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Ubuntu Cloud Data Storage Open Source

Canonical Shutting Down Ubuntu One File Services 161

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the at-least-we-get-code dept.
jones_supa (887896) writes "Wanting to focus their efforts on their most important strategic initiatives and ensuring that the company is not spread too thin, Canonical is shutting down Ubuntu One file services. With other services now regularly offering from 25 GB to 50 GB of free storage, the personal cloud storage space wasn't a sustainable place for Canonical. As of today, it will no longer be possible to purchase storage or music from the Ubuntu One store. The Ubuntu One software will not be included in the upcoming Ubuntu 14.04 LTS release, and the Ubuntu One apps in older versions of Ubuntu and in the Ubuntu, Google, and Apple stores will be updated appropriately.

The current services will be unavailable from 1 June 2014; user content will remain available for download until 31 July, at which time it will be deleted. For a spark of solace, the company promises to open source the backend code."
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Canonical Shutting Down Ubuntu One File Services

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  • It's a pity (Score:3, Interesting)

    by nicomede (1228020) on Wednesday April 02, 2014 @09:16AM (#46638835)

    I for one used this service to share files between my Ubuntu desktops, it worked seamlessly. It is especially useful for development files (programs and scripts) that I share between my different workplaces.

    If anyone has a replacement suggestion that integrates well with the Ubuntu desktop, I would be glad to hear from it.

    • Re:It's a pity (Score:5, Informative)

      by pelayo (857356) on Wednesday April 02, 2014 @09:18AM (#46638863)
      What about Dropbox or Owncloud?
    • by Anonymous Coward

      I've used it and it works nicely across multiple Linux Distros though for Dev files, why not a github account?

      captcha = hooked

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Learn to use rsync over ssh.

      • Learn to use rsync over ssh.

        What's the server's hostname?

    • FTP? (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Viol8 (599362)

      Seriously , why do so many people thinking transfering files is some new problem still looking for a solution? I can understand it for Windows users but Linux users really should know better.

      • by paskie (539112)

        For one, you need an FTP _server_ to exchange files (or your desktops need to be always-on, with public IP addresses). The same with rsync or ssh. I have one and I'm fine without these cloud services, but the point here is that people don't have to set up their own.

        (A service that would allow an end-user to easily roll their own VPS or buy preconfigured RPi/whatever with pre-configured mail server, webmail client, file sharing etc. would be awesome. Some are in the works, none are ready yet. Which is why cl

        • For one, you need an FTP _server_ to exchange files (or your desktops need to be always-on, with public IP addresses). The same with rsync or ssh. I have one and I'm fine without these cloud services, but the point here is that people don't have to set up their own.

          (A service that would allow an end-user to easily roll their own VPS or buy preconfigured RPi/whatever with pre-configured mail server, webmail client, file sharing etc. would be awesome. Some are in the works, none are ready yet. Which is why cloud services matter for users.)

          You don't need to install a ftp server as most distros come with ssh out of the box use that with scp. As for a public IP address no you don't need that either just use a dynamic dns service that's what I use on my server.

          • I cannot understand why there is such scant mention of OwnCloud in this thread. It is THE solution to the problem of needing Dropbox like functionality on a self-hosted server.

            • I've just started using OwnCloud, but having such a large blob of PHP on a public-facing IP is slightly terrifying. In a jail it isn't too bad - at least it can't compromise the rest of the system - but I still wouldn't put anything in it that I'd worry to much about if it were compromised...
        • by xvan (2935999)
          What?????? I suppose you never heard of DDNS?
          • by tepples (727027)

            or your desktops need to be always-on, with public IP addresses

            What?????? I suppose you never heard of DDNS?

            DDNS doesn't help if your ISP puts you behind carrier-grade NAT or if your home computer enters suspend after you've stepped away from it for an hour.

        • For one, you need an FTP _server_ to exchange files (or your desktops need to be always-on, with public IP addresses).

          Who needs a desktop? Pi works for me. It comes back up after power failures and everything.

      • Re:FTP? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by hawguy (1600213) on Wednesday April 02, 2014 @09:48AM (#46639153)

        Seriously , why do so many people thinking transfering files is some new problem still looking for a solution? I can understand it for Windows users but Linux users really should know better.

