Canonical Ubuntu 2017 milestones, a year in the rulebook

Rounding out our analysis of some of the major Linux platform developments seen throughout 2017, let’s turn our attention to Canonical and its Ubuntu distro.

As we know, in programming, canonical means ‘according to the rules’ — and non-canonical means ‘not according to the rules’… and in the early Christian church, the ‘canon’ was the officially chosen text.

So has Canonical been breaking rules with Ubuntu is 2017, or has it in been writing its own rulebook?

Back in April we saw an AWS-tuned kernel of Ubuntu launched, the move to cloud is unstoppable, clearly. We also saw Ubuntu version 17.04 released, with Unity 7 as the default desktop environment. This release included optimisations for environments with low powered graphics hardware.

“Especially suited to virtual machines or remote desktop situations. These changes have made their way back in to 16.04 LTS to be supported until April 2021,” said Canonical.

The early part of the summer brought certified Ubuntu images now being made available on Oracle Bare Metal Cloud platform. Following this came the launch of Canonical Kernel Live patch and the release of Conjure-up 2.2.0 and Juju 2.2.0, both fresh from the kitchen.

Windows 10 loves Ubuntu

In July we were told that Windows 10 loves Ubuntu – this meant that Ubuntu was now available as an app from the Windows Store.

Also in summer, Canonical launched a new Enterprise Kubernetes packages – Kubernetes Discoverer and Explorer.

As we reached September 21st, we saw Canonical release an Azure tuned kernel for Ubuntu, plus also Ubuntu 16.04 was selected for Samsung Artik gateway modules.

Entering October we say version 17.10 released featuring the return to the GNOME desktop and Wayland as the default display server, with the option of Xorg — and into November we saw the Up2 Grove IoT development kit with Ubuntu launched.

Rounding out the year in November and December, Rancher Labs and Canonical announced its Cloud Native Platform and Canonical became FIPS Certified on the Ubuntu 16.04 release.

As we turn into 2018 we can see Canonical pushing to extend its partner network, more snaps being published (Skype snap is the major release of note) and a Storage Made Easy Charm published to Juju ecosytem.

Desktop delights

Commenting on the desktop division, Will Cooke, engineering director for Canonical Ubuntu desktop has said that 18.04 LTS (codenamed Bionic Beaver) is the next LTS release of Ubuntu due in April 2018.

“It will feature GNOME Shell as the desktop environment on the desktop and will be supported for five years. It includes the latest versions of Firefox and LibreOffice as well as a host of other applications and games which make it the secure environment for developers, business and home users alike. The subsequent release 18.10 will be an opportunity to explore more options for the desktop default package selection and features. We will be distributing more and more applications as snaps giving users an easy way to ensure that their favourite apps are always up to date and we will be working with key application vendors to bring a wider choice of software to their desktop,” said Cooke.

Canonical’s Ubuntu doesn’t appear to spend more than a couple of weeks without a noteworthy release or update of some form. It’s development team would probably say that micro-releases are happening almost constantly, such is the nature of Continuous Delivery (CD) in the modern age, especially with regard to operating systems.

Will the Linux home user desktop every become a default reality as a result of all this work? Well, even Microsoft loves Linux, so anything can happen.

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