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Linux Top 3: Ubuntu Kaylin, Debian Wheezy and Linux Mint

  • March 25, 2013
  • By Sean Michael Kerner

1) Ubuntu Heads to China

In recent years, there has been no shortage of new Ubuntu derivatives to cater to different needs. Those have including different desktop editions (Kubuntu, Xubuntu, Lubuntu) and needs (ie. Ubuntu Studio Edition).

Now Canonical, the lead sponsor behind Ubuntu is building a new version of Ubuntu specifically for China. The new version is call Kylin and is being developed in partnership with government agencies in China.

Kylin will have Chinese language input and localization and will also have a Chinese calendar.

The first version of Kylin will coincide with the Ubuntu 13.04 release set to debut in April. Moving beyond the initial release, Canonical plans on providing further specific Chinese integrations including the use of Baidu maps and Taobao shopping.

"The release of Ubuntu Kylin brings the Chinese open source community into the global Ubuntu community,” said Mark Shuttleworth, founder of Ubuntu and Canonical in a statement. "With Ubuntu Kylin, China now has its own secure and stable desktop operating system, produced alongside Ubuntu's global community. Ubuntu combines proven technology with a mature ecosystem and strong OEM and ISV partners, and this initiative allows the Joint Lab to bring those strengths to China across the full range of platforms: desktop, server, cloud, tablet and phone."

2) LMDE 201303

While Ubuntu pushes forward, so too does the upstart Linux Mint distro. The main Linux Mint distro is based on Ubuntu, but there is also a pure-bred Debian release version as well.

The Linux Mint Debian Edition (LMDE) version 2013-03 was released last week, providing a Debian base to Mint. According to Linux Mint founder, Clem Lefebre, the purpose of LMDE is to look identical to the main edition and to provide the same functionality while using Debian as a base."

The LMDE is also faster than the base Ubuntu version, though it lacks some of the ease-of-use features of Ubuntu and it does not have SecureBoot support either.

LMDE is a semi-rolling distribution which is a bit different than a typical milestone release based approach.

"Updates are constantly fed to Debian Testing, where users experience frequent regressions but also frequent bug fixes and improvements. LMDE receives “Update Packs” which are tested snapshots of Debian Testing. Users can experience a more stable system thanks to update packs, or switch their sources to follow Testing, or even Unstable, directly to get more frequent updates."

3) Debian Wheezy

Speaking of Debian, the next major release is rapidly nearing release. The Wheezy release now has less than 100 bugs remaining to be patched.

While Debian has always been a Linux distro that is - Done when it's done - the release engineering folks are locking down to make sure that it's done, sooner rather than later.

In a mailing list posting, Debian developer Julien Cristau wrote:

"As the release approaches, it's more likely that we will simply remove packages that have open RC bugs."

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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