        Because FTP only supplies the transport layer - it's not going to automatically sync the 1000 files you dropped in the FTP directory and won't do the many-to-many replication that people use to share files among multiple desktops. Even rsync gets a little cumbersome for that without a central server that they all have access to, and if you're going to set up a server, you may as well set up something like OwnCloud [owncloud.org].

        • Too bad LiveMesh kicked the bucket, as it was actually the perfect solution (once you got over the performance hit).

      • by Nimey (114278)

        FTP is not even in the same league of functionality or convenience, to say nothing of security. OwnCloud would be a more reasonable solution.

      • I like FTP as much as the next Slashdotter, but it's not a perfect overlap to the same problem that Dropbox/Gdrive/UbuntuOne solves.

        FTP doesn't do delta syncs. While this is okay for a 50KB text file or even a 2MB spreadsheet, transferring a 1GB file in its entirety is undesirable.
        FTP requires an "intentional transfer". You save locally, then you upload remotely. U1 et al does this as a single step.
        FTP requires an open port on the receiving end, which is not always possible (e.g., public/corporate Wi-Fi). T

      • Re:FTP? (Score:5, Funny)

        by Yosho (135835) on Wednesday April 02, 2014 @09:58AM (#46639261) Homepage

        Why do so many people suggest newfangled technologies like FTP? I can understand it for Windows users, but Linux users should be able to just use netcat.

      • When you are trying to download a file over FTP and you lose the connection 20% through a 10 GB file, FTP doesnt look too good at all. Its good to have a "guaranteed delivery" solution that will restart the file transfers which have been running even if the computer is rebooted, right from where it left off. This is like what Websphere MQ does. Even Rsync sort of sucks, if the process is interrupted, it has no idea where it stopped so it starts the whole process of scanning directories looking for updated f

        • by Calydor (739835)

          While I haven't used FTP commands in the past decade and a half, isn't that what REST [byte size of incomplete file] is for?

    • by Kz (4332)

      unison (http://www.cis.upenn.edu/~bcpierce/unison/), BTSync (http://www.bittorrent.com/sync).

      neither of these needs any "cloud" storage, just transfers efficiently between your machines. The first one is Open Source and easy to use: GUI, CLI, cron... The second one is free but closed, runs as a daemon and can be installed on several NAS boxes.

      • So how do you "transfers efficiently between your machines" if only one of said machines is turned on at once? Or if some of them are behind carrier-grade NAT and you aren't renting a VPS?
      • The nice thing about 'cloud' services is that you don't need your computers to be on at the same time. There's nothing special about 'the cloud' that makes that work, it's just about having one dedicated machine or group of machines that is guaranteed to be on and reachable. The thing that makes this attractive for most home users is that buying and running such a machine is expensive. This is more or less the point of the FreedomBox (remember that?) which was supposed to provide such services from your
    • Try Copy. It's cheap and you get a lot of free storage for referring people.
    • by raymorris (2726007) on Wednesday April 02, 2014 @09:44AM (#46639105)

      If you mean software or web pages you're developing, svn or other source control really is worth the 20 minutes or so it takes to set up the first time. Even if you're the only developer on the project. Github makes it easy to access your git repositories from anywhere if you don't have a server or dyndns.

      I didn't use source control for fifteen years because it seemed like it would be a hassle. When an employee set it up, I learned it reduces hassles.

    • Consider SpiderOak Backup - they have a package repository for Ubuntu and the "Spideroak Hive" is, I believe, much like the Ubuntu One folder. I use it for backups but it looks to be nicely usable as a One replacement, especially if you're not sharing with other people a lot.

      They recently sent me an email that they're offering unlimited storage for $125 a year as well, though I'm not sure how that works in practice.

      And, of course, their big claim to fame is that they're zero-knowledge, so no NSA requests,

    • by mikael (484)

      Wouldn't an external USB drive be more practical? You can even make your own by simply buying a $10 case and 2.5" disk drive. Anything up to 500 Gigabytes of storage in your pocket.

    • by Teun (17872)
      It won't be available for all and it's of limited size but my provider includes a 10GB webdisk.

