Ubuntu: For Toast Just The Way You Like It

Sep 03, 2007

Linuxconf Europe 2007 kicked off this Sunday in Cambridge, UK. Unix user groups from Great Britain and other parts of Europe will be hosting lectures and workshops until September 5.

So far this year's LinuxConf Europe has been primarily consisted of the in-depth discussions of the kernel and its inner workings. However, when one digs deep behind the concepts being presented, some exciting projects emerge. One such project is Ubuntu Home. Media Center editions of Windows and Linux have been around for some time now but, to date, have failed to gain a large market share. Certainly this technology is well behind its potential. Ubuntu Home is the personal project of Torsten Spindler of Canonical and it is hoped the project will simplify home automation for a larger audience. Why use a media center solely for your music and video? Torsten's dream is for a Linux-based environment from which the user can control everything: lights, heating, cooker... toaster!

The Ubuntu Home concept is based upon the massively popular Ubuntu distribution and inspired by Linux MCE; a media center already offering support for most common home systems. What is most surprising is that Ubuntu Home is not an official Canonical product. Surprising, not least, because of the benefits of productizing such a system. Torsten will humbly tell you that Ubuntu Home is “just” a pet project of his. The truth is
that Free Software has a proven pedigree as acting as a glue for disparate systems. Linux, in particular, enjoys great success where end users do not interact with it; in servers and embedded devices. Work in projects such as Ubuntu Home will be crucial for getting Linux into the hands of a wider array of end users as home automation becomes more common. If Canonical was ever to officially back the project, Ubuntu Home would most certainly be a project to watch.

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