Category Archives: WebLive

Test drive the whole Ubuntu archive with WebLive

In my last blog post about WebLive I announced the availability on WebLive of the top-50 apps from the new Ratings & Review service.

Today I’m happy to announce that this feature is no longer necessary as you can now test drive anything that’s available in the Ubuntu archive.

Sylpheed installing on WebLive

At the moment that’s over 1300 desktop application that you can test this way.
That’s basically any GUI app that requires less than 150MB of space to install and that’s not in one of my blacklists (video editing, 3D, VOIP, VMs, …).

As a reminder, all that you need is an up to date Ubuntu 11.04 system and the qtnx package installed (default in Edubuntu).
Full desktop sessions are still available at:

This feature uses another of my pet projects Arkose to dynamically create containers (see LXC) whenever someone logs in. Each user is allocated up to 500MB for the test drive feature. On login, the system will check if it already has the requested app in the default system and if not, will download and install it when you connect.

Enjoy !

NOTE: The current blacklist isn’t perfect, so if you notice any package that has a Test drive button in the Software Center and doesn’t work, please file a bug here:

Posted in Arkose, Canonical voices, Edubuntu, LXC, Planet Ubuntu, Sandbox, WebLive | 9 Comments

More on WebLive and the Software Center integration

As Michael mentioned on Friday we now have a pretty well working WebLive integration directly in Natty’s software-center.

All you need is qtnx to be installed and an up to date Software Center.
Edubuntu 11.04 will ship with qtnx installed by default. We want to test the feature with all Edubuntu users first to see how it scales and make sure everything is stable before we consider using it for Ubuntu.

Now, quite a few people have been wondering what’s currently available on WebLive.
The complete package list is available here: (generated using the WebLive API)

It’s basically all the packages you can find in Edubuntu 10.10, Edubuntu 11.04 and Ubuntu 11.04 as well as the top-30 from the Software Center.
So if you want a package to appear on WebLive, write a review in the Software-Center and rate it.

Edubuntu WebLive

I also would like to remember everyone that you can still get full desktop session by going at:

If you want to point a friend who doesn’t have the new software center to a single-app session, you can use: (by replacing gedit by anything that’s available on WebLive).

Enjoy !

Posted in Edubuntu, Planet Revolution-Linux, Planet Ubuntu, WebLive | 2 Comments

Introducing the WebLive API

After working on it for the last two weeks, I’m proud to finally announce the WebLive API.
As a reminder, WebLive is the name used for the daemon, Drupal plugin and scripts used to run
Since last week, all the code is now available here:

The API is exported over JSON and example code is available in the branch called ltsp-cluster-agent-vmmanager in the client directory. When interfacing with python, it’s recommended to use the “” module as it’ll be updated should the JSON API change or be extended in the near future.

Exported functions are:

  • create_user(serverid, username, fullname, password, session)
  • list_everything()
  • list_locales(serverid)
  • list_packages(serverid)
  • list_servers()

The following functions are exported over authenticated XML-RPC (for management):

  • delete_user(serverid, username)
  • set_disabled(serverid,status)
  • list_users(serverid,all=False)

The main weblive instance is available at and is the one used by Edubuntu.

The drupal-weblive branch contains the Drupal module which is now just a client to the JSON API.

The first use of that API after the Drupal module is Natty’s software-center which since last week ships with code to connect to WebLive.
If you use up to date Natty, you’ll need to install “qtnx” from universe and then start: software-center –with-weblive

All the packages available in WebLive will then have a “Test drive” button you can click to test that app remotely from a WebLive server.

WebLive integration in software-center

The software-center integration is experimental and will hopefully be improved by the time Natty is released. As Ubuntu doesn’t ship qtnx by default, WebLive won’t be visible in the default Ubuntu install, though it’ll be for Edubuntu.

Note: It can take up to a minute to connect to a server. There’s currently no user feedback during the connection process unless you watch the terminal from which you started the software center.

The current code requires your username and hostname to be ascii lowercase alpha characters only. I posted instructions as a comment to get the development branch that doesn’t have this restriction.

Posted in Edubuntu, LTSP, Planet Revolution-Linux, Planet Ubuntu, WebLive | Tagged | 12 Comments