      Very private and webdav is included in any complete Linux file manager, read-only access is via https.

      Android is, among others, supported via the ES File Explorer.

      For the less private stuff I use Dropbox, due to a few referrals it has grown to 3.75 GB.

      • grive is available as a linux client for the google gdrive. It syncs a folder to the gdrive so you don't have to be on a particular computer/phone/tablet or operating system.

        It's pretty useful especially to students, they get network storage in the college but its not really much use to them outside of the college most use unbacked up usb sticks which is fine until they fail...

        • by Teun (17872)
          A USB shouldn't be main storage but instead used to sync between computers.
          • Yes, but it is a learning experience, once you have been burned you should learn that you need at least 2 copies and if it matters a third at least.

            Actually it would be a good idea if say office programs would save in a couple of locations by default and perhaps some versioning as well.
             

    • I for one used this service to share files between my Ubuntu desktops, it worked seamlessly. It is especially useful for development files (programs and scripts) that I share between my different workplaces.

      If anyone has a replacement suggestion that integrates well with the Ubuntu desktop, I would be glad to hear from it.

      ===
      Dropbox or Spider Oaks.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Canonical is genius on wasting money , they start so many project , and neither of them actually works great . just look at unity , mir and so many other. e.g unity first written in (i think) gtk , then Canonical created nux (c++ framework), then ported to nux , and unity 2 to qml , and now they port whole unity to Qt again. something same will happen for mir . then no serious company never will look at mir seriously (like nvidia ATI )
    • by BreakBad (2955249)

      Its the new Trail-and-Error method of innovation....its an infinite loop.

    • Re:like always (Score:5, Interesting)

      by bill_mcgonigle (4333) * on Wednesday April 02, 2014 @09:25AM (#46638925) Homepage Journal

      they start so many project , and neither of them actually works great

      This would be my last complaint about Canonical. In any industry, 90+% of ideas are going to turn out to be unworkable. It's admirable that Canonical puts resources into trying so many in the first place. Perhaps they need to learn when to cut losses sooner, but trying is the mature approach.

      Now then, back to complaining about Canonical: they're releasing the code for the backend? Somebody tell me that the front end was just a webdav client and that the backend handled all the locking and synchronization parts so that this isn't a meaningless gesture for customers who are getting cut off with a whole two months' notice to re-design their workflows.

      • Re:like always (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Beuno (740018) <(argentina) (at) (gmail.com)> on Wednesday April 02, 2014 @09:52AM (#46639195) Homepage

        Now then, back to complaining about Canonical: they're releasing the code for the backend? Somebody tell me that the front end was just a webdav client and that the backend handled all the locking and synchronization parts so that this isn't a meaningless gesture for customers who are getting cut off with a whole two months' notice to re-design their workflows.

        The client is not a simple webdav client, it's a pretty complex piece of code that has been open source since day one: http://bazaar.launchpad.net/~u... [launchpad.net]

        The server is a complex beast. It's the other side of the syncing protocol, it has a series of workers that do all sorts of tasks on uploaded files to present them back in a scalable, usable way, it handles music purchasing and delivering, performance metrics on the system, sharing between users, and a long etc :)

        I don't think users will care about open sourcing any of it, but others might be able to pick up where we left off.

        • a pretty complex piece of code that has been open source since day one

          Thanks, Beuno! I didn't even realize it was multi-platform [launchpad.net]. Hopefully with the server going open source there will be new interest sparked in replacing the proprietary commercial offerings.

          to pick up where we left off.

          I just have to ask - Be Uno? Ubuntu One? Just a coincidence? :)

        • by div_2n (525075)

          Well this is rather unfortunate. I had my complaints about it, but those were allegedly being addressed. This necessarily raises questions about what's going to power the sync for Ubuntu phones.

    • Re:like always (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Grishnakh (216268) on Wednesday April 02, 2014 @09:30AM (#46638971)

      It's not much different from Google. Google has long had a "throw shit at a wall and see what sticks" approach to business. But unlike Canonical, Google already had a cash cow in the form of its search service and the attached advertising services, and then later its Gmail service, so it could afford this kind of approach.

