Ubuntu, Byobu, and You!

Registered by Dustin Kirkland  on 2010-04-29

Byobu has continued to add new features (additional notifications, better configuration menus), improve performance, and generally stabilize. Other distros have picked up the project and packaged it for their archive, and numerous users have ported it to OSX, and other UNIX and Linux distros.

But Byobu is uniquely "Ubuntu". It's the Linux command line for human beings. We continue to ship the Ubuntu Server without a graphical desktop, but we have long shipped "screen", which is a text-based window manager. Byobu is what makes screen accessible and much more useful by any Ubuntu user.

It's easy to start "byobu" ... You just type "byobu". And it's easy to make it launch-by-default on every login. You can either run "byobu-launcher-install" once, or press F9->toggle-on. However, the users who need byobu *the most* probably won't be able to figure out either of these two mechanisms.

It's now LTS+1... Let's try launching Byobu by default on Server logins (ssh and console) for this release. Or at least let's run the experiment for Maverick Alpha1/2/3. Let's identify the blockers, and get them fixed. And let's make sure there's a really easy way for people to disable it if want to opt out.

What blockers are left? We've addressed just about everything that people have thrown at Byobu in the last two UDS. In this session, let's create another punchlist of the functional changes we need to launch byobu by default.

For reference, see:
 * https://blueprints.edge.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+spec/server-lucid-byobu

Blueprint information

Not started
Jos Boumans
Dustin Kirkland 
Needs approval
Dustin Kirkland 
Series goal:
Proposed for maverick
Milestone target:

Related branches



UDS Audio at:
 * http://uds.ubuntu.com/audio/uds-m/2010-05-14/2010-05-14_150001_cocobolo-2_server-maverick-byobu-and-you.ogg

 * Sean: he likes it, but is minority representative of Canonical IS
  * I use byobu on fast serial console but byobu is too heavy for slow (9600) connections; I use screen instead
  * I use on single tty during single user/recovery mode
 * Carlos: "how soon can we get it"
 * Nick: uses it in conjunction with terminator
 * Joey: I can stop installing desktop/gnome on servers (now that I know about byobu) and therefore not invest in heads; just run them headless
 * Nick: perhaps hard to find F9->Help
 * Jos: we're asking people if they're at a BMW dealership asking what's your favorite car (maybe everyone here is already sold on byobu and we're missing the dissendents)
 * Popey: likes showing sysadmins that they don't have to open 100 xterms
 * Clint: always want screen about 30 seconds after running some long running process
   needs to be tested against OEM "management hardware" (like a FSP)
 * Jos: Maverick is NOT a "cowboy" release
 * Scott: Must be easy and discoverable as to how to disable
 * Nick: likes the idea of an installer question
 * Clint: suggests a help message on first launch
 * Or a motd message saying "run byobu"

Work Items:
Blog call for opinions on byobu: TODO
Ask Experience and Design teams for review: TODO
Ask Ubuntu Tech Board for feedback: TODO
Change debconf launch-at-login from false -> true by Alpha2: TODO
Ensure that it's trivial to disable/opt-out: TODO
Publish Alpha2 release note introducing the feature, asking for feedback: TODO
Deal with bugs/issues exposed by this change: TODO
Decide by Release Candidate whether to keep or pull this change: TODO
Handle all reasonable terminal emulators (Bug ######): TODO
Ensure shortcut keys work well with various terminals, make it easy to enable/disable: TODO
Minimize the number of recommends pulled in by byobu: DONE


Work Items