For an operating system named after a magical creature, the release might strike some of you as somewhat overwhelmingly similar to the previous release, Trusty.
It’s the same creepy default wallpaper (if there is a difference I failed to notice it), the Amazon icon remains firmly conspicuous in the launcher despite protests and there is the same old universal purple shade.
I haven’t done a review of Ubuntu in a while, so the release of Ubuntu 14.10 last week game me a good excuse to do just that.
Code-named Utopic Unicorn, Ubuntu 14.10 is the last Ubuntu release this year. There are two releases per year and Ubuntu 14.04, code-named Trusty Tahr, was the first 2014 release of the popular desktop distribution that’s sponsored by Canonical. Ubuntu is, of course, not just a desktop distribution, but also features server, Cloud and Kylin editions. Ubuntu Kylin is an edition specifically designed for Chinese users. This review will be just about the desktop edition.
According to the Release Notes, Ubuntu 14.10 is not an LTS (Long-Term Support) edition, and so it will be supported for just nine months, that is until July 2015. Which brings up a question I’m sure has been tackled before: Why release a distribution that will be supported for just nine months? And why would any person bother upgrading to an OS that will be supported for just nine months. Even Microsoft doesn’t do that.
As I have previously announced, the Ubuntu Touch development branch is based on Ubuntu 15.04 Vivid Vervet, while the Ubuntu RTM branch is still using Ubuntu 14.10 Utopic Unicorn as code base, because it has already received stability improvements and will by default on the first Ubuntu powered Meizu phone. Currently, all the new features are implemented on the Ubuntu-Devel branch, the RTM one receiving only fixes.
I thought perhaps it was a one-off mistake made by a marketing department flunky who perhaps had too much Red Bull while writing a press release. Being the responsible company that Canonical/Ubuntu is, and being the good FOSS community member that it portrays itself to be, I assumed they’d fix the error right away and make sure that ludicrous hyperbole was not the order of the day.
Would that be asking too much?
Perhaps. Sadly, a company that claims to be a FOSS leader can’t be bothered with getting simple facts correct. An ad on LinkedIn posted a week ago today makes the same claim for a job in London. You can click on the photo to the right and read, “It is used by over 20 million people in 240 countries in 80 languages.”
It's Halloween week, and the big names in Linux are determined not to disappoint the trick-or-treaters. No less than three mainline distributions have released new versions this week, led by perennially-loved-and-hated crowd favourite Ubuntu.
Ubuntu 14.10, better-known by its nom de womb "Utopic Unicorn", hit the streets last Thursday. It appears to be a mostly update release, with more of the release announcement's ink devoted to parent-company Canonical's "Canonical Distribution of Ubuntu Openstack" than to Utopic's "latest and greatest open source technologies". Among those, the v3.16 kernel has been included, as well as updated versions of GTK, Qt, Firefox, LibreOffice, Juju, Docker, MAAS, and of course, Unity. Full details can be found in the official release notes.
I've been researching OpenStack deployment methods lately and so when I got an email from Canonical inviting me to check out how they deploy OpenStack using their Metal as a Service (MaaS) software on their fantastic Orange Box demo platform I jumped at the opportunity. While I was already somewhat familiar with MaaS and Juju from research for my Official Ubuntu Server Book, I'd never seen it in action at this scale. Plus a chance to see the Orange Box--a ten-server computing cluster and network stack that fits in a box about the size of a old desktop computer--was not something I could pass up.
We made all the necessary arrangements and bright and early one morning Dustin Kirkland showed up at my office with a laptop and the second-largest Pelican case I'd ever seen. My team sat down with him as he unpacked and explained a little bit about the Orange Box. Throughout the day we walked through the MaaS and Juju interfaces and used them to bootstrap a few servers that were then configured with Juju: Canonical's service orchestration project. By the end of the day we had not only deployed OpenStack, along the way we set up a Hadoop cluster and even a multi-node transcoding cluster that split up transcoding tasks among the different nodes in the cluster and transcoded a high-definition movie down to a more consumable size in no time. In this article I'm going to introduce the basic concepts behind MaaS, highlight some of it's more interesting new features, and point out a few interesting tips I picked up along the way that you might find useful even if you don't use MaaS or Juju.
The Windows operating systems is going out the front door in China and its place will be taken by a Linux distribution that will be used by the authorities and the governing body. The problem is that there is no real alternative, although at least one OS might be ready for the task, and that is Ubuntu Kylin.