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Thursday April 17th 2014

Next Version of Ubuntu Coming–Shuttleworth Dreams of Clouds





Quick, how old is Ubuntu? If you remembered it being about 10 years old, that was my initial recollection too. In fact, Ubuntu is seven years old this week. PC World has taken  note of the original release language for "Warty Warthog:"  "Ubuntu is a new Linux distribution that brings together the extraordinary breadth of Debian with a fast and easy install, regular releases (every six months), a tight selection of excellent packages installed by default and a commitment to security updates with 18 months of security and technical support for every release." Now, Mark Shuttleworth is discussing the next major version of Ubuntu, dubbed "Precise Pangolin."

Shuttleworth writes in a post that Precise Pangolin, version 12.04 of the operating system will be the fourth Long Term Support release, with three years of support:

"As such it needs to carry on, and entrench, the reputation of the LTS as a carrier-grade platform for mission-critical server deployments and large scale desktop deployments."

Does that sound like Shuttleworth is focused heavily on the individual user when it comes to Ubuntu’s roadmap? No, his post makes clear that he is extremely focused on business users, and specifically cloud computing. He writes:

"Ubuntu is the #1 OS for cloud computing, whether you measure it by the number of instances running on all the major public clouds, the number of Ubuntu-based cloud appliances, the number of public and private clouds running on Ubuntu host OS. The extraordinary diversity of the Ubuntu community, the calibre of collaboration between Ubuntu and OpenStack, and the focused efforts of Canonical to make Ubuntu useful in the cloud have all contributed to that position."

Shuttleworth goes on to prescribe a number of cloud- and OpenStack-focused goals for the new version of Ubuntu. Indeed, if you isolate some of the advisories from his post, he sounds a lot like Jim Whitehurst at Red Hat. 

While individual users of Ubuntu still engage in heated debates over topics like the Unity desktop interface, Shuttleworth has actually had his eye on business and cloud-focused goals for Ubuntu for some time. 

Ubuntu is only seven now. Don’t be surprised to see it cater much more to businesses and IT administrators over the next seven years.  Meanwhile, Precise Pangolin is slated to arrive in April.

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