    • Re:like always (Score:4, Insightful)

      by ShieldW0lf (601553) on Wednesday April 02, 2014 @10:36AM (#46639679) Journal

      Canonical is genius on wasting money , they start so many project , and neither of them actually works great . just look at unity , mir and so many other.
      e.g unity first written in (i think) gtk , then Canonical created nux (c++ framework), then ported to nux , and unity 2 to qml , and now they port whole unity to Qt again.
      something same will happen for mir . then no serious company never will look at mir seriously (like nvidia ATI )

      Go found a company in your parents garage and sell it for half a billion dollars. Then you can "waste" money too.

  • by RichMan (8097) on Wednesday April 02, 2014 @09:22AM (#46638899)

    The non-permanence of cloud services like storage and sharing is going to be hard to solve. Sure some will last. But some will not. How do you choose the ones the will?

    How will the industry handle the increasing number of people that have suffered "cloud failure". These people are going to be reluctant to use future services.

    • by Voyager529 (1363959) <voyager529 AT yahoo DOT com> on Wednesday April 02, 2014 @09:28AM (#46638955)

      The non-permanence of cloud services like storage and sharing is going to be hard to solve. Sure some will last. But some will not. How do you choose the ones the will?

      Ask the NSA which one they use.

    • The non-permanence of cloud services like storage and sharing is going to be hard to solve. Sure some will last. But some will not. How do you choose the ones the will?

      By building a "Services as a Service" layer on top, which delegates the storage to whoever's still around.

      Oblig. https://xkcd.com/927/ [xkcd.com]

    • by Natales (182136)
      Completely agree. Unfortunately, it's a normal part of the growth and maturity of a new industry. We tend to forget how new all this stuff is. Adjustments, consolidations and failures will occur, but they will collectively contribute to a more robust ecosystem down the road. Like with any technology, early adopters tend to get screwed, the difference is that people were treated as "consenting" early adopters when in reality they thought they were relying on a "permanent" service.

      What I do find interesting
    • Roll your own.
      • It's fast, stable, mature and provides a boatload of the functionality you get from Dropbox and Google on a server that you host yourself. Get it, use it, love it.

    • I created an online service to show everyone else what I chose to use:

      Because every time I choose something it dies a horrible death.

      My LS-120 Drive
      My barely Pre-HD Digital Camcorder

      So just don't choose what I choose and you will be fine.

      Oh and that service, yeah they closed that down to, so never mind.

  • by jellomizer (103300) on Wednesday April 02, 2014 @09:23AM (#46638907)

    A common problem with companies that has a strong FOSS leaning, is that they come up with a lot of good ideas that will often not take off too well. And often will be discontinued shortly.
    Now I applaud them for trying, however it creates a catch 22 problem.
    If people do not feel comfortable that your service will last, they will not use it, your next idea will not be utilized because you have created a history of dropping products.

  • I started using sugarsync's free edition -- then they decided to better serve their customers by eliminating that option .. so i moved to Ubuntu one. And now It appears that Canonical is also wanting to better serve their customers by discontinuing the service.

    My space requirements are very very slim (maybe 200MB) Would Dropbox be the go-to replacement (all machines are running windows)

    • by vladilinsky (1071536) on Wednesday April 02, 2014 @09:54AM (#46639227)
      I am always on the lookout for cloud storage my current list from best to worst with their respective pros and cons are (*Based on what I have seen & most of my computers run linux so its a major part of my list)

      1. Copy.com - Most free storage 15 gb, works with every environment, Integrates acceptably with linux, Most generous with new free space for referrals (+5 gb for both parties). I have not yet witnessed how it handles conflicting copies of a file. On that note If anyone wants a copy account we both get an extra 5 gigs if you follow my referral link https://copy.com?r=9frCDJ [copy.com]
      2. Dropbox - Great handling of conflicting copies, works with every environment, great linux integration, lowest storage space and lowest storage space per referral. Great handling of conflicted copies.
      3. Spideroak - Great linux integration, great encryption, No online viewing of files (due to the encryption) great linux integration 4. Box - great free space, none existent linux integration, no conflict checking/ history for free version. It ate many of my important school files because of this. 5. There are also Google drive and microsoft Onedrive but I have no experience with them.

