Linux in 2015: Distros on Tap
2014 was a unique year for Linux in that Red Hat, SUSE and Ubuntu all had Enterprise (or Long Term Support/LTS releases as Ubuntu refers to them) releases. There will be no major enterprise Linux platform milestones in 2015, but there will be plenty of updates for enterprise and community Linux.
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.1
Red Hat had its big Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 debut in 2014, meaning we won't likely see RHEL 8 until 2017. Red Hat will be updating RHEL 7 though in 2015, with the first update set to be RHEL 7.1 which entered into public beta on December 11, 2014.
Improved security and support for IBM's Power 8 are two key enhancements set to debut when RHEL 7.1 becomes generally available in the first half of 2015.
Red Hat's Fedora community Linux distribution is set to return to its traditional cycle of release dates for 2015 after only releasing one milestone in 2014. Fedora 22 is currently set to become generally available no earlier than May 19, 2015. No word yet on expected features.
Ubuntu 15.04 is currently set for its final release on April 23. Codenamed the Vivid Vervet. Among the likely feature inclusions on the server will be the OpenStack Kilo release which is out at the same time. On the desktop continued integration of Unity Touch into the overall Ubuntu platform should manifest for the 15.04 release cycle.
Linux Mint 18
Likely a month or so after the Ubuntu 15.04 release, expect to see a Linux Mint update.
Debian 8.0 Jessie
2015 will likely see the release of Debian 8, code-named Jessie. The code freeze occurred on November 5, 2014, though no official date for general availability has been set, yet. Jessie will include both the Cinnamon and MATE desktops, but perhaps the most contentious issue is systemd.
The OpenSUSE 13.2 release debuted on November 4, 2014, meaning we're likely to see the next major update in the July 2015 timeframe.
Open Mandriva/ Mageia
In the distro family once known as Mandrake Linux there are a pair of early 2015 releases on the rodmaps. Mageia 5 is set to debut on January 31, while OpenMandriva 2015.0 is currently set to debut on May 1.
Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at LinuxPlanet and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist