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Ubuntu Linux 12.10 Rolls out as 13.04 Development Rolls In

  • October 22, 2012
  • By Sean Michael Kerner

Ubuntu is one of the most popular Linux distributions in the world today. Depending on who you believe, the number of Ubuntu users could well top 20 millions for both desktop and server installations.

This past week Ubuntu 12.10, the Quantal Quetzal was officially released, marking the second and final major update to Ubuntu Linux this year.

On the server side, the Ubuntu 12.10 release is noteworthy primarily for one key item: the OpenStack Folsom cloud. Ubuntu was the first major Linux distribution to embrace OpenStack and continues to be the core reference implementation for the wildly popular open source cloud platform.

Ubuntu isn't just packaging and supporting Folsom, the Linux vendor is also enabling more robust provisioning and control by way of enhancements to Juju. Juju is the Ubuntu provisioning system and in Ubuntu 12.0 the system has been improved with a new visual interface. The goal of the new interface is to make it easier for system administrator to visually understand, control and orchestrate their environments, physical, virtual or cloud.

On the desktop side, Ubuntu 12.10 take aim at bringing the cloud and its myriad applications down to the desktop level. The improved Dash interface has the ability to search both local as well as cloud storage. Search also includes the somewhat controversial inclusion of Amazon results.

"Ubuntu 12.10 is the operating system for the multi-device era," Jane Silber, CEO at Canonical stated. "It makes life significantly easier for users by adapting Ubuntu to the way people really access their content today: online and on the hard drive, at work and at home, on the phone and, of course, on the PC."

Ubuntu 13.04 Goes Inside

As Ubuntu 12.10 went out the door, Ubuntu founder Mark Shuttleworth announced initial plans for the next major release, 13.04. The first big reveal was the new name – the Raring Ringtail.

"Go read the dictionary. R is just loaded with juicy stuff we can’t use without invoking the radge wrath of the rinky-dink chorus. Sigh," Shuttleworth blogged. "Nevertheless, somewhere between the risibly rambunctious and the reboantly ran-tan, the regnally rakish and the reciprocornously rorty, there was bound to be a good fit. Something radious or rident, something to rouse our rowthy rabble."

While the name of each new Ubuntu release is an interesting exercise, perhaps more interesting this time around was a surprise decision to bring some development in-house instead of doing all the development work out in the open.

"We thought we would extend the invitation to people who trust us and in whom we have reason to trust, to work together on some sexy 13.04 surprises," Shuttleworth wrote. "The projects range from webby (javascript, css, html5) to artistic (do you obsess about kerning and banding) to scientific (are you a framerate addict) to glitzy (pixel shader sherpas wanted) to privacy-enhancing (how is your crypto?) to analytical (big daddy, big brother, pick your pejorative)."

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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