Distributions: From Ubuntu to Mandriva and Fedora
This spring sees a burst of activity for Linux distributions. In addition to Ubuntu and Mandriva, FreeBSD and OpenBSD also put final touches on their new releases
by Alexandra Kleijn (akl)
Ubuntu and Co.
This week saw the final release of Ubuntu 9.04 "Jaunty Jackalope", just one week after the release candidate was first made available. Jaunty Jackalope includes the 2.6.28 Linux kernel, X.org 7.4 with X Server 1.6 and GNOME 2.26, bringing the distribution up-to-date. The developers have also worked on making the boot time one third shorter compared to the 8.10 release. Graphics support has been improved with the addition of updated ATI drivers that include EXA acceleration technology and now provide 3D support for R5XX cards. For the first time the popular distribution includes an option for devices with ARM processors.
Ubuntu Server Edition 9.04 and Ubuntu Netbook Remix (UNR), specifically designed for netbooks, were also both released. Additionally, Ubuntu is previewing it's first cloud server operating system, called Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud (UEC), as a preliminary release, allowing companies to set up a Cloud environment.
Fans of the KDE desktop should have a look at Kubuntu 9.04. The release includes the current version of the KDE desktop environment, KDE 4.2.2. The Kubuntu team also provides a semi-official KDE3 Remix aimed at users who prefer KDE 3.5 over the KDE 4 releases. A new version of Edubuntu has also been released for schools and other learning environments. Xubuntu 9.04, which uses the lightweight Xfce 4.6 desktop, was also released later the same day.
The first alpha of Ubuntu 9.10 "Karmic Koala" is planned to be released in mid-May and the final release is expected in October of this year. Mark Shuttleworth, the driving force behind Ubuntu, is promising even shorter start up times for the 9.10 release by taking advantage of developments such as Kernel-Based Mode-Setting and the Red Hat / Fedora developed Plymouth boot process. The server edition will also further focus on Cloud Computing.
Following the original release of the official Ubuntu Netbook Remix distribution from Canonical, Norwegian Jon Ramvi released his own version, taking UNR even further. Easy Peasy (formerly called Ubuntu Eee before Canonical claimed trademark on the Ubuntu name) is now at version 1.1 and can be installed using a DVD and an external optical drive, or installed from a USB flash drive. The upcoming 2.0 release of Easy Peasy will be built on the Ubuntu 9.04 release.
The gNewSense developers recently released version 2.2 (code-named Deltah) of their Ubuntu based Linux distribution which only contains free software. The Free Software Foundation (FSF) sponsored project removes any proprietary firmware, called restricted modules, and the Ubuntu logo from the releases. The new release includes the re-introduction of GLX, allowing 3D acceleration by default. Last autumn the license for SGI OpenGL and GLX was updated and as a consequence the long-established concerns raised by the inclusion of the code in Linux distributions were dispelled.
[pagelink Debian to BSD]Next: Debian to BSD[/pagelink]