Ubuntu single sign on service launched

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We are pleased to announce the launch of the brand new Ubuntu single sign on service.  The goal of this service is to provide a single, central login service for all Ubuntu-related sites, thus making it more convenient for Ubuntu users and community members to access information, communicate, and contribute.  This service will replace the existing Launchpad login service that is currently in use for many Ubuntu-related sites, although existing Launchpad accounts will continue to work in the new service.

Over the next few months we will be moving all of the Ubuntu and Canonical related sites that currently use the Launchpad service to Ubuntu single sign on, starting with sites we manage directly and then working with community site owners to move the community-managed sites.

Because of the number of existing Ubuntu users who have created accounts in Launchpad for the purpose of logging into other sites, we have set the Ubuntu and Launchpad services to share account data during the transition.  Launchpad is in the process of enabling users to log in with an Ubuntu account and, once completed, this sharing will be removed.  This does mean that you will be able to log into both services with the same credentials for a while.  We realise this is something internet users have been encouraged to not do but it is a necessary side-effect of the transition.  Doing this ensures you won’t lose access to services you’ve purchased from us in the past or your account histories in the sites you’ve previously visited, as long as you use your existing Launchpad credentials on Ubuntu single sign on.

Ubuntu single sign on is built on OpenID so, once all the sites we know about have moved over, we will also be opening up the OpenID service to enable you to log in to any site which accepts standard OpenIDs.

Some questions we think you may have for us:

Why replace the Launchpad login service?

The Launchpad login service has served us well for several years but Launchpad is not a familiar brand for many Ubuntu users.  As Ubuntu grows, we’ll see more and more users who don’t understand the connection between Launchpad and Ubuntu and the new Ubuntu login service is intended to overcome this problem.  It will also enable us to develop features which are more oriented to Ubuntu users.

How does the new service differ from the old one?

For now, not much apart from the appearance of the site.  We have many plans for great new features, however, and hope to roll these out once the service is established.  If you have ideas for other features you’d like to see in Ubuntu single sign on, we’d love to hear about them.

Is the new service Open Source?

No, it’s not.  It is, however, built and hosted on open source technologies (python, django, apache and postgres amongst others).

I have a problem with the new service.  Where can I get help?

We have an email support channel.  You can submit your support requests using our support form.  If you have found a bug, please take a few minutes to tell us about it on Launchpad.

We’re sure you have more questions.  Please submit them and we’ll do our best to respond to them all.

Stuart Metcalfe, Infrastructure Systems Development, Canonical

13 comments

  1. Michael Lustfield

    I just need to ask. I know clients are paying for the development of the Launchpad OpenID modules. For this reason I suspect that they won’t be going anywhere. I’m also expecting that they will need to undergo heavy modifications.

    I had multiple people come to me with concern about this change as well as the concern about not open sourcing a login tool. Could you explain a little more about how this will look for the end users?

    Personally the open sourcing of one tool makes little impact on me, after all Launchpad was fully open sourced which is impressive. I also had one person ask if it would be possible to pass the coordinates of where the person set there location. They want this information so the user can find a nearest support contact.

    I’m sure many of us are dying for more information. :)

  2. habtool

    Canonical seem to be coming more proprietary by the day.
    Surely there will be a firestorm again, like Ubuntu-one being closed source, yet using the Ubuntu name. Either you deliberately want to irrate the FLOSS users of Ubuntu, or you learned nothing the first time round?

    Why the need for all the closed source back-ends, yet you trying to make money using the 25000 odd free programs of Debian and the various upstreams?

  3. André Gondim

    Why do not have braimstorm too?

    Cheers.

  4. Rob Connolly

    I have to query the reasoning behind replacing a currently open source SSO service with a closed source proprietary one. The fact that it is built on Open Source technologies is not enough. As a leading Open Source company Canonical should be leading the way in making it’s web services Free, something which I thought they were doing when Launchpad was Open Sourced.

    Also, what is the reason for this being closed? Surely it can’t be of any commercial value to Canonical as you’re not charging for it. The closed source situation was more understandable in the case of Ubuntu One, where you are trying to gain revenue, but this I just don’t understand.

  5. Anders Wallenquist

    Nice! But I want to use my regular OpenID with login.ubuntu.com and other Ubuntu services. I dont need a new ID. If every site/vendor only provide an OpenID service and not accept OpenID there will be no change.

    With this new service it will be very easy for Ubuntu to fully implement OpenID for all services.

  6. ricardo

    why is not open source ? this sucks!!!

  7. Arnab Das

    great news! keep up all the good work. regards and respect.

  8. mouhabuntu

    In many of the tests Ubuntu 9.10 had carried the lead Fedora 12 both by small and large margins — but the Karmic Koala had stumbled when it came to the OpenGL performance, PostgreSQL, and NASA NPB. Of those areas, the OpenGL performance is the most intriguing with such a dramatic difference when using the same exact graphics driver from NVIDIA, which we will continue to explore and run other OpenGL tests available through the Phoronix Test Suite. To reiterate, both Ubuntu 9.10 and Fedora 12 were left in their stock configurations during our testing process. When we will consider the surveys, the comments and the critics of many experts most of printer and scanner don’t works, thanx to fix that.

  9. Francisco Costa

    nice move!

  10. Jeremy Bicha

    It’s probably a good idea to have (C) 2010 on the bottom of the shiny new login page.

  11. Terkel Sørensen

    My local ubuntu community use wordpress
    Is there a ubuntu SSO plugin for wordpress?

  12. sourabh

    my friend had signed in to your site and he got ubuntu free cd home delivery its true the pls send me too

  13. Johannes

    One of the more obscure moves of canonical. There is a Ubuntu single sign on, yet I have to pick a password at launchpad.net. Making login systems more complex will not help but hinders security. Time to postit passwords on my monitor again (at least two for launchpad one for LP and one for Ubuntu single sign on)
    I’m surprised by such a step back by canonical.

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