      To sum up, right now My favorite is copy.com due to copious amounts for free space and Linux intigration. Hope that helps
      • I don't know about "Great linux integration" for dropbox, At work we have the business version working on our ubuntu fileserver and we are trying to sync 300k files. (eventually we want to replace this with a VPN but can't at the moment). Linux version crashes at least once a week, we even tried it on another ubuntu box and same issue. We reinstalled our fileserver with windows 7 and it has now been working solid for over a month with no crashes.
        • by gl4ss (559668)

          maybe switch to something else than ubuntu?

          and uh, dropbox and 300k files is going to be shitty no matter what and that really sounds like there's no actual desktop or mobile users syncing to that dropbox which would be the whole point of using dropbox.

        • I cleaned up after Dropbox on a computer (Ubuntu 11.04).. Someone decided to install a dropbox package.. which is an extension for the Nautilus file manager, except the only GUI installed was LXDE (file manager is pcmanfm). So, what a funny situation.. Doesn't work and the user has no clue. I don't care as I don't use Dropbox and I guess the user could use a web interface to get his/her files.

          On my current installation I have a choice of caja-dropbox, nemo-dropbox and nautilus-dropbox so that's better (but

      • by paraax (126484) on Wednesday April 02, 2014 @11:27AM (#46640203)

        Spideroak allows online viewing via web interface. Anytime you use the web interface, however, you give up the zero knowledge portion as they need your password to decrypt the files. Also there is a shared folder feature that allows you to create a separate share password to give out to other people for a folder. Presumably use of this feature also gives up on the zero-knowledge at least for that folder.

        • by tepples (727027)

          Anytime you use the web interface, however, you give up the zero knowledge portion as they need your password to decrypt the files.

          Why must this be the case? I was under the impression that the web interface could decrypt files in JavaScript, especially in a couple weeks once IE 8 is no longer a requirement.

    • Google Drive?

      I know you said Windows, but for those not using it (like the majority of Ubuntu One users one presumes...) there's actually a few FUSE drivers out there that can make your Google Drive part of your regular file system (these started being developed back in the Google Docs days), which is nice.

    • I highly recommend Dropbox. It has clients for Win, Linux, iOS, Android, BlackBerry OS, and others, including direct web access. I think you start with a free 2GB, but you can get a few GB more for free by linking your various devices and inviting friends. I think my total is around 8GB currently.

      It seems to work flawlessly. Any time you make changes or add files, the folder icon changes to a folder sync icon, letting you know which folders are still syncing. I have my wife using her own Dropbox for her con

      • I also love dropbox but the space they give you is not enough unless you are willing to pay. I use copy.com which has similar features to dropbox, with way more space. I would use dropbox in a second over copy if they had same amount (or even close to the same amount) of space for free, but since they dont ill stick to copy.
      • And it has versioning via the website. You can see all recent activity, revert to old versions and undo deletions.
    • by Teun (17872)
      Sounds like you could do with a USB thumb drive...
    • by MrEricSir (398214)

      BitTorrent Sync is great, unless you really need cloud storage.

  • by wjcofkc (964165) on Wednesday April 02, 2014 @09:37AM (#46639023)
    Pardon this post as it is heavy on opinion. If you think it's so far off the mark you want to mod me down, it would be far more productive to reply.

    Ubuntu One was a pretty big deal and one of the last good things attached to Canonical Ubuntu's name (IMHO). Hard times at Canonical perhaps? Canonical has always struck me as a company that won't be around forever, if even a few scant more years. They are always either too busy chasing unrealistic goals in the hopes of being elevated to the levels of the real major players in tech, or are busy fighting against popular trends and pushing back against the overall direction of Linux and Open Source.

    The death of Canonical is a shake up the Linux development community needs for both perspective and spurring continued innovation in Linux and Linux distributions.
    • by sqorbit (3387991)
      I don't believe Ubuntu One was a major driving factor when people think of Ubuntu's name. It has it's fans, some who are very passionate about it and I don't think many of those fans would say that Ubuntu One is one of the major reasons they are fans. If you were a fan of Ubuntu before they close down Ubuntu One I don't think it will severely impact your opinion of their distro.
  • It always just seemed like the first step toward them becoming a really crappy apple store.

