In April the Ubuntu developers will release Lucid Lynx, the next version of the popular Linux operating system. Also known as Ubuntu 10.04, Lucid Lynx will be the third long term support (LTS) release from Ubuntu and is likely to have a strong focus on stability and security and will be geared at appealing to enterprise users and hardware makers. Ubuntu releases new versions every six months with LTS releases supported for five years on servers and three years on desktops.
With the focus on long-term stability, Lucid Lynx will err on the conservative side when it comes to new features. One of the things that will disappoint desktop users is that Gnome 3 won’t be included in Lucid Lynx. Although Gnome 3 is due to be released in early 2010, and Ubuntu traditionally includes the latest Gnome release, this time around it won’t. The obvious thinking behind this is that Gnome 3, which is a substantial change from Gnome 2, will have a few rough edges on launch. So instead of rolling out a LTS release with brand new software, Lucid will hold off. So the default desktop for Ubuntu Lucid will be Gnome 2.28.
Naturally faster boot times can be expected in Lucid Lynx, although the talk about boot times in the region of 10 seconds is perhaps too optimistic. Ubuntu’s current Karmic Koala release takes well over 30 seconds to go from startup to a login screen. Either way Lucid Lynx is likely to start pushing the barriers of how fast a PC can boot up.
Ubuntu will also look at improving general speed, which will include tricks to speed up software installation by performing some of the installation while the remaining files are downloaded.
In its Karmic Koala release Ubuntu unveiled the new Ubuntu Software Center, which will be expanded in Lucid Lynx. The objective of the Ubuntu Software Center is to have it replace all other software management tools including Synaptic, Gdebi and others with a single tool. Over the years Ubuntu has evolved a range of software management tools which meant that users had a range of different ways of installing software. With the Ubuntu Software Center this will be reduced so that a single tool can do everything.
There will also be some changes in the default applications shipped with Lucid Lynx. Although not set in stone yet the big changes are that Gimp, the image editing tool, will no longer be included by default, while PiTiVi will be installed as the default video editor for Lucid.
With a strong focus on enterprise users in Lucid Lynx there will be a number of improvements to the server version of Lucid, in particular cloud computing features.
Speaking in September, when he first announced Lucid Lynx, Ubuntu chief Mark Shuttleworth said that the developers would be “taking the large scale, horizontal scalability, volume deployment, heritage of Debian and really try to push that into cloud computing. Making sure that 10.04 is a platform for anybody who is building a large scale infrastructure – for anybody who is trying to build the next Facebook, the next Google, the next eBay. Whether you want to start on (Amazon) EC2 and migrate to the managed cloud, Ubuntu 10.0.4 is going to be the platform.”
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