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).