    Now if they just ditch unity and mir and their advertising in the dash, I can go back to using ubuntu.

    • Now if they just ditch unity and mir and their advertising in the dash, I can go back to using ubuntu.

      Why bother? Debian itself or the Mint-Debian edition will work just as well, withOUT the moronic Canonical touch that Ubuntu seems to have... I used to tout Ubuntu to all my friends, many of whom were on Windows.. Since Canonical/Ubuntu has started this slide to insanity, I've switched my allegiance over to Debian, for those who are fairly Linux-knowledgable, and Mint-Debian Edition, for Linux noobs..

      • Five year support is a good incentive. Having wifi after installing without an internet connection is another one, though I guess Mint Debian fixes that.
        I'll be installing Mint Debian edition 32bit some, but after that Mint 17 (Ubuntu based) is probably a proposition I can't pass.. Fully works till 2019 and subsequent Ubuntu-based Mint versions are to be based on the LTS (with updated kernel and Xorg support, and updated Mate and Cinnamon environments). See linuxmint blog.

  • by drolli (522659)

    The service sucked from the beginning and if i want to have my mainly OS as a platform to get cloud services shuffled up my ass then i buy apple, android, or chrome OS.

  • I used it once.
  • by Gothmolly (148874) on Wednesday April 02, 2014 @10:44AM (#46639777)

    Woz spoke last year about this - how you should have your data, on your device, in your hand.

  • Remove all the Ubuntu One stuff installed by default:

    apt-get remove deja-dup-backend-ubuntuone python-ubuntuone-client python-ubuntuone-control-panel python-ubuntuone-storageprotocol rhythmbox-ubuntuone ubuntuone-client ubuntuone-client-data ubuntuone-control-panel ubuntuone-control-panel-qt

    And for good measure:

    apt-get remove unity-scope-musicstores

  • by savuporo (658486) on Wednesday April 02, 2014 @11:44AM (#46640379)

    To actually rest at ease in regards to my stored data, i want a solution that does redundant distribution of my data across 2 or more storage solutions - with something super cheap and slow like Amazon Glacier in the mix , with more than one paid service, and a physical backup of my own hard disks hooked to a local NAS box as well.
    And i want an option for self-hosting the front-end too.

    So if something like Ubuntu pulls the plug, gets too expensive, fucks up their client, i dont have to worry about migrating my data or changing my workflows.

  • I'm curious, or maybe just ignorant, why the open source community does not already have a mature, widespread file storage application that is peer to peer, like BitTorrent Sync [bittorrent.com]. Maybe because peer to peer is so much harder than client-server. But I would have thought it would be further along by now, given our:

    - technical savvy
    - awareness of the importance of good back-ups
    - distrust of corporations and governments

    If we had a free file back-up service that was standard for Linux (or if there were two or thr

  • Awe, damn. I had my free cloud hosting totally full too! I don't like or really use Ubuntu, but I have to test some of my cross platform software with it, but Ubuntu One seemed to be pretty good at what I used it for. I hope I don't lose access to my mirror of /dev/urandom. Whatever shall I do?

    I never trust the cloud services, especially not the free services. They are always destined to burn away under the bright rays of a profit-and-loss-statement sun.

  • I quite liked being able to buy albums, knowing that part of my purchase was going to support Ubuntu rather than apple. I wonder if sales fell off a cliff when they switched away from using a Rhythmbox plugin as an interface to buy music, and forced everyone to use a website that you have to log in to in order to BROWSE the music for sale. I guess sales were so low they couldn't justify paying even one business-and-tech-savvy person to make it successful.

  • It's a shame, as Ubuntu 14.04 LTS is almost out and I was ready to give a try. I know a few people using 12.04, it dumbs you down and encourages a browser-only use (due to difficulty of finding any but the most basic installed apps), but is decent when used in that role.

    Ubuntu One was maybe a good fit (and usable on other platforms too) and especially, I have no trust in other "cloud" stuff. I don't want google or microsoft stuff, and as for dropbox I don't know who they are, what laws they obey, who they g

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