RealTime IT News

Ubuntu Gets 'Edgy'

While most operating system vendors struggle to meet their target delivery dates, at least one is keeping its promises.

Ubuntu is set to release its latest Linux distribution today, code-named the Edgy Eft, and officially called Ubuntu 6.10. The release follows the last Ubuntu release, Dapper Drake, by only four months.

In the last few years, Ubuntu has arguably become the most popular community based Linux distribution in the world.

Ubuntu is derived from Debian GNU/Linux, which coincidentally is scheduled to release its own update, code-named Etch, at the end of this year. Debian encountered significant delays on the road to its current release, Sarge.

Accordingly, Ubuntu views its ability to deliver releases on time as a major accomplishment.

"One interesting accomplishment in the 6.10 release is that we are on track to release it on schedule, given the rapid development cycle of four months compared to our usual six," Ubuntu CTO Matt Zimmerman told internetnews.com. "This brings us back into sync with the GNOME release cycle."

Ubuntu uses the GNOME Linux desktop as its default, though Ubuntu has a sister project called Kubuntu which releases the same operating system but with the rival KDE Linux desktop instead.

Ubuntu updates nearly all the major packages on the system from its Dapper versions. Though not all Dapper users will want to upgrade to Edgy.

The reason is that Dapper is considered by Ubuntu to be a long-term support (LTS) release. Zimmerman explained that maintenance support for Dapper will continue through June 2009 for desktops and June 2011 for servers.

Ubuntu 6.10 (Edgy) will receive the standard 18 months of maintenance, so its end-of-life will be June 2009.

"Users who require the longer life cycle may choose not to upgrade," Zimmerman said. "For this reason, users of the LTS release will not be automatically offered the upgrade."