This Thursday we witness the anticipated release Ubuntu Linux 7.04, known to Linux aficionados by code name Feisty Fawn. And the new components are feisty indeed: the aforementioned Fawn possesses virtualization features and improved installation management tools, courtesy of project sponsor Canonical.
The solution makes it possible to upgrade servers automatically while simultaneously granting admins the ability to control that process, letting them override decisions and enable task upgrades and dependency checking as-needed.
Early on, Canonical discovered a niche for Ubuntu among desktop users. Since then, their goal has been to guide the open source darling into businesses and server-side solutions. Feisty Fawn's new features were created with these motivations in mind.
The new version of Debian-based Ubuntu is the first Linux distribution to possess inherent support for Para-Ops, a VMware performance optimizer; and Virtual Machine Interface (VMI). VMI is a standard proposed by VMware for interpreting the process by which guest operating systems communicate with the hypervisor.
Other benefits to the newly-virtualized Ubuntu include:
- Windows migration tool, which recognises Internet Explorer bookmarks or favourites on Firefox, IM contacts, and even desktop wallpaper. It then imports these unique characteristics into Ubuntu during installation. This way, new Ubuntu users feel a smoother transition, and those aspiring to run a dual-boot system may also do so with ease.
- Support for kernel-based virtual machine (KVM), a recently-developed virtualization technique that enables users to run more than one virtual machine on unmodified Linux. At outset users must have x86 systems with the Intel VT or AMD-V extensions.
- Jetpipe for thin clients. This augments print and sound support, an improved server for printing architecture and sound.
- Simple codec wizard installation (for legal access to multimedia content), and plug-and-play network sharing through Avahi.
- Secure remote network installation.
- UltraSparc installer changes.
- An updated LAMP stack.
- Support for Xen, the option of choice for competitors like Suse Linux and Red Hat.
Amid news about the Feisty Fawn's foray into the open, Canonical founder Mark Shuttleworth has already named a successor, which will make its appearance on October 2007. The less-prettily-named Gutsy Gibbon is expected to take an “ultra-orthodox view of licensing.”
European firm Canonical Ltd. is the commercial sponsor of Ubuntu project. Founded in 2004, Canonical's mission is to enrich the environments of people and organizations with free software. Toward this end, it is a global provider of services to a multiplicity of open software users.