Hardy "our most significant release" – Shuttleworth
With the release of Hardy Heron, the latest version of the popular Ubuntu Linux operating system just four days away, Canonical chief, Mark Shuttleworth, has told the BBC that Hardy is the “most significant release” to date. In part this is because it is only the second long term release version of the OS which will be supported for the next five years. Most Ubuntu releases are supported for 18 months to coincide with the six-month release cycle.
As Ubuntu continues to grow in popularity there is a great deal riding on the release of Hardy Heron. For server users it is likely to be the operating system they will eventually adopt and then run with for many years. And on the desktop, while Ubuntu may still be well behind Windows in the popularity stakes, a floundering Windows Vista offers a rare opportunity for Linux to attract more disgruntled Windows users. It’s not often that competitors are given a chance to see the chink in Microsoft’s armour and so Ubuntu, and other Linux distributions, can’t really afford to mess up this opportunity and scare users back to Windows.
With this in mind Hardy Heron has a number of additions designed to make Ubuntu as appealing to new users as possible. Chief among these is the inclusion of Wubi, a Windows-based Ubuntu installer that will allow users to install Hardy directly to a partion without leaving Windows, making it easy to test Ubuntu without re-installing a computer’s software. Hardy Heron also includes better support for multimedia, including better video and audio playback.
For servers Hardy Heron has both KVM and VMware virtualisation built in and includes a version called JEOS (Just Enough Operating System) designed for appliances that need a minimal footprint.
Shuttleworth also said that there had been “a real shift in the last six months from folks seeing open source as either a super-specialist thing for people who run data centres or as an enthusiast thing, to something which is energising a lot of the straight commercial PC industry”.