Ubuntu's 'Jaunty Jackalope' Jumps Forward

By Sean Michael Kerner (Send Email)
Posted Apr 23, 2009


Canonical, the lead commercial sponsor behind Ubuntu Linux, released version 9.04 on Thursday. Ubuntu is known for its quirky animal-named Linux releases, and this one has the nickname of "Jaunty Jackalope." The "Jaunty" release includes new versions for netbooks, desktops and servers. It features faster boot times and cloud computing capabilities.

Ubuntu 9.04 Linux leaps out to speed up the desktop and help server reach the cloud.

This is the 10 release for Ubuntu since its inception in 2004. Ubuntu has grown from being a small Debian Linux based distribution to one of the most popular Linux distributions, with more than 8 million users. Ubuntu now challenges Red Hat and Novell in the Linux space while also going after Microsoft and its upcoming Windows 7 release.

"This our 10th release and we've really come quite a long way both in demonstrating the success of a model where a business can work together with the community to produce a great product, and in the open source realm in really honing this concept of a strict time based process," Canonical CTO Matt Zimmerman said during a press conference announcing the new release. "It ensures we always have a fresh product on the market with all the greatest improvements that are available in free software."

Among the new improvements on the desktop side of Ubuntu 9.04 is faster boot time. Zimmerman noted on that "Jaunty" will startup in 25 seconds on a Dell Inspiron mini9, a dramatic improvement over the 45 second boot time of the previous release, "Intrepid Ibex."

Additional improvements on the desktop include improved suspend and resume capability on notebooks as well as additional support for 3G and Wi-Fi mobile connectivity. "Jaunty" will also include by default OpenOffice.org version 3, which came out just before the Ibex release last year, but it was too late in the Ubuntu release process for it to be included.

Server Edition

One of the major necessities for server adoption is proven compatibility for server hardware, which is something Mark Shuttleworth, founder of Ubuntu Linux, noted the 9.04 release has achieved. According to Shuttleworth, "Jaunty" has been tested with all the major server hardware vendors, including HP, Sun, IBM, Dell and Lenovo.

However, Shuttleworth admitted that Ubuntu's "Achilles heel" remains certification with proprietary software vendors. In a conversation with Shuttleworth earlier this month, he noted that Oracle certification is one such key item which he viewed as a litmus test for Ubuntu.

One of the key new enhancements in the server version of "Jaunty" is a preview of the Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud (UEC).

"Cloud is the new hotness," Shuttleworth said. "It's a term that is being used vaguely to apply to lots of different technologies."

Canonical had a very specific focus on the cloud for the "Jaunty" release now that the Linux distribution is available on Amazon EC2. Shuttleworth noted that now anybody can sign up over the web and fire up a minimal Ubuntu server.

Beyond just using Amazon, Ubuntu "Jaunty" is enabling its server users to build their own cloud internally. The technology, which is officially a preview, will enable enterprises to use Ubuntu to build an Amazon EC2-compatible cloud inside their own datacenters. Shuttleworth explained that enterprise could take their internal servers and can configure them as a cloud that responds to all the same APIs as EC2.

Ubuntu will be continuing to work on its cloud vision as part of its next distribution, codenamed the Karmic Koala, which is set for an October release.

Article courtesy of InternetNews.com

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