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The Precise Pangolin Goes Alpha

  • December 6, 2011
  • By Sean Kerner

On the Linux Planet, success begets more success. Linux revenue continues to rise, which continues to fuel more demand for Linux and more development. This past week, the first alpha release of Ubuntu 12.04 debuted, and GNOME developers came to the conclusion that every detail matters.

1. Ubuntu 12.04 Alpha

The first development milestone release for the next major Ubuntu Linux release came out this past week. The Ubuntu 12.04 alpha, codenamed the Precise Pangolin, will be the next Long Term Support (LTS) release from Ubuntu.

As part of the cycle, Ubuntu founder Mark Shuttleworth has pledged to make Ubuntu the No. 1 OS for cloud computing. The 12.04 release will also be the first LTS to support the ARM architecture.

In addition the Pangolin release will mark the debut of the Unity desktop for Canonical's enterprise customers. Unity first debuted in Ubuntu 11.04, released earlier this year. It was not an LTS release.

"We also need to do justice to the fact that 12.04 LTS will be the preferred desktop for many of the world's biggest Linux desktop deployments, in some cases exceeding half a million desktops in a single institution," Shuttleworth wrote in a blog post. "So 12.04 is also an opportunity to ensure that our desktop is manageable at scale, that it can be locked down in the ways institutions need, and that it can be upgraded from 10.04 LTS smoothly as promised."

Ubuntu 12.04 is currently scheduled for release on April 26, 2012.

2. GNOME -- Every Detail Matters

One of the efforts that Canonical has in place for the 12.04 LTS is its so-called "papercuts" effort. With papercuts, Ubuntu developers identify annoying items that don't work or can be improved (the papercuts) in an effort to provide more polish to the distribution.

The GNOME open source desktop project is now taking a similar approach. The Every Detail Matters effort is the GNOME project's way of getting the polish needed for the 2012 release of GNOME 3.4

"Minor visual and operational details make a huge difference to the user experiences that we provide," GNOME developer Allan Day blogged. "Small bugs can seriously undermine the overall experience. At the same time, little details can make the difference between being good and being amazing. The aim of Every Detail Matters is to focus in on these small details and make sure that we get them right."

3. Linux 3.2 RC 4

GNOME and Ubuntu developers aren't the only sets of open source developers moving forward with development this past week.

Linus Torvalds announced the fourth release candidate for the Linux 3.2 kernel. Torvalds noted in his release announcement that much has changed in the latest release candidate, though he expects more to come soon.

"I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop," Torvalds wrote. "Maybe Davem and GregKH are holding back -- they've been suspiciously quiet, and I think I can hear some evil chuckling going on there. But maybe it's just time for my meds."

4. VectorLinux 7

While there is always development work going on, there was also a distribution release last week, too.

The VectorLinux 7.0 release came out last week using the Xfce 4.8 interface as its primary desktop.

"This release is the result of nearly two years of blood, sweat and tears since the very successful release of VectorLinux 6.0," the release announcement states. "With the enthusiasm of a small group of packagers, our repository now hosts over a thousand up to date packages. VectorLinux is the fastest Linux desktop in its class bar none."

5. Linux Server Revenues Rise

IDC released its Q3 2011 server stats last week, and the results paint a favorable picture for Linux.

Linux server revenues for the third quarter of 2011 came in at $2.3 billion, for a 12.3 percent year-over-year gain. Overall, Linux holds an 18.6 percent share of total server revenues.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of Internet.com, the network for technology professionals.

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