Canonical prepares for a Sunday Ubuntu
Canonical has pre-announced the release of the desktop, netbook and server versions of Linux distribution Ubuntu 10.10 for Sunday 10th of October (10/10/10). Of particular note are the enhancements to the server edition of 10.10 which focus on cloud deployment.
Alongside the upgraded Linux kernel are more boot time configuration options and the ability to run AMI (Amazon Machine Images) in a local KVM-virtualised machine. This allows users to configure and test Ubuntu instances before they are sent into Amazon's chargeable cloud. Another deployment enhancement is an improved version of "CloudInit" which lets users of Ubuntu on the cloud set default locales, hostnames, SSH keys and mount points and configure custom commands and scripts to run at start-up or on reboot. Canonical have also announced a "one hour test drive" for users who want to try an Ubuntu 10.10 server running on Amazon's EC2 (Elastic Compute Cloud).
Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud, part of Ubuntu 10.10, adds virtio support, a new interface for administrators and the ability to run UEC from a USB stick. UEC is based on Eucalyptus, updated in 10.10 to version 2.0 and GlusterFS and Ceph have been integrated to provide the foundations of what Canonical hopes will be many cloud-focused enterprise scale applications.
The company also focuses on the cloud for the desktop version of Ubuntu, in the form of Ubuntu One's "personal cloud service", which now has interoperability with Android phones, iPhones and Microsoft's Windows. Ubuntu One is free for up to 2GB of storage with extra storage and mobile access as chargeable extras. 10.10 sees the arrival of commercial applications, to sit alongside free software, in the Ubuntu Software Centre. The release of 10.10 will also see the arrival of the new Unity interface on the Ubuntu Netbook Edition which has, say Canonical, been tuned for smaller screens, mobility and support for touch and gesture input.