I usually don’t do a huge amount of reading about Linux. That is, not concerning its development. I am usually concerned with solving problems, with the specific distribution I am working with, at the time.
Since the weekend, I have been reading a few articles about Jaunty Jackelope, the upcoming release of Ubuntu, due in one month, and the following release, next October, called Karmic Koala. The two releases are a change in direction for Ubuntu, with the idea that the concept of the ‘cloud’ is unavoidable, and will become ubiquitous.
from IT Wire – Australia
Ubuntu 9.10 sees the cloud above the trees
Next month Ubuntu 9.04, Jaunty Jackelope, hits an FTP or torrent site near you. With its feature set pretty much frozen the masterminds at Canonical are looking to the future with Ubuntu 9.10 – Karmic Koala, I kid you not – being touted as cloud-centric.
Ubuntu is arguably the most popular Linux distribution available today. I know I’ve certainly had my share of criticism in the past for giving (say) Red Hat Linux examples which don’t work the same in Ubuntu.
Ubuntu is the version of Linux that works, works well, and is easily used by a child, unfamiliar of the ‘proper’ way to do things on a computer.
It’s easy to see why; Ubuntu’s makers have really focused on slick marketing and reducing a great deal of complexity. Sure, Debian fans are right that Ubuntu doesn’t give you the same flexibility but by sacrificing some things Canonical have made Ubuntu dead simple for the beginner. Just download one CD image only, install without having to face decisions like which desktop manager to use, and so on.
This is no different than Windows, and if the user gets used to one way of doing things, then starts getting used to the command line (and someone who doesn’t know how to interact with a computer through the text interface doesn’t deserve anything other than the default that everyone gets – knowledge is power, and those with no knowledge will deserve no power) he can then learn how to bend the distribution to his own will.
While Ubuntu 9.04 is not yet in its final release form it has been for the most part frozen with no new features being introduced between now and release. So, for your next fix of “more” it’s time to look ahead to the October edition, Ubuntu 9.10, otherwise known as Karmic Koala.
Now, just like a koala – that good Australian mascot – can climb trees, so too Ubuntu aims to keep free software at the forefront of cloud computing. That link sounds tenuous to me but, hey, I’m sure Mark Shuttleworth will make it clearer in time to come.
This will be achieved by embracing the API’s of Amazon.Com’s EC2 service. This means any Ubuntu user will be easily able to set up their own cloud storage using entirely open tools.
The cloud storage space can be used for backing up data but the more visionary approach is that applications can be deployed to the cloud. You can construct applications for others to use, you can put up applications you want to be available no matter where you are working on the Internet.
Ultimately, Ubuntu want to make the Amazon cloud as straightforward as their existing Ubuntu package management tool for loading new apps onto your hard drive.
Continuing with the koala metaphor, the Eucalyptus project will allow you, using Ubuntu 9.10, to make your own EC2-style cloud within your own data centre and on your own hardware. (Actually, Eucalyptus will be part of Ubuntu 9.04 but will get more features by October.)
I can’t find much detail on this just now, but it certainly sounds like something I’d like to work with. If it was made easy to build a small business cloud, in a little time, with a very little need for constant fiddling, small owners would jump on this like the banks jumped on TARP funds.
Oh, and just like a koala is renown for sleeping, so too your Karmic Koala powered machines will conserve energy when idle and power up again when something has to be done.
Shuttleworth has clearly become an expert in koalas because he also informs that a newborn koala spends about six months in the family before it heads off into the wild alone. I have no idea if that’s true, but it does make a nice analogy for the Canonical six-monthly release schedule.
As to naysayers, well, hey, it’s not just a koala – it’s also karmic. That means Windows no more; this time Ubuntu isn’t just personal, it’s fate.
I think that, with the bad economy, the disgust with Microsoft Windows Vista, and the move to netbooks by many, Linux will make a major move in this year. No, it won’t ‘take over’, but I see it taking up possibly 6-8% market share.
That would be huge. With that kind of push, we should start seeing more and more mention of Linux, and specifically Ubuntu, by those who have, up until now, simply dismissed it as the rambling idiocy of the discontent and cheap.
Many will speak of Windows 7, and how much good press it has gotten. I would say that the good press will not last, as the people are simply happy that there is something to talk about, other than what an utter disappointment Vista was, and continues to be. Windows 7 will be found to be another step in the wrong direction by many, who will wonder why their money was spent on an operating system from Microsoft, when their friend has an identical device, that works great with a free alternative to the $100+ choice that they made.
The big hurdle I see for Ubuntu, and Linux in general, is the lack of a really good set of man pages. If Shuttleworth would set about a project of the man pages, correct and up-to-date, the users would flock to it like… well, Jaunty Jackelopes.
(when I say leader in the title, I mean leader in minds, not usage – not just yet)
|Armor: The kind of clothing worn by a man whose tailor is a blacksmith.Ambrose Bierce|