery, Media Player, Browser, Notes and On-Screen Keyboard) for Trusty Tahr. For this, some things need to be addressed such as application closing/non-fullscreen mode, toolbar interaction, menubar/hud interaction, layout optimizations and more.

More info: Blueprint

Other interesting topics to be discussed in the upcoming UDS:
  • Make click apps (click packages is a new simplified packaging format for Ubuntu touch, but the goal is to use it on the desktop too) runnable from the Unity7 dash (link).
  • Fix the boot experience: fix LightDM failures, ensure initramfs contains all necessary fonts, fix fsck feedback not being displayed, Plymouth should warn when caps lock is set, etc. (link).
  • Update on the Ubuntu icons design (link) - unfortunately there's no info about this right now;
  • Improved scopes for Unity 8 (link).
  • According to an USD blueprint, an Ubuntu Touch Emulator is under development. The UDS session will discuss the emulator packaging/distribution - if it will be part of the SDK as well as x86 support, among other things (link).

Update: Xubuntu 14.04 LTS changes

It looks like Xubuntu 14.04 will come with Xfdesktop 4.11 which allows setting custom folder icons, per-desktop wallpapers, apply wallpaper to all workspaces and there are also an unmount option and notifications when a device is removed .

Another possible change is the introduction of Light Locker by default, a session locker for LightDM (replacing Xscreensaver).

The Xubuntu developers are also looking to introduce GTK3 indicators and add Mugshot (a tool to easily change the lightdm-gtk-greeter profile image and details and sync it across multiple applications), MenuLibre (a menu editor) and Whisker Menu (an application launcher for Xfce which comes with a search feature) by default.

Also, with 14.04, Xubuntu will come with a community wallpaper package, more about that HERE.

Xubuntu 14.04 Roadmap

Currently there are no blueprints / meetings scheduled for the other Ubuntu flavors (Kubuntu, Ubuntu GNOME and so on), that's why there's no information about them in this article.

The discussions will start on Tuesday, 19 November and you can watch all the UDS sessions live (Google+ Hangouts) or recorded. See THIS page for a complete schedule.