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Next Gen Linux Distros Hit Milestone Releases

  • March 7, 2012
  • By Sean Kerner

It's not gravity that makes the Linux Planet go around, it's the continuous process of never-ending code development.

This past week saw three major milestone development releases for three of the biggest Linux efforts

1. Ubuntu 12.04 Beta 1

Ubuntu 12.04, aka the 'Precise Pangolin,' isn't just any Ubuntu Linux release, it's an LTS (long term support) release, the first such release since the 10.04 Lucid Lynx release in 2010. LTS releases carry five years of support and are essentially enterprise releases.

The 12.04 release will mark the debut of the Unity desktop for LTS users, a desktop that has not been short on controversy since it first appeared last year for non-LTS users. It also should mark the debut of the Ubuntu HUD, which is a new way to interact with and control applications.

The final Ubuntu 12.04 release is currently scheduled to be generally available on April 26.

2. Fedora 17 Alpha

While not an enterprise release, the Red Hat sponsored Fedora Linux community is relishing it upcoming release. Fedora 17 is codenamed the Beefy Miracle, and it is set to include a long list of condiments, err make that new features not seen in Fedora before.

Among those features are new security components, including a unified firewall service called 'firewalld' that will replace iptables. There is also support for DNSSEC on workstations.

This release also sees a whole lot of OpenStack love from Fedora with support for the new Quantum networking module as well as the Open vSwitch virtualization switch.

"When we said Beefy, we weren't kidding: an a-bun-dance of condiments, err, features, are available to help you feed your hunger for the best in free and open source software," Fedora developer, Dennis Gilmore wrote in the release announcement. "We take pride in our toppings, and in our fine ingredients; Fedora 17 includes both over- and under-the-bun improvements that show off the power and flexibility of the advancing state of free (range) software."

The final Fedora 17 release is currently scheduled to be generally available on May 8.

3. Linux 3.3 RC 6

While there are lots of differences between different Linux distributions, at the core of all distributions is the Linux kernel. This past week, Linus Torvalds moved a step closer to the final release of the second Linux kernel of 2012, with the Linux 3.3 rc 6 release.

"Hmm. Nothing much to say about this -rc: it really is all small fixes and cleanups," Torvalds wrote in a mailing list posting. "In fact, it's been calm enough that this *might* be the last -rc, but we'll see how the upcoming week goes. If it stays calm (and hopefully even calms down some more), there doesn't seem to be any major reason to drag out the release cycle any more."

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

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