Linux: Ubuntu 18.04 LTS will be supported for a full decade

Mark Shuttleworth has announced that Ubuntu 18.04 will be supported for ten years. Long Term Support releases of Ubuntu usually enjoy just five years of support, so this doubling is highly significant. Shuttleworth — the founder of Canonical and Ubuntu — made the announcement at the OpenStack Summit in Berlin, and the change is a tactical maneuver that will help Ubuntu better compete against the likes of Red Hat/IBM. It is also an acknowledgement that many industries are working on projects that will not see the light of day for many years, and they need the reassurance of ongoing support… [Continue Reading]

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Canonical releases Minimal Ubuntu for servers, containers and the cloud

There’s a new version of Ubuntu on the block — Minimal Ubuntu. It’s been stripped right back to the bone to leave a tiny footprint, and these back Linux distros  should boot 40 percent faster than a standard Ubuntu server image. Despite the reduced footprint size, Minimal Ubuntu retains all of Ubuntu’s standard tools (such as ssh, apt and snapd) and maintain full compatibility. Designed for cloud developers and ops, Canonical says that the release is intended for completely automated operations, and as such much of the user-friendliness has been stripped out, but it’s still ideal for used in KVM,… [Continue Reading]

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Ubuntu Linux 18.04 Bionic Beaver is here — download it now!

Ubuntu is one of the most popular desktop Linux distributions — if not the most popular. While it may not be everyone’s favorite operating system, it is largely responsible for making Linux accessible for average consumers. It is fairly easy to install, simple to use, and has a convenient application center. Ultimately, it is a pleasure to use for both beginners and experts alike. Today, following an extensive beta period, the latest version of Ubuntu — version 18.04 — becomes available for download. Code-named “Bionic Beaver,” it features GNOME 3.28 — the best desktop environment — rather than the now-abandoned… [Continue Reading]

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The Future of Desktop Ubuntu

With all the changes happening at Canonical, you might wonder what this means for the future of desktop Ubuntu, besides the return to the GNOME desktop.

There hasn’t been this much news about a single Linux distro in like forever. Well, maybe when Caldera, operating under the name SCO, sued IBM for a cool billion, but other than that…nada. One thing’s for sure, the announcements that have been coming out of the Isle of Man for the last couple of weeks mean that Canonical has forever changed its course.
It also indicates that Mark Shuttleworth has decided that it’s now do or die time — you know, put up or shut up, money talks and bullcrap walks and all that. This means that from this point forward, Canonical will no longer be a company focused on the desktop. From here on out, it’s enterprise all the way, baby.
That’s probably going to work

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Ubuntu Linux uncertainty continues as Canonical CEO walks away

Ubuntu is in a very weird and uncertain place right now. If you have been following the Linux distribution lately, you would know that Canonical dropped some bombshell news that it was killing the Unity desktop environment, along with its tablet, phone, and convergence plans. This was shocking, as the company sunk a lot of resources into these things, and now it looks like all that time and money was wasted. Then, Ubuntu founder Mark Shuttleworth insulted the free software community, going so far as to compare the hatred towards Mir to the gun control debate. Now today, following rumors and speculation, Canonical… [Continue Reading]

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Dell XPS 13 Developer Edition now available with Ubuntu Linux and Intel Kaby Lake CPU

When you want a laptop running Ubuntu, you can always purchase a Windows machine and replace the operating system. Why bother with that hassle, though? Instead, it is smart to buy a machine pre-loaded with a Linux-based operating from a company like System76. While System76 sells brilliant Ubuntu-powered laptops and desktops, it is not the only game in town. Actually, believe it or not, Dell has long been a proponent of Linux, even before ‘Project Sputnik’. Its Ubuntu-powered XPS 13 Developer Edition laptops have been quite popular, and for good reason — they are built well and are very beautiful. Today, Dell… [Continue Reading]

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Ubuntu ‘Snap’ now universal — coming to Linux distros like Fedora, Arch, OpenSUSE, and more!

My biggest complaint about Linux based desktop operating systems is fragmentation. There are too many desktop environments, too many package managers, heck, too many distros! Not only can end-users be negatively impacted by too many choices, but more importantly, developers can be spread too thin. Ultimately, the Linux community ends up being unfocused and unable to move the desktop dial. Today, something miraculous happens. Believe it or not, the Linux Community largely bands together to embrace Ubuntu’s “Snap” packages. Yes, you are reading that correctly — competing Linux-based operating systems like Fedora, Gentoo, Arch, and more, will utilize the now-universal “Snap,”… [Continue Reading]

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Dell releases new XPS 13 Developer Edition, launches Linux-based Precision laptops worldwide

Intel Skylake Dell XPS 13 Developer Edition

On the laptop side, Dell may be best known for its Windows devices, but, as some of you may already know, it also offers some killer Linux-based alternatives for prosumers. It all started out nearly four years ago with Project Sputnik, which led to the release of the first-gen XPS 13 Developer Edition, a Ubuntu-flavored version of the popular ultrabook, in late-2012.

