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Ubuntu Claims 12 Million Users as Lucid Linux Desktop Nears

12 Million Users, Aubergine, Synchronization

  • April 7, 2010
  • By Sean Michael Kerner
Sean Michael Kerner

Ubuntu Linux is gearing up for the debut of its latest release with Ubuntu 10.04, codenamed "the Lucid Lynx" and scheduled for general availability at the end of the month. It's a release that offers multiple new features on the desktop and a new look to Ubuntu Linux.

The Lucid release could also help to further accelerate adoption of Ubuntu, which has been growing over the last several years. In 2008, Canonical, the lead commercial sponsor behind Ubuntu, pegged the number of Ubuntu users at 8 million. It's a figure that could have increased by as much as 50 percent or more since then, insiders say.

<em>Ubuntu One Music Store</em>
Ubuntu One Music Store

"We have no phone home or registration process, so it's always a guesstimate. But based on the same methodology that we came up with for the 2008 number, our present belief is that it's somewhere north of 12 million users at the moment," Chris Kenyon, vice president for OEM at Canonical, told InternetNews.com

In contrast, as of March 29, Red Hat's Fedora Linux was reporting usage of its Linux distribution at approximately 24 million installations.

Usage numbers aside, the upcoming Lucid release from Ubuntu is a big one for the Linux distribution as it is the first new Long-Term Supported (LTS) release in two years. An LTS release provides three years of support on Ubuntu Desktop, and five years on Ubuntu Server. In contrast, non-LTS Ubuntu releases come out every six months and have only 18 months of support. The last Ubuntu LTS release was the 8.04 release, "Hardy Heron," which made its debut in April 2008. Kenyon expect that users still running the 8.04 LTS will now make the jump to the 10.04 LTS when it becomes available.

Ubuntu Desktop

On the desktop, the Lucid release is the benefactor of a new branding initiative from Canonical, which transforms the traditionally brown-colored Ubuntu interface into one with a new purple look it calls "aubergine".

The desktop also benefits from the inclusion of the new Me Menu, which combines a user's chat and social networks into a user interface button. With the Me Menu, users can access and update instant messaging and social networks including Facebook, Digg, Twitter, Identica, Google Talk, MSN and IRC.

The Ubuntu One desktop service synchronization effort is also being expanded in the Lucid release.

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