Fast forward to today and Project Sputnik is more than just a one device effort, as Dell has expanded the reach of the program to also include some of its professional-grade laptops. Now, the company steps it up a notch by introducing the Intel Skylake refresh of XPS 13 Developer Edition, and making the Ubuntu-toting Precision laptops available worldwide.

What are the highlights of the new XPS 13 Developer Edition? Well, Project Sputnik lead Barton George says that it can be had with sixth-generation Core i7 processors, with a Core i5 option also on the cards, solid state drives with up to 1 TB of storage, up to 16 GB of RAM, InfinityEdge display (with fullHD and QHD+ versions), Ubuntu 14.04 LTS (Long Term Support) and all the “necessary hardware drivers, tools and utilities” one might need.

If you are not familiar with what LTS actually means, it is a branch of Ubuntu which Canonical supports for five years from its release. In contrast, the standard version of the operating system is guaranteed to receive updates for at least nine months. LTS is, therefore, a better option for Project Sputnik devices, because such laptops are aimed at professionals who seek reliability over cutting-edge software features.

George notes that Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (codenamed Xenial Xerus) will make its public debut in April, but there is no “date for when factory installation will become available” although support is planned. Those who wish to upgrade are advised to follow Canonical’s instructions, which are available here. Among the changes that Ubuntu 16.04 LTS brings are Linux 4.4, Python 3.5 and Golang 1.6.

When I first talked about Project Sputnik, I noted that Dell made a popular chose by opting for Ubuntu. This distribution is still among the most popular, currently ranking third on, behind Mint and Debian..

The new XPS 13 Developer Edition can now be purchased in US, with Canadian and European availability “being ready for launch as we speak”,  according to George. Prices start at $1,549 for a sixth-generation Core i7-6560U version with 8 GB of RAM, a 256 GB SSD and the QHD+ InfinityEdge display.

Regarding the worldwide availability of Ubuntu-based Precision laptops, Dell says that we are looking at Precision 5510, Precision 3510, Precision 7510 and Precision 7710 workstations. These devices can all be customized depending on the customer’s needs, but only the first two are available as of right now; the other two models will be offered “within a week”, according to George.

George also says that customers will see a number of over-the-air patches for these systems, which were not available early enough to be included in the shipping software.

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Ubuntu Linux 15.04 Vivid Vervet is here


Today is Wednesday, aka “Hump Day”. The middle of the work week can be quite the miserable day. If you are stuck in a soul-sucking corporate job, it means you still have a long way to go before the weekend brings sweet release.

Don’t worry, people, I have good news; this is a very special Wednesday. Why? One of the world’s best Linux-based operating systems, Ubuntu, sees a stable and final release of 15.04, codenamed Vivid Vervet (it’s a type of monkey). At the end of today’s work day, you can hopefully go home and try out the latest version of the popular Linux distribution — once the download links go live, that is.

“Today Ubuntu 15.04, codenamed Vivid Vervet, is released with a host of new features for clouds and servers. 15.04 comes a full year since the last Long Term Support (LTS) release and a year before the next LTS so represents a milestone in which we bring in and start to settle down features we want to have in 16.04. At Canonical, we see 15.04 as being all about containers. And OpenStack. And containers on OpenStack”, says Canonical.

The company also says, “Ubuntu is the favorite environment for Linux developers, celebrated in products such as the Dell XPS 13 Developer Edition. This release introduces new tools for cloud and IoT development as well as making the desktop more productive with integrated menus and dashboard usability improvements”.

I have been testing pre-release versions of Ubuntu 15.04 on the wonderful System76 Meerkat (review coming soon) with great results. The operating system is extremely stable and Unity is getting better all the time.

With that said, for workstation users, it is once again a boring release. Quite frankly, boring is a positive here, as Canonical does not need to reinvent the wheel with every update. Change for the sake of change can upset the core group of users. Hell, just look at Microsoft with Windows 8!

Ubuntu 15.04 ships with Linux Kernel 3.19, and not the fresh 4.0. While users can build and install 4.0 themselves, there really is no urgent need to do so. As you can see in the image below, I was successful in implementing 4.0 on Vivid Vervet, but it was not necessary.


If you are an existing Ubuntu user, there is no reason not to upgrade; the new version is wonderful, as long as you do not expect anything other than an evolutionary experience. If you are curious about Linux and want to try a distro for the first time, Vivid Vervet is a great place to start.

Download links are not yet live, but we will add them below once they are. Check back later this evening or early tomorrow morning.

Photo Credit: Pal Teravagimov/Shutterstock

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